Perfect Pitch

Perfect Pitch

Perfect pitch (or “absolute pitch” as it is more accurately known) is the ability to identify, or reproduce a note without reference to any other sound. It is a skill considered by many to be the holy grail of ear training.

The name “perfect pitch” hints at the mystery and intrigue which surrounds this skill. Those who possess it are often seen as intimidating, naturally gifted musicians. We aim to clear up some of that mystery and help all musicians develop their sense of absolute pitch to the degree that’s useful to them.

If developing perfect pitch sounds like an impossible task, you just might be surprised! It’s true that a select few people do seem to have an innate ability to identify tones by ear from an early age, but it is in fact possible for any musician or audio pro to learn and develop these skills.

You may find your own absolute pitch skills are already better than you think…

For example: most people (including non-musicians) when asked to sing a favourite song will instinctively sing it in the correct key. This is a form of absolute pitch! It may not be as reliable and accurate as what people consider ‘perfect pitch’, but it is the same underlying ability

Another example is that many musicians can tune a familiar instrument close to concert pitch without needing a tuner, just because the notes have become so ingrained in their ear as reference pitches. By learning to tie this knowledge to note values (and with plenty of hard work) you can make great improvements to your absolute pitch from this basis.

Unfortunately there is a great deal of misinformation about perfect pitch on the internet, commonly written by people selling improbable quick fix solutions.

Here at Musical U we believe:

  • Most professional musicians, even great virtuosos, do not possess perfect pitch
  • Developing perfect pitch will not instantly turn you into a virtuoso!
  • There is no trick in existence that can allow you to magically develop perfect pitch without hard work and dedication
  • Perfect pitch is not essential for transcribing music or playing by ear! Tasks like these can also be done using relative pitch and chord ear training

However we do believe that dedication and absolute pitch ear training will allow you to:

  • Identify pitches by ear
  • Improve the speed at which you can transcribe
  • Help you to play by ear
  • Sight-sing or auralise (hear in your head) the notes from a score
  • Accurately tune instruments without using a tuner

Free articles about Perfect Pitch

Can you learn perfect pitch?

The research indicates that most people who have absolute pitch have had it from an early age. It seems to be a combination of nature and nurture. Its accuracy and reliability tends to vary over an individual’s life. It is possible to develop this skill at a...

How can I get perfect pitch?

If you want to learn perfect pitch, a good practical way to start developing your sense of absolute pitch is to choose a single note to use as a reference pitch. Pick a pitch you can easily refer to – like a Middle C if you’re often near a piano, or the...