Perfect pitch and transposing instruments

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    My brother has perfect pitch ... and we talked about it a few times... he really played it off and said he really likes using relative pitch because it was just easier for him.
    I have never had to play anything on a differently keyed trumpet but if I had to I believe I would appraoch it in that fashion. F to Bb is a fourth on any instrument.
    I would believe Rowuks advice .... you really can do this ... look at it like that .. players do it all the time.
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    If there are any with perfect pitch, I wouldn't expect them to brag about it, as such is best acclaimed by others and that is also true simply about anyone's or group's performance. That said, I would expect those musicians who IMO are both great and blind can discern pitch far better than others, and next in line are those that learned their instrument solely by ear albeit they subsequently may have also learned to read music.

    The best I can say about my own ability is that I mostly know when I'm not on pitch with the notes I read on the music ... and that is simply that they don't sound right together. If I've a session that this is overwhelming, and this often occurs, I feel better just putting my instrument back in its case. However, I can't do that with those I'm tutoring.

    Others here have "hit the nail on the head" about perfect pitch.
     
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I certainly don't know anyone with perfect pitch ....... It sounds like something that could make you a bit crazy. Even in the recording studio, where you would assume everyone would be on concert pitch, it could make you mad. Playing along with the radio (and using a Korg tuner to help find the song keys), there are always songs that are so far off concert pitch that they simply can't be played in tune with.

    And the blind thing Ed, I don't agree with. I believe that, just because someone is blind, doesn't automatically make them better listeners, or give them better hearing. I think you're right in that yes, it mostly does. But, sighted people IMHO, can have hearing that is just as deep and accurate. If this was not the case, I think we would have more famous blind players. There aren't that many. (how could we ever really know for sure???:roll:).

    TMers without perfect pitch (you know who you are) ...... rejoice. Relative pitch is definitely the thing to have.


    Turtle
     
  4. stradivarius151

    stradivarius151 Pianissimo User

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    That's how I think too. I have no experience with transposing trumpets, though. If I see an A on a Bb trumpet page, I think in my head the sound of a concert G, and the correct fingering. But I don't even think "concert", I just see G's where everybody sees A's. I can figure out chords from chord sheets, even if they are transposed to Bb. I do transpose on saxes though, and I really just had to learn new places for notes to be on the staff to figure out the alto.
     
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Turtle, I agree with you. However, it is well established that anyone with any disability tends to develop ways to accomodate such ... IF they succeed in regaining or achieving a semblance of normalcy that is interactive with others. Still, I must state that available training and very extended practice achieves very close results of the same degree.

    Even so, from a recording perspective, I've yet to hear a "first take" that is acceptable, and from just a performance category that is why we rehearse and rehearse again and again (ad infinitum).
     
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Ed, you've given me a great idea. I'm going to start practicing trumpet with my eyes closed. Shouldn't make that much difference .... my reading is terrible, I'd be better off playing from memory. :lol:


    Turtle
     
  7. richtom

    richtom Forte User

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    I believe this is the list haste2 may be referring to. The site seems a bit self-serving, but I am certain many of the musicians listed do have perfect pitch.
    Famous People with Perfect Pitch
    You know what is wrong with so many of today's "perfect" recordings? Way too many takes (edits) to achieve perfection. I have superb performances where there may be a squeak in the clarinets, a clam in the brass, perhaps some intonation issues, and normal human mistakes.
    If anyone wants to hear an acceptable first take, listen to the famous Reiner/CSO recording of Scheherazade. The 4th movement is in real time. No edits, no mistakes, just marvelous playing and conducting. (There are also some direct to disc recordings and live recordings that are unedited and have a particular "excitement" to them.)
    After the movement completed, Reiner said there was absolutely no need to do anything over.
    The folks I went to music school with who had perfect pitch had zero problems with ear training and some did play transposing instruments. They heard every note in the chord being played. I still hear notes in the concert pitch and have no problems with trumpet in different keys.
    RT
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

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    Rowuk, everything you just told me I figured out years ago. I may have "perfect pitch", but I am plenty able to adjust to sharp, or flat ensemble (for instance, marching band that deal with a wide variety of temperatures). I've learned to be flexible to match pitches, fit in the chords, etc. I don't get why you had to be so presumptuous there. I'm not making excuses -- they're not worth making.

    I never claimed perfect pitch was a "gift" -- it could be depending on how you define "gift". You could say the ability to flap your ears is a "gift".

    Edit: I never intended to brag. :[ Thanks for everyone's comments.

    And, I found a mistake in the Reiner recording of Scheherazade, 4th mvt - the trombones were late in one part of the climactic portion. I've listened to that recording too much. =P Everything else seems to be flawless, though! Marvelous playing by the 1st trumpet, too....
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I don't expect just closing your eyes to do much towards improving your skills, but somehow I do believe there would be fewer miniscule distractions. Otherwise, some may be able to phrase better and put more soul into their playing. I believe I sight read above average, but also believe the songs I know from memory sound a lot better. To this extent, if someone else were to play the melody of The Stars and Stripes, Forever! as written, from memory I believe I could play any other brass part including my own transposition of the C piccolo to my Schilke P5-4.

    However, learning to sight read music is a criteria with most groups, bands and orchestras. I sight read C music just as well with transposition to a Bb instrument. Too, I "steal" clarinet and tenor sax music to play on my Bb trumpet/cornet (they're Bb instruments as well).
     
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    side note: my brother has been blind from birth
     

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