I was asked to explain what it is like to have perfect pitch. For those of you who don’t know, perfect pitch is the ability to determine music notes by “ear.” In other words, someone can play a note and without looking I can tell you exactly what that note is. To me it is like “envisioning the note in my mind.” Last night I had a gig and on this particular gig we are known to take “requests.” Someone asked for an old classic “Beatles” tune entitled “She loves you.” The guys in the band usually wait for me to determine what key the song is in before we play it. I had NEVER played the song before in life and had not heard it is a while. I finally surmised that the song was in the key of “G” and then we proceeded to actually “play” it. When we finished, people “loved it.” If not for my perfect pitch, we probably would not have been able to pull that one off. I also sang the lyrics. Perfect pitch is most fun to me when people are trying to throw you off your game. I remember years ago this keyboard player had some songs that he wrote and I had to learn them. He had a little attitude with him, and acted like he was going to be frustrated because he felt he had to now “teach” me the songs. He started calling out notes to me and I told him to just “play” the song. He didn’t like that, but as he continued to play the songs I continued to play the correct notes to them. At one point he was getting so frustrated that he “purposely” tried to play wrong chords just so he could prove a point. I immediately stopped him and alerted him to the fact that he was playing the wrong notes to his own songs. My hearing can also go “well beyond” just music. I can often tell from hearing someone’s steps just who they are (because the sound of steps have a note quality to them that can be determined) without having to actually “see” them. I can also tell who is about to come to my house by the sound of their “car door” slamming (because that also has a note quality to it). Unfortunately there are adverse sides to perfect pitch as well. I can normally hear things that other people can”t. For instance, someone could be whispering something about me in the very next room “thinking” that I can’t hear it. Well, in most cases they would be wrong, because my hearing is tuned in to what they are saying. Since I play bass guitar my hearing is “tuned in” to bass whenever I hear a particular song. If I had to play the keyboard parts to it I would have to listen a little more “intently.” However, in most cases i can usually figure that out as well. Perfect pitch has been cool for me, and it helps me get through a lot of music. People think that I have learned a “library” of music in my head, when the actual fact is I “learn a song while I am listening to it.” That is what “perfect pitch” is all about. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and I wish you the best that life has to offer today.
In the rehearsal studio with GC Cameron (He sang “It’s a shame” and “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday”)