Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (The debate over perfect pitch)

I had a lot of gigs over this past weekend. For one of those gigs, I had to play for a band that had it’s own “original music.” This means that I had to learn songs that no one else outside of them knew. Having perfect pitch helped me out significantly. I had no time to virtually sit down with my instrument and try to decipher each note. I was busy playing this whole entire weekend, so the best I could do was to listen to the CD of the songs in my car while I was driving and learn the songs as I traveled by using my perfect pitch. It “worked.” I played all the songs for the gig and everything turned out well. The guys in the band wanted to talk to me about having perfect pitch, so we addressed it. One of the guys in the band said that perfect pitch is something that most people discover at an early age (He believed it was God given at birth). Another said that he believed people could actually learn to have perfect pitch over time. I simply said that I believed both of those statements could be true. I learned about my perfect pitch when my parents brought a piano home (I was 4 years old at the time) and the very next day I was playing this song “Stand By Me” by Ben. E. King on it. Over the years I was able to do a lot of things with my perfect pitch. “EVERY Sound has some sort of note characteristic to it (some are more pronounced than others). If someone falls and hits his head I can tell you what note that is. Please keep in mind that I believe there are different versions of perfect pitch. Some people have it but in different stages and degrees. I know of several people that actually have it but still can’t play every song for some reason. My focus is to play every song that I have heard. If I have not heard the song before, I will “still” play that song. In other words, I will attempt to “play EVERYTHING.” When I was younger I believed that everyone had perfect pitch. I was surprised to find out that this wasn’t true. Yes, I now know that this is a God given gift. I also feel that people can develop perfect pitch over timeĀ (especially if they have relative pitch, which means they can hear one or several notes really well). On average I probably play about 6 to 10 new songs each week that I have never played before (and some I have never heard). At this point my musical ear is “very developed” for picking up music on the spot. This is what perfect pitch does for me. I hope to continue using it to improve my musicianship. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Singers Betty Wright, Vivienne Green, and Jaguar Wright in concert with Brett Jolly on bas guitar