Sign in to follow this  
Jarom

The Perfect Pitch Curse

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

We all know pitch is important but do you think we sometimes focus too much on it? A perfect example is my Dad. Whenever my families watching The Voice or American Idol or any other sort of singing show. The singers/singer will do an amazing performance,  but because they miss a few notes they are terrible in my dad's eyes. I have heard him say things about many now famous singers that they will never be successful because they don't sing with perfect pitch.   He has said this about Chris Cornell, Brendon Urie, Jeff Buckley, at least 60% of everybody on the voices (excluding auditions) and many more. To him if a singer sings with great emotion yet misses a couple of his notes it was a bad performance. Yet if someone sings with perfect pitch yet does nothing interesting it was a good performance.  My Dad has been singing for 30+ years yet has never learned to sing above his break because he is so focused on pitch. Do you know anyone else that has this perfect pitch curse? It has caused a lot of drama in my family. 

thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolute perfect pitch is static and boring. It is just about the worse thing that has happened to music .......... Pitch correction on recorded music. Even Caruso when put to the "Perfect Pich" test was off by a few cents here and there. Sometimes on purpose.

   A slightely higher pitch can give a sense of urgency and a slightly lower pitch can give a sense of Melancholy ........... Tools to enhance emotion and energy. Vibrato takes you in and out of pitch .......... For effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superb post.  This is very typical of people who have had exposure to classical styles of singing.  I have been singing for a while.  I have recently started learning Indian classical.  It has completely changed the way I listen to music and the way I sing.  Your ears become attuned to spotting errors.  And it really starts bothering you.. The interesting thing is that 90% of the listening public cannot even make out the singer if off pitch.  Like singing, hearing is a skill that needs to be developed and as a singer, it makes your life more and more difficult.  Ever since I started learning Indian classical, my hearing has improved so much that I absolutely hate listening to my old recordings.  Now when I try to record new songs, I soooo try to hit the centre of the note.  

Specifically with respect to singing in perfect pitch vs singing with emotion, I will choose a singer with emotion with a few flaws anyway over a person sounding dead whilst singing on pitch.  

Music has the ability to move and singer has the greatest wand to conjure magic.  It will be a travesty if robotic perfect on the pitch singing were to replace heartfelt emotional singing that conveys joy, sorrow, anger etc... There is inherent beauty in imperfection as it is more heartfelt.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, here, in this forum. Get one or two notes off center and the whole thing is pitchy without any idea of where. Your father is here, in many different accents and clothes. "Arand, I am your father ...."

Now, has your pitch perception improved because of exposure to micro-tonal music or is it now that a wider range is acceptable and has more places where its range fits?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've probably touched on this topic more than anyone else here. I find perfectly pitched singing really difficult to listen to. It can sound so stuffy, calculated, sterile, inhuman, robotic, and 'boxed in.' No flow at all. It's not just auto tune, if people could actually sing like these machines with pure skill I just couldn't listen to it.  

I do agree with MDEW's assessment that being above or below the pitch will give a different 'feel.' Kind of tense, uptight, on edge, or raucous (sharp) or downtrodden, or just feeling low.  

I've tried studying the pitchiest music I enjoy. So far I've been a bit lost. As to what it is that lets one song to miss pitches so much more than another. I was finding it helps if there is bit more movement in the voice. Kind of 'talking at notes or hinting at the melody.' Crashing and scooping down. Kind of Mick Jagger in his loosest moments, or Lou Reed at the most extreme ends. I think it's harder to succeed with a controlled, sustained pitch that is just consistently off and tuned towards dissonance. But sometimes I've heard a sour note that I just appreciated.

If it fits the mood of the song, the expression of the singer, it can be sour, dirty, dissonant, and harsh. But sometimes that's just life. Sometimes it sounds convincing to me. Other times it sounds out of context or not meshing with the expression I was hearing in the song.

It's very contextual and subjective for me. But thats about the only thing I've been able to pick out as a general rule for how it seems to work for me. But again, it goes back to the robotic factor. If a note sounds robotic in being sustained out of tune, it's not really 'better' than being robotic in tune.

This is definitely something I haven't figured out yet as a musician, singer, and listener of singers. I guess it's just a feeling I get for singers and songs. I wish I had something more constructive for the super accurate and barely holding tunes kind of vocalists out there. I can feel what they are trying to relate or I can't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We kind of just live in a culture of people who think they can sit on a couch and watch TV and say "they SUCKED wow I can't believe they got through this round" or whatever. They don't have to learn to sing, they don't have to even have good taste in singers.. but these singing competition shows have sort of brought that out in a lot of us.

But yeah I agree there's just too much focus on perfection in general. With all the pre-recorded stuff we think that singers are supposed to sound like a robot playing back our favorite songs for us with no mistakes. It's not realistic! 

As a singer I find I'm way more forgiving of other singer's mistakes. I can see the performance for what it is and their talents as a vocalist!

These shows are very disingenuous as well. X Factor was caught for tuning up one of their favored performers and had to fess up to auto tuning singers (it was painfully obvious to anyone familiar with the software).

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-11056050

Just listen to Simon Cowell, who is supposed to be the 'ultimate singing critic' singing praises.

Anyway, after getting caught, X factor promised to stop being disingenuous. But I kind of doubt it. I'd wager a bet they switched to Melodyne (which is less obvious than Auto tune).

I don't think there is all that singing left in the mainstream music industry that isn't pitch corrected and these shows being disingenuous, tearing one singer down to tune another up, it really doesn't help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I wanted to say, I was not complaining about only hearing about pitchiness here. Just saying, it's a thing. A number of times, where someone thought I was pitchy, I could not hear it, yet hear myself off pitch somewhere else that was not heard by others. In any case, we have to remember when we post here, all that any one has is the recording we shared. So, recording is different than live. So, live and let live.

I could say who said I was pitchy on what but that just makes people defensive because they can never be wrong and have to defend a position at all costs.

Probably one of the oddest criticisms I had on a cover was that I was too precise. Perfectly pitched and clear diction, on a country song. Go figure.

To quote Ricky Nelson from "Garden Party," "you can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself."

Live and on any given day, we will not have perfect pitch every single time. Most people have relative pitch in both singing and hearing. But, with recordings, that will be judged forever. So, and I was the worst offender of all, we must make recordings that are perfect, unless it is to diagnose a problem. Then, it is beneficial to upload the rawest recording possible.

We should probably have another thread sharing the "dogs," the performances or recordings that were a sin in the world of singing. I would have to narrow down to just a few, lest I dominate such a thread.

:24:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all know pitch is important but do you think we sometimes focus too much on it? A perfect example is my Dad. Whenever my families watching The Voice or American Idol or any other sort of singing show. The singers/singer will do an amazing performance,  but because they miss a few notes they are terrible in my dad's eyes. I have heard him say things about many now famous singers that they will never be successful because they don't sing with perfect pitch.   He has said this about Chris Cornell, Brendon Urie, Jeff Buckley, at least 60% of everybody on the voices (excluding auditions) and many more. To him if a singer sings with great emotion yet misses a couple of his notes it was a bad performance. Yet if someone sings with perfect pitch yet does nothing interesting it was a good performance.  My Dad has been singing for 30+ years yet has never learned to sing above his break because he is so focused on pitch. Do you know anyone else that has this perfect pitch curse? It has caused a lot of drama in my family. 

thoughts?

Oh man. I know how you feel. It's so frustrating. My parents (more my dad than mom) watch both The Voice and The X Factor every, single year and the feeling I get with my dad in particular is that the only kinds of singers he finds good are people that go on these shows and people in the Pop world today. If I ever have some music on the tv of a modern rock band or anything I can just tell that he doesn't think they're as good. I often say to him, "If some young, pretty boy kind with an acoustic guitar was singing this song in the exact same key on The X Factor in front of Simon Cowell, you'd love it. It's weird. If there's ever a song that has more of a rock feel to it. It's like he doesn't appreciate the vocal as much as if it was a Pop song.

I noticed that you mentioned Brendan Urie. Have you heard the latest Panic! At The Disco song and how great Brendan's vocals are? It's called 'Emperor's New Clothes'. Now, if my dad listens to it when the music video is on the TV, he'll not say a thing about how good his voice is and I can tell he doesn't even think he's up to X Factor standard. But if someone sung the same song on one of these talent shows, he'd love it! 

These shows and what they truly represent make me boil. A few years back my dad constantly used to come into the other room where I am and try to get me to watch how good this guy is (usually some guy with an acoustic guitar covering the latest One Direction song with an over the top London accent) when I constantly told him not to. Now I think he's got the message and no longer does it. Songwriting also annoys me.. these posers that go on these shows don't have the first clue on how to create a song and they get people like my parents full support. They don't understand how friggin hard I aswell as all the other true musicians out there that have worked at their craft to create good songs.

Yes I agree that people on these shows are good singers. Big woop. One Direction are good singers. But they're still a manufactured boyband just to make money from young girls and fill Simon Cowell's pockets. I sometimes even stick up for some singers that go on these shows.. I constantly tell my parents that a lot of the people that don't even get through the first round are good singers. People don't have a clue about the effort it takes!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perfect pitch would be unnatural (its what causes the auto-tune sound), some singers actually pull that off and produce the quality as an effect, but I believe it is not realistic or desirable.

Now good pitch is something different and, at least thinking of music and technique, its important.

In my opinion, its good to have two different mindsets to evaluate a result. The first is plain and simple does it sound good, yes or no? Yes, you are done. No, then you correct problems.

To correct problems then you look at the details and look for pitch issues.

There are also two kinds of "pitchness".

One is a result of tension and poor technique, which usually sounds bad, since most likely you will land in between notes and the impression it causes on who listens to you is of effort and trying too hard.

The other, is a result of simply not knowing the melody/harmony and just singing the wrong notes, which is not necessarily a technical problem but perception issue and, usually, requires help both to notice and to correct it.

Whether accuracy is a important factor or not, it will depend on style. On styles where precision and musicianship is valued, its unlikely that not being precise will be tolerated. There are styles where its more forgiving and where precision is not the focus, however: Its really unlikely that you will create value by producing a problem, I said this many times before, accomplished singers´ problems are not the reason why they become accomplished in the first place. If being pitchy made anyone a good singer the world would be full of em ;)

And, singing a dissonant note on purpose is not a pitch problem of course, its simply a choice, not necessarily a good one, but, music is composed nowdays with this paradigm so its not against the rules. The thing is, was it really what you were trying to do? That´s what matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure I appreciate certain singers because of their problems. Harmony is like sugary sweet tastes to me in music and dissonance is like a bitter or sour taste. When singers fail to create a perfectly 'sweet batch' of harmony it creates a unique taste. 

Now let me say that brussel sprouts will never be the world's most popular food. Most will prefer something sweeter, something saltier, something less bitter. But many singers are essentially 'brussel sprouts' or spinach, to the contrary to the ice cream, sweetness of a perfect harmony. Human beings can appreciate bitter foods they can appreciate bitter singers.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/01/why_do_we_like_bitter_foods.html

There is no way a singer can consciously fail to create harmony all the time. Their subconscious habits, physiological states, flaws, and strengths will always be coming into play. What you hear when someone actually sings creates a 'taste' and people develop preferences for certain tastes. If you tune it up and 'sweeten it,' everything becomes candy imo. It's gross and makes me want to puke.  

The way voices fail to reproduce a perfectly 'sweet' harmony is one of my top favorite things about voices. It doesn't mean you'll win American Idol with a brussel sprout voice. But someone, somewhere might appreciate the way you aren't pouring syrup over every note and appreciate you 'more' for it just like some people don't want to eat ice cream all day.

It's very hard to be in control enough to make a conscious decision to sing between 0 and 20 percent flat or sharp. 99/100 singers don't have that kind of control and most of the time whatever is there is a subconscious failing to hit precisely in the center of the note all of the time. That's what gives a singer a 'flavor' or 'feel' in their pitching.  Even if they did have an extremely fine grained pitch control, once again, if they were intentionally manipulating it and thinking in percentages (I want this note to be exciting so I will sing 7 percent sharp or I want this note to be depressing so I will detune it 10 percent), it might run risk of sounding robotic, or calculated, rather than 'felt out.' In a realistic situation, singing involves way too many other factors for people to making those kinds of choices, so it falls to the subconscious. What 'felt right at the time of singing.'

Again it doesn't have to be palatable to everyone or even anyone. If you stand at a grocery store and have two samples, one being a really sweet food and the other being brussel sprouts. You'll get a lot less 'crowd appreciation' for the latter on, but it doesn't mean there is no inherent appeal in the bitter food or that no one of any kind would appreciate the taste. The more bitter it gets, the more divisive, but there are niches for a lot of bitter flavors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also find that pitch can be helped by analyzing the lyrics and how you are articulating them. I can sing two different songs in nominally the same range but one sounds odd and the other sounds just right. So, while it is maybe fun to imagine being able to sing any song, I think it is worth the caution of learning what songs are good for a voice, especially at first. 

And to remember that some of the most famous singers we admire and have admired did NOT sing every song that ever was. They only sang songs that worked in their voice, their way. My favorite example is Dio's version of "Dream On." I have that album of Aerosmith covers entitled "Not the Same Old Song and Dance." Ted Nugent did "Rag Doll." That was awesome, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, here, in this forum. Get one or two notes off center and the whole thing is pitchy without any idea of where. Your father is here, in many different accents and clothes. "Arand, I am your father ...."

Now, has your pitch perception improved because of exposure to micro-tonal music or is it now that a wider range is acceptable and has more places where its range fits?

My pitch perception has improved significantly because this is the first time I have practiced singing along with an instrument(in my case a drone).  Also doing solfege has helped a lot.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My pitch perception has improved significantly because this is the first time I have practiced singing along with an instrument(in my case a drone).  Also doing solfege has helped a lot.  

I did both loads. It improves steadily, but then I listen to Lou Reed and Clash more than anything else in the past while and start wondering if I should go the other direction. :4:

You also have the sitar as a traditional instrument which can be tuned for quarter tones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CnhcGpmH9Y

^ (sorry link is breaking when embedding, guys) One of the best instruments of all time.

Western music is 12 semitones, I often don't feel like that is not enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of it with pitching is the attitude I feel from it,

Perfectly pitched: Often sounds polite, inoffensive, submissive, saccharine, light, manipulative, insincere, conformist, bland, robotic, docile, etc

When People Violate Pitch: Sounds harsh, independent, rebellious, defiant, aggressive, biting, heavy, hard hitting, scary

It's like they balance each other out. On one hand it can sound so harsh it could be tough to listen to. Sometime the pitch is so far off I just don't enjoy the sound.  Other times it sounds llke the singer is 'whipped' and 'chained' to the rules of pitch and audience expectations.

I don't really even blame people for tuning their voices up, they are selling a product and tailoring and an inoffensive product for a consumer is a good strategy. But at the same time, what actually hits me in the gut, is when it sounds like the singer has made pitch into the bitch and personal expression comes first.

I remember from the first time I started singing. I had this goal of slowly creeping up, until I could find the 'exact' balance that would represent me as an artist where it kind of sounded good, but at the same time sounded 'defiant' of pitch and it arguably sounds bad. I wanted to perform exactly like that. It's too late for me, but I hope someone, somewhere is working hard on that and can carry that torch for a new generation. I have my heroes. They came in all shape and forms, but none of them sound submissive to pitch, no matter how skilled they were/are.

It always sounded like they were fighting for something human to say. Good luck to anyone in this day and age who would like to try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did both loads. It improves steadily, but then I listen to Lou Reed and Clash more than anything else in the past while and start wondering if I should go the other direction. :4:

You also have the sitar as a traditional instrument which can be tuned for quarter tones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CnhcGpmH9Y

^ (sorry link is breaking when embedding, guys) One of the best instruments of all time.

Western music is 12 semitones, I often don't feel like that is not enough.

Killer what is fascinating bout Indian classical is not merely microtones, but "ragas".  They are like scales and modes in western music, but more complicated with different ascending and descending notes.  They have more in common with Jazz though. This is a type of music where the singer is very much the centrepiece.  In western music the instrumentalists have more meaty roles.  The demands on pitch accuracy are very high.   

You should also check out the Tambura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@killer perhaps I understand what you mean.

How do you like You Really Got Me by The Kinks?

Would you say its perfect pitch or more bitter? 

It's a particularly easy song that most mess up on the feel, specially someone trained in the "standard" means. Do you agree?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just clarifying, that song from the Kinks (and others from them), The Clash, Lou Reed, and many other artists that may be considered more "ugly" or something of the sort, used a LOT of dissonances in their phrasing, being aware of it or not, it does not matter.

Augumented fourths (Tritone), minor seconds, augmented sevenths. All these intervals will produce a sound that is more tense, harsh, except on specific cases of course, like the Penta Blues and some Greek Modes, where within the melodic contest it sounds acceptable.

On the song You Really Got Me, you have a major F as the key of the song, and the melody uses the notes F, G and a B.

Now, that B, is an augumented fourth on the context of the major F chord, and it does create a feel of suspension and tension, that in my opinion is very nice and its the soul of the song.


Problem is, most of the technical exercises are usually done using simple major scales, these odd intervals are not common, since the point of the exercises is being simple and placing the attention on the motor aspects.

The result is that a lot of singers will take that song, and resolve the tense and scary augumented 4th into the happy and beautiful and easy sounding perfect 5th... Maybe not if just singing by memory acapella, but with the harmony it takes awareness to not do so.

Some Penta Blues scales will introduce these intervals during chromatisms, or just practicing the odd intervals appart could help both on perception and execution.


So in this particular case, it probably is not a "perfect pitch curse", but a Perfect Fifths curse :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just clarifying, that song from the Kinks (and others from them), The Clash, Lou Reed, and many other artists that may be considered more "ugly" or something of the sort, used a LOT of dissonances in their phrasing, being aware of it or not, it does not matter.

Augumented fourths (Tritone), minor seconds, augmented sevenths. All these intervals will produce a sound that is more tense, harsh, except on specific cases of course, like the Penta Blues and some Greek Modes, where within the melodic contest it sounds acceptable.

On the song You Really Got Me, you have a major F as the key of the song, and the melody uses the notes F, G and a B.

Now, that B, is an augumented fourth on the context of the major F chord, and it does create a feel of suspension and tension, that in my opinion is very nice and its the soul of the song.


Problem is, most of the technical exercises are usually done using simple major scales, these odd intervals are not common, since the point of the exercises is being simple and placing the attention on the motor aspects.

The result is that a lot of singers will take that song, and resolve the tense and scary augumented 4th into the happy and beautiful and easy sounding perfect 5th... Maybe not if just singing by memory acapella, but with the harmony it takes awareness to not do so.

Some Penta Blues scales will introduce these intervals during chromatisms, or just practicing the odd intervals appart could help both on perception and execution.


So in this particular case, it probably is not a "perfect pitch curse", but a Perfect Fifths curse :).

You are talking my language. ;)  Indeed a good point to bring up on Killer's subject is that you can actually be in "perfect pitch" but be utilizing scale tones that give a dissonant and bluesy feeling.  You do not have to be sharp or flat on these notes to serve this purpose, it's just the intrinsic effect of the harmony.  Good examples are trilling to a minor second over any chord, singing on the flat five and then resolving it, singing on the flat seventh, or singing on the minor third and resolving that to a major third in the context of a major chord.  

In my opinion, Killerku, as long as you aren't using any pitch correction on your voice in any form, you don't have to be weary of training your pitch to be as accurate as possible.  As long as you are in fact a human being you will always make mistakes or be slightly off the margin if only by .001%. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the same, I am not going to use the "need to express" as a reason to not worry about pitch accuracy. Especially in recording. Live, I am usually on pitch and if I get a bad one I can float it to something good and people will only remember the choruses and the last note. Nor do I excuse it in others. I like Lou Reed's song-writing. But his singing usually gets to me after one or two songs and I have to hear something else.

Or Bob Dylan. A number of singers made bigger hits of Dylan's songs than he did. But man, those songs...

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine and in your prime you did the funk and jive, now, didn't  you?

How does it feel to be on your own, like a complete unknown, with no direction home, like a rolling stone?"

Funniest thing I read in an interview with him. He was trying to copy the sound of Woodie Guthrie. I think he missed. But he did create an iconic sound and bless him for being among us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Kinks song has a few notes that sound suspect and lots of bending. The you really got me 'now' has this kind of 'nao' vibe. It doesn't sound square to me. I'm pretty sure if you were to stick that vocal into an objective pitch measurement it would miss the mark in a lot of areas.  If there is an isolated track it's actually possible to do this sometimes with famous vocals. 

I think I'm too far gone to sing from ignorance so I might as well train for accuracy and aggressively use:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_note

I've mentioned before that equal temperament is already out of tune and was created artificially to transpose keys. So you can take the note further towards dissonance, or closer to just intonation of another note (harmony) for expressive purposes. I don't really believe equal temperament is the limits of human expression. .005 percent accuracy of an arbitrary system would be too arbitrary.

Lots of black music and black inspired music bends notes all the time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_temperament

I tend to gravitate towards music where there is some kind of instrument that can bend notes (strings, voices, horns, guitars, etc). I'm a big fan of the piano as an instrument for example, but after listening to it solo for awhile it can start showing its limitations. A chromatic disjointed sound just ain't the same. Even a fretless bass often gives a totally different flavor of music. It gets boring, stiff, bland, etc to always color inside the lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just the same, I am not going to use the "need to express" as a reason to not worry about pitch accuracy. Especially in recording. Live, I am usually on pitch and if I get a bad one I can float it to something good and people will only remember the choruses and the last note. Nor do I excuse it in others. I like Lou Reed's song-writing. But his singing usually gets to me after one or two songs and I have to hear something else.

Or Bob Dylan. A number of singers made bigger hits of Dylan's songs than he did. But man, those songs...

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine and in your prime you did the funk and jive, now, didn't  you?

How does it feel to be on your own, like a complete unknown, with no direction home, like a rolling stone?"

Funniest thing I read in an interview with him. He was trying to copy the sound of Woodie Guthrie. I think he missed. But he did create an iconic sound and bless him for being among us.

I just checked, and was very surprised. Bob Dylan has apparently sold 100 million albums.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_music_artists

Do you really believe everyone is disgruntled about his voice and is suffering through it for the songs, especially with the existence of so many covers? I've listened to 3 Lou Reed Albums in a row (Blue Mask, Transformer, Berlin, Coney Island Baby, etc).

Sometimes singing is not the most commercial sound possible to make in the history of music, doesn't mean it is inherently unlikable by everyone or that listeners are suffering and begging to hear a more typical experience. 

I was really surprised to see that Stevie Wonder, another of my heroes with a much more commercial sounding voice was equal to Dylan. I don't think everyone wants generic singers, chained to an arbitrary system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Killer, I don't believe everyone is disgruntled with the mentioned voices and I never said that every one was (disgruntled.) Just me. Little ole' me and my opinion and $1.60 USD will get me a Diet Coke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of all of my heroes, I think Bowie is the one who did it on purpose the furthest and best:

A lot of my favorites of his have some serious edginess, harshness and intensity. The majority of Joe the Lion is flat. 

The climactic and desperate moments of Heroes near the end are constantly being bent out of tune. I think Strummer and arguably Reed made awesome sounds on accident, but Bowie is the guy who got it right on purpose.

These songs would be vastly inferior if he hadn't put the extra emotional weight and gravity by singing them off key. He's still my favorite overall artist after all this time as a singer, songwriter, and overall performer. So it's probably possible to reach the level of genius pitching without stumbling into it accidentally and technically being able to 'sing on the grid when they you want to.' I wish I was that good, to make one of the best songs of all time, and make it that much better and expressive by not being typical grid singing.

So it will be back to studying Bowie again. He's the only one I know of that seemed to figured out how to make his pitching crazy intense at a later date. Bowie wasn't just singing a "C or an E' he'd wail with unbridled emotion and all that mattered was it was believable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Singing with good pitch is important.  But it doesn't have to be "perfectly on pitch".  Even the best singers rarely sing exactly on pitch.  And..with vibrato, we are varying the pitch all the time anyway.  And like I mentioned before, Gino Vannelli teaches that it's important that the top crest of the vibrato is above the pitch.  If you go under the pitch it really does have an impact on the performance.  The great singers, who honed their skills before pitch correction software, like Pavorratti, Sinatra, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Michael Buble, etc., all can sing with really good pitch in a live setting.  Even in his 60's Gino Vannelli sings with fantastic pitch at every live performance.  Adam Lambert does too.

There has been a degradation in the last couple decades.  Due to AutoTuning software that Killer mentions, all we hear on commercial recordings is perfectly tuned pitch.  Singers today don't have to be good at pitch because they fix it in the studio.  

And of course the genre may or may not demand really good pitch.  With Rock it is less important than Opera of course.

And like you said, you don't have to sing with great pitch to convey emotion..  Like Bob Dylan.  Of course we wouldn't use Bob Dylan as an example of great technique.  And good pitch is part of good technique.  And this is the "vocal technique" part of the forum.  So I can't agree with saying that good pitch is not important to good technique.  Maybe there can be a section of the forum called "Great Singers who may or may not use good technique".   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@killer did you hear Blackstar from Bowie?

Creepy awesome stuff :) 

 

The sound you mention exists and while I dont agree that microtonal differences are so relevant in this material, I think we can agree that there is a world of difference between naive pitchness and this particular effect.

These "accidents" need to happen on the right place!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this