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Slightly pitching problem but nobody can hear it?

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Joe. W
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Okay so I've never paid this much attention, but when I sing and when others play instruments I can hear a really slight difference between two sounds, but people always say it's right on, which I find very frustrating. For example, a couple of years ago when I first started lessons I hit the notes she was playing slighly flat and she was like "No, you're on" and pretty much just told me I was imagining it. I also hear this in band, but people are always saying that sounds are on when they're just slightly flat or sharp. I know it can't be my earning because tuners say he same thing and my friend with perfect pitch says it. However, I know I don't have perfect pitch because I can't just pluck notes out of the air like they do, I have to physically train my muscle memory and ears to recognise my C's (or any other note given to me) and then sing the scale til I get to the desired sound to be able to tell what note it is. So if it's not perfect pitch, then what is it? 

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It could be perfect pitch. So, every person that has heard you says you are dead on and you disagree. So, of course, they must all be wrong.

Just remember, perfect pitch (and likely a curse) is listening as well as singing.

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Want to know if you have perfect pitch?..it's easy

If someone tells you to hum an "E4" with no reference note, and you do (for example) you are considred to have perfect pitch.

Envision an E4, then sing it, hum it, it doesn't matter. Then quickly play it on the piano. If you have perfect pitch you will match.

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19 hours ago, Joe. W said:

Okay so I've never paid this much attention, but when I sing and when others play instruments I can hear a really slight difference between two sounds, but people always say it's right on, which I find very frustrating. For example, a couple of years ago when I first started lessons I hit the notes she was playing slighly flat and she was like "No, you're on" and pretty much just told me I was imagining it. I also hear this in band, but people are always saying that sounds are on when they're just slightly flat or sharp. I know it can't be my earning because tuners say he same thing and my friend with perfect pitch says it. However, I know I don't have perfect pitch because I can't just pluck notes out of the air like they do, I have to physically train my muscle memory and ears to recognise my C's (or any other note given to me) and then sing the scale til I get to the desired sound to be able to tell what note it is. So if it's not perfect pitch, then what is it?

     Perhaps what you are hearing is a tonal difference and not a pitch difference. For ex. If I sing along with James Taylor I hear him as singing a little higher than me even though I know I am singing the same pitch, With Bob Seger He sounds as if he is singing a lower Pitch than he really is. When I sing "Old Time Rock-n-Roll It sounds as if I am singing an Octave higher than Bob, But when I sing the song an Octave lower it sounds Too Low.

    We each have different characteristics to our voices that sometimes makes it difficult to produce a particular tone or timbre.

     If the tone is "Off" we may perceive it as a pitch problem.

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On 1/13/2016 at 5:58 AM, VideoHere said:

Want to know if you have perfect pitch?..it's easy

If someone tells you to hum an "E4" with no reference note, and you do (for example) you are considred to have perfect pitch.

Envision an E4, then sing it, hum it, it doesn't matter. Then quickly play it on the piano. If you have perfect pitch you will match.

lol no I know I don't have perfect pitch. I can't just envision a note and hum it out of thin air, I need a reference, unlike people I know with perfect pitch, who can perfectly recreate sounds out of nothing. Hence, I'm much more inclined to believe either that it's simply acute relative pitch that makes me able to hear small differences in two notes, or that it's simply because of a percieved pitch difference which is really caused by a difference which is actually simply tonal or timbre based (i feel like this one is possible but not as likely, as I mentioned above, tuners can hear it and so can a friend with perfect pitch). 

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4 hours ago, Joe. W said:

lol no I know I don't have perfect pitch. I can't just envision a note and hum it out of thin air, I need a reference, unlike people I know with perfect pitch, who can perfectly recreate sounds out of nothing. Hence, I'm much more inclined to believe either that it's simply acute relative pitch that makes me able to hear small differences in two notes, or that it's simply because of a percieved pitch difference which is really caused by a difference which is actually simply tonal or timbre based (i feel like this one is possible but not as likely, as I mentioned above, tuners can hear it and so can a friend with perfect pitch).

   If you are able to hear this difference and others with perfect pitch can, plus you check with tuner and you are right in your perception............. just don't let it bug you too much that others are just a little off pitch. In the real world, you can be "OFF" by a cent or two(even More) and still be on pitch.

   Our tuning in general is "Off Pitch" and it is called "JUST TUNING" meaning that they make allowence for the mathematical difference between the Scale degrees from one Key to another. Otherwise you would need to "Retune" your instrument from one key to another to be "Perfectly" tuned. Lower strings on a piano are tuned Flat to make up for the Longer vibration faze and for more powerful playing. On a piano striking a KEY harder or softer will make a difference in PITCH.

    Most people will not pick up on the slight differences, If you can, do NOT let it drive you crazy because no instrument or voice is fully in tune for every pitch.

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You can try this program: http://miracle.otago.ac.nz/tartini/

Pitch analysis software will likely be more objective than any human. I've had some fun with it.

For me, harmony is nothing without dissonance. It's all relative to what is being expressed. I find music suffers for me when being in the center of a pitch is given priority over what the pitch means in the context of music, especially so with singing where there is a human voice expressing emotions directly.

It can sound really fake to me when someone is singing "I feel extreme RAGE, I'm OUT OF CONTROL,, I'm ANGRY.... but I'm meticulously careful to be in the center of the pitch.Suuuuure dude. You ain't that mad, bro. 

Anything autotuned fails for these reasons too. All voices waver and equal temperament (our tuning system) is already out of tune with mathematical waveform analysis to allow for transposition. So pitch is always relative.

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On 1/14/2016 at 8:37 PM, MDEW said:

     Perhaps what you are hearing is a tonal difference and not a pitch difference. For ex. If I sing along with James Taylor I hear him as singing a little higher than me even though I know I am singing the same pitch, With Bob Seger He sounds as if he is singing a lower Pitch than he really is. When I sing "Old Time Rock-n-Roll It sounds as if I am singing an Octave higher than Bob, But when I sing the song an Octave lower it sounds Too Low.

    We each have different characteristics to our voices that sometimes makes it difficult to produce a particular tone or timbre.

     If the tone is "Off" we may perceive it as a pitch problem.

Exactly...the timbre has to be factored in. Some people sing with a little more brightness to their tone others with a more rounded warmer tone.  Ideally, you want a mixture of both.

This is why let's say when you have to cover a Four Seasons or a Beach Boys tune matching Timbre up as well as pitch is so important.  If you sing the notes too warm, you will be perceived as a bit flat. 

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