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Can adults achieve perfect pitch?

Hi, I've been enrolled in Ken's streaming course for 11 months or so (although I am still on volume 3 LOL). I have been singing at church for a number of years as a back up singer and can harmonize fairly well, but wanted to step up my game which is why I enrolled. But lately, I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I started singing as a child and sang in school choirs and ensemble groups thru high school, but after that I did not sing (except in the shower) for about 12-13 years when I started singing at church. I have recorded my voice a handful of times since joining KTVA and I've noticed a few pitch problems here and there. I'm 48 years old now and I have noticed that it seems I have to work twice as hard in order to sing well - to be expected I guess, since your voice looses elasticity as you age. But I have seen some negative comments on line in regard to adults and perfect pitch. So tell me, is it truly possible for someone of my age to achieve perfect pitch, and if so, what exercises are recommended to focus specifically on this? I'm having to fight the urge to throw in the towel, despite my love for singing and music in general. Could really use some words of encouragement. Thank you.


  • Very few, and I mean very few people achieve "perfect pitch".

    "Perfect pitch" is being able to identify a note being played, or sang only by hearing it.
    In my lifetime (54 years) I've never met anybody that could do it.
    Being from Detroit, it's rumored that back in the old Motown days, one of the secretaries at the studio had perfect pitch, and would tell the guys when they were off key.

    I'm really not sure if it is even something you can learn.

    Peace, Tony
  • Jhenneberg88Jhenneberg88 Posts: 7STREAMING PRO
    Thanks Tony, I've heard that too. I've only met one person in my life with perfect pitch, but he was very young and quite frankly savant-like, incredibly gifted in music way beyond most people's abilities. But naturally I really want to strive to being as close to "on pitch" as I can possibly be. Hopefully someone might have some tips or suggestions for me.

  • There are videos within the program, and the forum that deals with pitch issues.

    Peace, Tony
  • janne_oksanenjanne_oksanen Posts: 42.0 PRO
    According to Wikipedia after over 100 years of research there still has not been a documented case of an adult having acquired perfect pitch. So I'm going to say the chances are very slim.
  • VocalityVocality Posts: 7652.0 PRO
    edited March 15
    Welome to the forum @janne_oksanen

    Watching a video on perfect pitch, thinks it's more about relative pitch, like anything we can improve on pitch but to reach perfect pitch as adult doubt that would happen and from what I heard people with perfect pitch begin to loose that from about 50 years onwards.

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Posts: 6202.0 PRO
    @Jhenneberg88 sorry you asked this a while ago, so I hope you did not throw in the towel yet & I'm not too late to say this:

    in order to sing on pitch, you don't need perfect pitch. i'd consider perfect pitch a freak talent that is not necessary (if it was necessary to play music, there probably would be a lot less music if any because let's face it not a lot of people have it). you can always work on your pitch with the exercises from the better pitch segment. working on support will also level out a lot of pitch issues.

    don't let not having perfect pitch stop you it is not a prerequisite
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 361Pro
    I agree with the above statements. You don't need perfect pitch to sing. I know someone who has perfect pitch, and sometimes she falls off key just like everyone else. With certain instruments, including vocals, I can tell if there's an off note better than she can. So I think what you're looking for is relative pitch.

    As for developing it... Yeah it's possible, in my opinion. I don't know about the "no documented cases" thing on Wikipedia, information there is often wrong and sometimes politically biased. At any rate, adults can develop it by "feeling" the note ring in their body. Long time skilled musicians already have it to a degree. However, I don't know about developing the perfect pitch that has you seeing colors and stuff.
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