Perfect Pitch Exercises for Ear Training Practice

The basic idea behind developing perfect pitch is that each of 12 chromatic notes has its own "flavor", its own "color", so to speak. This flavor, or color for the note "A", for example, is the same in all the octaves. We can say that the lower notes have "darker" flavor/color, the higher notes are "lighter".

Here are some exercises that you can do to develop the ability to sense these flavors/colors and eventually develop perfect pitch:

Relaxed listening for two notes

Start with 2 notes in 2 octaves in our perfect pitch test and ear training software. Some experts, such as David Lucas Burge, recommend starting with the notes F♯ and D♯. The flavors/colors of these notes are usually easier to identify for an untrained ear.

You can either click the notes on the virtual keyboard or set the activity to "practice", select the allowed notes and let the program generate the notes for you randomly.

Remember all the tips to develop perfect pitch. In order to sense the flavor/color of the note, you need to listen deeply in a relaxed manner.

Test your sense of perfect pitch with two notes

Once you get used to your 2 notes in 2 octaves, let's check whether you can identify 20 notes in a row:

  1. For the setting Activity select the option "test".
  2. For the setting Answer using select the option "virtual keyboard".
  3. Click the button Start.

If you make a mistake, stop and listen deeply into the note that was played, then click on the note that you clicked and again - listen deeply. Compare the notes. Realize that the sensations in your body produced by these two notes are different.

Each time you can identify 20 notes in a row, celebrate! Find a way to feel good about yourself - create strong positive sensations in your body. It's going to be your way to reward youself.

Practice with more notes

If you can successfully identify 20 notes in a row, let's add more notes!

There are two ways how you can proceed:

  1. Add a different note, for example, A. Now you will be practicing with three notes within your practice range.
  2. Alternatively, you can keep practicing with your two notes, but expand the pitch practice range to 3 octaves.

If you just started practicing with 3 or 4 different notes, we recommend you do the following:

  • In the section Advanced settings for the setting After a mistake practice select the option "the last note + mistaken note".

Integrating pitch matching exercises into your perfect pitch practice

Remember how we used the built-in tuner in the pitch matching exercises? You can use the tuner, even if you answer the questions using virtual keyboard.

  • In the section Tuner settings turn on the option "Show tuner".

This way you can "cheat" for practicing purposes - in case you can't guess a note, you can sing it in your microphone. If you practice this way, we highly recommend you spend additional time with the notes that you cannot yet identify easily.

And even if you can identify all the notes correctly and easily, it may be a good variation in your ear training practice - to sing the note after you heard it.

Practice perfect pitch using a musical instrument

If you play a musical instrument, you can answer the questions using your instrument.

  • For the setting Answer using select the option "microphone".

Start with the sound of your own instrument. For example, if you play guitar, choose the virtual instrument "guitar".

Once you are comfortable identifying the notes played on a guitar, you can switch the virtual instrument to "piano", for example, and answer the questions using your guitar. This exercise is especially useful in case you want to learn how to play by ear or improvise with other musicians.