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Thread: Tone-deafness

  1. #1
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    Tone-deafness

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    Well...I have a friend who i had picked out to play live bass for my band. He was a good technical bass player, so I figured everything would work out....well, turns out he's very very tone-deaf. He simply can't play along to music on bass...or anything else. Its as though he hears somthing totally different than what others hear.
    This kind of got me thinking/worried. How can one be sure they aren't tone-deaf?? I mean, maybe you go through your whole life thinking you aren't and then someone later informs you otherwise.
    For instance, if i played a F on guitar my friend would play F#. Now to me it sounds really off, but to him for some reason the F# he was playing sounded like the F I was playing.

    I was wondering if there was a true test for determining if you are tone deaf or not. I saw one test on the internet that played mp3's of popular songs in different keys and you had to pick out the mp3 that was in the correct key...but the problem with that is that you must have heard the song before and even then a song can be played in a different key but still sound just fine...so that test is kind of pointless.

    So...here's what I did. I recorded myself singing some dumb little thing over a guitar chord progression. Nothing fancy. Just my voice, an amp, and one mic. I sang over the guitar in what to me sounded "in tune". I'm posting the mp3 on here and just want you all to tell me if you think my voice is in tune to the guitar. By in tune Im not asking if my voice matches the exact same pitches as the guitar, but rather if my voice is simply in tune. Like, the guitar might be playing an F note while Im singing a C note. Its not the same, but its still in key with each other.

    So, let me know. Ive already showed this to about 3 people. all 3 thought it sounded fine, but I just want some 2nd opinions. And....if any of you are tone deaf then you dont really need to bother telling me if I am or not...

    http://www.voxpox.com/files/guitarandvoice.mp3
    Rap is NOT music.

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    Sounds to me like you can pitch OK.

    I knew a bassist once who could play anything by learning it but put him in a jam situation and he'd hit wrong notes all over the place and not notice! I don't know if it was because he couldn't pitch (tone-deaf) or if he was just plain deaf. I know his hearing wasn't the greatest.

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    good. thats 4 out of 4 now. I think I am fine, I guess I was just getting a little paranoid.
    Rap is NOT music.

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    Uh...

    er...

    You know.. if the guitar's tone was a little more distinguishable,.. I woulda been able to help you out more.

    OK, so seriously... you may have been a little flat at the worst... but it was kinda hard to tell if you were even flat... If you want to do a more accurate tonal test, pick something with a very clear melody... you know.. like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or something...

    WATYF

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    More than you want to know...

    Not everyone is born with the ability to differentiate musical tones and rhythms. The medical term for this is "amusia". It is either congenital (you are born that way) or it is acquired (stroke, brain injury). It can be associated with disability in speech recognition (receptive aphasia), or completely independent of speech processes. Oddly enough, some people can distinguish tones and rhythms but not be able to sing or play them back (executive amusia). It also appears that tonal recognition and rhythm recognition are independent, and a person can have a deficit in one or both.

    So, your bassist may be able to play very well when told what notes to play, but his improvisational skills may be limited if he can't follow the key of the music.

    As far as your tonality, I agree with WATYF...you're not tone-deaf, but a more simple, familiar melody would be a better test.

    That's all I know about that...

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    I once knew a classical harpist for the Philadelphia Orchestra who could play the most difficult pieces with ease, but could not improvise ONE NOTE! Weird.

    Bob

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    Red face

    Me (and at least one other guy I know) have/have had a similar problem when playing by ear. Say something was just played on the radio, and the radio is now off. I can play the progression properly (all the intervals correct) but be off by 1/2 step or so--as if trying to play a really bad harmony. But once I'm in key, I'm in key. Never had rhythm problems.

    The old bassist in my old band was melodic, yet loose as all hell. So we kicked him out. The drummer wasn't so rhythmic either. No wonder we broke up.

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    "The drummer wasn't so rhythmic either. "

    LMAO

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    lol..

    Isn't that kind of an essential part of being a "drummer"?

    WATYF


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    I thought bass players were just tone deaf guitarists.

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