Why Adults Can’t Learn Perfect Pitch

adult perfect pitch on Bobby Owsinski's Production BlogThe vast majority of musicians don’t have perfect pitch, but we’d all love to have that ability. The problem is that it’s not something that you can learn later in life. Yes, we can get better at identifying notes (relative pitch), but that’s not the same as perfect pitch (absolute pitch, scientifically speaking).

Most of us think that perfect pitch is something that we’re born with, but that’s not true either. It actually comes as a result of the complex learning skills in the first year of life when a baby is a little sponge to all sorts of external stimulus. Play your baby music with lots of complex chordal structures and there’s a good chance it will be able to identify what makes up those chords later in life. Play it punk rock or EDM all the time where the complexity is limited and it’s musical ability to hear will will be limited to what it was presented with. The same goes for language, as you’ll see in this video from Rick Beato.

By the way, Rick has some excellent music theory and composition videos available on hisĀ YouTube channel as well, but check out this video of adult perfect pitch (or lack of) first.

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