Wow! I confess it has been longer than a week or two. Opening up my ear has been a real struggle. If you haven’t read Part I yet, you might want to start here.
Hearing the distinct sound in a note takes a lot of practice. But that is what I have been working on and I’m getting better at it.
Opening The Ear With Dissonance
What I have been doing is practicing note distinction on the piano. I simply play two notes at the same time and then sing them. I don’t have to sing them in the same range. If I sing an octave lower or even higher, that is fine. As long as it is the same note.
The idea here is not to play the notes, and then slide your voice around until you find the note. The idea is not even to go fast and get it right on the dot. The idea is to open your ear, and really listen to the note. When you play a minor second chord (let’s say B and C for example) there is a lot of dissonance.
It might be hard to distinguish the two notes. Your ear might only hear the top note, and struggle hearing the bottom note. So the idea, again, is to open up your ear and let it get more familiar with hearing the different notes in different intervals. This will help develop listening “inside” the note, and not hearing the note as a relative pitch or melody.
I have been practicing mostly with minor and major 2nds and 3rds. But once I feel comfortable with that, I will be working with wider jumps. I always sing the bottom note first. When I say that, I mean the lower note on the keyboard. That can get a bit tricky if the bottom note is an A3 and the higher note is a G#4. Because if you sing these in a comfortable range, and not jumping, you will actually be descending melodically even though the top note is higher. Make sense? If not, leave a comment.
Anyhow, this is what I will continue to work on until I’m ready to move on. I suggest you do the same if you want to develop perfect pitch.
The techniques I use will work, but it will probably take about 6 months of practice, IF you practice correctly.
Once Learned, Never Forgotten
The good news is that once you develop this talent you won’t lose it. Why? Because the training you do opens up your ear not just for singing. You will hear everything differently, so the practice part may leave but the training will be reinforced effortlessly no matter what you are doing (unless you are plugging your ears.)