David Lucas Burge stunned the music world when he released his original Perfect Pitch method way back in 1981.
He published his method in a small booklet which has since grown into his famous Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse home study method.
Back then, most musicians took it for granted that you had to be born with Perfect Pitch, and that it was a kind of musical gift.
Few believed there was actually a way to develop this impressive virtuoso skill, the Holy Grail of musical talents. But Burge changed all that sort of thinking...
This is a classic "must hear" for every musician on how to gain a powerful ear for music.
What is Perfect Pitch?
In case you are new to the subject, Perfect Pitch (also called Absolute Pitch) is that rare ability to know any pitch just by hearing it, much like you can know any visual color just by seeing it.
This leads to more advanced abilities, like naming chords by ear, playing songs by ear, and singing correct tones even without a starting pitch.
Can you really develop Perfect Pitch?
At the time Burge released his initial course, musicians were skeptical. How could it be true that the average musician could gain Perfect Pitch for themselves?
But Burge had an ingenious answer to this skepticism. He toured U.S. and Canadian colleges and personally showed musicians how to hear it for themselves. And it worked. Whether people believed or didn't believe, it made no difference. What convinced them was when they heard it with their own ears.
In his live workshop, Burge first explained exactly what Perfect Pitch is, and equally important, what it is not. He set aside many of the common myths about Perfect Pitch, and explained both Perfect Pitch and Relative Pitch in fresh new ways never heard before.
Then Burge would invite all his guests to gather around the piano. In this intimate setting he revealed the simple secrets to the attainment of Perfect Pitch.
The amazing thing was, most people actually heard it for themselves, right away.
Burge's 97% instant success rate
Most people experienced Perfect Pitch as if a light bulb had suddenly clicked on in their ears. People who thought before they could never hear such things were ecstatic. And this is precisely why Burge made a rapid rise to success in ear training, which has earned him his place in music history and education.
But not everyone in the group could always hear what Burge was talking about at first. Out of the whole group, there were sometimes a handful that could not. But Burge would work with these people for a few minutes until they got it. Usually he could get 97% or more of his audience to experience their "first taste" of real Perfect Pitch, within minutes.
(People who could not hear at the workshop often had success when they listened a little more closely at home.)
Of course, this doesn't mean that musicians had full-fledged Perfect Pitch abilities when they left the workshop. (You can't becomes a Mozart overnight.) But it was obvious that people could hear for themselves how Perfect Pitch works. They had actually experienced their first taste of the sensation of this new listening perception. Now it was up to them to grow their abilities with a bit of listening each day.
And grow their abilities they did indeed. Burge's previous students would often attend his workshops and demonstrate their new Perfect Pitch skills which they had gained with his listening methods.
Perfect Pitch flashback
So how did Burge manage to untangle the secrets to Perfect Pitch?
He tells the now famous story of his rivalry with a girl in his high school. She had Perfect Pitch. He did not.
This made Burge so frustrated that he became determined to find a way to gain Perfect Pitch for himself. People told him it was impossible; he struggled against all odds.
This true short story has become a classic in its own right and is worth reading even for nonmusicians. All the characters and names are real people from Burge's teen years.
I won't spoil the story and the ending for you, but you can read it here: How I Discovered the Secret to Perfect Pitch.
Burge's home-study course
After a number of college tours, Burge realized he could not reach the whole world with his seminar, so he put his entire teaching into a home-study course so that musicians could learn anywhere.
And learn they did. Musicians everywhere have made Burge's Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse the #1 ear training bestseller for 30 years and the subject of research at two universities.
Burge's course includes fun and unique training sessions that both kids and adults even today favor over all other ear training approaches. Both his Perfect Pitch and Relative Pitch courses are used in high schools and colleges around the world.
Burge is the very first to explain progressive levels of Perfect Pitch. I particularly appreciate the comparison between Aural Recall (Burge's highest form of Perfect Pitch) and Vocal Tension Pitch (Burge's name for a pseudo kind of Perfect Pitch). Burge shows clearly how singing a note from muscle memory (Vocal Tension Pitch) is not the same -- or anywhere near as accurate -- as true pitch memory (Aural Recall).
The packaging of Burge's course has a flair to it and is quite professional in appearance. An accompanying booklet gives a welcome complement to the brilliant audio CDs.
To wrap it up ...
Everything David Lucas Burge talks about resonates deeply with me. He confirms the intuitive part of listening that I always took for granted.
I don't remember a time when I didn't have Perfect Pitch. But I never understood how Perfect Pitch works! That is, until I heard Burge speak about it.
It warms my heart that Burge has unlocked the secrets and principles of Perfect Pitch and how anyone can acquire it - if they just take a moment to listen.
Burge's Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse is often imitated, but is never surpassed. Please don't be fooled by the competitors who have rushed in to capitalize on Burge's success. Burge's course is the real McCoy, the tried and true original classic.
I believe everyone will enjoy Burge's guided tour into their own personal encounter with Perfect Pitch - a most unique and practical experience for all musicians.
More Ear Training Reviews:
Perfect Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse
Relative Pitch Ear Training SuperCourse
Insider Tip: "Don't Pay Regular Prices"
Ear Training Software
Absolute Pitch Power
Note: I received free sample copies of all above courses which I have reviewed. If you have a course you want me to review, please send a sample copy.
©2013 by Richard Bosworth