Of all the things that make up the music that we enjoy so much, pitch is perhaps the most important. It’s how we distinguish individual notes and the different ranges of the instruments that make them. The musical experience revolves around pitch, and the better we are at using it, the better we become at creating music.
How to Improve Your Sense of Pitch
There are two aspects of pitch you might want to train, depending on the type of musician you are. Artists or engineers who focus on making music on computers will benefit from training their ability to hear pitches in frequency ranges. Developing this skill improves the speed and accuracy of your mixing and sound design. You can train this skill through regular focused mixing practice.
For artists who play instruments and songwriters, developing your ear will make the process much faster and improve your ability to communicate with other musicians as well. You can make a lot of progress practicing for no more than ten minutes a day. There are countless apps for mobile devices you can use to train while on the go, or you can find free exercises online.
How to Protect Your Sense of Pitch
According to Gardens Cosmetic Center, of the 36 million people in the US who suffer from hearing loss, nearly half are under age 65. Everyone experiences some amount of hearing loss as they age, but you can reduce the impact of aging by proactive protection of your ears.
There are two major things you can do to reduce your risk of hearing loss. First, listen at lower volumes. A common mistake for young producers and mixers is to listen to music at high volumes because they want to feel the music. A good mix comes from the balance of the sounds, not the volume. Additionally, lower volume listening helps reduce ear fatigue, which helps lead to better mixes.
Listening at lower volumes makes a big difference in situations you can control, but sometimes you’re put in situations where that’s not a choice, such as live concerts. For situations like these, make sure to purchase a quality set of earplugs. It might not seem like the “cool” thing to do, but they’re a lot more common these days, even among fans. Your ears will thank you when they still work years down the line.
The value of pitch development and protection cannot be overstated. By improving your sense of pitch, you become better at mixing, producing, writing, or playing. And according to Waves, this can also help prevent ear fatigue, which is critical to mixing music well. By strengthening and protecting your hearing, you enhance your connection to the music for a lifetime.