Xeno’s “Hey Jude” Method for Acquired Absolute Pitch

By | November 7, 2008


Xeno’s “Hey Jude” Method for Acquired Absolute Pitch

Goal: Be able to sing a “C” note every time without an external reference.


  1. Listen to the very beginning of “Hey Jude”, which happens to be the notes middle “C”, then “A” (220Hz)
  2. Using a recording (memo pad on your cell phone) or a virtual keyboard, test yourself throughout the day and see if you can hit the pitches correctly.
  3. Notice how long can you go before the correct notes fade away.
  4. When you are wrong, sing your wrong note again, and compare to the right one. Notice any differences in how the two make you feel.
  5. Chart your progress.

Day 1: After just one day of testing myself at random, here are my results: In about 10 tries today,  I was correct about 4 times.  I was sharp a few times, flat a few times. Each time I hit it dead on, I was shocked. The last time I tried today, I hit it and there had been a pause of 2 hours with no musical reference in the room, no humming in my head, etc. I really just pulled it out of the blue. Amazing. I’m in a fantastic mood about this discovery.

I could NOT memorize an A note alone. I tried that for days once during a car trip and I drove my girlfriend at the time completely nuts. But it seems that two notes, especially from a song you know well, along with random quizzes throughout the day may be the key!

When you are wrong, be sure to sing the wrong note again, and compare to the right ones.

There is, for me, now a growing subtle but powerful feeling I get when I hit the pitches and know for certain that I am singing Hey “C” — Jude “A”, — Don’t “A” — Make “C” — it “D” — bad “G” … and so on.

I’d like to build a little hand held device that quizzes me on notes and records my progress. That would make an awesome self improvement toy or even a game for kids. It should show on a graph the notes you actually hit each time you tried and the amount of time since the last attempt.

Hey, if I can learn this, does that mean I AM one of those 1 in 10,000 people like Jason Mraz who genetically just has absolute pitch? Or does it just mean I found a new way? The answer would be important because if it is not genetic, my method would work for many people. If it is genetic, this path I’m on would only benefit some people.

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