I'm incredibly depressed. I have always wanted to be a musician and for the last 5 years I have learned various scales, chords in each key in various positions up and down the neck of the guitar and spent a lot of money on lessons and wondered why I was not progressing as others have. I thought first of all it was because I was playing poor instruments so bought great guitars and the same, not progressing.
Recently I was chatting with a friend and he asked me why I always bent a note up until it was 'too sharp sounding' as opposed to just bending it up to pitch (I am playing in the Blues genre so it's a whole-tone bend) and I replied "because it's the only way I can differentiate the two distinct sounds." That's when it hit me. Anything played within a 3 fret radius sounds identical.
I then realised the same for chords, a G major chord sounds the same as an F major chord and also the same as the A major chord next to it whereas I can discern an F major chord from the A major. However I cannot tell you which is higher without knowing, all I can say is that tonally it sounds different. A single note played on say the first fret, the second and third all sound the same whereas at the fourth fret it sounds different but again I couldn't say if it was higher or lower.
My guitar teacher has taught me how to find the chords for a song I'm hearing and I understand the theory behind it. I slide my finger up to the fretted note I hear the bass player play and I know what chord is being played but most of what I hear a bass player play is the same so I am never able to play along to a song I hear, I always have to make a note of the song then go and find the chords online and then can play along fine.
When playing with others I can almost always work out what key the song is in but apart from playing that initial chord I am stumped. I have to just wait for that chord to come round again and then strum it. I have to know what all the chords are and then I'm fine but if the other players decide to jam on out then I am lost because I no longer have a frame of reference other than that initial chord.
I can tell that a note played 4 frets along or further is tonally different than the initial one but for closely spaced notes they all sound the same and having put in 2 hours+ a day for 5 years hasn't trained my ears at all. I can also not discern when my guitar is in tune or slightly out of tune, it has to be wildly out of tune for me to notice.
I cannot sing and even my spoken voice is flat so I have learned to punctuate what I say, to use pauses and to change the volume of what I say because I lack pitch and cadence. Not badly and very rarely is it picked up on because I'm reasonably intelligent however at school it was picked up quite a lot so I was never asked to narrate or read a passage from a book because of the 'flatness' of it. The strange thing is, I can tell when someone else is singing flat.
Any ideas folks?