I started playing an electric piano (Yamaha EZ-40) about a few months ago. At around the same time I also used the software GNU Solfege to test myself. I must say I failed miserably at recognizing intervals.

Then when I tested myself again yesterday, I still failed miserably, but less so than I had previously. Can one develop relative pitch just by playing music? Does the feedback of listening to the changes in frequency while covering those distances on the keyboard help you develop relative pitch? Or should I include GNU Solfege sessions in my training say at least once every week?

I read the followig question: Is there a way to develop "perfect pitch"? I am not interested in perfect pitch as music is just my hobby. Honestly I would like to have perfect pitch but I am unwilling to put in the necessary effort.

  • One crazy difficult exercise for ear training is: try to whistle a chromatic scale. Oct 20, 2012 at 1:29
  • Play Mario Kart: Double Dash!! long enough and you should notice one thing about the music: the final lap music is a faster and pitch-shifted version of the regular racecourse music. I'd say that listening to music in this somewhat idle fashion can and likely will improve the melody recognition aspect of relative pitch, but it doesn't seem like an efficient way to improve interval recognition.
    – Dekkadeci
    Sep 6, 2020 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can develop relative pitch through rote practice. But there are plenty of good courses out there that would likely save you a lot of time.

Ultimately what you are learning is how to label what you are hearing and as such each person starts with their own strengths and weaknesses. As always combining multiple approaches tends to give the best results. So finding a course that works for you and then giving special attention to your weaknesses with rote practice would get you there in no time.

As a jumping off point, this is the book that I just ran into at a music store but has worked for me.

Ear Training for the Contemporary Musician by Keith Wyatt, Carl Schroeder, and Joe Elliott


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