I don’t have anything like perfect pitch. If you asked me to hum octaves of a 440-Hertz A, I’d be way, way off. But I do know which songs that I can hum in my head are in the same key. For example, it just struck me that the guitar lick just before the vocals come in on the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” is very similar to the intro to “Honky Tonk Women”. I wasn’t listening to either; I just summoned them up in my head. Humming both, one after the other, I could sense – somehow I just knew – that they were in the same key. So I checked. Yep, they’re both in G.
I applied this, um, skill once when I realised, only in my head, that the vocal for Cher’s “Believe” (hi, Bob!) can be laid perfectly over the instrumental track of “Be My Baby” (which she had sung B/Vs on when she was 16, fact fans). I didn’t have to listen to either. I just knew. It seems I don’t remember tunes alone, but also the keys they are in, so I can compare them against other remembered tunes and pick out ones that » Continue Reading.