Here are some of the questions which are frequently asked about tone deafness and this test. Have a question not covered here? Just let us know
Questions about tone deafness
Q: What does it mean to be "tone deaf"?
It means you cannot distinguish differences in pitch by ear.
Q: Is that the same as not having "relative pitch"?
Not quite. Relative pitch is also about differences in pitch but it is a more advanced skill - you are trying to measure these distances by ear (for example, to identify an interval) rather than simply being aware of them. Even if you are not tone deaf you may still need to develop your sense of relative pitch to have a good musical ear.
→ Learn more about developing relative pitch.
Q: I think my friend is tone deaf. How can I get them to take the test?
If you're feeling brash, just send them a link! ToneDeafTest.com
If you want to be more diplomatic, how about taking the test yourself and then sharing your result with them via email or social media?
Questions about ToneDeafTest.com
Q: Who created this test?
ToneDeafTest.com is a project from the music education company Easy Ear Training.
Q: Why do we need a new test - weren't there already online tone deafness tests?
There are several others tests available online, but we felt they were answering slightly different questions (such as measuring your fine-grained pitch discrimination) or had other drawbacks like not working on mobile devices.
→ Learn more about other online tone deafness tests
Q: Why doesn't the test measure how precisely you can judge pitch distances?
That's a slightly different skill. It's important to musicians, but ToneDeafTest.com is designed simply to answer the question: are you tone deaf?
There is a test here which will measure your pitch discrimination skill in detail.
Q: In Stage A I can play both sounds at once - isn't that cheating?
We don't think so, no. If you were truly tone deaf you would struggle just as much with this as hearing the notes separately.
Q: Why is there a delay before playing the sounds?
Unfortunately it is not always possible to preload the sounds when the test loads, particularly on mobile devices. This can cause a short delay between pressing the button and playing the sound.
Q: How do you decide whether someone passes or fails?
It's based on your score and the probability of you achieving that score by guessing. If you "pass" the test you can be 95% confident that you are not tone deaf.
Q: I'm having a problem with the test! What can I do?
Please contact us at support@EasyEarTraining.com and we'll do our best to help!
Q: I'm an expert on tone deafness and I'd like to talk to you about this test
We would love to hear from you! Please email us at support@EasyEarTraining.com.
Questions about next steps
Q: If I fail the test, what can I do?
Failing the test doesn't mean you are necessarily tone deaf, though it's a strong indicator you struggle with pitch discrimination. We recommend seeing an audiologist for a more thorough assessment.
Q: If I'm not tone deaf, why can't I sing?
There are many factors to being able to sing well, but if you feel (or have been told) you "can't sing", it's probably about being in tune. This skill of singing in tune is separate from being tone deaf. You cannot sing in tune if you are tone deaf, but if you are not tone deaf you may still need practice to learn to sing in tune.
For more information on learning to sing in tune please read this page or learn more about our next project which tackles this topic here.
Q: I'm not tone deaf! What now?
Excellent! There are two things we'd recommend:
- Learn to sing in tune
Get some tips on learning to sing in tune and sign up to get early notification about our next project which teaches you to sing in tune here.
- Start exploring music
We recommend taking a beginners ear training course to learn how you can develop your musical ear.
Oh, and take up the ukulele! It's great.