Solfege (Do Re Mi)

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Solfege (Do Re Mi) is also called sol-fa, solfa, solfeo and other names. It is a Western music education method for teaching music scales and various aural skills. These skills include recognizing pitch, intervals and sight-reading.

Solfege for guitar (do re mi)

In many countries (and French Canada) the Latin syllables Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do are assigned to each note in the scale instead of letter names (A B C D E F G) or numeric degrees (1 2 3 4 5 6 7). Various names are used around the world including ‘So’ or ‘Sol’, and ‘Ti’ or ‘Si’.

Perhaps you’ve seen ‘The Sound of Music’ and wonder whether you need to learn solfege in order to become a better musician? Not necessarily. In fact, many conservatories do not use solfege at all, while other conservatories, with many international students, do.

Solfege (Do Re Mi) Systems

Whichever system you use, it will help you further develop your relative pitch and absolute pitch, play your instrument better, enhance your music analysis, comprehension, memory, and dictation (transcription).

Relative Pitch is the ability to identify the pitch of notes relative to other notes you hear.
Absolute Pitch (Perfect Pitch) is the ability to identify notes without any point of reference.

Can Absolute Pitch Be Acquired?
According to a 2015 UChicago study, psychologists have been able to train some adults to develop the prized musical ability of absolute pitch, and the training’s effects last for months. This ability is considered very rare. In fact, it is estimated to be less than one in 10,000 people. It has always been a highly desired ability among musicians. Famous composers, like Mozart, reportedly had it.

Fixed Do & Movable Do

In ‘Fixed Do’, ‘Do’ is always ‘C’, no matter what key you are (starting) in.

C      D     E      F     G    A     B   C
Do   Re   Mi   Fa   So   La   Ti   Do
1      2      3      4     5      6     7    8

With ‘Movable Do’, ‘Do’ is the first note of the scale. Also known as the ‘tonic’ or ‘keynote,’ this first note is the most important degree of the scale because it serves as the focus for both melody and harmony.

For example, in the key of ‘F Major’, ‘Do’ is ‘F’.

F      G     A     B  C     D    E    F
Do   Re   Mi   Fa   So   La   Ti   Do
1      2      3      4     5      6    7    8

‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ for example will be sung as Do, Do, So, So, La, La, So… no matter what key it is in.