Activities designed to help develop a skill.

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33
votes
8answers
8k views

What are some useful and effective exercises for training absolute pitch?

I think by now most people agree that perfect pitch is not genetic. We understand that most people who do possess perfect pitch acquire it very early in life, (around the same time most people acquire ...
29
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I train my ear for music?

I have noticed that some people are better at hearing music, e.g. they are better in distinguishing the notes or noticing mistakes when someone is play. Is it possible to train oneself to hear music ...
26
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there a way to develop “Perfect Pitch”?

I was wondering if there is/are any aural exercise('s), analogous to how playing scales can develop your muscle memory, that can help to develop "Perfect Pitch"?
19
votes
7answers
14k views

Improving fretting hand strength

I've been playing for years now as a hobby guitarist, but my fretting hand strength plateaued - it never really improved much beyond what I could do 2 months after I started playing. Since then, I'm ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

How to relax my wrists?

I began learning the piano recently. When I begin playing, my hands form nice 70-80 degree curves with the wrists relaxed. I can maintain this for trivial pieces with no significant hand motion. But ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
16
votes
3answers
32k views

Finger Exercises for Piano when not playing

Are there any finger exercises I can perform even when I am not near a piano to improve my dexterity and strength of my fingers?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Are Hanon exercises mindless unmusical repetiton or a great way to develop finger strength and dexterity?

There are a lot of different opinions about Charles-Louis Hanon's "The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises". Some say it is unmusical and can even lead to wrist damage, while others think they are the ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
13
votes
1answer
935 views

What kind of guitar exercise is “the caterpillar”?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
11
votes
7answers
7k views

When singing, how to avoid being distracted by vocal harmony or other vocal lines?

I'm not a professional singer but I love singing. I find it very difficult to focus on my own vocal line when I hear other vocal lines. For example, When I was in the college choir, I sang bass, and ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

Pinky And Ring Finger Independence And Dexterity

I recently discovered that my ring finger and pinky seem to have the least amount of independence with respect to the rest of my fingers when fretting the guitar, and exceptionally so. I experience ...
10
votes
4answers
540 views

Free exercise books

I've asked a question here: What is a string skipping exercise?. A follow up question: Are there some good free exercise books available on-line for the post-beginner stage? A link to a good ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Pinky is raised uncontrollably when doing finger exercise

When I do finger exercises (e.g. Hanon's), my pinky finger is being raised after I play (press and release) a key with my fourth finger, and then is raised even more and is striated after the third ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I improve my note accuracy and intonation?

Over time my pitch has improved simply through singing more, but I still have some problems with being a bit off sometimes (or way off on very high or very low notes). It helps if I focus on a ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

How to improve/train pinky dexterity for guitar playing (after long absence)

I played guitar since age of 12, but haven't really played for the last 5 years and would like to start again. However, when I used to play I rarely used the pinky finger because I have big hands ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I sing from chest voice to falsetto without missing notes in between?

I am having difficulty singing in head voice. I am a bass who can also sing very high falsetto. However, when I try singing a scale, there is always a few notes between chest voice and head voice that ...
9
votes
2answers
195 views

Musically Interesting Guitar Exercises

I'm bored to tears of the usual exercises - scales, chords, finger independence, arpeggios, etc. Most of my boredom stems from these exercises being musically boring and uninspiring. Any suggestions ...
9
votes
2answers
624 views

Are there vocal exercises that can be done through the course of the day while doing other things?

I'm a computer science student and I spend a big part of my day sitting in a classroom or typing at a computer. I like to sing and play instruments as a hobby, but it's not always that I have time to ...
8
votes
7answers
8k views

How can I improve my playing of faster finger runs?

I am just preparing for my grade 8 piano exam. I'm struggling with quick runs in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. It really doesn't sound right. When I play I can't do it smothly and ...
8
votes
8answers
5k views

How can I strengthen my fretting hand away from my guitar?

I don't get as much time with my guitar as I'd like, and I'd like to be "in shape" for the time of day when I can play. Are there exercises I can do while I don't have my guitar that can help improve ...
8
votes
3answers
828 views

Should a violinist use hand strength exercisers? If so, what kind?

Should a violinest use a hand exerciser, by which I am referring to the kind generally used by guitarists? An example of one may be found here. If so, is there a specific kind and/or tension which is ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Exercises for quickly identifying intervals on the staff

In order to improve my piano sight-reading, I want to practice recognizing intervals on the staff faster. If possible I'd like to combine the interval-recognition with a training for my finger memory, ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Sticks moving in my hands (weak grip?)

I've been playing drums for a while and there's something bothering me. I've watched a lot of "how to hold your drumsticks properly" videos for the 'matched grip' style (the one i use) to try to ...
8
votes
1answer
291 views

Learning to trill without a trill key

I don't really like resorting to trill keys when I want to do difficult trills like C-D. For one, the pitch and quality isn't exactly the same. Also, it feels like cheating. I'm willing to use them as ...
7
votes
2answers
675 views

What do you use to train your sense of rhythm?

I am a keyboard player and recently decided to study bass guitar playing. I cannot spend much time for practicing - approximately 40 min a day, so the most of that time I am doing "spider exercise". ...
7
votes
3answers
246 views

How to Practice the Hanon Exercises

I've played piano for many years but I'd like to do some work on my technique and am going to attack the Hanon exercises. I have a very simple question on the instructions though. You are instructed ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to work on my fret hand finger independence?

As a beginner, I find my fingers going everywhere but the places I want them! This is especially true when I'm attempting scales/licks that use my 4th finger a lot or requires quick interchanging ...
6
votes
1answer
523 views

Beginning sweep picking exercises

What are some recommended easy exercises to start developing the sweep picking technique in guitar? And what advice would you give to someone who's just starting with this technique? I mean, what is ...
6
votes
2answers
678 views

How do I improve my singing?

I enjoy singing, and I want to improve. I've had an ear for music since I was very young, and I have no problems finding/matching/hearing a tune in my head. However as I've gotten older, I've found it ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the foundational book of Czerny finger exercises for piano?

I've recently started teaching myself piano (via Bartok's Mikrokosmos) and feel it would be helpful to supplement the pieces with some standard exercises. Everyone I speak with suggests Czerny, but ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Guitar exercises for simultaneous fingers movement

I'm newbie in the guitar world and I have some problems. One of them is the simultaneous movement of my fingers, for example I'm trying to play a simple sequence of chords: G - D - E - C. Well, when ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Thumb tension while playing bass guitar

I am doing "spider exercise" from JOHN PATITUCCI Bass Workshop 1 3 Left Hand Dexterity Builders chunk 1, After a couple of minutes I start feeling increasing left thumb tension, in 10 minutes it ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I develop a high register on a brass instrument without creating tension?

Lately I've been reading about how trombonists (or any other brass instrumentalists) tend to develop tention in their neck or torso when playing in the higher register. In working to decrease ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

Should you practice all basic drum patterns on both sides?

Should I practice all drum patterns on both sides or is it not necessary? For example - I started learning how to play ghost notes and all the youtube lessons that I've seen so far show how to play ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How to build up to playing an F chord? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I best learn to play barre chords? I recently just got back into trying to learn to play guitar. I'm going through and learning all of the major chords in the ...
5
votes
1answer
520 views

Are there exercises similar to the 'Buddha rope' for endurance on bass guitar?

The "Buddha rope" technique described by Bill 'The Buddha' Dickens in his training DVD basically entails putting a rope between strings and then using the increased tension for building muscles in ...
4
votes
3answers
401 views

Looking to expand my Spanish guitar repertoire

I'm a middle-level guitarist with a sort of rag-tag set of music under my fingers. I've recently become transfixed by the music of Paco de Lucia, Carcassi (I know, he's Italian), and Segovia. I'm ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Piano Exercices to go beyond John Thompson's Modern Course?

I've been playing the piano long enough now that I thought it might be helpful to learn a few exercises for improving dexterity and/or "warming up" when one first sits down at the piano. My level is ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How many songs to practice at a time?

I'm coming back to piano after years and years away, so I'm back at beginner level again. I know I can get a bunch of etudes together and do technical exercises, but of course, the main thing is ...
4
votes
3answers
189 views

What are the best methods to study violin positions?

I play on a few songs in other locations but am not an expert on them
4
votes
3answers
159 views

Daughter tends to raise index and middle finger whenever she plays the remaining fingers on piano

My daughter tends to automatically raise her index and sometimes middle finger whenever she plays the ring or pinky on the piano. It's almost like she is trying to use it to balance her hand/fingers. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What choir pieces are suited to warm up a new, small choir?

Soon I will have the pleasant duty of leading an amateur choir at a two-week summer camp. I am looking for warming up pieces that are easy, but fun. It should be possible to learn them without having ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Exercises For Conditioning a Broken Hand

Last August I suffered an accident where I shattered my 4th and 5th metacarpal into my wrist, severing my ACU tendon attaching to my pinky. I've been slowly relearning my right hand to play saxophone. ...
4
votes
1answer
366 views

What fingering should be used for a chromatic scale separated by thirds on piano?

I started learning Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor Op 16, and I came across a part of the music that requires my right hand to do the chromatic scale twice at the same time, separated by ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Exercises for Tuvan Throat-Singing (Overtone-Singing)?

I've been fascinated for many years with Tuvan Throat-Singing, particularly the group Huun-Huur-Tu. A few years ago I happened upon a Scientific American article (which I have since misplaced) that ...
4
votes
4answers
207 views

Correct octave technique

I am an amateur pianist (of about 17 years) and I'm not sure if I ever learned correct octave technique. I just "finished" Chopin's first ballad and there are several sections which require some ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Do I have a problem in my ring finger?

I play piano, guitar violin and other instruments. I have a little weakness in my ring finger, especially the left one. Instrumently-agnostic speaking, to reproduce what I'm talking, place your left ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What are some of the strength building exercises for Bass players?

What are some of the strength building exercises for Bass players, especially for the left palm/fingers?