Activities designed to help develop a skill.

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29
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
7answers
1k 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"?
18
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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?
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
694 views

What kind of guitar exercise is “the caterpillar”?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
11
votes
2answers
15k 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?
10
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
430 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
462 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
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
224 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
670 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
2answers
2k 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, ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
379 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
258 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
319 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
422 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
313 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
734 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
353 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
262 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
761 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
1answer
447 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
913 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
3answers
180 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
6answers
584 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
49 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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
415 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?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Trumpet - Charles Colin Lip Flexibilities Vol. 1 Exercise 1

I am trying to go through the whole Charles Colin Lip Flexibilities book. Here is an excerpt from the first exercise: There are two ways I could interpret this. Since this book is about building up ...
3
votes
3answers
141 views

Should my air be cold when singing?

I am a beginner singer, and during some singing classes I took the teacher showed me that when the air is coming from the diaphragm, it is a little cold. She showed me some exercises and I learned how ...
3
votes
1answer
997 views

(Free) exercises for intermediate piano player

I'm looking for a good set of exercises that I could practice to develop dexterity, finger strength, and other important skills. Exercises in theory are also quite welcome. I would say I am of ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
359 views

Hannon or Czerny

What are the best exercises for someone who had played the piano for 3 years but has had a 4 year break and wants to get back into playing, Hannon or Czerny?
2
votes
2answers
190 views

Please recommend a book with excercises for guitar duet

Me and my friend play acoustic guitar. We are looking for a book, that will provide us with excercises to play together. I've searched on the net, but couldn't find anything, though I am sure those ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Specific advices for a beginner drummer [closed]

I've recently started learning drums and I was hoping to get some advices about good practices and directions in general, especially from drummers. I know this is quite a "too broad" kind of question ...
2
votes
3answers
820 views

Finger independence exercises - quality or quantity?

I have some exercises for finger independence (for left hand); however, I cannot even start to do some of them correctly. The most difficult exercise is: Start with a hand and all fingers in a ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

How can I train myself to tap my foot without hitting something with my hands?

I'm trying to play a particular drum beat (specifically Godsmack's Bad Religion) and it basically goes like this 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 High Hat x x x x Snare x x x x ...