Questions about an instrument itself, rather than how to play it.

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11
votes
5answers
336 views

Music Store Etiquette

A music store that sells high end instruments is faced with a dilemma. It is their responsibility to sell you instruments. But you cannot buy an instrument without trying it out for some period of ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

Accessible Instruments While Away From Home

I am a musician spending a few months away my home. I fear that I may lose a good chunk of skill if I am unable to practice my instrument during this time. It is completely unfeasible for me to buy ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

How should I choose a Ukulele?

I am planning to buy a ukulele tomorrow, and I am a bit lost. I did manage to figure out the differences between a Soprano Ukulele and a Concert Ukulele, so I have chosen an Concert Ukulele, which I ...
3
votes
3answers
141 views

Piano Maintenance

What should be done to maintain an upright piano? I am not asking about tuning it, but what can be done so it does not have to be tuned as often? I heard someone once say about a particular piano ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Where to download music covers for songs (without lyrics)? [duplicate]

I don't know if the title of my question is correct, feel free to edit it. This video: a guy plays if tomorrow never comes on harmonica, while a musical cover for the song is playing in the ...
3
votes
2answers
443 views

Instrument Register tone and quality chart

I have been looking for some time now, for a chart of all the different register tone qualities of all the instruments played in an orchestra. If you have a hard time understanding what I mean by ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a violin's shape (particularly the f-holes) necessary or is it just for aesthetics?

Violins have a rather beautiful design. ... is such design necessary? Is a violin's natural sound only achieved when it has this specific shape? I have a particular interest in the f-holes. Are they ...
9
votes
3answers
426 views

Is a very cheap drum kit an impediment to learning?

A national discount chain is offering an adult drumkit for £50 (about US$80). I've often fancied getting my hand in as a drummer. I don't ever expect drums to be my main instrument, but I would like ...
4
votes
3answers
135 views

Getting my Daughter Started in Music

My daughter is currently 3, she has a very keen interest in music. She sings a lot and "composes" her own little "songs" to her own tunes. She has apparently has a keen ear for music, she inserts her ...
5
votes
3answers
979 views

Saxophone sometimes out of tune by nearly a fourth

Our band's saxophonist has a bizzare intermittent fault with his soprano sax (so normally uses his tenor or alto sax). Sometimes it's fine and sings beautifully, but other times it'll be out of tune ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

creating a simple instrument tuned to a specific frequency

I would like to create a very simple percussion instrument that would match the resonant frequency of an echo-y cave I occasionally visit. Currently I am thinking of using a metal bar, but I don't ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound?

What does the distance between a pickup and strings do for the sound? Should active and passive pickups be treated differently?
7
votes
9answers
1k views

What instrument can an old guy learn if the main goal is to write music

At this old age I began, two years ago learning to write music. I write it using Sibelius and let the computer play it for me. I have been strongly recommended to learn to play an instrument. I have ...
5
votes
3answers
316 views

English Horn Etymology

Why is the English Horn called a horn when it is a woodwind instrument, basically a lower oboe? When compared to other horns, such as the French Horn and the Flugelhorn, it seems to be a misnomer.
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do F#6 and higher notes ring more than F6 and lower notes?

I learned Overworld Theme 2 from Super Mario Bros. 3 a few years ago, which features the nice bright high notes of A6, G6, and F6: I noticed on my 80 year old upright piano that the A and G rang ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Whose idea was it to put three pedals on a piano?

Who ever decided to put foot pedals on a piano? Do we know who did it, or do we only know the general period that this happened? I would like to know who did this and when did it happen?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Starting piano - which instrument to choose?

I've been playing guitar for a couple of years now, and I want to try my hand at piano - so to speak. I'm a little stumped as to what the best instrument for me to choose is, as I've been looking at ...
7
votes
2answers
893 views

Adjusting clarinet or saxophone reeds

How do various techniques and equipments for adjusting reeds compare? e.g. ...
-2
votes
1answer
72 views

Gary Moore - As the years go passing by [closed]

What are the instruments in this song interpreted by Gary Moore? I wondered because I cannot recognize what is the brass instrument. I looked but couldn't even find the credits of the song so I ask ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

Learning another instrument?

I have been taking piano for about 6 years, euphonium for 4, and trombone for 1. I tried saxophone but it didn't work out. I am looking to expand my ability in brass instruments instead. Does anyone ...
4
votes
1answer
405 views

What kind of bandoneon or concertina is appropriate for playing tango music?

I really love the sound of tango and I'd like to buy a bandoneon. With the relationship but seeming distinct existence from the Concertina, I don't know how to identify which kind of ...
12
votes
2answers
249 views

Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Why did the clarinet and trumpet get made to 'be' in B♭? Could they have been made to produce concert pitch C? This would make a composer's life so much easier when physically writing scores. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the touch-pad things that the guitarist and bassist of Muse use?

In concert video footage of Muse, I've seen both the guitarist and bassist use touch-pad devices integrated with their instruments. What are these devices, and what are they designed to do?
2
votes
5answers
788 views

Silent, extremely portable instrument to learn music

I am currently off work for more or less a month, so I decided it could be a great time to learn an instrument and how to compose some simple tunes. I am 29, never played anything meaningful in my ...
4
votes
1answer
375 views

Jazz mouthpiece for flugelhorn?

What are some good options for a jazz flugelhorn mouthpiece? I have the Yamaha Bobby Shew and a nice 3C equivalent (for wind ensemble playing), but I want something that will help my range a bit.
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Realistic Virtual Piano

I recently started playing around with my MIDI keyboard and Garageband. However, I noticed the default "Grand Piano" etc. in Garageband have very poor sound and expression capability. Is there a free ...
9
votes
2answers
679 views

Can I split guitar string gauges?

I want to know if I can split guitar string gauges, ie. using 12s on the bottom and 10s on the top, both for standard and drop tunings.
0
votes
1answer
104 views

How many drop tunings can I use with one set of strings?

I want to know how many drop tunings I can reasonably use with one set of strings. Ex. can I go from E standard to drop C on 11s? For a given size string, how many tunings will be useable, given that ...
2
votes
2answers
331 views

Switching from a short-scale bass to a 'normal' one - Tips please?

I've been playing bass in my bedroom for a while now. I have a pretty but pretty crappy 1970s Yamaha semi-acoustic (SA70, I think). I've been thinking of branching out into some new styles and ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a transposing instrument?

I've read this term many times. However, I'm not quite sure of what it exactly is. What is a transposing instrument? What would be an example of one?
1
vote
1answer
282 views

What is the “buzzing” instrument in this song from Eluveitie, “A Rose for Epona”? [closed]

In the opening of the song a few instruments can be heard. The opening one is (I think) a harp, followed by a fiddle. Together with the fiddle, a rather "buzzing" instrument is also present, but I ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

Guidance in buying a tenor saxophone

I want to buy a tenor saxophone. The thing is that I used to play a bit on a very old (& nasty) one and now I want to make an upgrade. I was thinking of buying it from the thoman superstore ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the pros/cons of the “tuning-in-slide” method of trombone design?

Almost all American-made trombones are tuned using a tuning slide in the crook of the bell section. However, some European instrument makers sell trombones designed with a one-piece crook and a ...
8
votes
4answers
306 views

Acoustic pianos with weighted keys

I'm currently trying to build up my finger strength, and have found that the exercises I do are more effective if I am practising on a piano with a heavier touch, as the keys require more force to ...
4
votes
5answers
172 views

Is it better to tune an instrument by procedure, or while playing?

I'm an amateur Guitar player. When I want to tune my Guitar, I follow this formula: Use a diapason to tune the A note on the third string, second fret Tune the second string by help of the B on the ...
2
votes
3answers
94 views

Information about selling my guitars [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I assess the value of a guitar when I'm preparing to sell it? So I have three guitars that I want to sell. After this, I want to buy a pretty nice acoustic to ...
4
votes
2answers
626 views

What should I look for in a metal bass guitar?

I am playing bass in a humorous metal band. The idea is to make parody out of metal using as many cliches as possible (at the same time respecting the scene and having fun, of course). We have some ...
4
votes
1answer
327 views

Spectrum of brass tones of same fingering

On valve brass instruments, a single fingering may be used to play different notes. For example on the trumpet, leaving all valves open (up) allows the player to play the following notes: C - G - C - ...
2
votes
3answers
214 views

How to produce the sound at the beginning of this song?

I'm interested in using the wind-like sound heard during the first few seconds of "Seven Devil" by Florence + The Machine, but I have no idea how it's produced. How can I reproduce this sound?
6
votes
4answers
440 views

What instrument is this?

I thought it was a tuba, and it sounds like one, but looking around for pictures it seems the tuba is a smaller instrument. Is this an unusual type of tuba, or what?
0
votes
2answers
766 views

What electronic instruments does Oh Land use?

I've seen this Oh Land live video on YouTube and wondered: What are these electronic instruments that Oh Land and the guy on her right play? I'd love to check them out. ...
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Identify the solo wind instrument in OMD's “Talking Loud and Clear”

I'd like to know what type of wind instrument is used for the solo part in Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "Talking Loud and Clear"? I'm guessing it's some sort of wood instrument.
10
votes
1answer
386 views

Why does closing a recorder bell raise the pitch sometimes and lower the pitch other times?

I have been playing recorder for two years now and have recently been using this chart, http://www.dolmetsch.com/efingeringchart.pdf for third octave soprano fingerings. Playing the D or the F# ...
8
votes
4answers
418 views

Do cold/hot drinks have any effect on woodwinds and brass performers?

Hey, I saw this question and I immediately remembered one or two teachers that kept saying that drinking cold/hot drinks before and/or during playing any woodwind or brass instrument was a bad thing, ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

How can I tab by ear a song played on another instrument to guitar?

Is it theoretically possible to tab any song/piece from another instrument to the guitar? For example, this song I want to tab("A Kiss From An Old Flame" by Mercury Rev) uses 'flamenco', I think. I ...
6
votes
2answers
324 views

What factors to consider when inventing a new (lab) instrument?

I have the idea for a new instrument which doesn't work with wind/blowing, hitting, or keystroked, but rather pressure. What factors should an instrument have? Is there a checklist that I can check ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any difference between a soprano trombone and a slide trumpet?

Occasionally, I will see people arguing about whether an instrument should be called a "soprano trombone" or a "slide trumpet" yet I have never seen any instrument designated as one as being any ...
4
votes
1answer
540 views

Where/When did the modern guitar originate?

I keep thinking of Greeks playing Lyres - there had to be a point where someone added strings and the modern shape...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What are some qualities to consider when purchasing a cello?

My wife is a Suzuki-method violinist but wants to dabble with some cello pieces. I'm a rock guitarist--so I have absolutely no clue what to look for in a cello. It's clearly not a Les Paul so any ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between the “smooth” strings and the “rough” strings?

On my acoustic, the first 4 strings are "rough" - that is they are covered in a type of metal corkscrew. The last 2 strings though are completely smooth, and don't have a corkscrew finish. Why are ...