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

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14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Is “harpvox” an existing musical instrument?

My digital piano has a "harpvox" voice setting that sounds rather interesting with broad echo and low overtones feeling even for the the middle or high notes. Is it a real instrument or an invention ...
17
votes
6answers
599 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What does it mean that a Stratocaster is vintage?

Looking at the lineup of Fender and Squier I see that you can find standard and vintage guitars for about the same price. For example, Squier has both a Standard series and a Vintage Modified series. ...
5
votes
1answer
741 views

Yamaha 300 series v. Aulos 500 series

I'm considering getting a new plastic soprano recorder (a wooden one is a bit out of my budget). I've narrowed it down to the YRS 302b and the Aulos 503b. I realize they are both great plastic ...
5
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there a more specific name for this instrument than “PVC instrument”?

After hearing a number of covers performed on instruments like the one below, I was wondering if someone has come up with a better name for this instrument than "PVC instrument".
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Composing melody for recorder

I learned a bit about composing melody by using piano. But then, when I tried to composing melody for recorder and it didn't sound right. So, what is the things should I aware when composing melody ...
2
votes
3answers
407 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Record Label Instrumentals

Does anyone know if record labels keep a copy of every instrumental of every song produced by their producers? I know that there are places online that have regenerated or reproduced instrumentals of ...
5
votes
2answers
745 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
143 views

“Easiest to sound ok” small non-reed woodwinds to learn

Of all the small woodwinds from any culture, which ones are known for having the SHORTEST learning curve (for a veteran of any common woodwind) to achieve clean, controlled tones from 90% of playable ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

How do Pre War Martin Guitars Differ From Modern Ones?

Pre-war Martin guitars are revered because of their sound. What differences are there between the construction of pre-war Martin guitars, and Martin guitars made now. And are there any companies ...
-2
votes
1answer
221 views

Travel instruments: what are the smallest and lightest? [closed]

Simple question. I'm trying to get an comprehensive list of names of musical instruments from any cultural background that are very small and light so as to be convenient for backpacking. Wood, ...
12
votes
4answers
5k 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?
3
votes
3answers
357 views

Acoustic Yamaha U1: One key sounds too loud

I recently got a Yamaha U1 acoustic piano. It sounds great except the E below middle C (E3) is much too loud. Whenever I play a chord with that key it really stands out and dominates the sound. No ...
7
votes
4answers
778 views

Do music theory books differ per instrument?

I'm an amateur Spanish guitar player, I know Solfège and how to read music sheets (not expert though). I'm looking for a book that teaches me music theory to gain more understanding and maybe try to ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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.
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Name of bell-like instrument [closed]

John Powell in his How to Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack uses a single instrument multiple times throughout the soundtrack. At about 1:23 of this part is where that instrument gets a very clear solo. ...
3
votes
4answers
378 views

Really Silent Piano

Does anyone have experience with "silent" pianos and knows whether or not there is a properly silent, i.e. neighbor-friendly, piano on the market? Background: for practicing without disturbing the ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the name of the small accordion type instrument in this picture? [closed]

I would like to know the name of this instrument and may be some suggestions on where I can buy one. http://www.eatmt.org.uk/Dave%20T%20workshop.JPG Thanks :)
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Ukulele or some kind of flute [closed]

All right, so the other day one of my guitars broke. That got me thinking, instead of getting another guitar, why not get something else? And so I was thinking about getting a ukulele just because it ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

What is this instrument and where can I get one? [closed]

At first I thought it was a Guitarrón mexicano, but those are fretless with shorter necks. Maybe this is custom made, or just a giant acoustic bass, intended as a joke. Either way, I want it. The ...
5
votes
3answers
561 views

Why do trumpet valves shift down and not up?

I understand how trumpets work - valves open to force the air through crooks, which lengthens the pathway the air must travel, thus decreasing the resonant frequency. The question is, why are ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

What are the distinguishing features of metalcore?

I'd like to know if there is a common metalcore approach (like the rules between drum kick and bass, bass and guitar, breakdown) in details.
6
votes
3answers
271 views

Why are there transposing instruments that transpose by octave?

Some instruments (for example the guitar, the bass guitar, and the xylophone) have written music in a typical clef, however the note written and the note played are an octave lower or higher depending ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What is the instrument at the beginning of “Curtain Tune on a Ground”? [closed]

I recently discovered Purcell for me, and listened to quite a lot of his works. I stumbled across the follwing video: What is the instrument sounding like a rubber ...
10
votes
2answers
502 views

What are the difficulties of playing a musical saw?

I'm interested in playing around with a musical saw, like the theme from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Looking around and watching a few tutorial videos, it looks like a very easy instrument to ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

How to identify good tin whistles?

I am planning to buy a tin whistle. However I do not know whether it is a proper. I would like to know how I can identify whether a tin whistle is faulty or not. What are the characteristics of a good ...
4
votes
1answer
331 views

Information about Mercury hammer blow tenor sax

I bought a very nice playing upper level saxophone. It's says Mercury Design in USA. The seller told me the parts came from Korea and it was assembled in usa. Seller said: Double arms on all claps ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

I love the song “all of me” but i want to know how to play it on an instrument! [closed]

I have never had a music lesson before because my ta has taken me out of it so I would do extra English. I have looked into having a music lesson but you have to pay for them and my mum said "NO!" I ...
1
vote
1answer
468 views

Name of instrument used in a song [closed]

I am currently thinking of new instruments to get into since I am now comfortable with a few, and I was listening to a song today that featured an instrument I couldn't recognize. How can I figure ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What defines the loudness of an acoustic guitar?

I would like a loud sound without any amplification (purely acoustic sound). Which guitar traits affect it? Do you recommend any particular styles or brands of guitar? I assume that guitars with ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Sturdy, pocket, nice sounding Ocarina

I am a keyboard player. Lately I was looking for a small, sturdy instrument that I could keep all day in my pocket and play a tune whenever I like. The 4 hole ocarina seems a good fit. I want to buy ...
1
vote
0answers
115 views

Recognize music genre & Instrument [closed]

I was always wondering what kind of music genre is this, and what mysterious old instrument (sounds like old style piano or organ) plays the main part. I would describe it as groove / groovy style ...
16
votes
7answers
8k views

What are the objective differences between the guitar and the piano?

The guitar and the piano are two of the most popular instruments which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The acoustic quality of the two instruments are, of course, different, but ...
5
votes
1answer
700 views

Examples of acoustic instruments producing sounds very close to pure square, triangle or sawtooth waves

I've been able to find plenty of info about acoustic instruments that create sounds close to sine-waves, and I understand that sounds approximating square, triangle and sawtooth waves are produced by ...
6
votes
2answers
405 views

Differences between trumpet mouth pieces

How much difference does having a specific mouthpiece have? I have an 11B4. I understand what the different names mean but what difference does a deeper mouthpiece for example have on ...
13
votes
7answers
641 views

What kind of effect does practicing on difficult to play instruments have?

To clarify the title, I'm not asking if it helps your mandolin skills to play violin (or vice versa, whichever you feel is "more difficult"). Let's say you are a guitarist: Does it help or hurt to ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

Basic notes of Tanpura

Tanpura has 4 strings which play : Pa/Ma/Ni(1), Sa(2), Sa(3), Sa(4); want to know more about these notes. Such as, "Pa/Ma/Ni" being played on Tanpura are of Mandra or Madhya Saptak, then following "Sa ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Do weighted keys on a keyboard lead to more expressive playing?

I use an acoustic piano to learn/play classical music. I use a midi keyboard to record/produce own music. My piano has weighted keys while my midi keyboard has a very light touch. I find that I am ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Suggestions on setting up a practice room

We are setting up a simple practice room in our house, the room is quiet small approximately 30 square meters. Here's the layout. As you can see their is no amps because of space constraints, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What should I look for when buying a used trombone?

I am looking to buy a used trombone, from Craigslist or similar. I'd prefer not to spend much more than $200 on it. I want to learn to play the trombone, but I know absolutely nothing about the ...
4
votes
5answers
356 views

Are there limits for the possible pieces for different violins?

I don't know anything about violins. No, actually, I don't know anything about music, so this is rather basic: Despite it looking terribly hard, I decided to learn to play the violin nonetheless. I ...
9
votes
4answers
846 views

How to technically differentiate between wind instrument types (definition)

What is the official way to differentiate between a woodwind and a brass instrument? I know it's not about the material that they are made of, but how the sound is produced.
4
votes
5answers
507 views

Ambidextrous instruments

Looking at a recent question, my thoughts turned to instruments which can be played left- or right-handed, without alteration. Given that approx. 85% of us are right-handed, it's hardly surprising ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Worth it to restore an old electric guitar?

During a recent trip to visit my wife's family, she pointed out an old an electric guitar she'd saved up for as a teenager. It was a Hamer Slammer Diablo (this is not a picture of it; hers was in much ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Curved v. straight windway

Besides physical structure, what is the difference between a curved and a straight windway in a recorder? I understand that a curved windway increases air resistance, but how does the sound quality ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How does the piano middle pedal work? Is there a standard symbol for it?

What are the mechanics behind the middle piano pedal? I have been using the middle pedal for a variety of music, it is wonderful, but I can't figure out how it works (I mean the mechanical process). ...
8
votes
3answers
636 views

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator?

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator when the radiator is hot? If so, why? Also, is there anything else that happens when you place an instrument near a hot radiator?
3
votes
3answers
241 views

When to start Vibrato (on any instrument)

As a bassist, I spent a lot of time with music teachers who told me I took too long to start vibrating. The example they gave (Jeff Bradetich, UNT) was of opera singers who begin vibrating ...