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

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5
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I play a 12 string like a 6 string guitar?

I have a cheap 6-string guitar. I want to get a new one and am considering a 12-string guitar. What are the differences between 12- and 6-string guitars? Can I use a 12-string like a 6-string? Will ...
6
votes
4answers
12k views

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Here is the sound I'm talking about. I get this sound, unless I strum ridiculously lightly, on different amp volume settings, with no gain, but is seems to become ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

What am I doing wrong with my new alto recorder?

I just got a Yamaha YRA-28BIII recorder. I also got a Yamaha YRS24B Soprano Recorder. I have very limited experience using a recorder. on the Soprano recorder I blow fairly strongly without it ...
9
votes
4answers
930 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

What's the qualitative difference between wooden and plastic recorders?

Are wooden recorders better than plastic recorders? Do they have better tone or are more playable? Are these differences noticeable for cheap recorders? What are the advantages of plastic recorders? ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

learning the Kora

Are there any written methods for learning the Kora, a West African instrument which traditionally is taught only by example and whose repertoire is not notated?
1
vote
2answers
670 views

It's really hard to press my acoustic guitar strings and I can't figure out why

I recently bought a Seagull entourage rustic, after trying it out in a store. It was really easy to play. The one I ordered (2nd hand), however, is really hard to play. I can't play a barre F chord in ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

Instruments that are easy on left pinkie fingers

I am interested in learning an instrument but have limited mobility in my left pinkie/little finger due to an old injury. What instruments are least demanding on that finger?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

What type of instruments are these? [closed]

My husband's uncle passed away a couple of days ago and he left these instruments behind; I was hoping maybe someone could tell me what they are! Please help me, and how to tune them.
0
votes
3answers
150 views

Is there a lightweight keyboard piano that doesn't require any energy supply?

Is there a type of keyboard that doesn't require batteries or any electricity of any kind? also one that is extremely portable like a guitar? It should also sound like a normal piano without any ...
17
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
778 views

Is it possible to play all melody songs on 10 hole diatonic harmonica?

I know that melody songs can be easily played on a chromatic harmonica. I have horner Chrometta 12 as well as Horner golden melody. However I feel tunes from 10 holes diatonic harmonica are better ...
4
votes
1answer
550 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

In classical music scores we often find French horns of different pitches. Why is that?

For example, in many pieces, there are two horns in F and two in E flat. What is the reason? Divide the horns to be able to give each group the better matching parts concerning intonation? For pitch ...
0
votes
3answers
317 views

Piano getting out of tune and noisy after 6 weeks

I have a 30 year old upright piano withan iron frame. It had been neglected for probably 10 years. 6 months ago it has been repaired and tuned. The action had to be cleaned and pieces of felt and ...
2
votes
4answers
463 views

What are the musical instruments that have the sounding range that has at least all notes on this range A#1-C5?

What are the musical instruments that have the sounding range that has at least all notes on this range A#1-C5? The instrument can go up to C6, or down to c0, it just need to have all the notes on A#1-...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

How to tie knot for adjustable string strumstick strap

I have a strumstick and part of the requirement to hold it comfortably for playing is to have the string that's used for a strap adjusted to the correct length. The way they do this is with a special ...
4
votes
3answers
224 views

Why are there no instruments made from rocks?

Sorry if this is a silly question, but I happened to notice that while there are instruments made out of wood and/or metal and even plastic or glass, there are no rock-based instruments. It seems that ...
6
votes
2answers
804 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 tone/resonance?...
4
votes
3answers
669 views

What should I think about when acquiring a triangle (percussion)?

What should I consider when buying a triangle to use for recording popular music percussion? For example: What are the differences between cheap and expensive ones (the price range is enormous)? ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Symphony deconstructed by instruments

does anyone know if this has been done before? I'm interested in listening to a symphony deconstructed by the instruments. Preferably if I can turn them on or off to listen to the whole piece without ...
2
votes
2answers
455 views

Why are some/most B♭-clarinets tuned to A=442 Hz?

I want to buy a B♭-clarinet, but I don't know a lot about clarinets. I noticed that most clarinets are tuned to A=442Hz, while more expensive clarinets sometimes can be found with A=440Hz. I don't ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the type of wood on a solid body electric guitar affect its tone or sound?

I know that on an acoustic guitar the sound is produced by the strings vibrating the top or soundboard and that the type wood used on the soundboard and body of an acoustic guitar will be the ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

It's there a diference between a MIDI instrument and an analogue one?

I'm new to music recordings, and I would love to get a simple midi keyboard for practicing and composing basic stuff. I guess a MIDI keyboard is much better than using the computer keyboard, but I've ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Extended range electric basses versus extended range electric guitars

The differences between standard electric basses (four strings) and standard electric guitars (six strings) are very clear: in addition to have a different number of strings, they also differ in their ...
5
votes
1answer
418 views

Are there any other common names for what I've heard called a “Crossover Guitar”

That is to say, a nylon (or gut, I guess) guitar that has certain features usually associated with a steel stringed acoustic. I'm talking about Spanish guitars with a thin neck, often with an ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Should I get an acoustic piano? [closed]

About nine months ago I got a digital keyboard for my birthday. I was thrilled, practiced for hours upon hours, and I'm now at a somewhat advanced level. I'm wondering if I should get an accoustic. ...
25
votes
9answers
11k views

Can I play pipe organ as a pianist?

I've never played pipe organ. I'm a pianist and a friend of mine ask me to play on the church on his wedding on a pipe organ. Are the enough difficulties playing a piano song on the pipe organ to ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Ranking of Difficulty of Instruments [closed]

I was recently notified of a ranking of languages by the Defense Language Institute (for a native English speaker). It can be found here or here. The summary is that languages can be divided into ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

How much noise should a trumpet's valves make?

I just got a new trumpet. When I press down on any of the three valves (without blowing through the trumpet) I can hear a small 'pop' kind of noise. It's not coming from the springs or anything, ...
5
votes
3answers
319 views

Bass Clarinet: Rubber vs Plastic Mouthpiece?

I play Bass Clarinet for a school band, and may have to buy my own mouthpiece. I'm wondering what the difference in tone quality is between a plastic and rubber mouthpiece, and if a rubber one is more ...
-2
votes
2answers
77 views

who were the first known people to play a reed instrument

I would like to know who the first people to come up with the idea of reed instruments of any kind
1
vote
2answers
165 views

How does instrumentation change the personality of a piece?

I don't understand how a change in instrumentation can make the same sequence of notes feel different if nothing else is changed about the piece. I mean for example if I listen to Symphony no 5 by ...
12
votes
7answers
38k views

Is the sound of a semi-hollowbody guitar significantly different from that of an equivalent solid body?

I'm wondering if the sound of a semi-hollowbody electric guitar (i.e. one that looks hollow but in fact has a solid central block) really differs that much from an equivalent solid-body guitar with ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Does valve oil in the lead pipe of a trumpet prevent tarnishing?

Sometimes I've gotten the advice to drip a few drops of valve oil in my trumpet's leadpipe before putting on the mouthpiece and start playing. Allegedly this would help to prevent tarnishing and ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Marimba Bars on a Vibraphone Frame

Would it be possible to put marimba bars on a vibraphone frame? I am trying to get a cheap marimba with a damper pedal, but cannot seem to find anything that isn't custom built by the manufacturer or ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

Can one tell by ear whether a bowed instrument is being played up or down?

I went to a concert the other day and noticed that the bows (violins, cellos, violas) were all coordinated as the orchestra played. It looks neat, but is there an audible difference if they're not in ...
4
votes
2answers
485 views

How to evaluate the quality of sound of a piano?

While looking for a new piano I was wondering how to evaluate the quality of tone and sound of a piano as an instrument? What makes the difference between a good and an even better instrument? What ...
16
votes
17answers
2k views

Instruments that challenge your ear

About a year ago I was curious about how the trumpet works, how could it play the chromatic scale over many octaves with only these three valves!? So I made some research to understand how it works, ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Unstable lowest note on Yamaha YRS-302B

I'm trying to learn playing recorder using plastic Yamaha YRS-302B - and there is a somewhat annoying thing: lowest notes C and D are somewhat unstable - they sound properly only when I blow very ...
2
votes
1answer
501 views

What do the clavinova model numbers tell me?

When shopping for a used clavinova I tried to figure out which models are a good choice for me. Doing that, I quickly wondered what the CLP-model numbers are trying to tell me. For the most recent ...
7
votes
2answers
375 views

Naming convention for trumpet mouthpiece size

Different brands of mouthpiece manufacturers have different ways of naming the size of their mouthpieces. Is there some kind of common convention, like letters being the depth, small numbers meaning ...
16
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Do vintage guitars really sound better with age? Or is this perception affected by selection bias?

Guitars are often said to sound better with age. How much of it is due to worse-sounding guitars being discarded before they reach vintage age?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the quality of the Ryoji Matsuoka M30 Classical Guitar

I am curious about Ryoji Matsuoka classical guitars, particularly the M30 model. Is this make intended for beginners, intermediate players, or professionals? Are there any known unique qualities or ...
4
votes
1answer
288 views

Can a breath controller be used with a keyboard?

I was watching a youtube video and saw a piano like instrument that was new to me, and have had a hard time identifying what it was. I loved the timbre and the idea for it: Eric Clapton Live ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Will my wind instrument be damaged if I leave it assembled?

Almost every teacher, expert, and book has informed me that I should disassemble my (clarinet / recorder / saxophone) each time after I practice. However, it is difficult for me to see how this would ...
4
votes
5answers
663 views

Alternative ways to classify Instruments

In Western music there are four classifications of instruments strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. This classification works on most instruments, but there are many different instruments around ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

What are the different ways in which musical instruments are grouped together? [duplicate]

There are of course several ways to organize different kinds of musical instruments, but I wonder what strategies are used by different traditions, especially ethnomusicologists who probably need ...