Tagged Questions

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

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3
votes
2answers
557 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
8k views

Difference between Baritone and Euphonium

What is the difference between a baritone and a euphonium, and how can you tell? My band director sometimes uses them interchangeably, but I am pretty sure that is not correct. All I know is that this ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
137 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
173 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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
139 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?
4
votes
5answers
249 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
74 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
160 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
271 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
922 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
947 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
118 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
385 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.
7
votes
1answer
174 views

How to remove a rusted or stuck mouthpiece?

I have an old WWI US Army-issue bugle with the mouthpiece rusted onto the body. what it the best way to get the mouthpiece off without hurting the rest of the instrument?
4
votes
1answer
414 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.
3
votes
1answer
797 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
268 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
506 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
527 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
771 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
366 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 - ...
8
votes
4answers
319 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
451 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?
6
votes
1answer
3k 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?
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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). ...
11
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
166 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.
2
votes
3answers
230 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
426 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# ...
2
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
828 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. ...
10
votes
3answers
439 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
30
votes
16answers
20k views

What instruments are inexpensive, portable and not too loud?

I'm a college student, and I'd really like to start playing an instrument. But I want to find something that is: Inexpensive Small / portable in a backpack Quiet enough to practice in my dorm room ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
985 views

Adjusting clarinet or saxophone reeds

How do various techniques and equipments for adjusting reeds compare? e.g. ...
6
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
173 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
237 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
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 ...
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 ...