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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
1answer
132 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
890 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
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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
470 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
74 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
191 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
6k 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
520 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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
3k 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.
3
votes
4answers
648 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
695 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
217 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
355 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
799 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
242 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Sturdy, pocket, nice sounding Ocarina [on hold]

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 ...
17
votes
7answers
12k 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
1k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
801 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
386 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
279 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
4k 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
442 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
1k 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.
5
votes
5answers
652 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
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
617 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
5k 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
1k 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
317 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 immediately....
37
votes
16answers
41k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
878 views

How should I inspect a used piano prior to purchase?

I am considering finding a used grand (or baby grand) piano to purchase. This will be a standard acoustic piano, not an electronic version that "looks like" a grand piano. I am an experienced ...
4
votes
2answers
312 views

Harp - “Half Pedal”

I know from the Kurt Stone's book; Music Notation in Twentieth Century: Hold pedal halfway between two notches to allow the string to vibrate against the tuning gear. So, how exactly half ...
7
votes
1answer
416 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?
5
votes
2answers
261 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
270 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
169 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
39 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
1k 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 that,...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
479 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
151 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
279 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
2k 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
811 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
3k 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 ...