Learning a skill by repeatedly rehearsing it.

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Is singing a matter of talent or practice?

This is something I have always wondered. Is singing a matter of talent, that is, only people born with the 'proper instrument' can sing properly, or is it a matter of practice? I know that practice ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Fingering for octaves on the piano

Another question about playing octaves (as in Schubert's Erlkonig, Chopin's A-flat Polonaise, etc.): I practice Hanon exercises, and Hanon recommends using the first and fifth finger on white keys ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the best techniques to play overtones in the saxophone?

I play Alto Saxophone, and I've been wondering this for quite a while now. I've not played one single overtone yet, so what are your suggestions?
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4answers
1k views

Do music students find practice journals useful?

I use a calendar to keep track of my daily music practice, similar to the Seinfeld productivity method (http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret). This has been extremely ...
8
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5answers
1k views

How do you prevent injuries from bad posture while playing classical guitar?

I'm tagging this as specific to classical guitar since that's what I am familiar with. The correct posture is very important which playing classical, including the footstool, the position of your ...
8
votes
3answers
397 views

What to do? Programming, bass playing and RSI

I am a full time programmer, part time bass player and have recently started suffering from serious repetitive stress injury in my left wrist. I've adjusted the ergonomics at my work place (and use ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some common beginner mistakes when learning to play the piano?

I'm starting to learn to play the piano by myself (I've had experiences with other instruments so I have some sort of musical framework), and I would like to know what technical nuances I have to know ...
8
votes
5answers
330 views

How to make the most of practicing guitar

I have playing guitar for a while - I have done all of the rockschool grades and am currently in two bands - and I've recently realised that I am making far less progress than my friends. My question ...
8
votes
6answers
961 views

Training muscle memory without focusing. Is it necessarily bad?

Many people claim that you must focus completely on what you are doing. If not, the end results will be far inferior to what you would achieve if you give it "everything". However, muscle memory and ...
8
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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 ...
8
votes
5answers
7k views

Rhythm/Drum exercises without drums

I am a 24 year old computer engineering student who just have started playing drums. I spend on avarage 1 hour on bus to school and 40-60 min on exercise like running, biking, etc every day. My point ...
8
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3answers
156 views

Developing good muscle memory and avoiding bad

If I'm practicing say, alternate picking with just my right hand for speed and wrist rotation am I better off just stopping and going on to something else if I'm just not dialed in that day. And for ...
8
votes
1answer
331 views

Does one play a song better after “sleeping on it”?

Whenever I'm learning something new on the piano, I'll usually learn the basic notes and rhythm of a section of the song (several measures, maybe a full page depending on the complexity / tempo, ...
8
votes
1answer
192 views

Practicing modes on the piano

This has probably been asked a lot here but I can't seem to find the question, sorry if I'm repeating it. I know the definitions of the different modes I just want to incorporate them, being able to ...
8
votes
0answers
210 views

How to get back on track after long absence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Get back into an instrument after long break? I have been playing Guitar for more than 8 years now and I was working as a Electric Guitar Teacher while I was Studying ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

10,000 Hours Regime - Drums

I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hours To Master A Skill theory. I've picked up a set of drumsticks for the first time in my life 3 months ago, at the age of 21. The barriers, as they sit ...
7
votes
6answers
204 views

Learning to keep time

I haven't played music in quite a long time. Once thing I've noticed when I started playing again is that my tempo is completely horrible. When I play along to any song or instrumental, sometimes I ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How to keep the tempo still stable?

When I'm playing solo, let's just say that q = 120. Sometimes, I can't keep the tempo, sometimes I went faster or slower. Is there any practice or technique for keeping the tempo?
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votes
5answers
989 views

Drum set made from towels/pillows

I'm a drummer who lives in an apartment. I have an electric set, but it is too noisy and I am receiving complaints. I'm sure this has to do with the pads and the kick pedal. I'd still like to practice ...
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5answers
2k views

What are the Five Most Important Things to Learn?

I'm reading "Practice Perfect" and the author recommends using the 80/20 approach in planning one's practice. For example, if 20% of "techniques" yield 80% of the results, what would be the 20% of ...
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6answers
28k views

is there any free tab viewer for GuitarPro files?

I just want to view not edit tabs and I think paying 60 bucks to listen/edit is too much.
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5answers
4k views

How much practicing time per week is enough to progress with piano for beginner?

My 11 year old child starts learning piano from scratch, taking 30 min weekly lessons with the teacher. How many additional practicing time per week it is reasonable and clever to allocate for the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to practice endurance to be able to play boogie woogie pieces?

I'm practicing boogie woogie pieces like Pete Johnson's Dive Bomber. After some time my hands are getting stiff and tired while practicing. Especially the left hand. I can mitigate this by limiting ...
7
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3answers
314 views

Is there any research showing that practicing some amount of minutes a day improves ability?

I've seen studies that show exercising over a certain amount per day results in diminishing returns. Are there any research papers, studies, etc. that investigate if there are minimum amounts of ...
7
votes
2answers
535 views

What do you use to train your sense of rhythm?

I am a keyboard player and recently decided to study bass guitar playing. I cannot spend much time for practicing - approximately 40 min a day, so the most of that time I am doing "spider exercise". ...
7
votes
2answers
666 views

Is there a pan flute type with fipples?

Has there ever been a pan flute with Fipples? If so what is this called? If not, what might be the easiest way to create such an instrument? NOTE: I asked in chat if this question was appropriate ...
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5answers
321 views

What are the benefits or drawbacks of playing different types of guitars?

I'm an amateur/still newbie guitar player. I've got two guitars: a Fender Stratocaster Yngwie J Malmsteen signature model and a Squier Stratocaster (made in Mexico) The YJM signature model main ...
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4answers
199 views

Piano both hands, different forces exercises

I'm practicing piano for almost a year now and I'm getting very good especially at playing with both hands. But for the first time I met a piece that requires me to apply different forces on both ...
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3answers
1k views

Really silent guitar practice [duplicate]

I don't have much time for guitar practice so this will often have to take place at night. Right now I am using an electric guitar, a software amp and effects and headphones, which is okay for ...
7
votes
2answers
801 views

How do I improve the rate at which I learn arpeggios?

I'm referring specifically to this sort of structure, where the notes cascade upwards or downwards but most often up and then back down. Many of the pieces I play (on piano) involve this rather ...
7
votes
6answers
459 views

From beginner's perspective, should I polish an easy piece or move quicker to advanced ones?

I have started playing piano just recently. Although I have some understanding in music theory and played various instruments before (a bit), I am a total beginner in piano. My ultimate goal is to ...
7
votes
1answer
251 views

Non-fixed-frequency instruments playing by themselves versus with fixed-frequency instruments

[I don't know a better term than "non-fixed frequency instruments" but I mean things like string instruments, voice, trombone as opposed to things like a piano which has a fixed (typically 12-et) ...
7
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3answers
213 views

What kind of practice chanter do I need to start learning to play the Scottish small pipes

I would like to learn to play the Scottish small pipes. Before I invest in a set of pipes I would like to start out with a practice chanter. Can I use a practice chanter for the highland pipes or is ...
7
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3answers
420 views

How well does mental practice work for you on different instruments?

Multi-instrumentalists: this is about personal experience (instead of literature review) of mentally practicing your instruments away from them. Do you find it to be more or less effective for one ...
7
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3answers
451 views

Practicing all practical permutations of three-note chords on guitar

Ignoring octaves, every note in a on the guitar shows up in many different places. I'd like to practice all the achievable three note chords on the guitar so that I can move my chord progressions up ...
6
votes
4answers
806 views

What to look for in the musicians you play with

This may be primarily opinion based, but I believe there's good scope to get some valuable information if the question's worded well. please share comments if you think the wording could be improved ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How does a metronome help me play music better?

I heard that anyone who received theoretical education in music should use a metronome to practice their timing. But I don't know how does a metronome help me? Or even how would better timing help me? ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Next step after learning piano chords

I've tried many times to learn piano, but get bored quickly and drop it. Until I found an easy method to get going quickly: learn to form major and minor chords look up song tab online use a ...
6
votes
5answers
689 views

How to keep practicing to compose music when you're too picky to listen to yourself playing

I'm a pianist, and I also compose songs in DAWs. My main spare time occupation is to improvise on the piano, and I've been doing it for several years now. Even before I learned any instruments (when ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Practicing Trills

The slowness of my trills is getting annoying. I am able to play Blue by Yngwie Malmsteen but yet fail at doing the trill in the intro. How can one practice to make them faster? Endurance is not an ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to work on my fret hand finger independence?

As a beginner, I find my fingers going everywhere but the places I want them! This is especially true when I'm attempting scales/licks that use my 4th finger a lot or requires quick interchanging ...
6
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7answers
1k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop callouses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

I want to learn the sax. Where should I start?

I do not have any prior musical training. I do not know how to read music. The only instrument I have played are a keyboard and a harmonica. I think I can learn the saxophone if I remain as ...
6
votes
3answers
246 views

Finding bandmates in a new city

I'm a young drummer that moved to Los Angeles. How do I find bandmates? I've tried posting and replying to ads on Craigslist and am going in circles. Most, not all, have been flaky or are into a very ...
6
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3answers
630 views

How loud is a concert flute?

I'm looking for an portable quiet instrument that I can have fun with without disturbing the neighbors at night. And listening to flutes in recordings, I got the impression that they are relatively ...
6
votes
3answers
466 views

Learning standard notation without succombing to simply remembering songs?

I'm in a tricky position. I've been playing guitar for around ten years and am fairly good at improvising and tinkering around on a piano, too. I understand sheet music, I can decipher it, but I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

How to play large chord?

I am playing Scriabin's Prelude Op. 11 No. 11. (see IMSLP ) I can reach 10ths fairly comfortably, but I am wondering what to do with chords such as those that appear in Mm. 14 (C4-B5-G5). Do I play a ...
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2answers
182 views

Links and tips for Learning and using scales

Tips and links on learning and using different types of scales will be helpful. If possible List of scales with songs in which they are used and (artists/types of bands) who uses certain scales to a ...
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5answers
1k views

How does one improve on his/her drumming technique without owning a drumset?

Due to space constraints, I am unable to have a drumset at home. Going to a studio would be optimal but I take at least an hour to travel to the nearest drum studio. How else can I improve on my ...
6
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10answers
24k views

How can I build my finger strength when I am not practicing?

I am a beginner for guitar. And I am having a hard time playing the F barre chord. It is said that only through practice can one make a difference. But I have limited time playing guitar. Are there ...