Ways to use one's instrument or voice precisely to produce a desired musical effect.

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63
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7answers
2k views

Ten Minute Practice Techniques For Guitar?

Unfortunately I can't play everyday. However, I am trying to grab at least 5-10 minutes here and there. What are some good theory or scale techniques/practice methods I should have ready to pull out ...
37
votes
22answers
49k views

Best method to learn to play barre chords?

I've been trying to learn the F chord for a while now, and I am having a very hard time playing the barre chord. I've read that pulling back slightly with your finger and using the body of the guitar ...
27
votes
9answers
5k views

“one finger per fret” - is it worth following this rule?

When I first got into guitar, I was given advice to follow a "one finger per fret" rule with the left hand. Basically, to fret notes with all four fingers, and to follow a pattern such that in any ...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I be sure that I am singing effortlessly in my natural voice?

I have years of vocalization practice, but I still start straining while singing—especially if I am not vigilant. It happens imperceptibly and is a hard habit to break. Is there a reliable technique ...
26
votes
6answers
8k views

How is this B flat guitar chord physically possible?

This chord diagram is from the GarageBand chord trainer (I'm a beginner). How is it possible to put a barre down on the third fret without also muting the top E string?
23
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I become better at “playing outside”?

One can spend an enormous amount of time playing melodies "in" the tonic. For example if your are in A major, you might favor A major or A lydian. However, there is a term called "playing outside" in ...
22
votes
7answers
707 views

What are some of the components of a good guitar solo?

Putting aside the emotional value of listening to a great guitar solo, what are some of the criteria that can be applied to make an educated judgement as to the quality of a solo within the context of ...
22
votes
7answers
4k views

Which fingering to use when playing the same piano key twice in a row?

I just started to learn piano, and I notice that practice sheet music for beginners sometimes specifies for all or some keys which fingers should hit them. It seems that some authors consistently ...
22
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the difference between upstrokes and downstrokes while strumming a guitar?

One of the most basic guitar skills are strumming up and down freely. And I have noticed in songs that there usually appears to be a difference in sounds between the two strokes. But when I'm ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Where to rest your thumb when playing bass: Pickup vs. Strings vs. Thumbrests

I'm a beginning bass player with a couple months' lessons under my belt. I haven't gotten far along enough yet to solidify a playing style, so I'm still able to change my habits if I want to. I was ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Pick weight - functional difference, or just personal preference?

I'm at the very beginning of learning to play guitar, and I recently needed to buy some more picks. This was more complex than I was expecting, since there are apparently many different weights of ...
17
votes
6answers
6k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Why does music sound bad when played backwards?

I am not sure where to post this, but I hope it fits here. If you have ever recorded music, and play the track backwards, you'll notice it sounds quite strange, almost demonic. I have always ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

How to stop distortion from making minor chords muddy?

I have a Roland/Boss GT3, which I use to get various distortion sounds. I like the sound for the most part, but I find that distorted sounds seem very ... "muddy" I guess would be the best way to ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

What are some techniques to control feedback in a musical setting?

I was always intrigued with the way Ted Nugent/Adrian Belew/Jeff Beck/Jimi Hendrix/SRV were able to control feedback and make it musical - are there guitar/amp settings and techniques that can make ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why can't I whistle and hum different notes at the same time?

I can whistle and hum at the same time, by making the breath from my humming go out through lips formed into a whistling pucker. I've found that no matter how hard I try to do otherwise, whatever note ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to reliably execute a snare drum rimshot?

A standard snare drum rim shot, as I understand it, requires the stick to contact the drum head and rim simultaneously. I'm having trouble finding the appropriate angle (the majority of the time I ...
16
votes
13answers
6k views

Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?

Someone I know who has been playing electric guitar for many years says this quite often, as a key difference between playing acoustic and electric guitar. He claims that even playing rhythm, you ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I look at the fretboard while I play guitar?

Is it a bad thing to constantly look at the frets while playing? Sometimes I find myself curved over a body of the guitar so much that my neck starts to hurt. It seems that some experienced players ...
16
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
11k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

What are Head voice and Chest voice

Head voice and Chest voice were discussed in this question about natural voice, but despite singing in choirs for nearly 9 years I have never heard of them. Can someone provide a good description of ...
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Ways to warm up vocal cords?

What are some safe ways to get my vocal cords without over using them before a practice or performance?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How to begin learning the CAGED Method

What is the best way of approaching the CAGED Method. What are some good resources for beginning to learn this method.
16
votes
1answer
329 views

How to learn to play 'out of phase' with yourself?

There's a Piano piece by Steve Reich called piano phase, in which the same notes are played on 2 pianos (usually by different people), but over time, they shift out of phase with each other. Here's ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
15
votes
6answers
816 views

Skills needed for classical guitar

I've been playing steel-string acoustic for 25+ years, and I'm becoming more interested in classical guitar playing. While I'm fairly good at fingerstyle, I'm aware that making the leap to ...
15
votes
6answers
691 views

How to learn to play guitar with a slide ?

I have always wanted to play guitar with a slide. How should I go about learning this skill ? I am looking for tips, songs, exercises, etc. Thanks. p.s.: The "Slide" tag would have been useful ...
14
votes
8answers
18k views

Why does my thumb hurt when I play bar chords?

Certain chords cause my thumb to be sore. How can I play in a way to prevent this?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Playing one hand loudly and the other quietly

I'm currently learning to play Comptine d'un autre été from Yann Tiersen (Sheet music(pdf) - youtube video) and when I play starting from the 13th bar I barely hear the notes my right hand plays. ...
13
votes
6answers
10k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
13
votes
8answers
1k views

Is learning an instrument online a bad idea?

I took ballet and with ballet you gain something called muscle memory and if you learn incorrectly, it's almost impossible to ever be a great dancer. Because of this, you can't learn ballet out of a ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
13
votes
8answers
6k views

What are the pros and cons of Traditional Grip vs. Matched Grip for snare and drumset?

So far I've just been learning matched grip for my snare and drumset playing, but I see of lot of people using traditional grip as well. I'm curious, what are some of the pros and cons of matched vs. ...
13
votes
5answers
712 views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I improve my picking and fretting speed?

I've seen people like John Petrucci playing incredibly fast with their right and left hands, but I can't seem to get any faster than I am now (which is speedy, but not near as fast as John). Is there ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
13
votes
5answers
541 views

What is the definition of 'playing in the pocket'?

The phrase 'playing in the pocket' is used sometimes, in jazz, hip hop, funk etc. It sometimes refers to the way a drummer plays, sometimes to how an ensemble works together. I've Googled the term, ...
13
votes
4answers
548 views

How important is to reach the bottom limit of the key when pressed?

When practicing, I noticed that in forte scale runs I always reach the bottom limit of every key I press, but when playing the same run piano or pianissimo I don't always reach the bottom limit. So, ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I improve my piano accompaniments?

When I play piano or keyboards, I've noticed that I keep slipping into playing the same chords (and variations thereof, such as very simple bass lines) with my left hand while I use my right hand to ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

What is “Phrasing” in the context of playing a Solo?

What is meant when a listener says"His phrasing was spot on"- specifically when talking about solo's but sometimes when referring to a pianist "comping". What does it mean when referring to a ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Keeping both hands (and arms) strong for better stick control

Since there aren't many drumming or percussion related questions, I will start this out with one of my own. As a drummer of almost 20 years, I still have a weaker left hand (and arm), despite trying ...
12
votes
2answers
854 views

Trill measure 29 3rd movement moonlight sonata

How do you play the trill in measure 29 of Beethoven's moonlight sonata?
12
votes
5answers
13k views

How to correctly position your larynx when singing?

I'm a beginner singer who wants to get it correctly. I've seen quite a lot of videos explaining how keeping the larynx neutral while singing is crucial, but not a lot of the techniques they teach ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between 'martelé and 'détaché' bowing?

As the title asks, I wish it could be clear to me. Can someone give me a good characterization? Do you produce them differently on a cello than on a violin or viola?
12
votes
1answer
434 views

I've “lost my voice.” What physically happened to my vocal physiology?

I've been suffering from a mix of allergies and a cold over the past few days, and woke up this morning to find that overnight, my normal singing range of about F2 to G4 had been reduced and lowered ...
12
votes
2answers
421 views

Beginning Slap Bass

Back when I was taking lessons, I had an instructor who did a great job teaching me how to work tapping into my bass lines, but when we tried to expand it into developing slap bass I ended up getting ...