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

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4answers
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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?
13
votes
4answers
745 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
1answer
282 views

How can I get the most out of my practice time?

When I practice, I often spend half the time on technique (scales, exercises), and half of the time on preparing a piece of music for performance. The amount of benefit that I get out of any given ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a common left hand position in accordion?

I'm an amateur accordion player who is having difficulties with the bass side. There's no problem when I'm using close keys such as jumping from C to A. But when I need to jump to a further key such ...
12
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I avoid getting loud picking sounds on a distorted electric guitar?

Whenever I hear solos from professional guitar players, in songs, for example, I never hear a loud noise of pick hitting the strings, even when the guitar is heavily distorted. I just learned a solo ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What can I do about my problems with piano scales which manifest in just one direction?

I've been practicing scales for some time now, and I found them mostly easy and fun to play. The problems begin when I have to play them faster, but oddly enough my problem manifests only when playing ...
12
votes
6answers
2k 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
4answers
17k views

Causes of sharp pain in a fretting finger after playing guitar or bass?

I have been playing guitar and bass for about 20 years now and I have noticed that sometimes, particularly in the last five years, I will do something with my fretting hand that causes a sharp pain in ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Trill measure 29 3rd movement moonlight sonata

How do you play the trill in measure 29 of Beethoven's moonlight sonata?
12
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1answer
596 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
469 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
551 views

What are good techniques to bend notes on brass instruments

I play Eb tuba, and sometimes I come across bending down in my notes - either as an effect at the end of a note, or sometimes as a slide between two notes. I find this difficult to achieve with a good ...
11
votes
6answers
369 views

What are some of the things that influence a player's “tone”?

Listen to Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck,Steve Morse, Grant Green, Freddie/BB/ King, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Dave Gregory ect.. - love'm or hate'm they all have very distinctive tones, Why? It's ...
11
votes
7answers
14k views

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain?

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain or is it something that is caused by poor posture/position and technique? I have been playing for several years now, and mostly ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

Finger Picking vs. using a Pick on Bass Guitar

Before I played bass I played guitar, so when I started to play bass I naturally used a pick. Eventually I learned how to finger pick and now typically use both picking techniques interchangeably as a ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

When using strict alternate picking, is it OK to play a downstroke twice in order to start a new phrase on a downstroke?

There are a lot of advocates of absolutely strict alternate picking, like Chris Thile (dead YouTube clip removed). I've been practicing that for a couple of weeks now, and I'm at the point where I can ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Proper technique for screaming vocal style

I just started screaming properly (i think i have no idea) a bit ago like a couple months and i just need to know if I'm doing it right I will try my best to explain how I scream. When I scream I ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How to embrace the metronome after years of bad habits?

Background I have been dabbling in guitar for over 20 years. I have decent dexterity, technique, and musical theory. However, I don't count time and never use a metronome. I always sound like a weak ...
11
votes
7answers
5k views

Should the picking hand little finger be resting on the guitar?

I notice I tend to rest the little finger of my picking hand on the body of my guitar, typically on the edge of the sound-hole, for greater accuracy and steadiness of the picking hand. After extended ...
11
votes
3answers
327 views

How to keep from tensing up when I click the metronome faster?

I've been trying to build up speed with my tremolo exercises, and the demon I keep fighting is a sort of negative feedback loop fed by worrying about deviations from the tempo, increasing attention on ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Organ technique for pianists

I've been playing the piano for 15-odd years, so I like to delude myself into thinking that I'm somewhat skilled. However, my question revolves around the organ. I've played the organ for 5-odd ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Should I retrain myself to be a right handed drummer?

I'm in a slightly strange situation. I have been playing the piano ever since I was a kid, and have in recent years taken an interest in drumming. Not having consistent access to a real drum kit, I ...
11
votes
1answer
385 views

When composing for oboe, how useful is it to think about recorder fingerings?

I'm always a bit anxious when writing for winds, because I don't really have much of a clue how passages will be executed on the specific instrument. (And I know how needlessly complicated some parts ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

String sticking to the fretting finger - how to avoid?

When raising a finger from a fret, it sometimes happens to me that a string "sticks" to the finger, producing an annoying sound (like when I would do a pull-off, but unintentional). This happens most ...
11
votes
3answers
520 views

How to overcome the frustration while you are developing demanding techniques?

I'm practicing Flamenco guitar and I'm concentrating a LOT on the technique. Flamenco is so demanding on the right hand, techniques like tremolo, rasgueados, alzapua ... It is hard to play flamenco ...
11
votes
2answers
617 views

Techniques for memorizing a musical idea and “saving it to paper”

Sometimes I have a very nice musical idea, with orchestration too, and I clearly hear it in my mind as if I was listening to a CD. But I cannot retain it. The only way is to play it over and over in ...
11
votes
2answers
680 views

brass: bending notes upwards

It is fairly easy - although it requires a bit of strength - to bend notes downwards on a trumpet. For example playing a F#, a F, or even lower notes with all valves open. It does not sound nice, but ...
11
votes
2answers
171 views

What is this technique called? Holding finger on string above 12th fret

In this video, scroll to around 1:24. Andy McKee puts his right hand on 12th fret (Not sure) and pulls out his left hand from 3rd or 4th fret producing a peculiar sound. What is this technique ...
11
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I learn to growl?

How can I learn how to growl? (Think the heavy bear growls vocals used in plays and metal music.) I'm looking for free resources and/or exercises I can do myself; in either case I want to be able to ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What can I do to make cover song to be more interesting?

If I want to cover some songs, I don't want cover it like the original one. Then, I need some refreshment on my cover version right? What can I do to make it more interesting? What are the ...
10
votes
7answers
26k views

Fingers Too Short for Barre Chords?

My wife is learning the guitar and is getting pretty good. She gets frustrated though because she can't play barre chords. She claims that her fingers are literally too short to ever be able to play ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

How to hold a bass guitar while playing

During some research I've found out that some guitarists use different position of bass-guitar during play: Play while sitting: Play while standing, high position: Play while standing, medium ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
10
votes
5answers
981 views

Keeping rhythm when performing live without a drummer

I'm a member of a small band, and a common problem that arises when playing faster-paced music is keeping everyone in sync, rhythm wise. It goes without saying that one person falling out of time can ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I develop a good vibrato?

A crucial element for phrasing is vibrato, but while you can notate a great number of things, you can't really notate vibrato. I know it's important. I know B.B. King's butterfly vibrato is a big ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How will a long break affect a singer's voice?

If a singer takes a long break from singing, be it many weeks, months, or years, how severely will it affect his ability to sing (vocal range, singing technique, etc)?
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votes
3answers
3k views

What are some good slap guitar resources?

I'm fascinated by the technique of most of the guys on CandyRat records, specifically Andy Mckee. Are there any resources out there on slap guitar technique? How can I too become as epic as him at ...
10
votes
2answers
388 views

What is the proper way to notate the end of a section played “sul ponticello”?

That is, what is the standard way to tell a string player to play normally again?
10
votes
1answer
718 views

How to test all three piano pedals

How to demonstrate easily and clearly that all three pedals on a piano are working as expected? It is a digital piano but probably the pedal action should be identical or similar. I am new with ...
10
votes
1answer
599 views

What is the technical term for Bass 'growl' or 'roar'?

I've been looking everywhere for the past 2 days for the terms of these two awesome electric bass techniques and couldn't find 'em. I want to know their technical or common names.. When you slide ...
10
votes
1answer
400 views

How can I learn circular breathing?

I play clarinet and am interested in learning to circular breathe. How is circular breathing done? Once I learn to do it, is it something that I would want to use throughout my playing or only for ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Which tones or sounds can be made with a cajon?

When playing the cajon, I know that the sound of the snare can be obtained by hitting the upper left and right corners of the cajon using the fingers and moving the wrist only. The sound of the bass ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Logical way to learn movable scales on guitar?

After learning the CAGED 'open string' scales, what scales to do next? In what order or what way? When I learn a new scale, it seems to have the effect of displacing my ability to play other scales ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

How to improve/train pinky dexterity for guitar playing (after long absence)

I played guitar since age of 12, but haven't really played for the last 5 years and would like to start again. However, when I used to play I rarely used the pinky finger because I have big hands ...
10
votes
7answers
5k views

Getting consistent tone from barre chords

Perhaps it's just that I have small hands (e.g. index finger is barely longer than the 12th fret), but I seem to have issues with barring; no matter what I do it seems there is a string that's right ...
10
votes
4answers
389 views

Recommended arm and hand position for neck side

I was wondering if there are some really clear sites, videos or texts explaining the best practices regarding the way to hold your guitar, both to be efficient and to avoid straining your fingers/arm. ...
10
votes
6answers
21k views

What is the difference between male head voice and falsetto?

What is the fundamental difference between head voice and falsetto in male singers? I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure in its credibility, since all my self-researched knowledge comes ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes african blues so distinctive?

When you listen to the music by Ali Farka Toure, Rokia Traore, Afel Bocoum and other african blues artists you can recognize it in a second. What is it what makes the african blues so distinctive? Is ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I sing from chest voice to falsetto without missing notes in between?

I am having difficulty singing in head voice. I am a bass who can also sing very high falsetto. However, when I try singing a scale, there is always a few notes between chest voice and head voice that ...
10
votes
4answers
596 views

Raised leading tones in Phrygian mode counterpoint

In most cases the penultimate note of the counterpoint will be the leading tone, which must be raised in minor to establish a sense of tonality. But why is the leading tone in the Phrygian mode ...