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

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2answers
368 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
1answer
243 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
126 views

What is this technique called?

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
1answer
446 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
872 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
14k 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
2k 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
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7answers
4k views

When singing, how to avoid being distracted by vocal harmony or other vocal lines?

I'm not a professional singer but I love singing. I find it very difficult to focus on my own vocal line when I hear other vocal lines. For example, When I was in the college choir, I sang bass, and ...
10
votes
6answers
1k 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
550 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k 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
1k 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
2k 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
8answers
13k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
10
votes
2answers
758 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
455 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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
4answers
289 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
7answers
1k 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
2answers
797 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
1answer
371 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I 'clean' up my bass fretting?

I find if I'm playing faster riffs - say Hysteria by Muse - I sometimes find that I hear a clunking, metallic sound as I fret. That is, the string hitting the fret. So if I fret at the 7th and then ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

How do I double tongue on a recorder?

I have been trying to play relatively fast pieces (e.g. staccato sixteenth notes at ≈200 bpm) on a soprano recorder lately. Single tonguing on them is impossible, I have found. I have done some double ...
9
votes
5answers
545 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
60 views

Right hand position for mandolin

On a mandolin should the meaty part of you hand below your palm, gently rest on the bridge or the strings behind the bridge, or should it not touch at all?
9
votes
2answers
404 views

How do you play a grace note tied to the same principal note?

I'm a bit confused as to how to play a particular series of grace notes in two pieces: Schubert's Moment Musicaux No. 3 and Debussy's Menuet. Here are the measures for reference: In both examples, ...
9
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
350 views

How to properly vocalise and sing

I am a bass. I can go down to E2 on any day and my voice sound rich and deep on F2-B2. I can somewhat vocalise up to E4, but I cannot sing anything from E3. I think I know what my problem is. I ...
9
votes
3answers
811 views

What sweeping (for bass guitar) techniques are out there?

I've recently started looking at the sweep technique on guitar. How would one go about replicating that on bass? Please keep in mind that I do not use a plectrum, and wouldn't want to sacrifice ...
9
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
9
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I improve my playing of faster finger runs?

I am just preparing for my grade 8 piano exam. I'm struggling with quick runs in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. It really doesn't sound right. When I play I can't do it smothly and ...
8
votes
3answers
229 views

Fingers and fretboard

I am glad to join this community :) I am a beginner in guitar and I have the following question: When I play a chord (for example G7) my fingers aren't vertically aligned with the fretboard, but they ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to become super-accurate on the piano?

For an example of what I mean, look at Volodos or Marc-Andre Hamelin -- both well-known for their incredibly crisp and accurate technique. The answer is NOT to play more. There are some pieces I'm ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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. I ...
8
votes
5answers
283 views

Bending a Harmonic

At about 2:11 of this video, Kotaro Oshio plays three harmonics - the fifth, fourth, and third fret. On the third-fret harmonic, he does, uh... something to make the pitch bend. How is this ...
8
votes
3answers
430 views

What are the challenges I might face when I switch from electronic drum-kit (Yamaha DD65) to an acoustic drum-set?

I currently play drums on a Yamaha DD65. Never played on an acoustic before. So I was wondering what kind of issues I might have when I switch. Is there anything I should keep in mind when I play on ...
8
votes
2answers
3k 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?
8
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the technique Adrian Belew utilizes through-out : “Elephant Talk” by King Crimson?

Adrian Belew has some incredible sounds coming out of his Strat - one of them is the quasi-Elephant sound on Elephant Talk - King Crimson - "Discipline". I've watched him do it live but apart from ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Playing clean arpeggios on a lapsteel guitar

Please check out this live performance of "Your Latest Trick", by Dire Straits, as it is a perfect example of the question theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKiVttFnqkY&t=4m12s Notice the ...
8
votes
2answers
124 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?
8
votes
3answers
219 views

History of screaming in music throughout the world

Screaming is a common technique in metal and other music genres but according to Wikipedia it has also been used in blues music and very few times in more classical Western works. Are there other ...