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

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10
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

Where do I release the soft pedal in Ravel's Jeux d'Eau?

I've been working on Ravel's Jeux d'Eau, and the intended use of the soft pedal in the piece is not always clear to me. There are several spots where he indicates to use the soft pedal, but there ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Damper pedal for Requiem for a Dream

This has been bothering me for some time. I have been playing the piano for 3 years so far, and despite all my efforts I am unable to find an answer. It's a bit of a difficult question to phrase, so ...
6
votes
5answers
254 views

How do you practice trills on piano?

The title says it all: my trills on piano are really terrible, unless they are 1-2 or 2-3. Anything involving the 5th finger is especially awful. I have the same feeling of frustration of when I ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

How to (re)gain relaxation and muscular control? Any excercises, methods?

So, I started playing piano again after a long (~10 year?) break. I get very fatigued, very fast playing simple stuff. Not pain, just fatigue, as if I were doing a lot of pushups. The fact that my ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

How would you finger this Cmaj9 chord?

In this video, I'm having trouble with a particular chord. The first chord is here: e|-3-| 3 B|-3-| 3 G|-4-| 4 Fingers D|-2-| 1 A|-3-| 2 E|---| The G on top is giving me particular trouble. ...
3
votes
5answers
361 views

Are there any resources to self-learn the bass guitar for those who already know theory?

I am a Music teacher. I hold a Ph.D. in Music Composition, studied piano for several years, and now I want to play the bass. My concern is that every resource I find to become self-taught ends up ...
2
votes
4answers
130 views

Is there more than one right way to tongue?

I've been playing flute for a few months and the tonguing technique I was taught* is to sort of "tut" - the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth blocking air, then flicks forward when released. ...
4
votes
6answers
5k views

Right hand wrist & forearm soreness

I’m new to piano and experiencing soreness in the wrist and forearm of my right hand when I play. I can’t tell whether this is “building new muscles” pain or “doing something wrong” pain. I’m ...
5
votes
2answers
363 views

Is “pattern-based” playing specific to instruments or tradition?

In the following video, Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater is reviewing the Axis-64 by C-thru-music. It's a keyboard/MIDI controller that uses a geometric harmonic table rather than a traditional ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the trade offs between using a pick and fingerstyle for guitar?

What are the main differences between using a pick vs. playing guitar with my fingers or even fingerstyle? Will there be any negative effects if I get used to one method and later want to learn a ...
21
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Hanon and Self-Taught Bad Technique

I was looking at the question about the benefits of working from Hanon to improve on piano and there was a lot of talk about the dangers of Hanon reinforcing bad technique. If I am a self-teaching ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Exercising fingerstyle bass technique

I'm looking to improve my fingerstyle technique on the bass guitar. I'd like to develop good habits, especially regarding alternating my fingers, as I currently tend to overuse my index finger and ...
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?
2
votes
3answers
123 views

Mozart K545, what is the correct fingering for the left-hand runs starting measure 50?

Or maybe even broader, how do you choose fingerings for any given passage, especially with extended runs? I taught myself piano, so I don't know if there are any hard-and-fast techniques. If I try to ...
3
votes
5answers
547 views

playing softly - full grand piano

I know there is no comparison to playing on a full grand, so I have been seeking out practice locations. I finally found a Yamaha full grand that is available on a free schedule, but my first few ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

How is he hiding his pick?

I've noticed that he's using his thumb to mute, so he's probably not holding his pick in between his index and thumb, which would suggest it's in his palm. Does ...
1
vote
1answer
124 views

So I want to start playing again. But not right now, in a while. Some pieces and advice? [closed]

Long post! TL;DR below! So when I was a kid I took some piano lessons. I had an electronic keyboard and what I think was a terrible teacher. The guy basically gave me almost zero theory, no ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

How to efficiently play two consecutive notes on the same fret?

If you have to play two consecutive notes on the same fret, especially with two adjacent strings, as in the example below: |--7--6-------------------------------------7--- ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

How can I improve my sense of time?

I'm a semi-professional drummer, and feel that lately my sense of time is slipping. Specifically, I tend to count in songs a bit too fast and/or the tempo rushes a bit over the course of the song. I ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

Harmonic stop on cello without fingers

I'm writing a solo cello piece, and I'd like one of the strings to stopped at the first harmonic (specifically, the G string) for the duration of the piece; The trick is, I need this to be done ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Guitar Strumming and the High E string

I'm relatively new to playing guitar and I am currently learning on an acoustic. I am adding strumming to my skillset at the moment (as there's only so far downstrokes can take me), but I'm having a ...
6
votes
1answer
225 views

What are the different ways to hold drumsticks and what are the pros and cons of each? [duplicate]

The most common method of holding drumsticks based on my experience (and this is how I do it as well), is holding the two drumsticks like a spoon and a fork, like this : However, I do occasionally ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do I wear out the frets on my guitar faster than most other folks? Do I need a lighter touch?

I know all about the fact that the unwound strings on my acoustic guitars are steel and the frets are nickel. And I understand that fret wear - especially under the plain steel un-coated strings is ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views
1
vote
6answers
473 views

Scraping my index finger on frets

When I shift from chord to chord I end up scraping the inside of the bottom joint of my left index finger as I move it up and down the neck. It's getting pretty raw. A coworker says I should file ...
12
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
121 views

Wrist problems when using the first fret

One perennial problem I've had for as long as I can remember is that any time I play a song that uses the first fret a lot (e.g. the verses for Metallica's "Jump in the Fire" come to mind) I end up ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Do I have a problem in my ring finger?

I play piano, guitar violin and other instruments. I have a little weakness in my ring finger, especially the left one. Instrumently-agnostic speaking, to reproduce what I'm talking, place your left ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Is there a name or common usage of this piano damper pedal effect?

I've noticed an effect that I use when playing acoustic piano. Play a note or chord staccato, and quite quickly after playing it, press the damper pedal. The effect is rather like an echo which ...
10
votes
2answers
213 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?
6
votes
4answers
237 views

Resources for singing

Most of what i know (including my guitar playing) has been learnt without a teacher...i guess i just suck for that kind of learning. I want to learn to sing, but cannot find a viable way that does not ...
5
votes
4answers
649 views

How important is string-muting when playing the bass?

I'm mainly an acoustic guitar player, branching out into electric guitar and (a bit) bass guitar. I don't know much of anything about bass technique - I just have one lying around and muck about on ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the correct technique for strumming a guitar?

By correct I mean from a biomechanical perspective to minimize the risk of injury. I have seen some advice saying that strumming should be controlled by the big muscles such as the shoulder. My ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

How to play a piece “cantabile”?

When the performance direction is "cantabile" one must supposedly play it in a song-like manner, but how do I implement it in my playing? Is it just the nature of the piece that will do the work or do ...
4
votes
3answers
105 views

Practical limitations of the 4 mallet technique for idiophones from a compositional point of view

Pretty much as the title puts it. I haven't found any literature (so far) that covers it well, and I don't have any percussionists among my current acquaintances (more's the pity). Essentially, what ...
2
votes
2answers
359 views

Why do guitar teachers and lesson books teach playing a G Major chord without using your pinky?

Why do most guitar teachers and beginner guitar lesson books teach the fingering for the G major chord using the ring finger to fret the g note on 3rd fret of high e string rather than using your ...
12
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Dear Mr. Fantasy by Traffic, drum section in the first verse [closed]

If you listen to the first verse in the Dear Mr. Fantasy, you can note an off-beat drumming section which kinda feels like drummer lost the beat and then comes back to it ...
0
votes
3answers
237 views

Chronic hand pain and stiffness and guitar playing

I really need your help and opinion. I've been playing guitar for about two years now. I started in high school, and now I'm in colledge, and because of that I dont have that much time to practice, ...
9
votes
3answers
633 views

Why should I alternate fingers in this piece?

I very recently started learning classical guitar and I have some questions. I am trying to play following piece: In the second-to-last measure of the second row, my fingers on the strings ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Ensuring one's sweep picking is uniform in dynamics?

The problem I am having is when I do say a sweep such as: I find that when I get to the E string (on a random side note there should be the hammer on to the G and pull off to the E on the e string) ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

problem with guitar intro on ELPs “From the Beginning”

This be a really dumb question, but sometimes there's a problem passage that keeps being a thorn in my side forever. And I do mean forever, because I've probably messed with this song for decades. If ...
3
votes
1answer
235 views

How do I transition smoothly going up or down while singing without strain or breaking? Is mixed-voice the key? How do I work on it?

I've been trying to learn singing for sometime now and have gone through dozens of videos and articles understanding voice/vocal folds/registers/bridging/exercises-lip-trills-apreggios..etc,. since ...
10
votes
1answer
573 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 ...