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

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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
2answers
139 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?
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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
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3answers
229 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
564 views

Best ways to remove excess tension from fretting hand?

I'm recovering from tendonitis in my left (fretting) wrist. I think it was due to trying to build speed with poor technique. Part of it was too much bending of the wrist, but the other part is likely ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How does countertenor vocal technique differ from “standard” vocal technique?

I am curious about the countertenor voice. What are the techniques for countertenor vocal production? It would be helpful if the answer compared to the standard techniques of vocal production, ...
8
votes
3answers
694 views

Sticks moving in my hands (weak grip?)

I've been playing drums for a while and there's something bothering me. I've watched a lot of "how to hold your drumsticks properly" videos for the 'matched grip' style (the one i use) to try to ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Sarod rhythmic techniques (Hindustani classical music)

I've been listening to some sarod recently, and what struck me is how much more rhythmic even the alaap of sarod performances tends to be than vocal or other instrumental performances. This seems to ...
8
votes
1answer
458 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it important for a guitarist to know how to use a pick?

I've been playing guitar for almost a year and a half now and I still don't know how to use a pick. I strum very hard and I'm afraid that my guitar strings would break from the pick. Would this be ...
7
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the technical term for what the percussion is doing in this song?

In Massive Attack and Burial's collaboration track Four Walls, the percussion in the middle part of the song does something interesting where it shifts around the beat. It can be heard at 6:22 and ...
7
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7answers
3k views

Should I lift my finger before I hit a key when playing a piano?

I've noticed, that many people are hitting keys, instead of just pressing them. It kinda looks like that before they press the note, they lift the finger a little bit, same as if you tried to hit a ...
7
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7answers
730 views

Guitar solo techniques

I have been playing guitar for a while now and I've decided (after playing with a guy I know and seeing how expressive his solos are) that I need to improve my improvisation. My improvisations are ...
7
votes
5answers
175 views

Why is the guitar traditionally held by a strap, and not in the lap?

Ya know, like the late Jeff Healy used to play. Are there technical reasons for holding the guitar in front of you, and reaching up and around to fret the strings? Has anyone any experience with ...
7
votes
2answers
726 views

What technical difficulties will I encounter transitioning from violin to 5-string viola?

What is harder to play, violin or viola? My question is should be completely agnostic, i.e. no relation to the classical repertoire or any other rep., nor should it be about the string order. The ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

Do competent violinists avoid open strings?

I just picked up a violin for the first time in what must be 25 years. All that time ago, I had lessons and playing in school orchestras - but moved on to other instruments. As a beginner I would use ...
7
votes
2answers
214 views

Improving my descending tapping technique

I find that it's very easy for me to get a clean phrase when tapping in an ascending pattern like the following: $1 7h9h12 Reversing that pattern, however, becomes hard for me: $1 12p9p7 I ...
7
votes
3answers
146 views

Effective learning from videos

I've taken lessons and taught myself songs from books and tablature. I have also listened to a song repeatedly and attempted to learn it by playing along. One method I have not tried is learning from ...
7
votes
4answers
877 views

Guitar - How to play two-string mini-barre chords?

How chords that require two-string barre should be fretted to avoid constraining other fingers in terms of general practice tips? See example below. My 2nd finger tends to block the D string. It is ...
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4answers
2k views

What are the dos and don'ts of positioning your thumb on a guitar?

What are the Dos and Don'ts of thumb position in guitar playing? Are there bad habits or just alternative techniques?
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3answers
2k views

How to start bass-guitar plucking?

I am looking for an online beginner tutorial to bass plucking (fingered) technique, something like the image bellow. Important: I am not looking to learn how to play the notes etc., I would say I ...
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votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
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3answers
344 views

How accurate are the pedal indications of Bach - Busoni, solo piano works?

On the massive edition of Bach's solo piano works by Ferruccio Busoni with the complete name of Busoni-Ausgabe (Klavierwerke) in 25 volumes (Joh. Seb. Bach. Klavierwerke unter Mitwirkung von Egon ...
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votes
4answers
906 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 ...
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votes
4answers
742 views

Do we hit all 6 strings for upstrokes?

I saw a video in youtube where they told us to play only the bottom 3 strings while upstroking and all 6 strings while downstroking. The reason given was that the upstrokes will sound slightly higher ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is tremolo picking?

Are you just picking the same note a bunch of times or are you picking a lot in general and kind of hammering on to hit the notes? What does it have to do with an actual tremolo (whammy bar)?
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3answers
971 views

Teaching young kids (7-9) basic piano and music fundemetals.

I've been teaching a 9 year old kid piano for about 10 months and it has been going pretty well, but recently I was asked to teach a few more kids (one as young as 6) to play piano. Teaching the 9 ...
7
votes
2answers
110 views

Right hand technique for low chromatic notes

I'm teaching myself alto recorder. Since I'm mostly interested in jazz, I'm trying to practice in all keys from the start. My problem is with the right hand technique for the low chromatic notes. I ...
7
votes
4answers
213 views

Improving Singing Clarity

How can you make your words clearer when you sing/rap? (I Imagine they'd both fall under the same category) When a song is simple words and long vowel sounds I'm not noticing a problem, but when I ...
7
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1answer
99 views

What's the name for the guitar technique where you use the edge of your pick on wound strings?

I frequently scrape the edge of my pick along the wound E string and sometimes the A to get a lot of shimmering harmonics. What's the name for this technique?
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2answers
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Is there one or more “proper” finger picking styles/techniques?

Essentially, if there is some collection of proper techniques that have distinct rules or characteristics about them, that's what I'm looking for. There's not one particular artist or type of music I ...
7
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2answers
112 views

Left hand thumb position for ukulele

Some people place the thumb behind the neck (more freedom for fingers) some let the neck fall deep between the thumb and index finger, and the thumb is visible above the fretboard Which ...
7
votes
1answer
847 views

How to do a finger roll on a doumbek

So, I've just started playing the doumbek. I've started trying to pick up finger rolls, but they don't have the same ring or intensity as my tek or ka strokes. While this is probably to be expected ...
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0answers
409 views

How to get the harmonics of ZZTop? [duplicate]

I'm a right-handed newbie, so bear with me. When Gibbons plays in his groove, harmonics seem to be immediate as he picks. Many times I don't hear the note itself and the harmonics is the primary ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Should I mute “unwanted” strings or not when playing power chords?

I've been playing guitar for a while but haven't yet actually learned to play any songs featuring hard power chords. Now I'm trying to learn some songs by Metallica and AC/DC, and I don't have to tell ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Rhythm guitar techniques for a great Blues/Blues Rock player

Firstly, let me say that I've been playing guitar for a couple of years now. I know a few scales (Major, Minor, Blues, Harmonic Minor) and the basic chords with it's different shapes. I've also ...
6
votes
3answers
426 views

Is closed hi-hat the same as foot hi-hat

I am confused over the terms Closed hi hat and foot hi hat Closed hi hat is hittng the hi hat when your foot is depressed on the hi hat peadal What exactly is foot hi-hat , is it the sound made ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Left hand Finger Technique

Say, I want to play note G on 1st string 3rd Fret ,i would play as below ( With my Index,Middle and Pinky close to the Fret and not as far away as shown in the pic) But, while tuning my Guitar i ...
6
votes
5answers
884 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
votes
4answers
186 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
8k views

How can a guitarist treat and avoid lateral epicondylitis in the fretting arm?

I've been playing guitar (both electric and acoustic) pretty seriously for about a year, 2-3 hours a day most days. I couple months ago I developed tendonitis in my fretting arm, which my doctor ...
6
votes
7answers
554 views

What's the right way to hold a pick?

It there any difference between holding a pick in a fist like this and with your fingers sticking out like this: I've found that most online guitar lessons teach it the first way, but I've ...
6
votes
7answers
838 views

The “right” way to use my pinky.

Ever since I've been playing, I've always fretted a B chord like this: Using my pinky to cover the D, G, & B string. However, while it works, it's never felt quite right. I've tried to use three ...
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5answers
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Is this an acceptable fingering of a G Chord?

I'm trying out the CAGED method, and whenever I use the G Form, either my pinky can't keep enough pressure on the High E string, or my ring finger lies so flat that it mutes the A string. By curling ...
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5answers
5k views

How to play upstrokes with our hand when playing an acoustic guitar?

I have seen a lot of guitar videos and read a lot of guitar books but one thing they all have in common is that while teaching strumming they tell you to "loosen up", "keep going up and down" etc. Or ...
6
votes
3answers
469 views

What type of strings to use for easier bending in fast solos?

I'm getting better at playing that legendary Enter Sandman solo by Kirk Hammett, and I'm getting the speed part almost covered. What I'm struggling with is hitting the target note when bending that ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Up-down strumming when playing fingerstyle

I'm trying to learn never dying Nothing Else matters by Metallica and got to the part where I need to strum C, A and D chords: If I had a pick in my hands, it would go like nothing - ...