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

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13answers
24k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
261 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
661 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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
2answers
830 views

How to play these overly extended intervals on piano?

There are two images I have attached. In the first one it says, I guess, play the top note on the treble clef with your left hand (cross hands). But how on earth am I supposed then to play the chord ...
9
votes
3answers
200 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
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4answers
1k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
901 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
2answers
585 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
8k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
9
votes
3answers
6k 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
7answers
9k 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
6k 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
7answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
14k views

How do you strum an upstroke without striking an unwanted string?

It could be a silly question. I started learning guitar 2 months ago but the progress are not going very well. Apart from the previous problem, which I haven't solved yet, I have a problem with the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “Solo” and “Improvisation”?

How would someone describe the differences that make up the two?
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votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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
5answers
594 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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
268 views

How to avoid unwanted scratching/squeaking/hissing noise from the fretting hand when playing hi-gain electric guitar?

I have been playing the electric guitar for over ten years now, and this is an issue that has been troubling me for ages. Whenever I play hi-gain songs and have to switch fretting hand positions ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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?
8
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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
532 views

What is the technique called where you hold a crash cymbal while hitting it?

I used to play in a band with a drummer who used to grab the crash cymbal with his left hand and strike it hard whilst playing the bass drum. This made a really nice sound like iron being struck in a ...
8
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
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votes
5answers
2k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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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votes
2answers
217 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
292 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
1k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
320 views

Learning to keep time

I haven't played music in quite a long time. Once thing I've noticed when I started playing again is that my tempo is completely horrible. When I play along to any song or instrumental, sometimes I ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I make a song swing?

I've been trying to play some swing bass lines, and while technically I can play the swing feel (the 16th notes with some triplets), it doesn't sound like it's swinging. It sounds kinda boring and ...
7
votes
6answers
22k 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
5answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
237 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
votes
5answers
213 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
6answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
829 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k 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
3answers
724 views

Was Bach the first to use thumbs on a keyboard?

This question reminded me of a claim that I've heard before, namely, that J. S. Bach was the first keyboardist to utilize the thumbs in his playing technique. I'm not sure where I've heard this, but ...
7
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4answers
7k views

Is there a “correct” position for the right hand when playing guitar?

Normally when I am playing I support my right hand by putting my pinky finger below the E string, but when I try to play past a certain speed I have difficulty keeping up. I have found a couple sites ...
7
votes
3answers
176 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
2k 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 ...