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

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6
votes
7answers
689 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
950 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
888 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
6k 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
1k 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
votes
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 - ...
6
votes
5answers
823 views

Is it possible to mute some of my strings?

I'm working on a part of a song where I need to strum the top two strings (B & E) together and very fast. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a damping capo that I can put over the other four ...
6
votes
5answers
157 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
657 views

Right-hand fingering for D7/F♯

I’m learning piano (for now) via self-study with Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course. The lesson on right-hand fingering for D7/F♯ recommends using 1–4–5 to play F♯–C–D. As I mention in another ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the proper right arm position for an electric guitar?

With my classical guitar arm positioning has never been an issue. I just rest my arm naturally on the body at the crook of the elbow: My wrist stays pretty flat: I feel like I could sit like ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

How to find equivalent notes on different strings of a mandolin?

I have just started learning mandolin and I am working my way through St. Louis Blues. The music that I am using includes the tablature as well as the music. The tab for one section shows: ...
6
votes
2answers
519 views

Tips for using complex time signatures in a “catchy” pop song?

I'm looking to write some music in the vein of a band I discovered recently called Icarus The Owl, who use some pretty wacky time signatures (anything from 21/16 into weirder territories) but always ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to move hand position while practicing scales on guitar?

I was reading through the answers posted here, and I liked the idea of playing with the "finger per fret" method, but it's not always applicable. For instance I was practicing the Fmaj scale last ...
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Links and tips for Learning and using scales

Tips and links on learning and using different types of scales will be helpful. If possible List of scales with songs in which they are used and (artists/types of bands) who uses certain scales to a ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

How do you keep convex string instruments from slipping?

I have been playing the guitar for many years and I recently got myself a traditional Greek instrument to play with (image source): Pictured above is a μπαγλαμάς (baglamas) and though mine is ...
6
votes
3answers
190 views

What is the proper way to play this chord?

I have been playing for a while, but for some reason, I still can't play this 5th chord cleanly without that center note. Even with muting it just doesn't sound clean. Here's what I mean: ...
6
votes
2answers
720 views

How do I improve the rate at which I learn arpeggios?

I'm referring specifically to this sort of structure, where the notes cascade upwards or downwards but most often up and then back down. Many of the pieces I play (on piano) involve this rather ...
6
votes
2answers
229 views

How to do apoyando in Romance de Amor?

I am trying to play Romance de Amor, sometimes attributed to Vincente Gomez. I have heard someone recommend using apoyando (rest stroke) for playing the melody (on first string) - since the beginning ...
6
votes
1answer
339 views

how to do the Dimebag Squeal?

I heard it can be done only on Floyd Rose, haven't tryed on regular though.
6
votes
2answers
249 views

Voice-leading with three chords in first inversion?

Hey guys just keeping my part writing skills sharp (not flat) for the long summer. I got this out of Assignment 9.4 of Robert W. Ottman's "Elementary Harmony." It's in G♭ major. I was already given ...
6
votes
2answers
918 views

Where can I learn more about tapping on an acoustic guitar?

I want to learn tapping on acoustic guitar; its basics, various techniques and so on. How should I start with it? Reference of some video lessons would be a great help.
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Mark Knopfler picking finger patterns — Sultans of Swing intro

I know Mark Knopfler plays fingerstyle, but What combination of finger/thumb picking patterns does he use when playing lead? Here is an example from the Sultans of Swing intro (from here): ...
6
votes
2answers
474 views

What is the earliest known use or indication of “col legno”

col legno or col legno battuto meaning : strike (the string) with the wood (of the bow) is commonly found in 20th century chamber music. But I have heard it might have been used earlier (at least 18th ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

When I release a fretted string how do I keep it silent?

Since adding distortion when I release a string I can hear it, almost even sounding like a pull off, so now I've had to slow down and when I release I have to mute it with my fretting hand before ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the foundational book of Czerny finger exercises for piano?

I've recently started teaching myself piano (via Bartok's Mikrokosmos) and feel it would be helpful to supplement the pieces with some standard exercises. Everyone I speak with suggests Czerny, but ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

My fingers are huge; how do I adjust on a piano?

I'm a big guy and my fingers are proportionately big. I've been a student of piano for a few months now. I'm told regularly that I should play "into the keyboard" so that my fingers are closer to the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
345 views

Alto Saxophone: tremolo using alternate fingerings

On Alto Saxophone, which notes can easily produce a "tremolo" effect, using alternate fingerings? It's a kind of "warble" effect I'm looking for, but without changing pitch (or without changing pitch ...
6
votes
1answer
230 views

How can you prevent loss of or bad posture during drumming?

As an IT technician I am well aware of the problems with posture and the injuries as a result of such problems at work... so I was thinking can the same principles be applied to drumming to prevent ...
6
votes
4answers
91 views

How can I improve my classical guitar vibrato technique

I've been teaching myself to play some classical pieces on my nylon string guitar and want to improve my vibrato technique; specifically when holding several notes. I'm referring to the technique of ...
6
votes
1answer
750 views

Tips on playing quietly/gently?

I am amateur self taught musician and I am new to reed instruments. I decided to try out saxophone, but the problem is, it is way too loud. Each time I try to practice I need to blow very hard to ...
6
votes
1answer
354 views

Scalpel technique in Guitar

What is Scalpel technique in Guitar ? I searched on internet but does not show proper results.It says "Scalpel - move only your thumb and forefinger" Can you please guide me through videos,images ...
6
votes
4answers
613 views

How to avoid excessive saliva when playing the harmonica?

When playing the harmonica for more than a few minutes, I'll often run into the problem where I produce way too much saliva, which all ends up inside the harmonica itself. Sometimes this even clogs ...
6
votes
1answer
40 views

oboist performing Malcom Arnold's Divertimento for Flute, Oboe, and Clarinet

Does anybody know of an alternative way to finger high B flat to D? There is a vivace 16th note section alternating between B flat to D that I cannot play cleanly with normal fingerings. ...
6
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to reduce vocal strain when singing long duration high notes?

Usually when I hit songs that have long notes and are somewhat in my mid/high position in range my voice kind of tires out. I can sing the whole song again, but at these long note parts I just can't ...
6
votes
2answers
823 views

Cello: Is it possible to play a double stop of a major 9th on the I and II strings?

The cello is using scordatura, the tuning is Cb Ab Eb Ab (from the fourth to the first string). I want to know if the following passage is possible, tempo is around 220~240 quarter notes per minute: ...
6
votes
1answer
733 views

Basso profundo question

Right now I'm 16 years old and the lowest note I can reach is a very forced B1 (not vocal fry). I have been able to reach down to an A1, but I can almost never reach lower than A#1 at the moment. What ...
6
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
839 views

How do you play two consecutive up bows?

I am currently learning Hunters' Chorus, and was a little confused about something by the marked note: As you can see, the note is supposed to be played as an up-bow, but when you are playing this ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Back pain from playing violin

I have been playing the violin for 5 months now. After about half an hour of playing I get a very bad muscle pain in the back my right shoulder blade. I usually ignore it thinking it'll go away, but ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Voice - Trouble with high notes

I'm finding I'm having a lot of difficulty singing notes that are in the upper range. I have a voice teacher, and she's giving me warmups and tips about keeping my throat open. I've made some progress ...
5
votes
5answers
771 views

How do I get pinch harmonics during solos?

Could someone tell me how to get the pinch harmonics sound during solos? Specifically on the "Wanted Dead or Alive" solo by Bon Jovi? Is it an amp setting? Is it something I do with my left or right ...
5
votes
3answers
863 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 its swinging. It sounds kinda boring and ...
5
votes
4answers
297 views

What chord is this and when is it the dominant?

For a song I've written I do a chromatic descending climb with the bass note in a Cm chord and end up with my fingers like this: First of all I'd like to know what chord this is, my guess is an A ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Improvisation on Piano

I've been playing the piano for around 7 years now. I took some lessons when I first started, but other than that I haven't had any lessons. In other words I'm pretty much self-taught. I have a good ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
5
votes
4answers
335 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 ...