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

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5
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2answers
3k views

Optimal Right Hand Technique to Down Pick while playing Metallica

I have been playing Metallica songs (only the rhythm parts) for quite some time. I don't play them at full speed because of the Down picking, but i have been playing and practicing them at 80% speed ...
7
votes
6answers
305 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
2answers
384 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
121 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
779 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
90 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
129 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. ...
4
votes
5answers
529 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
142 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. ...
5
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
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votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
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votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
174 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
2k 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
11k 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
198 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
775 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
190 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
190 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
437 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
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
295 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
89 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
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
297 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
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views
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6answers
597 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
17k 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
129 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
5k 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
7k 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
138 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
390 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
264 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
1k 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
3k 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
225 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
9k 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
3answers
317 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
659 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
110 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
92 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
403 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
719 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Beethoven sonata no 8

I'm playing tthe pathetique and in the exposition the Allegra-Di Molto e con brio after the grave section where there is the c eighth notes repeating in the left hand, I can't seem to get it quiet any ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

How I am I supposed to “Properly” follow through to the next string while playing the electric bass guitar?

So, I understand that when playing (plucking the string in particular) that when you pluck a particular string, you are supposed to follow through, and let your finger hit the previous, or last, ...