11
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the best way to learn to sing harmony?

I am quite capable of singing the lead vocal but have a difficult time finding the 3rd or 5th harmony in order to harmonize with someone else. Is there a method of learning to hear or find the ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I improve my note accuracy and intonation?

Over time my pitch has improved simply through singing more, but I still have some problems with being a bit off sometimes (or way off on very high or very low notes). It helps if I focus on a ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Does a chord need to include its root?

While I understand that it is very important to include the root note in a chord, is it required? Let's say I'm in C Major, and I want to play a I chord. Do I need to include C in order for it to be ...
10
votes
5answers
874 views

How to go learn through a book

This is not your average "which book to learn from" question. I'll post my research and background in as much detail as possible (since this could potentially help others with similar question). I've ...
10
votes
2answers
261 views

Was the pitch A given that letter because the minor key was originally the “basic” mode?

It's something that's puzzled me; The key that has no sharps and no flats, in essence the "basic" key, is C Major. Well, fine, but why C? Why not label that key and note A, if it's the foundation of ...
9
votes
4answers
485 views

What contributes to good piano posture?

I have to admit I can slouch when I'm not paying attention at the piano. So what makes for good piano posture? Extra: Are there any guides that are often used as standard? I've heard that the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How to determine the name of a chord from knowing the notes I am playing?

I understand basic chord construction. But I am looking at the reverse of this process, which is confusing me. Let's say I place my fingers randomly on the fretboard. Say I make this chord: --- -7- -...
8
votes
4answers
520 views

Alternative Analysis for Non-Functioning Secondary Dominants

I've been reading though my Pocket Music Theory book and in the chapter on secondary dominants there is a concept that confuses me. The book says there can be non-functioning secondary dominants that ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Harmony analysis program

Is there any computer program that automatically analyzes harmony given the score? I refer specifically to roman numeral analysis and functional harmony.
8
votes
2answers
580 views

How do you name chords in 20th Century Music? (Chords stacked in intervals other than 3rds)

This question stems from some thoughts on List of possible trichord/triad names.. When you stack chords in 3rds, you get all the standard chord names of Major, minor, 7 etc, but what about when ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How could you make instrumental sounds come out of a computer?

I've been working on some music generating software, and have laid out the basic algorithms, now all I need are actual instrumental sounds. By instrumental sounds, I mean the sound that comes out of a ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
383 views

How did baroque composers relate to human emotions?

Not sure whether this question really belongs here, as it is rather open-ended. Still, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. So I'd be most grateful if you could share your thoughts ...
6
votes
5answers
15k views

What is the difference between swing and shuffle?

I am learning piano from a book and I can't understand the difference between swing and shuffle. I have searched, but I still can't understand the difference. Could someone please iterate the ...
6
votes
1answer
431 views

Evidence of Just Intonation in Recordings with Non-fixed-frequency Instruments

I wonder the extent to which string quartets or a cappella choirs are non-ET. They are often cited as examples of the tendency towards just intonation when not using fixed-frequency instruments but I'...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

How common is the complete circle of fifths progression?

A complete circle of fifths progression would go (I)-IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I, and it's taught that way in textbooks, but it seems to be rare in actual music. Could you give me any examples of songs that ...
4
votes
7answers
283 views

is my sight reading approach correct

I practice sight reading for an hour everyday from the Paul Harris Piano series and I currently am at Level 1 of sight reading. I find it hard to recognize notes, so I pause till I get the note right ...
4
votes
4answers
847 views

Avoiding Plosives

I recorded this cover for feedback/critique: One valid point raised was about 'plosives' which I guess is the way some consonants 'catch' at the start of words. I don't ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Harmonize uncommon scales?

How do you harmonize scales like C C# F F# Bb Whole tone scale : C D E F# Ab Bb ? (The scales above are just examples.) Scales like these do not seem to bias to Major or Minor harmony, ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Learning Guitar by hearing

I am a little worried/tired of learning guitar by, note-by-note, scale-by-scale learning process. I have the basic figured out. Now, I was wondering if there is a way/process/resource to learn ...
3
votes
1answer
517 views

Can modal counterpoint be studied without studying harmony? Where to start?

I have a background 1 year of harmony study and I'm now taking a non-western modal approach to music (trough Indian Classical Music, which is mainly monophonic and have no concept of harmony). I have ...
3
votes
2answers
13k views

How to record my guitar on my computer

So I want to make some guitar covers and need a way to record my playing. I've set my multi-effect board and amp up so that I have the sound I want coming from the amp, I just need a way to get it on ...
25
votes
2answers
9k views

Does leaving a capo on “hurt” the strings?

On occasion I've accidentally left a capo on (overnight). Does this decrease the life of the strings, staying in tune time, hurt the neck, or anything else that's bad?
25
votes
7answers
5k views

Why do tube-based guitar amplifiers sound so good?

Is it just a cultural thing ("they've always sounded that way") or is there some basis in music theory for this?
23
votes
5answers
6k views

Why does the orchestra tune to the oboe?

Most of the time, an orchestra will tune to the oboe. Why is that? What is the next instrument if, for some reason, there are no oboes?
22
votes
7answers
4k views

Teaching a student to match pitch

I'm a piano teacher and I currently have a student that is taking voice lessons from another teacher. Our lessons involve me accompanying her and discussing interpretation and style. She has some ...
20
votes
6answers
11k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
20
votes
12answers
2k views

What are the advantages of learning to play on your own versus learning from a teacher?

Ok, as a new learner I have started by watching Learn and Master Guitar lessons, using other web tutorials, and whatever other resources I can find on internet. Do you believe that this way is OK ...
20
votes
5answers
6k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
19
votes
8answers
2k views

Becoming a good guitar teacher

I am thinking of starting guitar teaching and, of course, I am aiming to become a good guitar teacher. I don't think it will happen in the near future, because I don't have enough skill level yet, but ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Mental approach to improvisation

Improvisation for guitar is a fairly well-covered topic, with good resources to be found within multiple contexts (Web, traditional literature, etc). However, most of what I've read is basically ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Techniques for remembering a pitch without reference

I'm wondering what ways there are to remember a note. For example, as a guitarist it'd come in handy if one can hum an E note so you can tune your E string according to it. Are there common ...
19
votes
4answers
485 views

Is there a Relative Pitch Clef?

To start out: I am more-or-less familiar with all the standard musical clef notations, including F, C, and G clefs; as well as the fact that clefs can be movable (tenor clef, french violin clef...) ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do certain rooms/vessels respond to specific frequencies?

Since I was a kid I was always wondering why is it that when I sing in a small room (i.e. bathroom!), whenever I touch a certain frequency, the whole room vibrates sympathetically. What are the ...
16
votes
1answer
655 views

What is balanced audio all about?

What is balanced audio? What is a balanced cable? What is the advantage of using balanced audio? How does balanced audio work?
16
votes
5answers
984 views

Why do harmonics sound good?

Harmonics, as in multiple of a fundamental frequency, sound good to our ears. A few examples: Octaves, i.e. doubling the frequency. We assimilates pitches separated by octaves to a same pitch class. ...
16
votes
2answers
593 views

What is the name of the interval Db - D#?

I know that Db - Eb is a major second/diminished third. What is the interval Db - D# called (and why)? EDIT: oops, Db - Eb is NOT a diminished third.
16
votes
4answers
15k views

Getting started with an electric guitar and Rocksmith as an absolute beginner

I am an extreme beginner to the guitar and music and just picked up Rocksmith and an electric guitar. Some reviews of the Rocksmith game suggest its a good learning aid for those who know a certain ...
15
votes
6answers
18k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
14
votes
1answer
340 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

How to identify a particular song or piece?

I’ve heard a piece of music, but I don’t know its name or who performs it. How can I find this information?
13
votes
7answers
17k views

Polymeter vs Polyrhythm

What is the difference between a polymeter and a polyrhythm? Do these words mean anything different for different instruments? PS: I'm a drummer.
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Able to recall music in its correct key, but don't have perfect pitch — what is it called?

I don't have perfect pitch, but there are certain things I can do that I've been wondering if there's a name for. Given the name of a piece I've heard reasonably recently, I can sing it in my head in ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Do accidentals override key signature?

I am wondering how the accidental in the first chord (see what is circled) is played? Does any accidental simply move the note up or down a half-step from what the note is supposed to be based on the ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do the notes of a blues scale sound good with the I, IV, and V chords?

If you are playing the blues in the key of C, any note in the blues key of C should sound good in the melody with either of the C, F or G (I, IV or V) major chords in the bass. Why is this and how do ...
13
votes
10answers
15k views

Are there alternatives to developing calluses when learning guitar?

As a musician, I come from a mostly vocal and piano background, but I was gifted a decent acoustic guitar many years ago and haven't really gotten into learning it due to practicing being rather ...
12
votes
1answer
969 views

What gives the sitar its characteristic sound?

The sitar has an instantly recognisable sound: I've always assumed that the characteristic 'lush background drone' that I associate with the sitar came from its ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same note....
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is tritone substitution?

What is tritone substitution? How can this device be applied to improvisation and composition?

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