22
votes
4answers
14k views

In phase, out of phase pickups

What is the purpose of having guitar pickups out of phase with each other?
21
votes
4answers
3k views

As a composer, should I be composing music for an instrument I don't play?

I wanted to know if composing music for a specific instrument demands that you know how to at least play the instrument. I'm sure if you know how the instrument sounds by itself as well as within an ...
18
votes
11answers
801 views

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

How to reliably execute a snare drum rimshot?

A standard snare drum rim shot, as I understand it, requires the stick to contact the drum head and rim simultaneously. I'm having trouble finding the appropriate angle (the majority of the time I ...
17
votes
16answers
5k views

X or Y guitarist doesn't know music theory - how true is this statement?

We've all heard a statement similar to the following: X didn't / doesn't know any music theory and is one of the all time greats replacing X with a famous guitarist. Being a novice, I am ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Rest above a note in a piano piece

I am playing a piece and wondering, what the heck is the rest making there above the note? The piece is in 3/4 so I see no purpose of the 1/4 rest. I've been googling around but did not find any ...
17
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
4k 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?
17
votes
8answers
7k views

What are some techniques to control feedback in a musical setting?

I was always intrigued with the way Ted Nugent/Adrian Belew/Jeff Beck/Jimi Hendrix/SRV were able to control feedback and make it musical - are there guitar/amp settings and techniques that can make ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How to begin learning the CAGED Method

What is the best way of approaching the CAGED Method. What are some good resources for beginning to learn this method.
16
votes
4answers
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Can absolute pitch be learned or acquired by anyone?

As a companion to questions about absolute (or perfect) pitch, discussions about if the trait is achievable through training are sure to follow. After these discussions I have read up a bit on the ...
14
votes
17answers
2k views

Instruments that challenge your ear

About a year ago I was curious about how the trumpet works, how could it play the chromatic scale over many octaves with only these three valves!? So I made some research to understand how it works, ...
14
votes
6answers
11k views

When should falsetto be used for a male voice?

I'm really confused about the concept of a falsetto voice. As I understand it, past a point when I'm singing / talking, something in my vocal chords changes, I lose the "basey" sound of my voice, and ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

What are some qualities to consider when purchasing a cello?

My wife is a Suzuki-method violinist but wants to dabble with some cello pieces. I'm a rock guitarist--so I have absolutely no clue what to look for in a cello. It's clearly not a Les Paul so any ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between the “smooth” strings and the “rough” strings?

On my acoustic, the first 4 strings are "rough" - that is they are covered in a type of metal corkscrew. The last 2 strings though are completely smooth, and don't have a corkscrew finish. Why are ...
13
votes
4answers
887 views

How to develop rhythmic sophistication in writing music?

Often times when I'm writing or producing some music on my computer I tend to follow the usual and annoying pattern "standard" beat pattern, like when you have a metronome that ticks and you start or ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Where can I go to play an acoustic piano regularly?

I love my digital piano. She's got weighted keys and can be quiet when she needs to, but for practice there are few things which compare to a real nice acoustic piano. I live in London so there ...
13
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
549 views

Learn guitar chords?

I like to play guitar and I'm quite good playing tabs. However, I don't know the chords and I would like to learn them and to play them easily. Any tips on where to learn them on internet or tips to ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Well-known composers or piano pieces generally suitable for someone with small hands?

One of my struggles with playing the piano is that I have small hands. I can reach an octave - mostly. I can reach it, I just can't maneuver between octaves quickly. Often times a piece will have a ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a name for a chord which combines the major and minor thirds of the root?

I noticed while noodling on my acoustic guitar that playing Cm using the Am shape barred on 3rd fret, that opening the high E string gives a pleasingly discordant sound. I realised the E comes from ...
12
votes
2answers
496 views

Why is the bass clef indicated twice on the same line in this Bartok piece?

Here's an excerpt from the piece Chromatic Invention from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, volume 3, page 39. I don't get why at the end of the lower line the bass clef indication is repeated. Is this "for ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

How to calculate the tempo of a song in numbers and find the Italian terms?

I'm trying to understand how exactly we calculate tempos and how we assign their Italian names in written music. I've searched before asking, but I'm not 100% sure I've understood everything ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
12
votes
3answers
335 views

What is the reason for pitch inflation?

There's this phenomenon among instrumentalists to constantly raise the pitch of the concert A. This generally occurs among string players, since the range of tunings for woodwinds, for example, is ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Does the kind of wood used in making a violin affect its sound?

Whenever I check on violin-learning-related sites, they usually begin talking about the quality of a violin. The strings, the species of woods... ... the species of wood. Ebony? Maple? Rosewood? I ...
11
votes
4answers
391 views

What is this type of shift called?

In a lot of (usually electronic) music, I notice a section of music that seems to shift up a number of notes and continue with a similar melody in a way that greatly emphasizes the melody. Does this ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

String sticking to the fretting finger - how to avoid?

When raising a finger from a fret, it sometimes happens to me that a string "sticks" to the finger, producing an annoying sound (like when I would do a pull-off, but unintentional). This happens most ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is my voice lower pitched when I get up in the morning?

When I sing or speak just after waking from a long sleep, I can reach lower pitches than I can after being awake for a few hours. Why does this happen? What happens to my body after waking that ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Harmony and roman numeral analysis: how to deal with chromaticism?

I recently started playing piano. While learning and performing new pieces, I found that it helps me a lot to have some certainty of what's going on with the notes, the chords, and the harmony. I ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What do these beamed half notes mean?

I encountered this notation and was wondering what it means.
10
votes
6answers
863 views

Can't feel meter when playing

I can't feel the meter when playing along very well, sometimes not at all. Note I can feel the "pulse" just fine. I have no problem tapping my foot to the beat in time but I can't feel where the one ...
10
votes
3answers
520 views

How to develop soloing vocabulary

Background: My first guitar teacher used to show me small licks or note patterns that had that special quality of arousing interest during a solo improvisation. They were essentially "tools" in my ...
10
votes
4answers
50k views

What exactly does “feat.” mean?

Does anyone know what does the "feat." mean exactly? Some song titles have the word "feat" in it, for example "I wanna love you clean Akon feat. Snoop dog". What does "feat." mean?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some good slap guitar resources?

I'm fascinated by the technique of most of the guys on CandyRat records, specifically Andy Mckee. Are there any resources out there on slap guitar technique? How can I too become as epic as him at ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Soundproofing a room for drum set practice

When I practice my drums in the house, it tends to be a little too loud for people in other rooms. While I know I could trade-in my drums for an electronic kit as an alternative, I'd really rather ...
9
votes
4answers
889 views

Everyday guitar routine

I'm learning how to play the guitar and it's been a year and a half I think. I play both acoustic and electric guitar. I would like to get my playing to the next level with an everyday guitar ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Loose piece of wood inside violin

I have this problem with my violin. Whenever i take it out to play, I hear something rolling around in it. It's not anything that's NOT supposed to be in it (e.g a penny). It's more of a slim wooden ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

File formats for sheet music

I'm starting to learn music. Complete newbie here. There is a plethora of formats for music sheets. I don't know which one to choose. My requirements are: I must use to exchange music with friends, ...
9
votes
6answers
841 views

Lower guitar tuning

I know that there are devices to quickly lower a guitar’s E string into drop tuning. Are there also devices or effects pedals to lower the entire guitar? There’s a lot of rock music in E-flat tuning ...
9
votes
3answers
591 views

Why is bII 7(b5) considered a dominant?

I am using Ear Master for ear training and at the Chord Progression exercises, there is an exercise called "Various dominant-tonic combinations". These are the chord progressions that are being ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What are “nodules” and how do you avoid them?

I've heard from singers (I'm primarily a guitarist) that it can be dangerous to try to make your voice deeper because you might develop "nodules". Is it true? What are they? How can you avoid them?
9
votes
3answers
290 views

How to keep from tensing up when I click the metronome faster?

I've been trying to build up speed with my tremolo exercises, and the demon I keep fighting is a sort of negative feedback loop fed by worrying about deviations from the tempo, increasing attention on ...
9
votes
4answers
380 views

Acoustic pianos with weighted keys

I'm currently trying to build up my finger strength, and have found that the exercises I do are more effective if I am practising on a piano with a heavier touch, as the keys require more force to ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What is and what is not syncopation

I'll often hear tunes in which the first note is upbeat and the second is downbeat. When is it sycopation and when is it not? For one of many examples, take "Amazing Grace." The "A-" is a weak beat ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the Risset Rhythm work?

Many people know about the Shepard-Risset Tone/Glissando, which is a tone that starts low and seems to continue ascending(or descending) when you listen to it, even though it actually is playing the ...
8
votes
4answers
29k views

What are the disadvantages of buying a short-scale bass guitar

I'm considering buying my first bass. I already play guitar, and find that even though I'm an adult, stretching to a fifth is a struggle -- so handling a bass with its more widely spaced frets is ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Are there any classification systems that categorize music by mood?

Recently I had the idea to categorize my digital music library with mood tags. Thinking about these moods, I figured that it's not so easy to come up with a complete list that covers all possible ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How many voices do violins usually play in modern orchestral music

I've been into arranging and composing for orchestral music for a few years now, however, my music is usually fully computer-rendered (ewql), so I don't have any practical limits of how many ...

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