10
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
6k views

Want to learn composing and producing music with a DAW. Where do I start?

I am a computer engineer and a passionate music listener. I have been listening to movie scores and soundtracks for many years now and it has really inspired me to want to learn more about music and ...
8
votes
4answers
445 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
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
2answers
524 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
991 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
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
7answers
8k 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
203 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
13k 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
410 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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
4answers
803 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
5answers
2k 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
2answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
488 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
1k views

Are there any publicly available databases ( not just web apps ) of guitar chords?

I need guitar chords in a database for a project I'm working on ( preferably MySQL, CSV or some other easily portable format ). I can imagine many formats by which one could store this information, so ...
24
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?
24
votes
2answers
8k 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?
22
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?
21
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 ...
19
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 ...
18
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 ...
18
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
18
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 ...
18
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
443 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
629 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?
15
votes
2answers
561 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.
14
votes
6answers
15k views

Do I need a teacher to learn violin?

I'd like to take up the violin, but I travel too much to take lessons. Is it reasonable to learn violin without a teacher? And I take 'unreasonable' to mean "don't even bother- you'll be much better ...
14
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
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
6answers
14k 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
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 ...
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
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
2answers
8k views

What is an “open tuning”?

I know that Keith Richards has been known to use open tunings on some songs, but what is an open tuning exactly and when/why would you use it?
13
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
745 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
757 views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

Does weight and/or body frame have anything to do with singing?

Does a small body frame (meaning small bones and possibly small organs) or low weight affect the "power" of a singing voice?? Does a higher weight creates some sort of "pressure" or something that ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is tritone substitution?

What is tritone substitution? How can this device be applied to improvisation and composition?
10
votes
3answers
970 views

How would you describe F G A chord progression?

I like the sound of F G A chords progression on a guitar, three major bar chords. Do these chords fit any scale? Am with an added 3 in it? Does it make it a 6-7-1 progression? When I solo over this ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What can I do to learn violin before going to a teacher?

Well, I just got a violin today. Got it set up, tuned up (I think), aaaand... Most horrible sound ever heard in my life! :D So, it is time to learn to play it. Apparently, it is highly advised to get ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Pros and cons of different types of vibrato on trumpet

Thus far, I've learned three ways of performing vibrato on trumpet: Diaphramatically (ha ha ha) By moving the jaw By moving the fingers over the valves What are the pros and cons of each? A ...
10
votes
4answers
540 views

Free exercise books

I've asked a question here: What is a string skipping exercise?. A follow up question: Are there some good free exercise books available on-line for the post-beginner stage? A link to a good ...
9
votes
3answers
315 views

Should I learn the notes of all the scales

I'm playing guitar and therefore have learnt all the major,minor and harmonic minor patterns. But while improvising I usually forget the right notes of a scale(the problem comes when switching the ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the F clef and G clef always reside on the same line?

I'm learning to play piano and have started reading sheet music. As far as I have seen the G-clef and F-clef are always on the same lines. Is this always the case? So will the middle line of the ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the best way to learn scales in order to improve improvisation/writing of lead guitar parts?

Where I'm at skill-wise Played guitar on-and-off for about 5 years Up until a year ago had only really learned by playing from tabs Have been undertaking bi-weekly guitar lessons for just over a ...

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