50
votes
8answers
5k views

Are there any games useful for ear training?

There have been several popular music games in recent years, but they seem to be most useful for developing a sense of rhythm. Are there any games that are helpful as ear training exercises? What ...
32
votes
9answers
6k views

What are some useful and effective exercises for training absolute pitch?

I think by now most people agree that perfect pitch is not genetic. We understand that most people who do possess perfect pitch acquire it very early in life, (around the same time most people acquire ...
5
votes
1answer
875 views

How much baroque music was derived from improvisation?

I've heard that much music we think of as "baroque" was actually improvised, and only later set in stone. Is this true? I'm currently playing baroque-style continuo/bass lines in a duo that riffs ...
10
votes
4answers
628 views

In what order shall I introduce traditional music theory concepts to adults using solfege?

I have 24 sessions in which to deliver basic music theory to university-age students. Although they are likely to do some singing in their future careers, they are unlikely to receive further musical ...
7
votes
3answers
485 views

How do you compose tuplets against straight notes?

I would like to know how to compose tuplets of odd numbers against even numbers on the piano (ie. 3 against 2). How would you go around composing something like this? I have been composing for some ...
3
votes
4answers
98 views

What to look for in a budget guitar for home recording?

I'm a home musician. I don't have a band and I don't do live gigs. I'm looking for a cheap electric guitar I could use for home recording. Since I won't be playing live or on a real amp, I want to ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

How to handle a newly purchased score book that won't stay opened?

With some score books, if you try to open it and put it on a support, it will close itself. For the moment I have to force and fold it but it damages the spine of the book. Do you have techniques to ...
30
votes
5answers
23k views

What are the most effective ear training methods ?

Ear training is a very important ability for any musician to develop. From intonation when singing or playing an instrument to playing and transcribing by ear. What is the best way to improve this? ...
10
votes
3answers
663 views

What are some useful ear training exercises for moving beyond two-note interval training?

I've practiced enough that I can recognize two-note intervals in isolation (sequentially), but this doesn't seem to help that much for understanding actual songs. What exercises would help to go ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

Violin fingering schemes for different scales

I had a 10 year gap in my violin play and I'm still having trouble remembering the correct fingering (specifically for 4 and more sharps/flats). Where can I find some fingering charts/schemes ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the size or shape of the resonance hole affect the tone?

If I were to change the size or shape of the resonance hole of a guitar, how would it affect the sound of it? Would it be totally ruined or is it only a matter of retuning it?
14
votes
2answers
830 views

What are the shared fundamental components of Baroque and Minimalist music that make them sound similar?

Baroque and minimalist music are two of my favorite genres. In particular, I like the repetitive note sequences with variations. J.-S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and Phillip Glass's Naqoyqatsi are ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

How do I use a metronome?

I am currently a beginner at the piano. I know using the metronome is important, but I I'm feeling reluctant to use it often, as it is difficult for me to get the music coordinated with the clicks. ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What are good sources for free orchestra scores?

Are there usable free sources for (symphonic) orchestra scores? I'm talking about legal sources for pieces that are now in public domain.
6
votes
2answers
289 views

Computer-aided musicology

I have been trying to explore music theory concepts programmatically, namely through music21 software, but I've run into a lot of trouble. Are there any other frameworks for this?
32
votes
14answers
13k views

How can I improve my piano sight reading?

I am 25 years old, and I started learning piano about 6 months ago. I really want to play the piano well, but it takes me so long to be able to play any piece of music. In the meantime, I'm using a ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

tips for writing the drum notes to a song in a band

I play the drums in a band, and the song has already been written and everything that the vocalist, guitarist and bassist will play. The drums were left out and I have to write them to fit the song. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What choir pieces are suited to warm up a new, small choir?

Soon I will have the pleasant duty of leading an amateur choir at a two-week summer camp. I am looking for warming up pieces that are easy, but fun. It should be possible to learn them without having ...
5
votes
1answer
501 views

Is there a canonical piano grading system?

The Thompson's books are divided by grade (first grade, second grade, etc.) Aside from that I have encountered a pianist who says that he is considered to be an X grade pianist. what is this grading ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Are Hanon exercises mindless unmusical repetiton or a great way to develop finger strength and dexterity?

There are a lot of different opinions about Charles-Louis Hanon's "The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises". Some say it is unmusical and can even lead to wrist damage, while others think they are the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Note bending on harmonica

I'm trying to learn to play the harmonica, and one thing I haven't quite figured out is how to consistently bend notes. (I can only hit two and three draw, inconsistently, for a semitone, and can only ...
15
votes
3answers
24k views

Finger Exercises for Piano when not playing

Are there any finger exercises I can perform even when I am not near a piano to improve my dexterity and strength of my fingers?
4
votes
5answers
28 views

Forums for Guitarists

Which are some the largest and most popular Internet Forums for Guitarists? Ideally a large community, with input regarding all aspects of learning to play, song suggestons and advice on popular ...
6
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
25
votes
17answers
25k views

Software that slows down music to help in transcribing

While reading some of the questions about transcribing music here. I have come across these software tools that allow to slow down music and manipulate it freely. I think this is very interesting ...
4
votes
1answer
420 views

Which amplifiers for a blues harp?

I'm interested in playing the (diatonic) harmonica with the distorted sound they use in many rock and blues bands (Jason Ricci is one example among many others). From what I understand, how you hold ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Beaming in different time signatures

I'm studying music theory in the UK, aiming for ABRSM Grade 5, currently working for grade 3. I'm having trouble grasping the rules for when to beam quavers. In my study book, by Eric Taylor, I see ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

F on soprano recorder doesn't sound right

I taught myself to play the recorder (soprano) - just the basics - but I have trouble with the F. It just doesn't sound right. Sometimes it sounds too close to the E, sometimes it even sounds like ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Fast octaves on the piano

I'm working on the piano accompaniment to Schubert's "Trockne Blumen" variations for flute and piano. Variation 2 is all sixteenth-note octaves in the left hand. I began by practicing very slowly ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Should fingerboard tapes be used for beginner violinists ?

Some teachers use them and some don't. I've heard that they can become a crutch and cause delayed ear training development, but others say they are necessary at the beginning. Can they really cause ...
8
votes
3answers
338 views

What are good tips for remaining composed during one's first public performance?

One's first public performance can be daunting in terms of the amount of anxiety involved. How should first time performers who have never been on stage (or performed in front of unknown people) deal ...
16
votes
7answers
10k views

Software that Transposes Music?

I would love to be able to learn the flute by playing more popular music. However, all the free sheet music that I can find for a flute in the key of C is lame stuff like "Jingle Bells." In my search ...
4
votes
3answers
290 views

How do I find a flute teacher?

I would like to learn to play the flute, but it is nearly impossible to find a flute teacher around here. I have tried the music store and they don't teach the flute there nor do they know of someone ...
29
votes
3answers
15k views

How can I train my ear for music?

I have noticed that some people are better at hearing music, e.g. they are better in distinguishing the notes or noticing mistakes when someone is play. Is it possible to train oneself to hear music ...
5
votes
10answers
11k views

What is the right age to start learning to play violin?

I heard that it becomes very difficult to learn to play violin after a certain age (14 IIRC). Is that correct? And what is the reason?
9
votes
1answer
254 views

Sibelius op .75 Number 5: is the composer a bit sloppy, is my edition a bit sloppy, or am I missing something

In my edition of this piece, there's very specific (Ped) (*) markings, which suggests to me that the composer is laying out all the pedalling. However, a bit after the Forte/fermata in the long ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the best techniques to play overtones in the saxophone?

I play Alto Saxophone, and I've been wondering this for quite a while now. I've not played one single overtone yet, so what are your suggestions?
45
votes
9answers
11k views

Purpose of double-sharps and double-flats?

In a few pieces of music I have read through, I have come across double-sharps and flats. To my understanding, they are two semitones above/below the note indicated. What is, then, the point of ...
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 ...
34
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are violin bows longer than viola bows, than cello bows, than double-bass bows ?

What is the logic behind this ? As the larger instruments have larger gaps between the strings, I would have expected a larger bow to accomodate more easily continuous bowing while changing strings.
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between 'martelé and 'détaché' bowing?

As the title asks, I wish it could be clear to me. Can someone give me a good characterization? Do you produce them differently on a cello than on a violin or viola?
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Keeping both hands (and arms) strong for better stick control

Since there aren't many drumming or percussion related questions, I will start this out with one of my own. As a drummer of almost 20 years, I still have a weaker left hand (and arm), despite trying ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I be sure that I am singing effortlessly in my natural voice?

I have years of vocalization practice, but I still start straining while singing—especially if I am not vigilant. It happens imperceptibly and is a hard habit to break. Is there a reliable technique ...
10
votes
5answers
719 views

Keeping rhythm when performing live without a drummer

I'm a member of a small band, and a common problem that arises when playing faster-paced music is keeping everyone in sync, rhythm wise. It goes without saying that one person falling out of time can ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Differences between the concept of Scales , Raagas, and Thaaths?

Western music has Scales (major, minor, etc.) while Eastern Music primarily has a large number of Raagas derived from some basic Taaths. Both these groups represent sets of notes on which actual song ...
9
votes
1answer
422 views

What kind of edition and tuning to use to study Bach's fifth cello suite ?

As is well known, this suite was composed for a cello with a scordatura tuning C-G-d-g instead of the classical C-G-d-a. I have seen almost every possible combination: edition for specially-tuned ...
13
votes
9answers
4k views

Playing one hand loudly and the other quietly

I'm currently learning to play Comptine d'un autre été from Yann Tiersen (Sheet music(pdf) - youtube video) and when I play starting from the 13th bar I barely hear the notes my right hand plays. ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

Beginning “adult” piano for musicians

My piano skills are the weakest part of my conducting/rehearsal technique, so I'd like to work on them essentially starting from scratch. I don't have the option of a piano teacher, so I'm looking for ...
26
votes
8answers
9k views

How to transcribe music by ear?

Often times we find ourselves enjoying a piece of music that, for whatever reason, we are unable to find appropriate documentation/tablature for. What are good practices for transcribing music by ear ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

When learning a piece, concentrate on playing the beginning really well or the whole piece the same?

I'm currently learning to play piano for 6 months and every time I learn a new piece I learn it like this: learn the first line, play it until its pretty good learn the next line and play the ...

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