10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a secondary dominant chord?

What is a secondary dominant chord? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in composition?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Which strings should I use for DADGAD tuning on my acoustic guitar?

I have recently switched to DADGAD tuning, before that I was using light tension strings ( 12 16 24 32 42 53 ). But because of DADGAD, to compensate for the lack of tension on the neck, I wanted to ...
31
votes
4answers
37k views

What is the relationship between “do re mi” and note letter names?

When the people sing the song, we use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, si, ect, but some time I hear that the music people say A, B, C, C flat, ect. Is their relationship or are they two different ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

Coated Strings—Gimmick, or worth the money?

Never used them myself, but I had a friend who used to swear by the plastic-coated strings he bought for his electric to try and help keep them cleaner. While I realize this probably does do ...
15
votes
6answers
550 views

How to learn to play guitar with a slide ?

I have always wanted to play guitar with a slide. How should I go about learning this skill ? I am looking for tips, songs, exercises, etc. Thanks. p.s.: The "Slide" tag would have been useful ...
11
votes
2answers
475 views

How can I easily manage different tunings?

This is probably appropriate for a range of instruments, and I have seen mentioned in other questions that professional musicians can cope easily with transpositions, different instruments that play ...
4
votes
1answer
323 views

How can I find the length in seconds of a quarter-note (crotchet) if I have a tempo marking?

Given a tempo marking in bpm (beats-per-minute), how can I work out the length of a crotchet (quarter-note) beat?
3
votes
6answers
4k views

What's the best way to begin learning lead guitar? [closed]

I can play rhythm guitar half-decently, but my friend would like me to play lead for his band. How should I start learning? (we'll probably be playing worship music)
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Instrument grade exams

How many grade exams are there for playing an instrument? I came to know that there are around 8 grades to qualify you as a professional guitar player. How are these grades decided and what is the ...
40
votes
4answers
10k views

What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
50
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
28
votes
11answers
37k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord?

I know that if I played C and B together they would be very dissonant compared to if I played a G or C one octave up. Is there a quantitative way to describe that sort dissonance? Edit: I understand ...
26
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
30
votes
11answers
11k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

What are good resources for learning music theory?

What is a good resource for learning music theory, especially as it relates to the guitar, coming from a completely beginner's perspective? I had a musician friend try to teach me about modes such as ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

WHY do harmonics happen?

The answers to the question 'How do harmonics work?' were most interesting. OK, that's the HOW it happens. But WHY does it happen ? What is the physics here ? Why doesn't a guitar string vibrate ...
17
votes
7answers
18k views

How to extend and strengthen low end of vocal range? (I need about a whole tone extra.)

There are a bunch of songs that I'd like to sing that sit just under my vocal range (the low E of the guitar range, or the D under it). I can reach these notes with some effort, but it feels forced ...
16
votes
4answers
23k views

Using keyboard/MIDI controller to learn piano

I'm an adult just starting to learn music from scratch. The piano I have been using is sometimes not available for me to use, so I would like to buy a keyboard/MIDI controller so I can practice ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Logical way to learn movable scales on guitar?

After learning the CAGED 'open string' scales, what scales to do next? In what order or what way? When I learn a new scale, it seems to have the effect of displacing my ability to play other scales ...
30
votes
12answers
10k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
25k views

Do distortion pedals work well with tube amps? Or should I use a tube screamer?

I have a Blackstar HT5 tube amp and I like to use a Boss DS1 with the clean channel for the heavy stuff (Zeppelin to Nirvana, these are very different I know). Is this considered a good idea, or ...
32
votes
16answers
21k views

What instruments are inexpensive, portable and not too loud?

I'm a college student, and I'd really like to start playing an instrument. But I want to find something that is: Inexpensive Small / portable in a backpack Quiet enough to practice in my dorm room ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

What determines a chord's name?

I have very little knowledge of music theory (enough to know what's the major scale and how to find the major chord of a note) but I know a good number of chords by name and could figure out the ones ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
12
votes
6answers
5k views

Electronic drums in apartment

I'm a drummer and recently moved into an apartment with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I have a Roland TD-4. I've been researching for ways to be able to practice quietly without disturbing my ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
24
votes
9answers
30k views

How to play a long sustained note on an electric guitar?

I've seen such effects on Santana, Robert Fripp and Steve Hackett. They produce a clean sustained sound and I don't know how to create it.
22
votes
6answers
15k views

How to identify the root note of a chord

I struggle with chords on the staff because I'm not sure which note is the root note. Is it the top note with the rest of the notes falling below it? E.g., The top note is C, and bundled below it are ...
29
votes
14answers
45k views

Why shouldn't I put electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar?

I've always found even the lightest acoustic (bronze) guitar strings to be a bit too heavy to play comfortably. Electric (nickel) guitar strings tend to be lighter. But nobody uses electric strings on ...
17
votes
7answers
3k views

Why is the key included in classical music titles?

I was always curious why classical composers use names like this Étude in E-flat minor (Frédéric_Chopin) or Missa in G major (Johann Sebastian Bach). Is this from scales of this songs? Weren't they ...
13
votes
1answer
919 views

What is harmonic mixing / mix in key?

I'm currently learning how to become a DJ. One of the concepts that caught my attention was "harmonic mixing". I know some very basic music theory, and I'm having some trouble understanding it. What ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is a grand piano better than an upright piano?

A Grand piano is considered better than an upright piano. Aesthetically I could understand why, but why does the orientation of the strings matter so much sound-wise?
17
votes
9answers
1k views

Learning to create melodies

I've researched my question on Google before and came across a few threads which I've read a couple of times. So far I've got into music theory and understand scales, how chords are formed, I know ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?

I'm studying scale modes and I just found on Wikipedia that the Dorian mode on C has two flats... Why is this? Because the Dorian mode is just the major scale (Ionian) starting from the second ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

When tuning a guitar, how should I strike the strings?

When tuning a guitar, what is the best way to strike a string to get it as close to pitch as possible? I'd like to get it as close to the right pitch as I possibly can. I've noticed with my tuner ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What tempo is Agitato?

I'm looking at Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor and notice that the tempo changes from Lento to Agitato. I'm familiar with the former tempo marking, but not the latter. At what tempo should Agitato ...
8
votes
2answers
431 views

Finding the “Starting point” when creating a composition or score

This is a fairly simple one, and hopefully not too wide-open to be permitted here: what approaches are available when sitting at a fresh screen or sheet of paper, or at your instrument, to create the ...
34
votes
3answers
2k views

In live performance, what is a “monitor”

In discussions about live amplified performance, I have heard the term "monitor" or "monitor speaker" - what does this mean?
16
votes
9answers
706 views

Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals

As the tutor for my school's music department, I spend a lot of time helping students drill intervals. However, I only have a handful of songs to recommend recognition. P8 — Somewhere Over the ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Acoustic guitar - how to wind strings on the tuning posts

While writing an answer to this question, I did a little web searching and found that the way I was taught 29 years ago to wind the strings isn't necessarily the best. On an acoustic guitar, I tend ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
13
votes
6answers
11k views

What are the ABRSM graded examinations, and why would one want to take them?

I have seen several questions here about the exams offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom. Most questions are from the standpoint of people who are in the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Proper technique for screaming vocal style

I just started screaming properly (i think i have no idea) a bit ago like a couple months and i just need to know if I'm doing it right I will try my best to explain how I scream. When I scream I ...
11
votes
5answers
634 views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
11
votes
7answers
582 views

What methods can I use to aid note accuracy when playing a Theremin

The main problem I have with the Theremin is identifying "anchors" to help train my muscle memory for note accuracy. My first violin, about 35 years ago, had tape added by my instructor for the first ...
10
votes
7answers
14k views

Fingers Too Short for Barre Chords?

My wife is learning the guitar and is getting pretty good. She gets frustrated though because she can't play barre chords. She claims that her fingers are literally too short to ever be able to play ...
9
votes
4answers
414 views

I find myself making the same mistake when practising - despite focussing on that part- how to remedy?

I'm an extremely newbie musician (preparing for Grade II on oboe - no prior musical experience). I've looked into the best ways to practise (and I have a teacher) but I find myself struggling with ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Using an electric bass guitar with a guitar amp / hi-fi system?

I understand that you should use an amp that was meant to be used with your instrument, but sometimes maybe you just don't have the money, or your amp is not around when you need it, or for whatever ...

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