54
votes
23answers
3k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
27
votes
7answers
72k views

What does it mean to write a song in a certain key?

I have been searching for a while to try to correctly understand this. What exactly does it mean if for example a song is written in C Major? Does it mean the song's notes cannot contain any sharps ...
20
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
52
votes
17answers
13k views

Quickly flip a page of sheet music while playing

This seems like such a silly question, but! When playing the piano, I sometimes struggle to turn the pages of my music without noticeably sacrificing the sound of the piece or making the book / ...
36
votes
15answers
15k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?

Lately, I'm trying to study deeper into music theory, learning Intervals, key Signatures, Chords, Progressions etc. I can see that everything is built around the 'normal' notes that belong to the C ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I safely extend my vocal range?

What type of vocal exercises should I be looking for? Are there any temporary influences to the vocal range, like having had a drink?
36
votes
4answers
84k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
14k views

Get back into an instrument after long break?

In my youth I played lots of piano, for over 10 years, and became quite good at it. During college, however, I just didn't have the time to keep it up. It looks as if I'll soon have access to a ...
32
votes
4answers
1k views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

Why do many songs in major keys use a bVII in the chord progression?

Based on my understanding of chord theory, the chords used in most modern popular songs are comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key for that song. So the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, ...
10
votes
6answers
26k views

What factors affect a guitar's ability to sustain a note?

There are effects and gadgets that can create a long sustained note, but what about the guitar itself? I have a squier standard strat which I can't help but feel could be letting notes ring longer, ...
18
votes
11answers
7k views

What makes an interval “Perfect”?

I've been trying to find an answer, but to no avail. Is what we call a perfect interval somewhat arbitrary? It seems as if the modern definition is "perfect under inversion". I know the other thing ...
11
votes
6answers
22k views

What is the difference between male head voice and falsetto?

What is the fundamental difference between head voice and falsetto in male singers? I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure in its credibility, since all my self-researched knowledge comes ...
23
votes
9answers
24k views

What is intonation and how can I find out if my guitar has correct intonation?

What is intonation? What is the best way to check my intonation and fix it if necessary?
14
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
4k 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?
16
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I use string gauge tables?

I have seen that string manufacturers publish tables of string gauges and tensions. For example, this one. How can I use these to choose a set of strings for my instrument?
5
votes
3answers
483 views

General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
5
votes
5answers
878 views

Need Help in Starting to Learn Guitars?

I am a beginning guitar player. I enjoyed playing in my childhood, but for some reason I was not able to learn. But now I want to learn guitar. I wasn't sure whether to buy an electric guitar or a ...
25
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is my guitar's saddle at an angle?

Most acoustic guitars I've seen, including my own, have an angled saddle (the white strip holding up the strings): This makes the bass strings longer than the treble strings. Why is this? ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

Tips playing F barre chord

Any tips for a newbie in playing the F barre chord. I find it very hard to put my fingers in place. I've got a strat. I hear you can move it up and down the neck for other barre chords.
52
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
34
votes
19answers
31k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
29
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
45k views

What is the first scale one should learn on guitar

The title really sums it all up but I'll try expand it slightly. Lets say I'm learning guitar and would like to improve my guitar work. Which of the scales should I learn first and why?
34
votes
3answers
64k views

What are the differences between tone, note, and pitch?

I was wondering what the differences are between "tone", "note", and "pitch"?
16
votes
5answers
10k views

Is it possible to find the correct chords from melody notes alone?

I'm caught up in this thought. My friend gave me just the melody notes of a song. Here it is, So, here is the problem: "without having the chords supplied, there is no way of knowing what the chords ...
35
votes
5answers
102k views

What Does a Compressor Pedal Do?

Quite often, when I see a pedalboard of guitarists I admire, there is a compressor pedal in the chain. How exactly does this pedal affect the sound?
40
votes
4answers
5k views

(1/√π)/√⅔ as a time signature?

I recently found this article on wikipedia about lists of musical works in unusual time signatures and the first unusual time signature is (1/√π)/√⅔. I looked up the piece that was listed as having ...
28
votes
11answers
18k views

How is counterpoint different from harmony?

Harmony is a kind of second sound you hear. Counterpoint is also the second sound you hear. Aside from technical differentiation, how can you by ear differentiate these two concepts. Is it possible ...
24
votes
7answers
39k 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., if the top note is C, and bundled below it ...
23
votes
3answers
33k views

How necessary is an USB Audio Interface?

I'm currently recording songs on my computer and the quality of my microphone is awful and the microphone is very quiet. That doesn't surprise me, because it's a 20$ karaoke microphone... I got into ...
17
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
13k views

What are the feelings & emotions behind chords?

I studied some different books on Music Theory and all were too much scientific and definitely very helpful to some point. Now that I have started writing some songs, I feel I need to know more ...
10
votes
6answers
573 views

What are the specific progressive steps to take in basic ear training?

This question: What are the most effective ear training methods has an excellent best answer. I'd like to zoom in on its conclusion: All of these skills, like playing an instrument, take time. ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
31
votes
15answers
83k 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 ...
26
votes
9answers
48k 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.
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is A4 the standard pitch reference for tuning?

Why do musicians use concert A, the A above middle C, as the standard pitch reference for tuning? Various national and international standards define the frequency of this note. For example, ISO 16 ...
17
votes
9answers
26k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
16
votes
4answers
29k views

The differences between natural, harmonic and melodic minors

I'm studying scales and came across the natural, harmonic, and melodic minors. I understand the patterns for each scale but what other important differences exist between the three?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Name for descending semitones under a repeating musical phrase?

In much contemporary music, especially instrumental guitar music, there is a particular device employed. It involves a musical phrase in which usually one note, often a bass note, descends in one ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

How do you practice Audiation (playing music in your head)?

Time for a tricky question. Audiation appears to be the practice of playing music in your head. I found an answer referring to what audiation is in To sing is good for ear training, but is it ...
29
votes
15answers
51k views

How can I practice in an apartment without annoying the neighbours?

I live in an apartment and I find my current amp (a 15W solid-state) to be poorly suited to that. I can't turn it up without upsetting the neighbours, but at low volume it sounds horrible with any ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

Why are the harmonic and melodic minor scales called what they are?

Does the harmonic minor have something to do with harmony, and does the melodic minor have something to do with melody? I searched this question on Google and nothing came up.
21
votes
5answers
16k 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?
21
votes
4answers
13k views

What are the Solfège names of the semitones between the basic do, re, mi, etc?

What are the names of all the notes in a sol-fa scale, especially the chromatic notes between the basic Do, Re, Mi's.

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