18
votes
4answers
7k 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?
18
votes
7answers
8k 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
2k 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
8k views

How to select a key-signature for a song

There are so many songs in pretty odd key-signatures like 4,5,6 sharps or flats. At least this is my impression when I listen to songs on the radio/net while trying to follow them on my piano/guitar. ...
14
votes
1answer
555 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
13
votes
3answers
1k 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?
10
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

How to do “metal” harmonics (pinch etc)

I've always struggled with this, tried watching Youtube tutorials, but can't get it to work. Should you hold the pick in any particular way? I've always held my picks with three fingers, for ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. ...
16
votes
3answers
5k 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.
16
votes
9answers
881 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
2answers
355 views

Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Why did the clarinet and trumpet get made to 'be' in B♭? Could they have been made to produce concert pitch C? This would make a composer's life so much easier when physically writing scores. ...
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
13k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature even if different parts of the song have different time signatures there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is G sharp major a real key?

I'm mostly self-taught, so I don't know much in the way of theory beyond the basics. I have heard of G sharp Major a few times. I believe a scale in the key goes as such: G♯, A♯, B♯, C♯, D♯, E♯, Fx, ...
14
votes
7answers
4k 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
2answers
1k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
12
votes
4answers
509 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
932 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
4answers
3k 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
7answers
726 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
18k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
344 views

Accidentals in First Species Counterpoint

On page 39 of Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint there is a passage concerning justification of using accidentals in first species counterpoint. Here is the passage: Aloys: [...]but why did ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

How to make ASIO work with multiple programs: how can I listen to Guitar Rig plus something else through the same interface?

I've been using Guitar Rig 4 for a year or two, and it's a fairly useful toy for a bedroom guitarist. Currently, I use a Behringer UCG102 USB interface, which has a guitar in and headphone out. When ...
2
votes
2answers
430 views

Minimal MIDI digital piano

I'd like to buy my first keyboard instrument. I want a piano touch with 88 keys and MIDI output and otherwise extremely minimal features. I'm hoping this will allow me to experiment with different ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there any practical difference between 3/4 and 3/8 time?

Is there any practical difference between 4/4 and 8/8? regards a common and unusual time signature; both 3/4 and 3/8 time are pretty common. What difference in performance is implied in the the ...
13
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I do rough vocals without hurting my voice?

I recently wrote a song where the vocals are supposed to sound rough, but not quite growling/screaming. What's the best way to get that sort of sound from my voice without any long-term or short-term ...
11
votes
5answers
21k views

How can I prevent the noise my guitar pick makes?

When I play the guitar (electric with steel strings), I can hear the noise of the pick clashing against the steel strings. When I play a chord, after my pick triggers one string it then falls against ...
10
votes
5answers
626 views

Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What guitar tunings allow many chords without fretting between “live” strings

When playing the guitar, I find it difficult to fret a string without touching the string on either side and ruining the sound. Open tunings make it very easy to play one type of chord by barring ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I get the instrumentals for a song?

I'm wondering how people usually get the instrument track for the songs they want to sing. I was wondering if there is any way I could get the instrumentals for the song at ...
8
votes
5answers
889 views

How do I go about de-fretting a bass guitar?

I would like a fretless bass guitar, and I am considering giving an old bass a new lease of life as a fretless instrument. I would like to know how to go about achieving this at home, by myself, to ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to Calibrate / Setup an Electric Guitar?

Even with new strings, my guitar makes some sort of buzzing noise on higher strings. I was told it needs to be set up. What are the steps or where can I find a good guide to do this?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Four dots over tremolo minim (half note with slash)

I'm working on National Emblem by E. E. Bagley. In the second strain, there is a minim with the tremolo mark. Above it are four dots. What do they mean? Here is a picture. The mark in question is ...
7
votes
6answers
15k views

Effects of keeping a guitar in the car

I have a sales job, and am on the road most days. I often find myself with free time between appointments and would like to take advantage of that free time by practicing guitar. I have a 3/4 size ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

What does an arc mean above the notes in a piano sheet music? How do I play it?

See the picture above. Is there a website where these (perhaps not so basic) notations are collected? UPDATE: I see Wikipedia has a nice collection of musical notations. How do I play the slur on ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does my guitar go out of tune after I play it a while?

This might be an obvious question, but it would be good to know what factors cause guitars to go out of tune.
5
votes
2answers
571 views

How to determine the strumming pattern for a song

My son was trying to devise a strumming pattern for a song but gave up. How would someone go about developing a strumming pattern for song like Chiquitita (ABBA) on an acoustic guitar.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Where to apply my effects pedal?

I've got a marshall valvestate 2000 AVT150H. The amp has 4 channels. An acoustic simulator, clean, O.D.1 and O.D. 2; and built into the amp you can hit effects for the 4 channels, there are several ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How do Tape-Wound strings compare to metal Flatwounds?

I recently discovered that the nylon-coated Tape Flatwound strings, which have long been available for Bass, are available now in guitar sets (with plain b and e). How do these compare in tone, scrape ...
4
votes
6answers
7k 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.
3
votes
4answers
4k views

How to use my mac and MIDI keyboard as a simple always-on piano

I know how to use my MIDI keyboard in GarageBand for instance and play it with different instruments etc. But what I want is to be able to play a few notes here and there even when I'm in the middle ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Recording electric guitar with pc - suggestions to get a great metal sound

I'm trying to connect my electric guitar to the pc and record some great distortion sound, what I have in mind is something that sounds really really good in fast metal solos I've been struggling to ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to enter overlapping notes in Sibelius 7

I can't manage to find a way to enter overlapping notes in Sibelius 7. Any help? By overlapping notes I mean notes from other voices that have a longer duration than others which are placed at the ...
0
votes
5answers
366 views

A reliable foundation from which to understand what “key” really means [closed]

(my original question) I am well-educated. I'm new to, and trying to learn, music theory, but the constant hedging on what things mean is frustrating. Can you say ANYTHING that is 100% reliable about ...
44
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
65
votes
7answers
2k views

Ten Minute Practice Techniques For Guitar?

Unfortunately I can't play everyday. However, I am trying to grab at least 5-10 minutes here and there. What are some good theory or scale techniques/practice methods I should have ready to pull out ...
33
votes
8answers
67k views

How do I make piano chords sound interesting when playing along with popular songs?

I'm wanting to start playing along with popular songs and the easiest way to find lyrics and music only has guitar chords. I can play those chords on the piano but it just sounds boring. How should I ...

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