2
votes
9answers
7k views

What is a perfect fifth?

I have gone through many documents, but don't understand what a perfect fifth is. Can somebody please explain with an example? (An example is important!) I have already found these explanations, but ...
27
votes
7answers
19k views

Is there a standard width for piano keys?

Is there a standard width for piano keys? If not, how much variation is there? Do other keyboard instruments have significantly different widths of keys?
21
votes
8answers
14k views

Cleaning the fretboard of an electric guitar

I have had my electric guitar for several years and I noticed that there is some "sweat dirt" on the fretboard of the guitar, so the inlay is less shiny. I'd like to clean that without taking the ...
20
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
9k 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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMxG90vP-...
19
votes
6answers
4k 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, G♯...
17
votes
5answers
785 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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
4answers
12k views

Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ ...
12
votes
16answers
24k views

Is it possible for a left hander to learn guitar right handed?

I am looking to get a guitar for my step son. He is largely left handed, but currently he plays the drums right handed without any difficulty. Would the same apply with learning guitar from scratch? ...
10
votes
4answers
910 views

Exact pitch of blues scale notes

Wikipedia gives multiple candidate definitions for the blues scale. A musician showed me how to play blues e.g. in C by smudging say Eb and E. The actual note lies somewhere between. But where? ...
9
votes
2answers
364 views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
8
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Where/how can I get a song's backing track without a specific instrument so I can play for it?

I've been playing with the violin for a while now. The latest song I learned was He's a Pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean. 'cuz it is a lot of fun. I want to make a video of me playing it. And it ...
4
votes
5answers
878 views

MIDI: How do I refer to (and search for) software that will play audio from a MIDI piano?

I have a MIDI digital piano that connects to a computer via USB (it also has a normal MIDI out port too) and I'd like to browse for software that lets me play music through my computer's speakers. I ...
3
votes
2answers
38k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo postions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
1
vote
3answers
604 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
11k views

Why is the bridge pickup on a Stratocaster angled?

I've always wondered why the bridge pickup of a Stratocaster was angled. Is it cosmetic, or does it make a difference in the sound?
27
votes
12answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
939 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How can you tell if the singer is in pitch?

Just found this site. I'm an adult piano beginner. I just started studying music for the first time in my life about a year ago and am loving it. It's fascinating. I've been taking piano lessons. ...
11
votes
11answers
11k views

What to choose? Violin or piano?

First of all. I am 26 years old. I have no musical background or whatsoever. I don't know how to play any instrument. I can't even read musical notes. But I want to learn an instrument. About my time. ...
11
votes
5answers
31k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
660 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?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What does this note have a stem pointing up and another pointing down?

What does the first note below mean? Does it need to pressed down while playing the second notes? If not, why is there two stems, one pointing up, and one pointing down?
9
votes
8answers
31k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
19k views

Useful tuning for 7 or 8 string guitars

So, I'm looking to add an Ibanez 7 or 8 string to my guitar zoo, but although I have looked into various standard tunings I am trying to figure out practical tunings so I can rapidly add the new ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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.
7
votes
3answers
344 views

Physiological basis for note durations?

For some reason (probably read something like this a long time ago), I have it in my head that there was some sort of physiological basis for some note durations. This may have been something like, a ...
6
votes
1answer
634 views

What is B II, followed by a dashed line, and what does it mean?

In the guitar tab of Opus 35, No 22 in B minor of Fernando Sor that I get from classical clef, there is a notation BII as shown in the above picture. What does it mean?
5
votes
4answers
256 views

What to look for in beginner etudes for a second instrument?

I've already learned the theory, technique and notation as it applies to my primary instrument (guitar). I'd like to pick up a second instrument (viola), but I need to find exercises and etudes that ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Same note to be played with both hands?

Why some notes in the piano are written the same for the left and right hand ? What is the purpose of this ? And how do we play them ? Do we just choose one hand to play them or do we play them ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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
3answers
3k views

What are the benefits of practicing standing up (guitar)?

I can see how practicing standing up would be better for performing guitarists, but I am wondering if there are any other advantages to practicing standing up vs. sitting down for any guitarist?
4
votes
2answers
4k 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
5answers
563 views

How to play power chords without fretting hand getting tired?

My brother and I sat down to play electric / bass covers of Bad Religion together and by the end of the two hour session my hand literally died - like a tingling sensation and a sharp stinging pain. I'...
4
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

What kind of chord progressions am I using?

I taught myself music theory mostly by playing with chord progressions and writing music based on what I like. (I've since learned music theory proper.) As a result, I prefer to use some chord ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Simple chord progression question

I am learning the piano online. I am trying to learn chord progressions. In this simple example the chord progression is supposed to be C F G C (I, IV, V, I). However, in the third part (G) the ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

What file format does timidity's -Z (or --freq-table) option require?

I'm trying to figure out how to use the "-Z" (or "--freq_table") option of timidity to assign specific frequencies to midi note numbers, but there is no clear documentation online.] How do I specify ...
102
votes
18answers
78k views

What is good software for learning how to sight-read?

I'd like to learn how to sight-read on my own, but practicing the same song over and over again just causes me to memorize it, and filling out worksheets is boring. Is there any good software for ...
47
votes
4answers
20k 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 ...
46
votes
9answers
25k views

How can a classical pianist learn jazz piano?

I'm a classically trained pianist. Took lessons all through my childhood. I've continued to play and read classical literature all my life. But I never learned anything about jazz piano. I also know a ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
21
votes
8answers
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 ...
36
votes
4answers
4k views

What's so special about minor and major scales?

background: I'm an amateur and self-learner pianist. What I know, I know from books or google, so I'll start with summarising what I already know - please don't hesitate to correct me if I have ...

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