12
votes
3answers
2k 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: ...
19
votes
8answers
906 views

Any advice for a novice composer?

I have been learning the acoustic guitar for about 3 years, but just recently started writing my own songs. I am currently learning music theory. Given that starting point what advice would you give ...
18
votes
7answers
4k views

Memorizing notes on guitar fretboard

I have 2 questions, which are somehow interrelated. Learning which-note-corresponds-to-which-fret-position was told to me as an extremely important task for any guitarist who want to get better at ...
17
votes
4answers
597 views

Where can I get started with my improvisation?

I have been playing the alto saxophone for a while now. I have also improvised from time to time and have some theoretical and practical background on the instrument, harmony, scales, etc. I have ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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.
28
votes
7answers
1k views

What tools should every guitarist have?

What tools should every guitarist have to do most small/medium projects for their guitars? (change strings, tuners, knobs, pickups)
26
votes
5answers
6k views

Does it really make difference to play a song in a different key?

I hear sometimes players and composers say that this song won't sound good in F Major for example, and you should play it or write it in G Major (this was just an example). In other words, it seems ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?

Let's say I've written a song with the chord progression I-IV-V in the key of A (just as an example). So, the chords I'm playing are A-D-E. When playing a lead over this rhythm, what notes do I need ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make melodies effectively?

Are there any tricks that help make melodies besides just experimenting until you find something that sounds nice?
47
votes
9answers
3k views

Will learning to play another instrument help me to become a better guitarist?

I am a programmer and I do this for living. As a programmer, I've noticed how much difference it makes to learn another language - the quality of your work improves greatly, just because you know how ...
38
votes
7answers
1k views

Guitar practice: more often but less time or once in a few days but for a few hours?

As many people, who have lots of every day responsibilities, like going to work, family and etc. I find myself struggling for the time to practice. Some days I just feel to tired to pick up a guitar ...
28
votes
5answers
19k views

How should I “store” my guitars?

I have a bunch of guitars of varying quality from unplayable to quite nice. I intend to hang some (or all) of them on walls for decoration, but I'm not sure if this is good for the guitars, so perhaps ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Most common jazz theory method book

What is the most common text book for learning jazz music theory? I have a strong background in classical music theory and would like to supplement it. I particularly am looking for something for ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a “Circle of Fourths” chord progression?

Are there any examples of songs that employ a Circle of Fourths that I might be able to practice along with? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How does one start learning music theory?

I know some basic stuff like scales and how to construct chords, but I don't know much about the roles notes play in melody, what kinds of melodies there are, how to do chord progressions, and so on. ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

A total newbie wants to learn how to write songs. What does he need?

I am recently being interested in writing my own songs/my own music. However, I'm a newbie when it comes to music. I am not really musically talented nor inclined. I only know basic guitar chords and ...
25
votes
10answers
5k views

Why do we use such complicated notation?

I have just started learning about music from the internet. I have learned how to play the piano, but I don't have a real piano so I am playing a virtual piano. In my opinion, the notation which is ...
20
votes
5answers
595 views

Practice amount and habits for time constrained individuals

I am not a professional musician. Three years ago I began to play electric guitar. I have tried to practice systematically and seriously for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours a day which is divided ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there any way to improve composing?

Beside playing drums I'm toying with software to create music. The problem is when I need to advance further. I may have some good, let's say "riffs" (or pieces, or melodies, or ideas), and I'm pretty ...
19
votes
3answers
3k 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?
17
votes
1answer
21k views

How do I connect my musical instrument to a computer?

There are many variations on this question, so I thought it was worth writing (and answering) one for the general case. I want to record my instrument using a computer, or use my computer to apply ...
13
votes
6answers
843 views

What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling?

What makes a piece of music sound angry, dark, sad, happy, or otherwise? "La Chute" by Yann Tiersen sounds so angry to me and "A Dark Knight" from "The Dark Knight" movie sounds so dark and ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to move hand position while practicing scales on guitar?

I was reading through the answers posted here, and I liked the idea of playing with the "finger per fret" method, but it's not always applicable. For instance I was practicing the Fmaj scale last ...
45
votes
16answers
19k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
30
votes
7answers
25k views

Is there a difference between 2/4 and 4/4

I cannot figure out the actual difference between these two beats. Isn't it sufficient to have only 2/4 (or 4/4 )?
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Why does the dominant chord contain a flattened 7th?

Why does the dominant chord contain a flattened 7th while this tone is not even in the scale? Let's take for example a C7 chord. It is a 1-3-5-b7 (C-E-G-Bb). But the C major scale does not contain Bb. ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How much work do DJ's do?

It appears to me that most major DJ's already published their song and are replaying it with some effects during a live show. When a DJ such as Skrillex is on stage and is mixing, how much work are ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the patterns of the minor scales

I understand that there are 3 types of minor scales Melodic Natural Harmonic But I always mix these up, and I don't know the patterns of them. I would like to know The basic pattern Some ...
21
votes
10answers
1k views

Is there a way to develop “Perfect Pitch”?

I was wondering if there is/are any aural exercise('s), analogous to how playing scales can develop your muscle memory, that can help to develop "Perfect Pitch"?
18
votes
5answers
5k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any MIDI extensions that allow quarter tones?

It'd be nice to be able to use MIDI for more diverse music than just that based on western scales. Are there any MIDI extensions that support quater tones, or other sub-semi-tone pitch divisions? I ...
17
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Trumpet low C♯ and D

Most trumpets' low C♯ and D are too high, and need correcting by pulling the 1st of 3rd valve. My first understanding was that the distance between tones in the lower register is larger than between ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Guitar tutoring software that listens to your playing?

I'm looking into learning classical guitar. I know most people will suggest getting lessons, and I'm looking into that. But I was also wondering if there are any software tutors out there that can ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What makes a song a “rock” song?

Sometimes I'm not completely sure when a song is a "rock song" or when it is from another music genre or even a "something-rock" song. How do you recognize it? Is it some bass rhythm? Some chord ...
11
votes
3answers
12k views

Noise while not touching guitar strings or metal parts

I get a buzzing noise from my guitar when idle. However, when I touch the strings or touch any metal parts (strings, bridge or the metal portion near the output jack), the noise goes away completely. ...
11
votes
4answers
11k views

Causes of sharp pain in a fretting finger after playing guitar or bass?

I have been playing guitar and bass for about 20 years now and I have noticed that sometimes, particularly in the last five years, I will do something with my fretting hand that causes a sharp pain in ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

How should I go about choosing a beginner drum kit?

I'm thinking about getting a beginner drum kit, and am hesitant to make the jump for fear of either buying a lemon or not being as interested as I'd have hoped. Things to consider: 24 years old ...
9
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
11answers
963 views

How do you tune your guitar?

I'd like to hear about the different techniques of tuning a guitar with standard tuning, and why you use them.
6
votes
3answers
11k views

Should I mute “unwanted” strings or not when playing power chords?

I've been playing guitar for a while but haven't yet actually learned to play any songs featuring hard power chords. Now I'm trying to learn some songs by Metallica and AC/DC, and I don't have to tell ...
26
votes
6answers
31k views

How does scale length affect my playing?

This one's a bit rudimentary, but scale length is a bit of a mystery to me. I understand what it is, but I don't understand what it does. I own guitars with different scale lengths (Telecaster vs ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
20
votes
10answers
65k views

How not to touch neighbouring strings?

When playing guitar, my fingers often touch other strings on the guitar. I found that my fingertips are too broad for the strings. When I press one string by my middle finger, the meat of the ...
18
votes
5answers
5k views

Why does the D string in a guitar breaks so often?

Well... that's about it. D strings (on acoustic nylon guitars at least) break way more often than the others. I guess there's a physical explanation but I wasn't able to found anything on the ...
15
votes
6answers
837 views

Skills needed for classical guitar

I've been playing steel-string acoustic for 25+ years, and I'm becoming more interested in classical guitar playing. While I'm fairly good at fingerstyle, I'm aware that making the leap to ...
13
votes
2answers
398 views

What is the theory behind scales?

My question is the following: Scales are The backbone of quite everything in western music. Does anybody know if there is some sort of backbone behind scales? A number, something like that? Or do some ...
13
votes
2answers
8k views

Cleaning a tarnished flute

My flute is tarnished and needs to be cleaned... I was afraid if I polished it, I would break something on it. I read online that it's a bad idea to remove tarnish on a flute yourself as you can ruin ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do wind bands use a concert Bb for tuning?

Back when I was part of my school's wind band, we used to always tune to a concert Bb. Why do wind bands tune to a Bb rather than an A (as discussed here)? I recall our director once vaguely ...

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