7
votes
5answers
433 views

Comfortable notes in a key

I've been playing guitar for some time, and often when i do improvisation exercises, I hit notes which sound too tense to finish a run/lick/riff on. Kind of like having a sentence which no full stop. ...
20
votes
8answers
933 views

Appreciating the music of J. S. Bach

I have been learning piano for many years and am able to really enjoy the music of Beethoven and Chopin. When it comes to Bach, I shamefully admit, I can't see why he is held in such high esteem. His ...
20
votes
7answers
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"?
17
votes
3answers
533 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
4answers
2k views

How to properly tune drum heads?

I would like to know if there are any tips on tuning drumheads; I keep hearing harmonics.
14
votes
3answers
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

Software that Transposes Music?

I would love to be able to learn the flute by playing more popular music. However, all the free sheet music that I can find for a flute in the key of C is lame stuff like "Jingle Bells." In my search ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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
1answer
649 views

Singing: How to pre-visualize harmonies

When singing, I have a good singing voice for harmony--once I've identified the note. However, finding the note is exactly my problem; I tend towards singing the note the lead singer is using if I'm ...
13
votes
2answers
677 views

What are the shared fundamental components of Baroque and Minimalist music that make them sound similar?

Baroque and minimalist music are two of my favorite genres. In particular, I like the repetitive note sequences with variations. J.-S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and Phillip Glass's Naqoyqatsi are ...
12
votes
5answers
972 views

Why is IV-iv-I an effective chord sequence in a major key?

An example of this is the song Nobody Home by Pink Floyd. The last line of the intro is, in a C major key: F Fm C % I think this sounds great, and in fact I often use such passages when ...
11
votes
1answer
234 views

How can I get the most out of my practice time?

When I practice, I often spend half the time on technique (scales, exercises), and half of the time on preparing a piece of music for performance. The amount of benefit that I get out of any given ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Are Hanon exercises mindless unmusical repetiton or a great way to develop finger strength and dexterity?

There are a lot of different opinions about Charles-Louis Hanon's "The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises". Some say it is unmusical and can even lead to wrist damage, while others think they are the ...
10
votes
2answers
394 views

Learning Piano without a teacher

How can I effectively learn how to play the piano if it is simply impossible for me to get a teacher? I'm 17 years old, and I took it upon myself to learn the piano. However, I am not sure where to ...
10
votes
8answers
363 views

Are there any books or videos out there that teach you SLOWLY and do not focus on learning TABS?

Are there any books or videos courses that just teach you how to practice acoustic guitar and its not complicated either? I know that there are lots of video course, books, youtube videos out there ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I learn to growl?

How can I learn how to growl? (Think the heavy bear growls vocals used in plays and metal music.) I'm looking for free resources and/or exercises I can do myself; in either case I want to be able to ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I improve my note accuracy and intonation?

Over time my pitch has improved simply through singing more, but I still have some problems with being a bit off sometimes (or way off on very high or very low notes). It helps if I focus on a ...
8
votes
3answers
614 views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
8
votes
2answers
284 views

How do you name chords in 20th Century Music? (Chords stacked in intervals other than 3rds)

This question stems from some thoughts on List of possible trichord/triad names.. When you stack chords in 3rds, you get all the standard chord names of Major, minor, 7 etc, but what about when ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I improve my playing of faster finger runs?

I am just preparing for my grade 8 piano exam. I'm struggling with quick runs in the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique. It really doesn't sound right. When I play I can't do it smothly and ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

How do I write lyrics? [closed]

When I try to 'compose' a song, I can come up with chords and a melody for the voice, but I can never come up with any lyrics. Usually all the lyrics I come up with sound totally random, don't make ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Exercises for quickly identifying intervals on the staff

In order to improve my piano sight-reading, I want to practice recognizing intervals on the staff faster. If possible I'd like to combine the interval-recognition with a training for my finger memory, ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

Does improvisation in the classical idiom differ significantly from jazz and folk improvisation?

How do musicians who actually improvise in classical music, such as Robert Levine, JS Bach, Edgar Meyer, church organists and classical ballet pianists, compose in the moment? Are there any ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Learning Guitar by hearing

I am a little worried/tired of learning guitar by, note-by-note, scale-by-scale learning process. I have the basic figured out. Now, I was wondering if there is a way/process/resource to learn ...
3
votes
2answers
725 views

Are there any publicly available databases ( not just web apps ) of guitar chords?

I need guitar chords in a database for a project I'm working on ( preferably MySQL, CSV or some other easily portable format ). I can imagine many formats by which one could store this information, so ...
24
votes
4answers
214 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

Can people really sight-read advanced pieces?

I find it hard to read a staff and play it on the keyboard fluently. The most common scene for me is that I read one note on the paper and then lower my head and find out the location of that note ...
17
votes
3answers
642 views

Why are pianos traditionally tuned “out of tune” at the extremes?

My understanding is that the vast majority of western music uses equal temperament, i.e. all semitones have a frequency ratio of the 12th root of 2. However I can hear in my piano that the notes at ...
16
votes
5answers
655 views

Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?

The way I understand it, a normal plucked tone consists of a great many overtones in addition to the base tone. A pinched harmonic, however, shifts the base tone higher into the overtone series by ...
16
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do standard modern pianos have 88 keys?

I know that the piano contains 7 octaves plus a 4th. I also know that it accommodates the full circle of fifths (from C and back to C). But since a fifth contains 7 semitones, it only "needs" 7X12 = ...
13
votes
2answers
58k views

List of average genre tempo (BPM) levels?

I've been told before that a genre such as drum and bass averages a BPM of 160-180, whereas dubstep is around 140 BPM and hip-hop is around 115 BPM. Does anyone know where I can get a list of popular ...
13
votes
3answers
813 views

Able to recall music in its correct key, but don't have perfect pitch — what is it called?

I don't have perfect pitch, but there are certain things I can do that I've been wondering if there's a name for. Given the name of a piece I've heard reasonably recently, I can sing it in my head in ...
13
votes
6answers
6k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Does weight and/or body frame have anything to do with singing?

Does a small body frame (meaning small bones and possibly small organs) or low weight affect the "power" of a singing voice?? Does a higher weight creates some sort of "pressure" or something that ...
11
votes
1answer
433 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I don't know what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
11
votes
4answers
9k 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?
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Do I need a teacher to learn violin?

I'd like to take up the violin, but I travel too much to take lessons. Is it reasonable to learn violin without a teacher? And I take 'unreasonable' to mean "don't even bother- you'll be much better ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale?

I hope this question isn't too "noob"-ish for you guys (but hey I've gotta start somewhere). What scales are suitable for funk? Is there a funk scale, akin to the blues scale? I'm pretty sure the ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Pros and cons of different types of vibrato on trumpet

Thus far, I've learned three ways of performing vibrato on trumpet: Diaphramatically (ha ha ha) By moving the jaw By moving the fingers over the valves What are the pros and cons of each? A ...
10
votes
4answers
23k views

What do the 3/4 and 4/4 numbers mean?

In music notation, I've always been looking for a simple explanation of those numbers that appear on the far left of musical piece, such as 3 over 4 or 4 over 4. I have a hunch they affect the ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the proper way to play A-Flat scales on piano?

Consider four cases: A-flat major A-flat (natural) minor A-flat melodic minor A-flat harmonic minor I start them with the third finger on the A-flat key (both hands), but I have no idea how a ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between sharp note & flat note?

In guitar or generally in any musical instruments, what is the difference between sharp notes & flat notes? For example : Are A♯ & B♭ the same? And are C♯ & D♭ the same? Does that make ...
9
votes
3answers
474 views

Online counterpoint materials

For a long time I've wanted to teach myself counterpoint, but haven't been able to find any materials online. Are there any hidden tutorials anyone knows of, or good books written in English in the ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What is an “open tuning”?

I know that Keith Richards has been known to use open tunings on some songs, but what is an open tuning exactly and when/why would you use it?
9
votes
4answers
438 views

Free exercise books

I've asked a question here: What is a string skipping exercise?. A follow up question: Are there some good free exercise books available on-line for the post-beginner stage? A link to a good ...
8
votes
5answers
385 views

What is the best way to learn scales in order to improve improvisation/writing of lead guitar parts?

Where I'm at skill-wise Played guitar on-and-off for about 5 years Up until a year ago had only really learned by playing from tabs Have been undertaking bi-weekly guitar lessons for just over a ...
8
votes
5answers
809 views

What can I do to learn violin before going to a teacher?

Well, I just got a violin today. Got it set up, tuned up (I think), aaaand... Most horrible sound ever heard in my life! :D So, it is time to learn to play it. Apparently, it is highly advised to get ...
8
votes
5answers
437 views

How to go learn through a book

This is not your average "which book to learn from" question. I'll post my research and background in as much detail as possible (since this could potentially help others with similar question). I've ...

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