10
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How does the tuning differ between a concert and soprano ukulele?

I am getting a new concert ukulele and I was wondering whether the tuning is different for a concert? is it still GCEA? or is there a better sounding tuning than soprano standard?
30
votes
11answers
9k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
12
votes
4answers
594 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
3answers
2k views

Most important musical concepts for writing songs on acoustic guitar

I want to be able to write catchy/"cool sounding" guitar parts for songs. I am currently studying music theory extensively. I am just wondering, are there any guitar-specific musical concepts that I ...
22
votes
13answers
7k views

How often is it recommended to change bass strings?

With the risk of being a duplicate question of How often should I replace the strings on my guitar? I'd like to ask the same thing for bass guitar. Bass strings are pricier than guitar strings, so I ...
4
votes
3answers
477 views

Is it really necessary to have your thumb on the back of the guitar neck?

I've seen lots of artists playing with their thumb resting on the top of the neck, but my guitar teacher says it's a must to place the thumb on the back of the neck. Opinions?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to start bass-guitar plucking?

I am looking for an online beginner tutorial to bass plucking (fingered) technique, something like the image bellow. Important: I am not looking to learn how to play the notes etc., I would say I ...
9
votes
3answers
471 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
450 views

Beginning sweep picking exercises

What are some recommended easy exercises to start developing the sweep picking technique in guitar? And what advice would you give to someone who's just starting with this technique? I mean, what is ...
40
votes
4answers
15k views

How do you draw a quarter rest with a pen/pencil?

It seems to me that the quarter rest we see everywhere was drawn with a calligraphy pen. I don't have one of those - I have a sharpened/mechanical pencil or a ball-point pen. So usually when I try to ...
2
votes
1answer
986 views

What are the pros/cons of the “tuning-in-slide” method of trombone design?

Almost all American-made trombones are tuned using a tuning slide in the crook of the bell section. However, some European instrument makers sell trombones designed with a one-piece crook and a ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

guitar cabinet: why not just use a PA speaker cabinet?

I've been thinking about building myself a rackmount rig to replace an old 12" combo amp, and was wondering if it really makes any difference to use a something that's marketed as a "guitar" speaker ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Protecting my voice with a phone job

My day job involves 5 hours on the phone at a time. How should I go about protecting my voice? I have to talk to old people, so I can't always speak quietly.
3
votes
1answer
678 views

What are the differences for left handed person when playing electric cello?

If I decide to buy an electric cello, should I look for a special one for left handed people, or I will even have to order a custom one?
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Non-fixed-frequency instruments playing by themselves versus with fixed-frequency instruments

[I don't know a better term than "non-fixed frequency instruments" but I mean things like string instruments, voice, trombone as opposed to things like a piano which has a fixed (typically 12-et) ...
6
votes
1answer
276 views

Evidence of Just Intonation in Recordings with Non-fixed-frequency Instruments

I wonder the extent to which string quartets or a cappella choirs are non-ET. They are often cited as examples of the tendency towards just intonation when not using fixed-frequency instruments but ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

How to start playing by ear/improvising?

Up till now I've been playing music from the sheet, and eventually I've grown frustrated how after 3 years of playing I can't even play Jingle Bells if I'm asked to without figuring it out from a ...
17
votes
3answers
788 views

How do you remember your music and how do I improve in this regard?

Okay, let me start with my own story. I jumped straight into playing classical pieces on the piano without much in the way of formal musical education. By now I know how chords are built (but it takes ...
4
votes
3answers
976 views

Suggestions for switching from piano to electronic keyboard?

I've been playing piano for more than 40 years -- started out with classical, but I've been playing in a praise band the last 10 years or so. We recently purchased a Kurzweil PC3X keyboard for the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Bass-guitar online exercises for not-beginner

I'm an intermediate bass guitarist, and I want to improve my left arm fingers work, and improvisation during bass solo. I think I should learn not only by simply remember some tabs by famous bass ...
19
votes
4answers
859 views

Why do we need note names like B♭, D♭ etc.? Why not use only A♯, C♯ and so on?

The very same sharp/flat tones can be written in two ways: C♯ is the same as D♭ D♯ is the same as E♭ …and so on This is so confusing. What is the reason for it? ...
8
votes
1answer
291 views

What interval should frets be placed for the Tar (Persian Lute)?

I have recently come into possession of a Tar. But I have no idea how to place the frets on this instrument, which are made of gut (feels a bit like twine) tied around the neck. How do I determine ...
3
votes
5answers
15k views

Can I use nylon with steel string guitar?

I was wondering if it possible to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar. Is it possible? If not why?
26
votes
5answers
1k views

Examples of songs or phrases played in different temperaments

I've read about the fact that 12 tone equal temperament is a relatively recent phenomenon, and that historically, each key would have a different character due to the unequal temperament. I'm curious ...
1
vote
1answer
294 views

A peculiarity in John Tompson's first grade book regarding key signatures

Back in the days when I was studying from John Thompson's First Grade Piano book, I had come across a peculiarity which I could not understand: in pages 13-15 there are pieces which are in the key of ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Equivalent Key Signatures

I've noticed that a variety of pieces in the classical repetoire (certainly at least the piano repetoire), label what seems to be effectively the same key signature differently. That is, I am not ...
14
votes
2answers
741 views

Music education audio lessons

I am currently learning to play the guitar, and that has sparked an interest in learning more about music in general. I would like to learn about music theory, ear training, history, musical styles ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What are some qualities to consider when purchasing a cello?

My wife is a Suzuki-method violinist but wants to dabble with some cello pieces. I'm a rock guitarist--so I have absolutely no clue what to look for in a cello. It's clearly not a Les Paul so any ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

Soft sound strings for Fender bass

I'm looking for "soft sounding" strings for my five-string Fender bass (American Deluxe V). Default Fender strings are not for me, unfortunately. What kind of strings can give me this sound?
9
votes
2answers
599 views

How far “off” can a piano unison be and still be considered “in-tune”?

I'm talking about either beats per second of a resulting beat between two strings in the midrange of the piano. My piano seems to vary during different parts of the day, I think because of the ...
3
votes
1answer
584 views

How to maximize band rehearsal time?

So, I've been playing in bands for a while now, sometimes with people who have PhDs in music performance, sometimes with people who only play by ear. Regardless of the level of professionalism, I ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Boiling/washing used guitar/bass strings - is it worthwhile?

I've read that some people boil their strings from time to time to make them sound again like they were new (and save some money). Is this really worthwhile, or are there any disadvantages to this?
10
votes
4answers
17k views

What exactly does “feat.” means?

Does anyone know what does the "feat." means exactly? Some song titles have the word "feat" in it, for example "I wanna love you clean Akon feat. Snoop dog". What does "feat." means?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

I bought a guitar transducer (external pickups). How do I mount it for the best sound?

I have a classical guitar, a very good one. But I want to use it with an amplifier, so I bought a guitar transducer. Belcat EGT-202 (A good picture: ...
5
votes
2answers
174 views

Is this rhythm called a salsa or samba or something else?

Is there a name for this little beat? main: .--.|--.-|--.-|-.-- accompaniment: .-.-|.-.-|.-.-|.-.- (a dot is a hit and a dash is a rest) Sorry for the makeshift notation and lack of ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there any classification systems that categorize music by mood?

Recently I had the idea to categorize my digital music library with mood tags. Thinking about these moods, I figured that it's not so easy to come up with a complete list that covers all possible ...
13
votes
1answer
641 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
573 views

Tool to help “read” sheet music

I'd like to learn how to sing songs. I have sheet music with 4 part harmony, but I don't really know how to read notes that well. Are there any tools that can sort of read sheet music for me? Like if ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What defines the loudness of an acoustic guitar?

I would like a loud sound without any amplification (purely acoustic sound). Which guitar traits affect it? Do you recommend any particular styles or brands of guitar? I assume that guitars with ...
2
votes
2answers
281 views

Noise when attempting to bend the 8th hole on a harmonica

I've noticed that when I bend on the 8th hole, weird things happen. If I blow normally, the sound is OK, but upon an attempt to bend (downwards, during the draw), the sounds stop to be melodic and all ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

How to practice the overblow

I've managed to learn bending down somehow by trial & error but I yet have to hear my first overblow. How can I do to get the feeling for overblowing, so that I have a good start for the ...
5
votes
3answers
789 views

How many voices do violins usually play in modern orchestral music

I've been into arranging and composing for orchestral music for a few years now, however, my music is usually fully computer-rendered (ewql), so I don't have any practical limits of how many ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

How do I find the accompaigning low-pitch note when playing fingerstyle?

If you're trying to learn a song by ear for example, how do you find the backing note to go along whith what you are playing? For example, when playing canon in D, you first start with the D string ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What types of guitars are used for spanish music?

I am fascinated by Spanish guitar music, and I have started exploring it. I have heard classical music like Gypsy Kings, Taranta, Romance, etc. Does anyone here know what types of guitars are used in ...
6
votes
1answer
422 views

One-to-one techniques for improving ability to sing in tune

There are a number of questions on this site from singers who want to find software so they can work, on their own, on their ability to sing in tune. However, I am hoping to do some one-to-one (and ...
3
votes
1answer
771 views

How can I learn Soukous guitar?

I really like the sound of Soukous guitar playing, and would like to learn a bit of that. What would be good ways of doing this? I'm not great at picking at all, I'm a happy amateur chord strummer, so ...
12
votes
2answers
419 views

Is reading notes without an instrument a good way to practice?

As an amateur self-learner pianist, I can't take my piano with me, but I can take the sheet music books. On my current (low) level of skill, I need substantial time to read a musical piece; for ...
29
votes
3answers
2k 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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