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27

It's absolutely possible, based on personal experience. I was essentially tone-deaf before starting interval training, and now have no problem recognizing notes and playing songs by ear. It provides a major advantage because you only need to figure out one note of the song. The next note can always be identified if you can recognize its interval from the ...


14

Perfect Pitch has some different Definitions: There are different levels of perfect pitch and absolute pitch. They are all about being able to either identify or generate (i.e. sing) notes without a recent reference. People's ability range from being able to guess right some of the time, to instantly telling you which note is not being played when someone ...


11

Unnecessary effort is inefficient. Unnecessary tension is damaging both to your technique and to your body. Play as slowly as necessary until you can relax your pinky. I guarantee you can play one note a minute with a relaxed pinky. Then slowly increase speed. If there's one thing that proper practice is good for, it's breaking bad habits. But, like anything ...


11

String skipping exercises could be anything from playing arpeggios by using notes on alternate strings to playing phrases using scale runs using alternate strings, using string skipping is essential to making you a rounded player, giving you many more options to create interesting musical lines as opposed to simply playing sequential scale/arpeggio runs. ...


11

Here's how I did it. Your mileage may vary. I had a junior high band director who would often tune the band by having each player in a section play a B-flat and telling them whether they were flat or sharp based on the electronic tuner at the front of the room. I made a bit of a game for myself by trying to guess (to myself) whether people were sharp or ...


11

Here are three exercises I use with students: Lip-buzzing through a phrase of a song (i.e. one long lipbuzz - as you need to engage your support to lip-buzz). If you can't lip-buzz, then rolling an 'r' also have the same effect. Slow breath in for three beats, then make a sizzling sound out for 10 beats (and then gradually extend this during practice to ...


11

I think a more realistic goal is to aim for relative pitch; then when you have that, perhaps try for perfect pitch. Relative pitch is essentially being able to recognise and identify intervals, relative to the root note. Gaining relative pitch is fairly easy, a good way to do it is to pick a simple Major scale ditty, play it, and identify the intervals in ...


10

There are several schools of piano teaching. I have been raised in the idea that almost all technical training should be done with a specific piece of composed music as a target, not in isolation, and should be defined by the teacher after observation of a student's playing. It does not take long to write down a little exercice on a sheet of paper. The art ...


10

An exercise that I was taught, have seen many times, and also have used with others. It can be done anywhere. Instead of tapping my fingers, I do this exercise. Place your hand on the table (or whatever surface) as though you were resting your fingers on the keys. "Play" the sequence 1-3-5-2-4, repeating it over and over. Things to work on are your ...


9

Every day, after I've finished my regular practice routine, I put a metronome on, say, at 60 beats per minute and start changing chords back and forth - one change on every 4th beat. One of the chords should be open position chord, and another - barre chord, for example: Am / F or C / Bm And I keep doing it until I actually can't go on any longer. ...


9

I recommend to practice listening. Take a piece of music with a polyphonic structure or many instruments and the notes and try to listen to a particular instrument. Start with simple pieces, for example a choral piece where you already know the bass quite well and you can switch between listening to the soprano and the bass or a piece with voice ...


9

I think the key is muscle memory. The only way to improve this is by specific repetitive movements. In your question you state: "quick interchanging between my 2 and 3rd finger." Presumably there is a song you are working on that requires this, so the part you are having trouble with, do that move over and over again until you no longer have a problem doing ...


9

I am not an expert in human physiology, but I believe the constraint you describe is completely normal. I think it has something to do with a shared tendon? Needless to say, my hands behave the same way. You should be able to lift the fourth finger higher if you raise the pinky at the same time, yes? What I do know about human physiology is that each joint ...


8

A few years ago I carried a tuning fork for a whole winter, and did notice improvement. The first week or so I would just bump the tuning fork and listen to the A. Then I started to try to guess before listening. Having the tuning fork with you all the time, you can practice whenever and as often as you want. It takes only a couple of seconds. I believe ...


8

One "game" is to get a piece of paper and place it against a wall. You then have to keep it up for as long as possible using only your breath. Without any support, you just can't keep it there. If you make this competitive - against other singers, or just against the clock - it could be a way to encourage improving support.


8

If you visualize your guitar's strings, from lowest to highest, you've got six strings (usually). Cross-picking or string skipping, means you're going to come up with patterns that jump over an intermediate string. At its simplest, you could hit the low-E with a down-stroke, then the D-string with an up-stroke, then the A-string with a down, the G with an ...


8

The best training I can think of is to use arpeggios starting with simple two/three string swept arpeggios and build up from there. Here are Some practical examples: A Minor 2 - 3 string arpeggio shapes $1.12 $1.8 $2.10 $1.8 $1.12 | $1.12 $1.8 $2.10 $3.9 $2.10 $1.8 $1.12 A Major 2 - 3 string arpeggio shapes $1.12 $1.9 $2.10 $1.9 $1.12 ...


8

I recommend Fernando Sor's studies for guitar as transcribed by Andres Segovia. These studies are both highly instructive as well as beautiful works unto themselves. Given your familiarity with Andres Segovia, the music of Fernando Sor (a major influence on Segovia's development as a musician/composer) would be a logical next step. See ...


8

This may be overkill, but I gained a great deal of insight into my own posture from The Thinking Body by Mabel E. Todd. The basic idea is that the body resists gravity in the same manner that a building does: by distributing the weight along lines of compression and suspension. For the most part the front of your body is suspended from the frame of the ...


8

This is a bad habit. Essentially, you need to reprogram your mind to stop tensing when what you really want is focus. The instinct to tense is extremely common, and, unfortunately, very difficult to override. luser droog gave a fantastic explanation of how to build proper posture. You should take his advice, and constantly check to see if you're following ...


8

There are a couple of differences between a metronome and a drum machine. A metronome just keeps a regular beat. Some electronic metronomes give a slightly different click to indicate the start of a bar, but that's all. Drum patterns have lots more elements that help keep you in time -- for a typical rock pattern, emphasis on the first beat, snares on the ...


7

This doesn't directly answer your question (sorry about that!) but personally, I don't use exercise books much these days. There are so many useful videos on YouTube for various techniques that it tends to be my first stop. It's personal preference of course but, for me anyway, watching someone play something is better than trying to pick it up from a book. ...


7

If you were my student, I would have you begin by working on your basic sound. I am presuming that you are playing alto saxophone and have already found suitable equipment (instrument, mouthpiece, and reeds, along with other needed accessories) and are able to get a sound generally. Start by playing only the mouthpiece (with reed, of course). Make sure ...


7

Both are fine. Choose one. You will not miss out on anything if you choose one over the other. The most important thing for you is daily, quality practice. Choose literature that is playable but challenging.


7

Get a good teacher, it can really make a huge difference. Practice difficult passages slowly (surprise!) and concentrate on relaxation. Often when I get tense, it's because I play faster than I think (like, my thoughts come after my hands). So, when you practice (slowly), try to think ahead, and when you speed up, try to keep it so that your thoughts are ...


7

One "offline" (without guitar) exercise I got from my teacher is like this: Put your hand on the table. Lift fingers two or three at a time; if you are like me, combinations 1+3, 2+4, 1+2+4 and 1+3+4 will feel weird; you should try to make them comfortable. This is for both hands (you only need your left hand improved, but it cannot hurt if you train ...


6

I use David Lucas Burge's method for learning perfect pitch. I know many people who think that perfect pitch is something that cannot be learned, but within a few months of working with this method I have made tremendous progress: I can often recognize certain tones (for example F# and B), without using any kind of reference (i.e., without playing any note ...


6

I would say a couple of things may help you out here: Start by picking slow and intentional and then get increasingly faster. Do string skipping drills. Lots of string skipping drills. Make sure to practice consistency on your picking. Try to always pick down/up/down/up for subsequent notes on scales and solos. Concentrate on it, and ignore what your left ...



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