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28

Wrong reps create wrong results. DO NOT play fast and wrong. Practice as slowly as you need to to avoid wrong notes. This is very important. The reason that you need to practice in the first place is that you need to create muscle memory. If you tell your muscles to do the wrong thing they will remember to do the wrong thing. Every instance of ...


24

A lot of the benefit is in how you practice them. If done mindfully and effectively, playing scales can give you a way to focus your practice on the building blocks that make up most of the music you play. Don't think of scales as a series of notes. Instead, think of them as the foundation pieces that music is built around. Here are some examples of ...


15

In addition to the other answers, I believe it improves the ability to simplify the music in your mind. Researchers studied the memory of chess experts and found they could recall the positions of almost all the pieces when placed in positions typical of a game, but did no better than amateurs when the pieces were placed randomly. For me, at least, the ...


13

I've had about five different teachers over my career as an instrumentalist, and they all taught me to play slowly when I was learning a new passage. The objective has always been to play it as slowly as necessary in order to play it smoothly and without error. In doing so, it will naturally become easier to play it faster later. I believe that playing it ...


11

I organise an exam centre for guitar (electric/acoustic/classical) and bass exams. Whilst 80% of candidates are younger than 18 or so, that leaves 20% adults. Most of them come with a bundle of nerves, but I see them for the next, and the next,and so on. Frequently they say "I don't know why I'm doing this", but the main real reason seems to be that they see ...


9

If you play fast and sloppy and "get in more reps", your sloppiness will tend to accumulate in the same places. There will be stuff you always play wrong in similar ways. And you'll get desensitivized to playing it wrong, to boot. You'll feel that it's ok to make the same mistakes over again and again if you are just making them fast enough. "more reps" ...


9

I actually studied music composition and computer science myself. Great combo! It sounds like what you are really looking for is a formal music composition program, so, first of all, I would say that if this is something that really interests you, and you have the time and the means, you should look into trying to study music through your school, either by ...


7

Scales teach you... Knowledge of music: They are the ABCs of music literally. Scales contain the building blocks of music. Understand them and you understand allot about music and music theory. Having practiced scales for years has also made me better at musicianship (note/interval recognition when listening). The ABCs are there in a different way when you ...


7

It isn't entirely clear from your question whether you're fluent in reading Western music notation and if you're conversant in the (relatively) standardized vocabulary for Western harmony and melody. If not, a first place to begin investigation might be Joseph Straus's Elements of Music. It begins with how to read notes, then moves on to keys, scales, meter, ...


6

Practicing scales teaches....scales. The point of a scale is to determine what sharps/flats a song has. Imagine instead of saying 'This song is on B major' saying 'This song has F,C,G,D,A sharps'. That would be really pointless. Thus, music theorists developed scales so people can easily communicate with each other. Also, when writing the sharps/flats ...


6

Yes they do because they are the key signature of a piece. The key signature tells you what key you are in and what notes to expect. Since you are in the key of E major, you will most likely use the notes E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D# which the four sharps represent. Those are the notes you should use unless a different accidental is applied to a note.


5

I play guitar mainly (occasionally piano) so I will answer this question from a guitarist's point of view. I also write songs - both lyrics and the accompanying music. I don't actually write the music down - other than the chords, but I compose it on my instrument and record it on my Boss BR 800 Multi-Track recorder to save for posterity. For me ...


5

When I was learning piano, and, say, Bbminor scale came along, my teacher said the reason I needed to learn to play it was "because it was in the exam". Many many years later, when I started to teach RGT exams in electric guitar playing, certain scales were prescribed to be learned. Later, in the exam itself, the candidate had to make up a tune, to fit to ...


4

Yes, you absolutely can. As with so many things, this is not a black-or-white thing. There's not some kind of gene that says you'll either be a master at playing the drums, or totally suck at it. Many things come into play here: The ability to concentrate. The ability to control your motions accurately. Eye-hand coordination. Stamina. Willpower. These ...


4

Take our time and practice slowly 80 to 90% of the time. Play it carefully and correctly. With that careful practice under your belt, also practice at a moderate and overly fast pace to give your muscles some different work 5-10% of the time. When performing, exercise caution and try to hold back on your speed at least a little. When we are performing, ...


4

Human minds, to a degree, learn by repeating. Yes, there are other methods that we use to learn, but undeniably, the more times most peolple do something, the deeper it gets embedded in their brain. So - if one repeats something numerous times, and makes the same errors each time, that gets 'learned'. Consider making a journey. if you ge the same way several ...


4

Sight-reading tabs, and by that I mean playing the tab off the paper is something one learns quite faster than learning to play a regular score from paper. That's the reason for their existence. They are basically a pre-prepared performance. Reading tabs without having an instrument in hand and figuring out what the music is in your head works worse than ...


4

It's way better to know (not memorize) what notes each scale is made of. A song won't tell you what scale you are playing in a passage, but it is typical that a passage comes directly from some scale and sometimes multiple if the song modulates to different keys. Being able to identify these patterns will help your playing immensely. Also note that on the ...


4

First, and most importantly, identify what your goals are. What genres do you want to play? Do you want to play solo? Do you want to join a band? Do you want to be able to pass exams? Anything else you'd like to accomplish with your playing? Talk to prospective teachers about all of these things, and ask about their history: If you want to play in ...


4

Learning the guitar as a beginner has many inherent challenges from the very start. For one, you are asking the new guitar student to teach their brain how to tell their fingers to contort in very strange and unnatural ways that they have never before even remotely contemplated. And the finger strength needed for many chords has not been developed yet. ...


4

Assuming that your teacher isn't terrible, she probably isn't giving you 'randoms' - she's probably trying to go through a progression of work that builds up your technique, and she's naturally reluctant for you to jump ahead and learn bad habits. Having said that, there's everything to gain in music by not having just one perspective, so if you are itching ...


4

One really good way to practice is to play only two or four bars at a time and master them in progression instead of stumbling through the whole song repeatedly. Even though it is much less interesting when practicing, this method gives you opportunity to learn what mistakes you are making and correct them before muscle memory takes place and becomes much ...


4

You probably don't mean playing more efficiently or effectively. You mean practising more effectively. That has a more rigorous meaning: learning skills faster, without learning anti-skills (bad habits: "practice makes perfect" is not as true as "practice makes permanent"). The number of skills is enormous: steady tempo, accurate leaping to a note, ...


3

Three things that I do: Play the memory game: play a note; play the first one and add a 2nd; play the first two and add a 3rd, etc, etc. Do this until you cannot remember all of them. Make it a goal to improve by one note each time you play. Advice: use a diatonic scale at first, atonal is difficult. Play a pitch, match it with your voice. Now go do ...


3

The most useful skill to master that will enable you to play lead solos, and fills with other musicians playing chords in a song is to learn some basic scales. The most versatile scale for soloing or playing lead guitar is the minor pentatonic scale because it works well with a number of different styles of music and can be used to solo over chords in ...


3

Being a great player doesn't always equate with being a great teacher. World champions have coaches; if the coach was that good, why isn't he the world champion? Often a good player is naturally gifted, and finds things so easy that he can't understand why his pupils struggle. Empathy is something a teacher needs. Being on the same wavelength as his pupil ...


3

but is reading the bass clef necessary? Rhythm seems rather useless also. Cough, cough. In baroque times, accompaniment was written down by writing down the bass line and rhythm and putting numbers for the type of chord/harmony to be played above the bass line. While the numbers are gone these days and replaced by explicitly writing out the right hand, ...


3

To add to these great answers, I only have one suggestion - climbers chalk Moisture in the hands leads to blisters. Chalk alleviates moisture build up in the hands and helps to build callouses. Some notable guitar players who use chalk before every show: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, etc. Chalk is a great when you haven't played in a while and don't ...


2

Definitely start by trying to identify the scale for the key the song is in. Practice that scale, but don't be limited to it - feel free to play what sounds good as well. For example, if a progression is over C, F, and G, that's in the key of C, but you can also use the minor 3rd and dominant 7th to make your lick sound bluesy. Based on what you're trying ...


2

If you know what key the song is in then notes from that scale will help. you have options though on which scale to use. So, for example, lets say the progression is Am - F - C - G. Do you know what key that would be? If not then that is what you need to learn how to figure out. The answer is that is in A minor so using licks in the key of a minor is ...



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