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32

Learning the piano is the best way to learn about music in general. Its orderly, logical keyboard layout reinforces music theory concepts that can be otherwise difficult to learn and appreciate. Plus, the ability to play bass, melody, and chords simultaneously make it a great way to learn how all the different parts of music work together to make a whole ...


32

Learning another instrument will not necessarily make you a better guitarist; since the time spent learning another instrument is time that your spending not building your technical ability on the guitar. It will however probably make you a better overall musician; since playing/learning a different instrument encourages you to think about your preferred ...


30

What's better: pick up a guitar every day for a few minutes or play more rarely, but having a longer session? Neither. It's not length of time, but what you do with it when you have it. If you spend your time playing the same three songs over and over again, you'll not likely improve save to be able to play three songs endlessly. That's a ...


28

The first thing you need to do is: Stop writing the letter names!!! This applies to piano or any other instrument. If you keep doing this when you practice, you won't be practicing your sight reading, only your technique. In other words, this is training you to play an A when you read the letter "A", instead of the musical notation for it. If you can ...


27

I was struggling with my barre chords, but then my teacher showed me two great exercises. I've been doing them for a week or two and--it's a miracle--barre chords started sounding good! 1. Pure barre practicing Just hold all the strings on fret 7 with your first finger and nothing else and check if all the strings sound clear. You can help with your second ...


26

I don't know what type of music you're considering playing, but consider stepping outside of the piano/guitar realm. Trombone would be perhaps your best choice. A very difficult instrument to learn and master, but it requires only enough fingers to grip the instrument securely. (You could probably get away with a thumb and finger on each hand). The trombone ...


25

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 ...


24

The basic chords that todd suggested are very good as a basic for barre chord: Example E major - note that the B chord is basically A using barre at 2nd fret. E A B Note: If you have problems with barre, you can often cheat with the B and use B7 instead without sounding too wrong (see below in the septim section) Another set of chords that is easy ...


22

I think the only answer to this one is...keep doing it. The reason you're struggling is because your hand and fingers aren't strong enough yet to do it easily. It's like weight lifting, the more you do it, the stronger you'll get. Try playing barre chords further up the neck, around the 5th fret. You might find it a little easier than F on the 1st, then ...


22

Yes, unfortunately it's all about practice. But there are some things you can focus on to speed up the process: - Learn the notes on the neck by heart, and the associated intervals. That is, learn the notes on the low E-string and the relation between those notes and the notes on the higher strings so that you without thinking can fret a certain interval. ...


20

Do you listen to jazz? I think a big part of getting into jazz as a trained musician means experimenting on your own. One of the biggest challenges for you will likely be learning the style of jazz piano, i.e. being able to play and not sound "square". If you want a listening list, check this out: "100 Greatest Jazz Pianists". The top 5 would be plenty to ...


19

You write but I'm still quite slow, especially when there are a lot of 16th notes and syncopation. That's natural. In my experience, it is better to train separately for sight reading and for speed of execution. The primary goal must be continuity of execution and respect of relative duration of notes. The basic tool to improve this aspect of ...


18

If you're well-trained in music theory and good at sight reading, then you've already got some strong and important assets. I have a background similar to yours, so here are some things that I remember from when I got started: get used to jazz rhythm: if you take for instance 4/4 songs, you'll notice that in many genres the first and third beats are ...


18

DISCLOSURE: I'm also a full-time programmer but I got my degree in music. I'm finding the best way to make it work is to be disciplined and schedule specific amount of time. This is a skill I learned in school, as I was a composition major so I had to have a concentration instrument (which for me was the double bass), pass piano proficiency, pass ...


17

Great Question, Edgar! I'm guessing if you've played some of the Real Book and such that you've heard of Jamey Aebersold. If not, you definitely need to check him out and volumes 1, 2, 3, and 54 are very common for beginners. However, if you've exhausted the Jamey Aebersold path and are still unsure of where to go, my best advice is to listen to Jazz ...


17

This depends completely on your skill level: Beginners - If you are a beginner, consistent playing is far more important than the length of time. 10 minutes a day is much better than one practice of 70 minutes. Moderate to Advanced - Sometimes 10 minutes just isn't enough time to get warmed up and wrap your head around more complex riffs, chords, ...


17

Qualities a guitar teacher needs to have: Patience. You need patience to sit through lessons with struggling students while keeping a positive attitude. Motivation. You really need to be motivated about teaching. A lot of guitar teachers aren't motivated about teaching but see it as a way to earn money with their guitar skills. Communication. This is a ...


17

I would say that the last paragraph of your question is closer to the truth. I wouldn't consider knowing the names and shapes of some chords as knowing theory. I know for a fact that people can play very well with little to no theoretical knowledge, since I have friends with this ability. Theory wasn't there before music, theory is a tool to understand and ...


16

Yes, you'll need to buy books and read them, and work through the exercises. I'm going to describe how it was taught to me in a music college in the United States. I'm sure different schools have different approaches. Things basically fall into four categories: Ear Training Classical music theory Form and Analysis Jazz Theory Ear training and ...


16

I'd suggest the piano. While it takes many years to master, the piano is one of the easiest instruments to begin playing. Learning to play even the simplest chords or melodies on other instruments can take weeks, but a complete novice can use a keyboard. The piano also lends itself well to composition because it has a wide range and it is easy to play ...


15

One thing one of my choir teachers sometimes did is start at the end and then move backwards through the piece as larger parts starting from the end are perfected, so that you start with some unfamiliar measures then practice the part that you already know to reinforce the knowledge. However, if you're repeatedly having trouble with a specific spot, it ...


15

Absolutely not. Some people learn and remember songs best through visual, aural, or physical methods, and knowing the notes isn't necessary if you know how it "looks", sounds, or feels. That said, learning the notes can be very useful. What if you want to improvise on something? Or you start writing a song, do you really want to be testing a bunch of ...


15

You need to understand, that there is a reason, why many good books, teachers and methods put so much theory into their teaching. A good foundation of music theory will give you freedom, to play whatever you like. There is nothing more exiting than to have a full set of tools on hand and to know how to use them. I think that it is not so hard to learn 4-6 ...


15

I will only add Django Reinhardt as an example of guitarist with crippled fingers. He has only fingers 1 and 2 in his fretting hand intact. In his right hand, he used plectrum. His playing is anything but limited. He has developed a distinctive, yet beautiful and technically demanding style - which is copied by numerous jazz guitarists to this days. So I ...


14

Alfred Publishing has the "Basic Adult Piano Course." I'm not a trained pianist, technically, but my keyboard methods course during undergrad used this series. Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level Two Use Amazon's peek inside feature to get an idea for what might be most ...


14

I'll quote Wikipedia for some background on the ABRSM: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is an examinations board and registered charity based in London, United Kingdom, which provides examinations in music at centres around over the world. The ABRSM is one of three examination boards accredited by Ofqual to award graded exams ...


14

If you don't have a metronome, get one. They have phone apps for them now so it is pretty easy to get one. Start with a very slow speed. Once you are able to perform it ten times in a row at that speed, increase the speed by 5 beats per minute. Once you can play it ten times at that speed, increase again. Do this until you reach the speed it is to be ...


13

It depends on the source of the music, but I can think of two ways to do this. If I remember correctly, they can both be accomplished with Finale and Sibelius. If the source is Sheet Music: You are going to need to scan the music and use OCR software meant for music. Sibelius has a program called Photoscore that will do this. If the music is available ...


13

I think learning other instruments can give you great new perspectives on music and how it's made. Take the piano for example: a radically different approach to music creation. Very linear. There's only one place to play a C3 on the piano. There can be multiple places to play the same note on the guitar. That may make certain musical expressions and ...


13

An attempt to synthesise the various answers given, while giving some opinions of my own. Portability 'Portable' is a bit of a vague requirement. Some instruments fit in your pocket. Some instruments fit in a small backpack. Some instruments fit in a large backpack. Loudness I'm not sure what's too loud for a dorm room. It depends on your neighbour's ...



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