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45

Jalmus provides what you are looking for and it has a MIDI interface. It is also free open source, is cross platform (written in Java, it works on Windows, Linux, and Mac), and is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Danish and German. From the website: Jalmus is a free, open source music education software helping the musicians, ...


37

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 ...


35

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 ...


34

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 ...


33

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 ...


30

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 ...


30

Computer: You're using one right now. You don't need a fancy new computer to make music. DAW: There are many free DAWs. REAPer is free if you don't mind a nag screen, Audacity is free and open source. Keyboard/Synth: You can get an entry keyboard for $100 that will work fine. VSTs: There are many free VSTs available from plenty of websites. Samples: Free on ...


30

Get a teacher Try another instrument Try some different styles of music Play with others Make a deadline to perfect a tune Go to an open-mic night Record yourself playing Change the practice regime - 10 mins max Learn something challenging Use the syllabus for an exam - and take it! Don't give up. It may only be a phase


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 ...


27

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 ...


24

Are you sure you want a software solution at all? An alternative is a large supply of small pieces, like Bartok's Mikrocosmos. Just keep playing different ones. One level of that will keep you entertained for quite a while. I particularly like the song about the foxes and the chickens. Sight-reading is not just about connecting your eyes and your fingers. ...


24

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 ...


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 ...


23

It really depends what type of music you want to do; and how deeply you want to understand the mechanics of music itself. If you just want to get straight into jamming a tune; learn the pentatonic scale, its about the easiest scale to learn and very versatile; something like 70% of the licks in all popular since the mid 60's is pentatonic based, and even ...


23

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. ...


22

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 ...


21

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 ...


20

One option is to use (and abuse) Impro-Visor. Impro-Visor is a jazz improvisation trainer, but it has built into it a "lick generator", which builds melodies over existing chord changes using grammar rules. (The program is of course also capable of generating chords.) By putting in various grammar rules you should be able to adapt the program to also work ...


20

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 ...


20

It doesn't need to be expensive. Computer: You don't need an expensive system, and chances are that the one you are using right now is more than enough. I have used a 2GB RAM, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system for production (including mixing). The more powerful your system is, the bigger your real-time toolbox is: more channels, more effects, more programs, ...


19

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

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

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 ...


17

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 ...


17

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 ...


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

The best way I've found to get bandmates to fix things is to record a performance, without their knowledge, and give them a copy at the next rehearsal. They do have to listen to it, of course. It takes a lot of the feeling of being criticized out of the equation.


16

I suggest you get a ukulele. It's fairly compact and rather easy to get started playing some chords on. With only three chords you can soon play millions of songs! However you should probably be able to sing ok along with playing - beginners ukulele alone isn't too impressive after a minute or so...



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