Hot answers tagged

28

My PhD is in Music Composition, but it was a heavily theory-focused program. I also have many theorist colleagues. Your question is interesting, and difficult to answer in total detail without writing a book, so I won't try to be exhaustive. Let me first say that the understanding of "Music Theory" is most definitely not complete, and that there absolutely ...


23

I'm going to post the dissenting answer here in that I feel like you don't want to look for a different kind of guitar or a perfect strap height. Most of my time in bands has been with at least one female guitarist or guitarist/bassist in the band, and in one band that I was in for a few years I was the only man. I also am a big fan of several bands feature ...


18

Depends on what you mean by "may be able". Different instruments and music styles and instruments and practice material pose different hurdles and motivation for different people. That's not specific to playing music but any skill. The less discipline you have, the more you are dependent on upcoming hurdles and short-time rewards matching your current ...


16

Yes, it's called "playing by ear." In fact, one of the pinnacles of musical performance is being able to play anything you hear or can imagine without thinking of notes at all, just playing. This is why jazz players often sing along with their solos. It's often actually part of their training if they're formally schooled. Notes are like the syllables ...


15

The obvious ones are -trumpet - no use for pinkie at all, and slide trombone - no use for fingers separately. Followed closely by xylophone/marimba/glock/vibraphone and drums.


12

If I understand your question correctly, here's the problem: I also have heard that an inversion is simply in the opposite direction of the original interval. So a descending 3rd from F to D is the inversion of ascending third F to A. This should read "a descending third from F to D is the inversion of an ascending SIXTH from F to D." Thus I think the ...


11

Yes, it is possible. There are people that can play music without knowing the notes. You can work out the songs either by ear or have someone tell you what to play. People use notes because it's easier to communicate with each other and it is easier to have many songs written rather than remembered by heart. It might be easy to remember 10-20 songs by heart,...


10

Really? Not one mention of Django Reinhardt? Django lost the use of his fourth and fifth fingers in a fire but that didn't stop him from ripping it up on guitar (and inventing a new genre of music in the process). A few years ago, I sustained a minor sprain in my fretting hand which made it painful to make certain finger changes (I play bass mostly, but ...


10

If you have the drive and dedication to get over the initial awkward and difficult learning curve then I don't see why you can't play any instrument you want. When I first started guitar at the age of 15 I played for probably about 3 weeks or so and then "quit" because I was getting so frustrated and felt like I'd never be able to get it. After about 3 ...


9

These are jazz articulations, and as a french horn player you'll really just have to do your best imitation of what a trumpet player would do. You might want to ask a trumpet player in your ensemble for some advice and demonstration. What I'd suggest for the shake is a VERY rapid lip slur from the written note to about a fifth above. It's written forte, and ...


9

The most obvious reason is that your 2nd string is actually tuned to G. That needs putting right. When your tuner is showing B for that string, then the other notes you play when fretting will show correctly on your tuner - assuming it's capable of showing all notes and not just the 6 open guitar strings. I hope it's tuned to a low G, 'cos it could just be ...


7

Harmonica, blues or chromatic.


7

The typical recorder fits the bill perfectly for you. It uses all fingers of the right hand, and the thumb and all-but-the-pinkie of the left hand.


7

A number of years back, I found a solution which helped me position my guitar exactly where I wanted when I was standing up. The answer is a string running from the strap button, across the top of the lower bout of the guitar, to the strap at the other side near your shoulder. This lets you angle the guitar neck however you want, adjust the guitar balance ...


7

Interaction with other musicians, whether as fellow-players in ensembles or as tutors. Constant goals - the concert is TOMORROW!, this exercise must be handed in NEXT WEEK! Competition - working with players better than you. Introduction to musical topics you would have never have thought of investigating yourself. Just generally, getting a musical ...


6

Congratulations on your acquisition (sounds like you got a great deal on a guitar). And congratulations on your decision to begin what hopefully will be a lifelong journey learning to play the guitar. The guitar is such a versatile instrument which is also quite portable. It can be used to play just about any style, genre or type of music. You ...


6

Pretty much all percussion instruments, which includes hammer dulcimer and its ilk. I don't know whether the harp requires pinky use or not. I suppose it'd be cheating to suggest the theremin :-) .


6

It's not clear what your goals and requirements are for this information system -- and that has a huge bearing on the answer. If, for example, your software is trying to analyze the harmony inside of a single piece, then yes, symphonies definitely will modulate (change keys) all over the place, as Wheat Williams describes in his excellent answer. And this ...


6

If you are serious about drumming I have good advice: Background I've been playing 13 years.I play in my college's jazz ensemble and play in a rock band outside of that. I take lessons with the percussion instructor at my university. I usually practice 3 hours a day. I get paid for some of my gigs, but not enough for me to call myself a professional. ...


6

It's more than possible, it's very often done. I can listen to a tune a couple of times, and then play it, without reference to written music. I have to do it some of the time when students bring a recording along, and want to learn it. I can't waste their time - they want it now! When I'm part of the house band at open mic sessions, the same applies. I ...


5

I made this webpage (http://www.fretlearner.com) to help me master the guitar fret board and to understand the diatonic series and the various scales and modes as they relate to each other and to different key signatures. (I'm still trying) I've great plans for it, but for now it is just a tool for mapping various scales onto the fret board according to ...


5

I play both the flute and piccolo, so my answer is completely based off of personal experience. In my opinion, the piccolo and flute are completely different. The only thing that's similar about the two is fingering. I suggest memorizing the piccolo fingering if you just want to play piccolo, since the piccolo does not have some of the keys that a flute ...


5

The thing about piano is that unlike most other instruments, playing in the extreme high and low registers is not any more difficult than playing in the middle. So there is a lot of easy music that uses the highest and lowest keys. For classical music, 88 keys is essential. On top of this, any decent electric piano is going to have 88 keys. Shorter ...


5

This gets easier as one's hands grow larger. One way to work on correct, relaxed finger position is to play scales while keeping the fingers curled and relaxed. She should play any kind of exercise she is already playing, or just scales if she has no exercises, while observing the following: The wrists should be above the level of the keyboard, but not so ...


5

I have a Yamaha silent (nylon string) guitar. Although not a bowed instrument, the issues will largely be the same. It is great fun to play and I am happy to own it. The most noticeable difference when compared to an acoustic instrument is in its treatment of dynamics. When wearing headphones, the range of dynamics is much narrower than one who realise ...


5

Go to the source: Quantz. This is in the original German. (There's also a contemporaneous French translation on the site.) The English translation, On playing the flute, (Edward R. Reilly, translator) is readily available from Amazon.


5

All of the below assumes whatever you do will involve daily practice (at least half an hour but an hour is better) and study (of resources on how to play). You don't need a teacher to learn harmonica but if guitar is your first instrument then a teacher is highly recommended, and for violin almost everyone needs a good teacher to succeed. A diatonic ...


5

It's going to vary, and you have to remember that there are also a lot of pros that learned by listening and copying what they heard on records without learning to read music. Notes can be known "personally" and this includes knowing all the various chords and scales as they relate to them. There may be no names or functions involved--I think of it as a kind ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible