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31

Music has nearly infinite potential for subtlety, and yes, drums might seem more simple on the surface, but after a few years in music school you'll be tuning drum heads every time you sit down at a snare drum, have a mallet collection that weighs 30 pounds, and enjoy discussing the relative merits of different origin rosewood on your marimba. Most people ...


28

Your teacher is referring to the Doctrine of Ethos which was for the Greeks, a belief that listening to a certain type of music influenced your mood or character as a person. Throughout the centuries, this belief has taken various forms - from the key of Eb used in marches for nobility, D major being joyous, C minor being introspective, D minor being "the ...


18

It's in their fingers, by which I mean the way they attack the string, the way they use vibrato, the inflections they use. All of these things contribute to tone in subtle ways. Picking: Where and how you pick makes a huge difference: picking close to the bridge makes the guitar sound bright and sharp, closer to fingerboard makes it sound rounder and ...


18

I highly recommend reading What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body by Thomas Mark. The answer to this question has a lot to do with the action of the piano itself, but it has more to do with the way you move your muscles to play. The answer to your question is explained in detail in Chapter 7, entitled "Mapping The Piano". To paraphrase the first ...


12

The main advantage of neck-through construction is better sustain, achieved through greater stiffness. It's all about maintaining the string's energy as long as possible. Why does a guitar string lose its sustain? Why doesn't it keep vibrating forever? When you pluck a string, you impart energy to the string, and that energy keeps it vibrating. But some ...


11

Those terms mostly describe the frequency characteristics of a given sound and how the person feels about those characteristics. For instance, an emphasis on lower frequencies can be characterised positively as "warm" or "mellow", or negatively as "muddy". Likewise, an emphasis on higher frequencies can be characterised positively as "bright" or "crisp", or ...


10

What influences a player's tone has a lot to do with the equipment they use. A Strat sounds slightly different to a Tele, and a Les Paul sounds drastically different to a Rickenbacker. The construction of the guitars and the pickup used has a big effect on this. A semi-hollowbody guitar on the neck pickup is going to sound worlds apart from a solid body ...


10

There is a large difference between tone deafness and an undeveloped voice. Unless your parents are musicians, comments like that can be hurtful and can stifle musical exploration and creativity. Tone deafness is actually quite serious and is as it suggests - an inability to distinguish between certain sounds. This is akin to color-blindness, where a ...


9

A key's color, quality and difficulty are largely instrument dependent. For example, Bb minor rarely involves open strings on the stringed instruments and has fewer natural harmonic possibilities than, say, A minor. This leads to a "darker" sound on strings.


9

Unlikely, because unless your child has a genetic reason for being unable to distinguish pitches (which you apparently may, if what you say is true), he or she will soon learn to identify the inaccuracies in your singing. For example, there has been some noise about bilingual families and a fear that the non-native parent will "infect" the child with bad ...


9

The sounds in the songs you've listed are actually pretty different to my ears, but I'll try to generalize and go through some examples. Here is the raw line for reference. This is a modified strat with an EMG-SA in the neck position. This is important because EMG is an active pickup so the signal level is higher. This means it will distort sooner. So keep ...


9

Thicker picks (tend to) remain in contact with the string longer. The impulse provided to the string is of longer duration. A longer duration pulse imparts more lower frequency and less higher frequency content. Imagine the thick pick, at an angle, coming in to hit the string. It strikes the string, which starts to move along with the pick, but the pick ...


8

They're almost purely aesthetic. By far the most important tone woods on a solid body are the back of the body and the neck (not fingerboard) wood. And there's no real sonic difference at all between different types and grades of maple. Flamed maple sounds the same as quilted maple, and the number of A's is irrelevant to sound. I'm always amazed at ...


8

EXCELLENT question! The answer actually rather like "Why does stopped french horn sound up a half step when closing the bell lowers my tuning?" Horn players routinely adjust their hand position to close or open the bell of the instrument, thereby changing the tuning. When they need to adjust themselves down, they close the bell, and when they need to ...


8

I have read much about the Telecaster, but I still don't know what Leo Fender was thinking. I know that Seth Lover was thinking the same thing, as PAF humbuckers had covers too. It was only into the 70s when you started seeing pickups with their covers removed. Even Strat pickups are covered, albeit with plastic. In part, the nickel cover was to make the ...


8

Most musicians constantly fuss over how they sound. It is understandable, given the way we communicate using sound; we want our sound to be the best sound we can create. So, you are not alone here. It is important for you to learn to separate the sound from your self-worth as a human being. You ask your friends to be specific, but you need to be specific: ...


7

Sounds to me like exactly the same principle. The first rhythm gets faster and faster until it becomes a blur of noise and is removed from the sound, but over the top of that is superimposed the same rhythm at half speed. While you're listening to the first rhythm get faster, the second does the same, and eventually becomes the main focus of attention. By ...


7

First, of course, is to play single notes. The Sax is a single-voice instrument, and double stops will not sound sax-y. Next, you'll have to change the attack-decay-sustain-release characteristics of the guitar to match the saxophone. The sax has sustain as long as the player has breath, and there are techniques like circular breathing that expand that. You ...


7

"Tone deaf" is a bit of a misnomer -- if someone truly wasn't able to understand relative pitch, it would show up in their speech patterns. So, usually the term is applied to people for whom discerning differences in pitch is difficult, at least with the precision that is required for music. The fact that you must multitask this process with the act of ...


7

The dirt and grime that comes from distortion is a result of notes with frequency relationships beyond those that are very simple ratios (e.g. 2:1=an octave, and 3:2=a fifth) going through the distortion process together. This results in sum and difference frequencies being produced that seem only distantly related to the notes being played, resulting in an ...


6

Fourier analysis allows you to take a waveform, and translate it into a graph of frequency against amplitude. The graph for a sine wave is at zero everywhere apart from one frequency. The graph for white noise shows the same amplitude for all frequencies. The graph for a single note played on, say, an acoustic guitar shows a big peak for the frequency of ...


6

The way I understand it, this is more of an issue on upright pianos than grands. It has to do with the construction of the action, the system of levers and hammers that transfer the energy of striking the key into the energy of the hammer striking the note. If you own an upright piano at home, I highly recommend dismantling the front panel (ask yer parents, ...


6

You should pay attention to your singing. Tone-deafness is a result of a disconnection between what are you hear and what you produce. It is generally fixable through conscious attention. I work developing musical training computer games for children. My mother sang to me as a child, and she is tone-deaf. I also learned to sing in a tone deaf manner. We ...


6

In addition to the points given by topo morto: the effect that gives you pretty much “overdrive without the distortion” is a compressor. In fact, a major reason for using overdrive and distortion is that it compresses the signal (yielding longer sustain), as well as changing the sound by adding harmonics and intermodulation. If you simply run a ...


6

In your question, you use the word "tonality", but I do not think it means what you think it means. Tonality refers to a certain harmonic vocabulary, especially involving the use of dominant-tonic chord relationships. You are asking about the tone quality, or timbre, of an instrument, and what could be refered to as its harmonicity. More frequently, we refer ...


5

"Mark Tremonti's Guitar Gear Equipment and Rig" mentions his amp's settings, and amp types. That's a starting point. Note that it says he uses a "Bogner Uberschall for low end", so on your X3 try setting up a dual-patch with a Rectifier head and cabinet, and a second stack using the Bogner amp model. I don't remember which one it was, but I'm pretty sure ...


5

Equipment plays a significant role in a guitarists tone, as does technique, but another important factor to consider is post-production. For example, if I take a pair of Metalcore bands, hand them all PRS SE 245's and a Boogie Triple Rec and tell them to go nuts they will sound very close to alike. They won't sound exact due to inflection and expressiveness ...


5

I have an Epiphone 335 copy (they call it a "Sheraton") and a Warmoth-parts solid-body with "tone chambers" in it. I wouldn't describe either as having a "mellow" sound, per se. The Epiphone does have a sound I'd describe as "open" and "woody", though not as much so as my all-hollow archtop. You've heard 335's a thousand times, I'm sure, and you know how ...



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