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Functional programming enthusiast, audio engineer & musician. Whilst not busy with any of that, I study physics at Universität zu Köln / Bonn-Cologne Graduate School.


Oct
1
comment Does a diminished first exist?
@11684: The harmonic minor scale actually has an augmented second – but classical harmony isn't really bound to scales anyway. Diminished-seventh chords appear quite openly in Baroque, seldom but prominent, and it very much does matter that you don't enharmonically confuse them so there's only accidentals of one kind. To give one example, look at bar 59 of the Cello Suite IV prélude: D A F♯ E♭ stacked.
Oct
1
comment Does a diminished first exist?
@11684: that's not true, diminished seventh chords are used at least since Baroque. If the chord cannot exist in classical theory, it's because of the augmented third, though I'm pretty sure that actually features in one or another romantic work as well.
Oct
1
comment What is the correct way to play/mute strings with the thumb?
The A is part of D-major, but that doesn't mean you can just play any A tones as you please – imagine a bass player letting just ring the empty strings, it would sound horrible. The F♯ bass of the chord in question already has a tendency to make it sound a bit muddy, so less other notes in the range is rather better.
Oct
1
comment Does a diminished first exist?
In this case MuseScore and PianoTeq (normally I prefer Lilypond and real instruments).
Oct
1
comment Does a diminished first exist?
@AndrásHummer: with a quarter-tone resolution, you can actually make sense of the precise chord the OP asked about. Check out my answer!
Sep
29
comment Why do notes have multiple names?
On the hazard of not surprising anyone: I would refute the premise of this question. Notes don't have multiple names (...except do-re-mi vs C-D-E...). Rather, there are different notes which happen to come out at the same frequency if you render them in certain tuning systems.
Sep
28
comment Is True Bypass better than Buffered Bypass? Is it possible to be neither?
Also, note that a couple of pedals take a good deal of their characteristic sound from the unusual interaction with the guitar: they have a low-impedance input, which largely kills the pickup resonance and takes away a good deal of treble. This won't happen if the pedal comes after a buffered one. (You might argue colouration-by-impedance is horrible design, but then guitar circuits in themselves are horrible design... if I were to decide, I'd mandate guitar manufacturers to make all instruments active.)
Sep
28
comment Is True Bypass better than Buffered Bypass? Is it possible to be neither?
Good answer. Your point about putting a buffered pedal early in the chain should perhaps be phrased a bit differently: "driving all the pedals" is not really an issue, you always drive only the first one that's not in true-bypass mode. Unlike a guitar cable, a pedal in true-BP shouldn't even change the capacitive load (though some no doubt do, despite the name). Perhaps the most relevant concern is not to drive the cable going from the pedal-board to the amp, so what I should say is put a buffered pedal ᴀɴʏᴡʜᴇʀᴇ in your chain.
Sep
22
comment Notation for a turn with a half step
Depending on the style it might not be desirable to be too specific about how the ornament is laid out. Indeed, in Irish folk tunes and the like you may find a turn written, and some players will make a note sharp, some will use the natural scale, and some will play entirely different notes... all ad-lib!
Sep
22
comment Why does music seem to transpose when I yawn?
This is a really good question, but it doesn't have anything to do with music. Might better be asked on Physics or Biology. — "Change in eardrum tension" might be involved, but that hardly explains why you'd perceive a pitch shift.
Sep
21
comment Finger Picking vs. using a Pick on Bass Guitar
Never blisters? Funny. But then you say fingers give a "smoother" sound... evidently we have a bit of a different approach to fingerstyle violence... — Indeed you can get pretty percussive sounds on a fretless with slap techniques – but not this kind of bright rattle as frets give you when just playing loud apoyando, rather the characteristic fretless growl (which is very unlike pick-attack). That's what I meant there.
Sep
17
comment Pay-to-Play Gigs
That's certainly the idea at least behind that particular $2 fee. I don't find the application of this argument very convincing though – in fact, a daresay the fee is more effective at keeping away people who have some ambition (because they'll feel that gnawing sense that it's just not right).
Sep
16
comment How to avoid excessive bow-hair damage when playing “scratch percussion” on string instruments?
I think I might start looking for a light french-style bass bow... would probably also get a bit more sound out of my low-F string!
Sep
16
comment What's the purpose of a sound post?
@luserdroog: well... yeah. But this is a bit like saying "the engine is essential for tuning the weight distribution of a car": it does have a great influence on the weight distribution, but obviously that's not the reason we put engines in cars.
Sep
14
comment What's the purpose of a sound post?
@MatthewRead: the bottom will be in phase with a small spot on top: where the energy is passed from the "treble" leg of the bridge to the sound post. A much larger part of the top is however in phase with the other leg, because a) it's not fixed by the sound post and b) the bass bar readily distributes the vibration over a large area, more quickly than the thin wood alone on the other side.
Sep
12
comment Numbers above notes in piano sheet music?
Note that pianists number the fingers ̶w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶ differently from most other instruments, where the index is 1.
Sep
11
comment Are there guitar strings for very high tunings?
This will probably work, but standard thin a and g strings will certainly be very fragile: going to thinner gauges only reduces the total tension (force on the pegs), but not the actual material tension the steel has to endure. What you'd really need is strong, but more lightwight materials than steel; titanium ought to work very well (obviously not for electric guitars though).
Sep
7
comment Do you use a metronome for songs or just for scales and exercises?
@Shevliaskovic: yes. To a beginner, the most crucial thing is to get a feel for the instrument. Forcing a feel for steady tempo before the instrument starts to go smoothly is futile, they should better train that without an instrument by intensively listening to music. Where, as I said, a metronome is a good idea is in purely technical excercises, to make sure the technique doesn't interfere with the internal tempo sense.
Sep
7
comment Do you use a metronome for songs or just for scales and exercises?
You have always something to keep your tempo steady: your feet! (Or rather, your "inner metronome".) Occasionally training that tempo-feeling itself with a metronome is certainly a good idea (in technical excercises), but for practising actual music the human metronome is superior to a mechanic/electronical one.
Sep
6
comment Learning guitar without making noise
Don't expect too much from buying a sound-hole cover: these do lower the volume, but only slightly; they're most effective in shielding internal microphones from outside noise, whereas the guitar sound is transmitted from all the walls to both outside and inside. The outlying faces still emit sound, no matter what you do to the sound hole. Stuffing the entire body with t-shirts is more effective, because it damps the vibrations of the wood itself.