Questions tagged [beginner]

For questions about the beginner level of a topic. Note: this tag should always be accompanied by another tag since beginner alone does not give enough information about the question.

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18
votes
6answers
5k views

To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?

I've been up until now just practicing triads on all major/minor keys. If I wanted to play jazz do I just add sevenths (ie dominant7, major7, minor7) to chords in my chord progressions or is it alot ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

How deep should the fingers sit when pressing piano keys?

When pressing piano keys, how deep should the fingertips sit? Well between the black keys (if I'm playing the white ones), or closer to edge of the key? I have seen both practices on videos, ...
12
votes
8answers
5k views

Retuning violin numerous times daily

I am very new to violin, like newborn baby new. My eldest son just bought me my first violin and I am having serious tuning issues. Firstly, the violin is a SV-75 Cremona premiere Novice 4/4. Secondly,...
12
votes
10answers
6k views

Is it too late for me to become good at piano?

I am 13 and starting to learn piano. I have been asking many people online, who claim to know piano, how long have they been playing. Most, if not all, say that they started between 5-9. I have a ...
12
votes
6answers
45k views

What is the difference between Fender and Squier guitars?

I'm totally new to learning how to play the electric guitar, but I am motivated to start practicing/learning. I've done a little research on the types of guitars out there and I think that my first ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Understanding guitar music sheet

I am a beginner and I have some really basic questions regarding the notations of this guitar sheet music and how to read them. First, what is the purpose of the chord's names above the staff ? Also ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Would you recommend a keyboard for beginners with or without lights in keys for learning?

For my kid, we want to buy a first piano keyboard. There are nice options under 200 EUR. But now we have a dilemma: do we need helping lights in keys do we need to connect to Tablet (we don't have ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

Struggling to switch chords when fingerstyle / arpeggio

So for the life of me I am struggling to switch chords with my left hand while picking a fingerstyle pattern. have been playing a bit over 6 months :( When I'm playing chords with a flatpick I can ...
11
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I teach a five-year-old violin?

I just got a request from a mom who would like me to start teaching her five-year-old violin, and I really need some help. I've been teaching piano and violin for three years now, but I've never ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Should a beginner use simplified (easy) version?

My kid (6 years old) is learning the piano. Should she use the easy (simplified) version of a slightly hard piece, or an easy original piece? I am afraid she will have problems with the original ...
10
votes
14answers
70k views

How can I build my finger strength when I am not practicing?

I am a beginner for guitar. And I am having a hard time playing the F barre chord. It is said that only through practice can one make a difference. But I have limited time playing guitar. Are there ...
10
votes
2answers
186 views

Playing sweetly vs gently in violin

I am learning violin as a beginner (2.5 months), and one of the early practice pieces contain dolce and piano. The latter is more like playing quietly and gently, so it makes some intuitive sense and ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Left/right hand coordination on guitar, fretting wrong strings, while playing melodies

I'm having trouble with my left/right hand coordination. I'll either fret the wrong string, or pick the wrong string. I'm trying not to look down at the guitar because I know it's a bad habit, but ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this metal thing on my guitar?

I am trying to figure out what the metal piece is at the end of the soundboard. I am just learning to play. Can someone please explain what that piece is and what it is supposed to do?
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What is an effective way to tune a guitar for an unpracticed ear?

I played viola for 6-7 years and always had this problem to a degree where plucking or playing a string made me feel the pitch was wobbling in a range. I assumed I just don't have a precise ear, but ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Learning an instrument with visual impairment

I have been lately delving into instrument learning now that I can afford some gear and lessons I am seriously thinking into dedicating into it. The thing is I only have one seeing eye - the right ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Can someone clarify the range of orchestral strings?

The Wiki article lists a 27 note range for the violin, viola, 'cello, and double bass. The first three are listed as conservative estimates, and less so for the double bass. Am I correctly inferring ...
8
votes
6answers
709 views

Part of the notes sound off (Scott Joplin - The Entertainer sheet music for Piano)

I am practicing Scott Joplin - The Entertainer, based on this score from 8notes.com. It all sounds fine, except for this segment: The red marked segment sounds off when I play it. It sounds nothing ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does this version of Für Elise have d# then e both with treble clefs?

Going off a very similar question, "piano notation implies that the upper clef is the part played by the right hand, while the lower clef is the part played by the left hand." Is there some technique ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Choosing a flute for an adult beginner: Open or closed holes?

By looking to various flutes online, I saw that there are two types of flutes: Open Holes Flutes Closed Holes Flutes As an adult beginner, what should be taken into consideration before deciding ...
8
votes
1answer
647 views

Am I too old? Is it too late?: A guide to a popular question [duplicate]

Age is a commonly expressed concern in studying music, and there are many questions on this site addressing "late starts" from a variety of perspectives. This post is intended as Link ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the third triad dominant?

I'm working through "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony" by Tchaikovsky and I had a question about this section on triads (he's working with a C Major scale): The whole mass of major and minor ...
8
votes
1answer
436 views

What are the elementary skills of composition?

I'm interested in learning music composition, but in spite of music being as old as time itself the majority of resources I've come across so far seem to suggest that a beginner learn sections of ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

Do I handicap my guitar learning by deemphasizing learning to use a pick?

Been playing guitar for a few months now and for the last month I've started trying to use a pick since most people (including the best guitarists) do and while it's useful for alternate picking, pick ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Piano: Left handed Gmaj7 chord

I have trouble playing the Gmaj7 chord with my left hand. I'm using 5-3-2-1 fingering, but I can't avoid hitting the A key with my 4th finger. What exercises or techniques are used to void that?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How important is it to touch only one string

When playing a C or a D on the second string, my finger often also touches the first string. I have the feeling that it's bad, but I am wondering why, because if I play a note on the second string, ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Tips on buying an electric guitar for a beginner

I know there is another question similar to this one but it didn't answer all my questions. I am just a beginner and I want to buy an electric guitar. First of all I have heard that you should start ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Correct piano wrist movement

I'm currently learning play piano by myself. Since I'm a beginner and I don't have any tutor, I'm very careful about learning proper technique. Here it looks like Mr. Hoffman has no problem with wrist ...
7
votes
4answers
994 views

I'm not sure if I'm executing these instructions on piano time signature correctly

I'm learning piano on my own and I'm using a workbook (Ben Dunnett). Below is the link to my interpretation of what this task is asking (video on YouTube). I know I've played this in common time as I'...
7
votes
5answers
438 views

Learning my first instrument

I’m 21 and about to finish college. Learning to play an instrument has always been a long standing lifelong dream of mine and pursuing it has finally started to look feasible in the foreseeable future....
7
votes
7answers
5k views

Teaching yourself piano as a support instrument only?

What is the best way to learn piano if I only want to use it to support my singing, and to aid in transcription and composition? All self-teaching courses I've come across seem to focus on self-...
6
votes
7answers
31k views

How to self teach myself guitar?

I didn't see any post of where I can find a site that have good program for free to learn how to play a guitar. i have seen only those: How do I choose my first guitar for self-learning? How to ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Can learning music theory from “Music Theory for Guitarists Volume 1” by Bruce Arnold teach me enough to start composing?

I am a guitar and bass player who has played pop/rock/blues for 15 years. Like a lot of other users I am music illiterate. I am a fan of Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead and am interested in composing rock ...
6
votes
2answers
674 views

D Scale Question

Ive been playing the piano for a bit and I am now looking to learn new scales. I've run into a question and I'm quite stumped. For example, I've seen the D major scale as D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Skills for writing your own songs

What are some good starting points to begin writing songs for someone who possesses limited theory knowledge and playing experience (beginner)? What are the essentials skills and knowledge for ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Learning pick and finger-picking at the same time?

I am picking up the guitar again, being now 30 and having played when I was about 9, and I'm a bit confused on what approach I should take while self-learning. I would ideally like to play things ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What makes the same note sound different on different strings?

When comparing the same note (e.g. E4) from 2 (adjacent) strings, the tuner says: the same, but I hear them somehow differently. I cannot tune without a tuner because of this problem. What make them ...
6
votes
2answers
525 views

Why are chord inversions rarely/never mentioned in beginning jazz (solo) piano?

I've learned about chord inversions in my basic piano instruction, usually emphasizing voice leading as being important for a more accomplished sound. But this seems to be absent in beginning jazz ...
6
votes
3answers
402 views

The next step after learning scale modes on (electric) guitar

I am trying to learn playing guitar (electric in my case) and I got to the point where I can play minor pentatonic, blues scale, ionian (C Major), dorian and aeolian. Those are the usual ones I try to ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Would it benefit a beginner pianist to start by learning Bach's Prelude in C?

I'm asking for objective reasons why this piece can be quite useful for beginners, specifically those who cannot yet read music. I'm not asking for meanings or arguments as a discussion but for ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Time signature 3/4 seems to have more than 3 quarter notes in a measure

I'm learning the basics of musical theory and I see this sheet and get this question, the white dotted noted has a time of (2 + 1/2) right? But with the value of the black note the compass make a ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to tell if a note is sharp or flat if there is no indicator

So I have this sheet music by Coldplay, the title of the song is called Clocks and I am trying to understand the notes. My question is how do I know when a flat or sharp is supposed to be played? I ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

I am a beginner piano player, have no idea how to emphasize a downbeat

But how do I put an emphasis on a beat? Do I play it louder? Do I play it longer?
5
votes
4answers
855 views

How should i play this 4/4 measure with 4 quarter notes and 1 whole note in it [duplicate]

So i came across this during my piano sight reading practice and I don't know how to understand it. There is a quarter note (C) with a whole note (C) right next to it. At first i thought they're just ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Self-learning how to play the piano

I'd like to start learning to play the piano from scratch, and I would like to know how many hours of practice will it take me to: master the basics like scales, technique, fingering, theory, and ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the correct way of learning sheet music?

I don't really know what is the correct way of learning new pieces from sheet music and because of this I get distracted really quickly while familiarizing myself with new music. I tend to follow some ...
5
votes
7answers
7k views

Beginner Pianist Hand Pain?

I'm an 18 year old adult beginner pianist and I've just started playing this month of May. I go to piano lessons but it's just from a local music shop. I've been having this muscle pain with both of ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Should I let my violin bridge tilt forwards?

I just got myself a violin, being a beginner who has never played any bowed instruments before and intending to teach myself how to play. I came across an instruction video that stated that the bridge ...
5
votes
2answers
325 views

Roman numerals below the note in violin

I thought the number over the note was the string number for violin. But what are the roman numerals below the score? How do I finger this score in violin? Could you number on the score please...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Fingerstyle for a COMPLETE beginner

There is a lot of info about starting with fingerstyle. But most people starting with fingerstyle actually have some experience with plucking or music in general. On the other hand, I'm completely new ...

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