Questions tagged [learning]

Learning is the act of acquiring or developing skills and knowledge.

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42 votes
17 answers
88k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop calluses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
68 votes
24 answers
245k views

Best method to learn to play barre chords?

I've been trying to learn the F chord for a while now, and I am having a very hard time playing the barre chord. I've read that pulling back slightly with your finger and using the body of the guitar ...
user avatar
35 votes
4 answers
81k views

Using keyboard/MIDI controller to learn piano

I'm an adult just starting to learn music from scratch. The piano I have been using is sometimes not available for me to use, so I would like to buy a keyboard/MIDI controller so I can practice ...
ccb's user avatar
  • 461
26 votes
4 answers
29k views

Learning Piano without a teacher

How can I effectively learn how to play the piano if it is simply impossible for me to get a teacher? I took it upon myself to learn the piano. However, I am not sure where to start, especially with ...
Secret's user avatar
  • 369
39 votes
3 answers
25k views

How can I train my ear for music?

I have noticed that some people are better at hearing music, e.g. they are better in distinguishing the notes or noticing mistakes when someone is play. Is it possible to train oneself to hear music ...
user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
5k views

How can I slow down a YouTube video I'm trying to analyze or transcribe?

Sometime I want to use a YouTube video to figure out what notes/chords are being played, figure out how (i.e., by what technique) the notes/chords are being played, or transcribe a (part of) a song. ...
Aaron's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Am I too old? Is it too late? Starting, Resuming, or Mastering an instrument [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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 86.5k
36 votes
12 answers
28k views

How can I learn to compose?

I am aware that Stack Exchange questions should be on-point, and not too broad, but I really would appreciate a response from people who know what they are talking about: I recently saw Boublil and ...
cmp's user avatar
  • 2,676
18 votes
6 answers
3k views

What are the specific progressive steps to take in basic ear training?

This question: What are the most effective ear training methods has an excellent best answer. I'd like to zoom in on its conclusion: All of these skills, like playing an instrument, take time. Don'...
Tim H's user avatar
  • 5,138
67 votes
9 answers
62k views

How can a classical pianist learn jazz piano?

I'm a classically trained pianist. Took lessons all through my childhood. I've continued to play and read classical literature all my life. But I never learned anything about jazz piano. I also know a ...
mfamous's user avatar
  • 1,053
46 votes
16 answers
21k views

How can I improve my piano sight reading?

I am 25 years old, and I started learning piano about 6 months ago. I really want to play the piano well, but it takes me so long to be able to play any piece of music. In the meantime, I'm using a ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,612
20 votes
7 answers
73k views

Do I need a teacher to learn violin?

I'd like to take up the violin, but I travel too much to take lessons. Is it reasonable to learn violin without a teacher? And I take 'unreasonable' to mean "don't even bother- you'll be much better ...
spiffytech's user avatar
26 votes
14 answers
13k views

Can one be too old to learn an instrument?

I own a guitar. I've owned it since I was about 13, but never really got into it because I was a spiteful teen who wanted to play the drums, and went out of my way to play the drums instead (to the ...
nostalgk's user avatar
  • 363
20 votes
6 answers
38k views

Get back into an instrument after long break?

In my youth I played lots of piano, for over 10 years, and became quite good at it. During college, however, I just didn't have the time to keep it up. It looks as if I'll soon have access to a ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 451
20 votes
5 answers
3k views

I find myself making the same mistake when practising - despite focussing on that part- how to remedy?

I'm an extremely newbie musician (preparing for Grade II on oboe - no prior musical experience). I've looked into the best ways to practise (and I have a teacher) but I find myself struggling with ...
user6241's user avatar
  • 351
17 votes
8 answers
17k views

Want to learn composing and producing music with a DAW. Where do I start?

I am a computer engineer and a passionate music listener. I have been listening to movie scores and soundtracks for many years now and it has really inspired me to want to learn more about music and ...
Inder's user avatar
  • 179
15 votes
8 answers
25k views

How to learn piano improvisation

I am a self-taught piano player, played for about five years with shorter and longer breaks. I've never had any formal education, don't know chords or music theory. What should I do to learn piano ...
Maurycy's user avatar
  • 467
5 votes
5 answers
1k views

Need Help in Starting to Learn Guitars?

I am a beginning guitar player. I enjoyed playing in my childhood, but for some reason I was not able to learn. But now I want to learn guitar. I wasn't sure whether to buy an electric guitar or a ...
Sankar Ganesh PMP's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
75k views

What is the first scale one should learn on guitar

The title really sums it all up but I'll try expand it slightly. Lets say I'm learning guitar and would like to improve my guitar work. Which of the scales should I learn first and why?
22 votes
4 answers
707 views

Criteria for selecting a voice teacher [closed]

I have been singing in a (classical) choir for several years, including the occasional solo line, and am now seriously considering voice lessons. However, finding a good teacher seems like a daunting ...
Jiahao Chen's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
3k views

Skills needed for classical guitar

I've been playing steel-string acoustic for 25+ years, and I'm becoming more interested in classical guitar playing. While I'm fairly good at fingerstyle, I'm aware that making the leap to classical/...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
2k views

How to learn to play guitar with a slide?

I have always wanted to play guitar with a slide. How should I go about learning this skill?
bleakcabal's user avatar
  • 1,456
21 votes
8 answers
7k views

"The intervals considered dissonant have changed since the 'Middle Ages'"; How so?

In reading my new book 'Complete Classical Music Guide', I understand the following: If two notes are separated by a consonant the sound is pleasing to the ears. If they are of a dissonant ...
cmp's user avatar
  • 2,676
19 votes
6 answers
49k views

What are the ABRSM graded examinations, and why would one want to take them?

I have seen several questions here about the exams offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom. Most questions are from the standpoint of people who are in the ...
user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
10k views

Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same note....
bill999's user avatar
  • 267
12 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why is the last string on a guitar called the first string and the first string called the sixth string?

I learned early in my guitar playing journey that what I would naturally assume would be the first string (the fattest string) is actually known in proper guitar anatomy parlance as the sixth string. ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
15k views

Becoming proficient at piano at age 30?

When I was 7 or 8 I took lessons and was not bad at piano. But my teacher and my dad was very strict and would smack me and shout at me when I got a note wrong or something. So, I became afraid of the ...
jack9292's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes
8 answers
3k views

How to develop a musical ear when even singing poses great difficulty?

I love music and would love to develop a musical ear. My problem is that I can't get started. All tutorials that I find start at a more advanced point compared to where I am at. I can't carry a tune. ...
Wynne's user avatar
  • 416
6 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why do guitar teachers and lesson books teach playing a G Major chord without using your pinky?

Why do most guitar teachers and beginner guitar lesson books teach the fingering for the G major chord using the ring finger to fret the g note on 3rd fret of high e string rather than using your ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
502 views

What to look for in beginner etudes for a second instrument?

I've already learned the theory, technique and notation as it applies to my primary instrument (guitar). I'd like to pick up a second instrument (viola), but I need to find exercises and etudes that ...
luser droog's user avatar
  • 15.1k
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Acquiring advanced level sight reading

Beyond the basics of sight reading that everyone talks about, what are some of the skills you need to learn to sight read advanced and complex pieces? What are the nuances and techniques that not a ...
Sky Star's user avatar
  • 467
3 votes
3 answers
5k views

Instrument grade exams

How many grade exams are there for playing an instrument? I came to know that there are around 8 grades to qualify you as a professional guitar player. How are these grades decided and what is the ...
GamDroid's user avatar
  • 229
62 votes
10 answers
10k views

Will learning to play another instrument help me to become a better guitarist?

I am a programmer and I do this for living. As a programmer, I've noticed how much difference it makes to learn another language - the quality of your work improves greatly, just because you know how ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,082
52 votes
8 answers
9k views

Guitar practice: more often but less time or once in a few days but for a few hours?

As many people, who have lots of every day responsibilities, like going to work, family and etc. I find myself struggling for the time to practice. Some days I just feel to tired to pick up a guitar ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,082
44 votes
16 answers
109k views

What instruments are inexpensive, portable and not too loud?

I'm a college student, and I'd really like to start playing an instrument. But I want to find something that is: Inexpensive Small and portable enough to fit in a backpack Quiet enough to practice in ...
cstack's user avatar
  • 551
27 votes
8 answers
11k views

Memorizing notes on guitar fretboard

I have 2 questions, which are somehow interrelated. Learning which-note-corresponds-to-which-fret-position was told to me as an extremely important task for any guitarist who want to get better at it....
Quazi Irfan's user avatar
  • 1,712
25 votes
9 answers
9k views

What are good resources for learning music theory?

What is a good resource for learning music theory, especially as it relates to the guitar, coming from a completely beginner's perspective? I had a musician friend try to teach me about modes such as ...
24 votes
4 answers
1k views

Where can I get started with my improvisation?

I have been playing the alto saxophone for a while now. I have also improvised from time to time and have some theoretical and practical background on the instrument, harmony, scales, etc. I have ...
Edgar Gonzalez's user avatar
21 votes
17 answers
8k views

X or Y guitarist doesn't know music theory - how true is this statement?

We've all heard a statement similar to the following: X didn't / doesn't know any music theory and is one of the all time greats replacing X with a famous guitarist. Being a novice, I am trying ...
oym's user avatar
  • 363
19 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why do lower pitched string instruments have a larger body?

I know that increasing the length of the string will decrease the pitch, but that doesn't explain why the body of a cello is larger than a violin, only longer. What would be the "problem" with ...
nanotek's user avatar
  • 403
19 votes
11 answers
12k views

Guitar tutoring software that listens to your playing?

I'm looking into learning classical guitar. I know most people will suggest getting lessons, and I'm looking into that. But I was also wondering if there are any software tutors out there that can ...
18 votes
4 answers
59k views

How do I develop a bass voice?

I am an 'adult male human' and can sing from A2 to G4 comfortably. It would be great if I can sing up to a whole octave below this. I am in no hurry and am willing to expend time and effort. I just ...
gigahari's user avatar
  • 1,122
15 votes
13 answers
24k views

How can I learn to read bass clef score more naturally?

I hadn't read music for about 20 years, after doing a little classical guitar as a young child, and recently started learning piano. I was pleasantly surprised to find that reading music on the treble ...
Mr. Boy's user avatar
  • 9,860
15 votes
7 answers
2k views

What methods can I use to aid note accuracy when playing a Theremin

The main problem I have with the Theremin is identifying "anchors" to help train my muscle memory for note accuracy. My first violin, about 35 years ago, had tape added by my instructor for the first ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
13 votes
10 answers
36k views

Is Hanon's "Virtuoso Pianist" good for self-taught musician?

I am a self-taught pianist (or keyboardist, whatever you prefer). Some time ago I came across The Virtuoso Pianist but, because I never played under the eye of a professional, I was turned away by the ...
Maurycy's user avatar
  • 467
13 votes
8 answers
48k views

A total newbie wants to learn how to write songs. What does he need?

I am recently being interested in writing my own songs/my own music. However, I'm a newbie when it comes to music. I am not really musically talented nor inclined. I only know basic guitar chords and ...
Lance Gray's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Learn music with odd rhythms

I've always had problems with tuplets (3/2, 4/3, etc), until I was taught this nifty trick: subdivide the total duration (4 quartuplets, 3 triplets, etc) by the least common multiple (12, for 4/3) ...
user19087's user avatar
  • 441
8 votes
3 answers
13k views

Do the hands' sizes affect piano learning/performance?

I don't really know anything about pianos, but since I just got a digital one I guess I should give it a go. The first thing I noticed is that it is difficult for me to press multiple keys that are a ...
Saturn's user avatar
  • 1,409
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can I develop a high register on a brass instrument without creating tension?

Lately I've been reading about how trombonists (or any other brass instrumentalists) tend to develop tension in their neck or torso when playing in the higher register. In working to decrease ...
SRiss's user avatar
  • 1,259
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Learning piano the autodidact approach

I'm really motivated to learn to play the piano, though I can't afford any teaching and I don't know someone who could teach me. So I guess I have to do it "the autodidact way"—but maybe not really ...
reiner spaß's user avatar