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Questions tagged [practice]

For questions about practicing or practice techniques.

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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
17 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
JesseG17's user avatar
  • 273
7 votes
2 answers
10k views

What fingerings are used for the minor and major blues scales?

It's my understanding that for the diatonic scales, there's a consensus of which fingerings are optimal for most people. They are not a hard rule, some pianists use other fingerings, but they are ...
TaylorSwiftFan5932's user avatar
79 votes
19 answers
60k views

How to play a song without making mistakes?

I have played keyboard quite a while and now I'm starting to practice some classical music like Fur Elise. When I see a live performance of any musical instrument, there seem to be no errors at all. ...
Sufendy's user avatar
  • 1,954
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
69 votes
22 answers
6k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
InternalConspiracy's user avatar
37 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
  • 2,706
26 votes
6 answers
17k views

Having trouble memorizing intervals in ear training

I've been using some of those interval training games like this one and I have tried some on my phone as well. The problem is that I don't think I'm making any progress. Right now (on the website I ...
user1028270's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
17k views

How do you practice Audiation (playing music in your head)?

Time for a tricky question. Audiation appears to be the practice of playing music in your head. I found an answer referring to what audiation is in https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/9621/to-...
Alexander Troup's user avatar
31 votes
9 answers
35k views

What exercises can I do to improve my timing?

I recently made a recording consisting of overdubs in GarageBand. Playing it back, I was horrified to hear that while I felt as if I was in the groove while recording, I had actually been wildly ...
slim's user avatar
  • 36.1k
16 votes
13 answers
75k views

Is a digital or acoustic piano a better option for a beginner (sound and feel)?

I just started learning piano, and I want to buy a piano for recreational purposes and practicing. I am torn between digital and acoustic. I love the feel and sound of an acoustic, but I cannot afford ...
Mai's user avatar
  • 161
40 votes
15 answers
124k views

How can I practice in an apartment without annoying the neighbours?

I live in an apartment and I find my current amp (a 15W solid-state) to be poorly suited to that. I can't turn it up without upsetting the neighbours, but at low volume it sounds horrible with any ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 2,262
24 votes
5 answers
1k views

Practice amount and habits for time constrained individuals

I am not a professional musician. Three years ago I began to play electric guitar. I have tried to practice systematically and seriously for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours a day which is divided ...
darbehdar's user avatar
  • 343
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
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
11 votes
4 answers
843 views

Finding bandmates in a new city

I'm a young drummer that moved to Los Angeles. How do I find bandmates? I've tried posting and replying to ads on Craigslist and am going in circles. Most, not all, have been flaky or are into a very ...
wwwuser's user avatar
  • 490
8 votes
5 answers
9k views

How does a metronome help me play music better?

I heard that anyone who received theoretical education in music should use a metronome to practice their timing. But I don't know how does a metronome help me? Or even how would better timing help me? ...
user139024's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
17k views

What are the benefits of practicing standing up (guitar)?

I can see how practicing standing up would be better for performing guitarists, but I am wondering if there are any other advantages to practicing standing up vs. sitting down for any guitarist?
manejar's user avatar
  • 1,033
6 votes
4 answers
13k views

Piano: grand staff with two treble clefs. Where to place hands?

I'm very new at playing the piano and would love to play an easy version of Clair de lune. Please see the sheet below. I get stuck right at the very beginning. I think I have figured out that '...
flute's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Some measures have extra whole notes in them. What do they mean? [duplicate]

So i am practicing sight reading and i came across these exercises that have extra whole notes in a measure. What do they mean and how do i play them?
Lance's user avatar
  • 11
85 votes
8 answers
6k views

Ten Minute Practice Techniques For Guitar?

Unfortunately, I can't play every day. However, I am trying to practice at least 5-10 minutes here and there. What are some good theory or scale techniques/practice methods I should have ready to ...
Jason W's user avatar
  • 1,255
38 votes
9 answers
11k views

How do I use a metronome?

I am currently a beginner at the piano. I know using the metronome is important, but I I'm feeling reluctant to use it often, as it is difficult for me to get the music coordinated with the clicks. ...
iddober's user avatar
  • 6,642
15 votes
10 answers
9k views

I am bored with a metronome, should I get a drum machine? [closed]

I'm a big fun of using a metronome while practicing, but after a while it just gets boring to hear all this solid ticking. When you play scales and stuff like that, it's ok, but when you are playing a ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,132
15 votes
12 answers
3k views

Are there some classical pieces that lend themselves well to guitar?

I would like to practice reading music on something other than notation written for guitar. Are there other pieces written for violin, for instance-or other instruments, that can be transposed easily ...
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do you prevent injuries from bad posture while playing classical guitar?

I'm tagging this as specific to classical guitar since that's what I am familiar with. The correct posture is very important which playing classical, including the footstool, the position of your ...
talonx's user avatar
  • 687
5 votes
4 answers
506 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
4 votes
4 answers
692 views

Which tone names should I learn on a transposing instrument like a saxophone?

I just started learning to play tenor saxophone which is tuned in Bb key. All the tutorials begin wit learning the C major scale, but this is actually the Bb major on a tenor sax. I sort of understand ...
Peter Hudec's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Tips for learning and memorizing passages consisting of groups of only slightly different notes?

Not sure how to word it better. I give two examples below. On the right hand (treble clef), the small groups of notes have similar patterns but vary slightly, sometimes just an accidental's difference....
GrandAdagio's user avatar
  • 1,735
64 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
  • 8,132
57 votes
11 answers
26k views

Do advanced musicians still practice scales every day?

I'm wondering if you're ever "done" or do you just go practicing them forever?
user avatar
53 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
  • 8,132
37 votes
11 answers
130k views

How many hours of practice total are typical for different piano grades?

Malcolm Gladwell's book, "Outliers", stated a hypothesis: becoming good at something takes about 10,000 hours of practice. I've recently been wondering how long a typical piano student has practiced ...
James Tauber's user avatar
  • 3,147
37 votes
5 answers
8k views

How to play songs that contain one guitar when we have two or more guitarists?

I am playing drums in an alternative punk band we just started. I am wondering how to play songs that basically are from bands that contain one guitarist, as we have two guitarists. What can be the ...
BestAboutMe's user avatar
33 votes
9 answers
10k views

How should one practice a piece that is learned, but not fully mastered?

When, after a few weeks of practice, a piece arrives at the stage when the notes are learned, the hand movements are becoming automatic, and the tempo and dynamics are right it can feel the work is ...
Tim H's user avatar
  • 5,138
26 votes
8 answers
19k views

Stage volume levels in rehearsal and performance

Two questions in one here. Often when rehearsing or at gigs, I'm asked to turn up my volume "'Cos we can't hear you!" when the band is already quite loud. Very rarely will the others turn down to ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
26 votes
9 answers
6k views

How to avoid stopping when I play a wrong note on the piano

When I play any sheet music by memory, if I realize (by ear) that I play one wrong note, I always stop/get stuck and cannot continue playing. This is very bad in case I need to perform. So how to play ...
Pham X. Bach's user avatar
23 votes
8 answers
11k views

Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

Ear plugs are likely a good idea for anybody performing amplified music (or even enjoying amplified music). But what is the effect on the ability to hear your fellow musicians when playing in a ...
Ryan Kinal's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
12k views

Learning 4/5 trills on the piano?

This has got to be one of the hardest technical things to teach your hands. I'm looking for advice from someone who's already surmounted this particular obstacle. To be clear, I'm talking about ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
691 views

How to keep from tensing up when I click the metronome faster?

I've been trying to build up speed with my tremolo exercises, and the demon I keep fighting is a sort of negative feedback loop fed by worrying about deviations from the tempo, increasing attention on ...
luser droog's user avatar
  • 15.1k
12 votes
6 answers
14k views

Do weighted keys on a keyboard lead to more expressive playing?

I use an acoustic piano to learn/play classical music. I use a midi keyboard to record/produce own music. My piano has weighted keys while my midi keyboard has a very light touch. I find that I am ...
gigahari's user avatar
  • 1,122
12 votes
7 answers
4k views

Can't feel meter when playing

I can't feel the meter when playing along very well, sometimes not at all. Note I can feel the "pulse" just fine. I have no problem tapping my foot to the beat in time but I can't feel where the one ...
Uiy's user avatar
  • 227
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Guitar Muscle memory lesson plan for fine motor skill deficit

I'm diagnosed with Asperger's' along with I have fine motor skill deficits, although they have improved with age. (The real life tasks I couldn't learn at all are swimming, bicycling, catching a ball, ...
user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
6k views

Logical way to learn movable scales on guitar?

After learning the CAGED 'open string' scales, what scales to do next? In what order or what way? When I learn a new scale, it seems to have the effect of displacing my ability to play other scales ...
user1217's user avatar
  • 1,754
11 votes
7 answers
33k views

How to practice guitar in apartment with paper thin walls?

I live in an apartment with paper thin walls. My bedroom shares walls with two other apartments. Both my neighbors don't care for music that isn't hiphop, especially someone practicing guitar ...
smackenzie's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
17k views

What can I do to minimize damage to my picking hand wrist as I practice guitar?

My right hand (picking hand) is showing signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, and is slowly, but surely, degrading. I continue to practice guitar, but it's beginning to be difficult to do so. What can I ...
blueberryfields's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to break out of playing scales up and down when improvising

I play piano, and when I am playing a gospel or a blues song, I always improvise with my right hand. I have been practicing major scales and pentatonic scales for a while now, and when I play, i ...
Ricky Bascom's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
26k views

How to keep the tempo still stable?

When I'm playing solo, let's just say that q = 120. Sometimes, I can't keep the tempo, sometimes I went faster or slower. Is there any practice or technique for keeping the tempo?
seseorang's user avatar
  • 4,137
9 votes
6 answers
8k views

How can I avoid making unpleasant facial expressions when playing difficult chords?

When I'm playing (learning) difficult chords on guitar (ex: F,B7) my facial muscles (basically lips) form a weird action (I felt it and I saw it in the mirror). I feel I'll get used to it as I go and ...
DinushanM's user avatar
  • 941
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
  • 1,269
8 votes
6 answers
8k views

Learning to keep time

I haven't played music in quite a long time. Once thing I've noticed when I started playing again is that my tempo is completely horrible. When I play along to any song or instrumental, sometimes I ...
isekaijin's user avatar
  • 183