Questions tagged [practice]

For questions about practicing or practice techniques.

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81
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
75
votes
19answers
46k 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. ...
65
votes
23answers
5k 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 ...
59
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
56
votes
11answers
22k 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?
50
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
41
votes
17answers
10k views

Will playing without mistakes at all become easy for me in the future?

I've been playing the piano for around an year, practicing at least an hour on a daily basis I want to upload piano covers just like the ones I see in YouTube which I admire and they got me into ...
41
votes
10answers
34k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
38
votes
17answers
68k views

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

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 ...
37
votes
15answers
110k 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
14k views

Hands-separate piano practice doesn't seem to help with hands-together playing

I'm a late starter with 'official' piano lessons and wondered if my learning experience is typical. As I'm sure many do, my piano teacher tells my to practice left and right hands separately. I can ...
36
votes
9answers
9k 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. ...
35
votes
8answers
16k views

How do you determine if you're ready to join a band?

I've been pondering joining a band for some time now, but I usually get stalled at deciding whether or not I should spend more time learning to play first. I don't want to go through potential ...
34
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
34
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the best way of learning the notes on the fretboard.

What is the best way to learn the notes on the fretboard. Are there any good tips on how to do this?
33
votes
11answers
18k 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 ...
30
votes
11answers
11k views

Do musicians that began playing from an early age have an incontestable advantage?

If you look at the winners of international music competitions, or the biographies of famous musicians (Liszt, Chopin, Paganini, Mozart), there is one thing they all have in common that really stands ...
30
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I be sure that I am singing effortlessly in my natural voice?

I have years of vocalization practice, but I still start straining while singing—especially if I am not vigilant. It happens imperceptibly and is a hard habit to break. Is there a reliable technique ...
29
votes
9answers
8k 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 ...
29
votes
11answers
103k 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 ...
27
votes
9answers
31k 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
4k views

When practicing on my instrument - which is more important - quantity or quality?

I mainly play guitar but sometimes play piano. Occasionally I aspire to improve my skills by practicing - which for me - usually consists of trying to learn to play a more complex passage in a ...
25
votes
11answers
100k views

I want to learn how to sing. Where do I start?

According to a couple of websites, the best way to learn how to sing is with a vocal teacher, a recorder, and practice. But let's say I don't have the means to get a vocal teacher right now. What ...
25
votes
7answers
832 views

Is there any way for my to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing

When I'm playing my flute I sound fine, but when I listen to a recording I sound terrible. Is there any way for me to become a better judge of my playing? Especially while I'm playing, I want to be ...
25
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
16k views

Improving fretting hand strength

I've been playing for years now as a hobby guitarist, but my fretting hand strength plateaued - it never really improved much beyond what I could do 2 months after I started playing. Since then, I'm ...
24
votes
7answers
14k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How to prevent one mistake from derailing an entire piece?

When practicing a piece, I find that making one mistake sometimes messes up my muscle memory and throws me completely off. This is especially true of memorized pieces. This most often happens if, ...
23
votes
13answers
43k views

The difference between self-taught and professional pianists

As an amateur pianist, I've noticed that I can pick up on the difference between someone who has taught themselves piano, and someone who has had a high-quality piano instructor. It's hard to detail ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this metal M-shaped device for?

I inherited this with a box of piano sheet music, some of which was for beginners, and vaguely recall seeing one ages ago at a music store. It’s about the right size for wearing like a pair of brass ...
22
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
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 ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

What to do when you get lost in a jazz song?

A problem a lot of beginners in jazz have is that they tend to get lost in the solos (theirs and their bandmates' solos, where they accompany the soloist). Trying to follow the chord progressions with ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Fast octaves on the piano

I'm working on the piano accompaniment to Schubert's "Trockne Blumen" variations for flute and piano. Variation 2 is all sixteenth-note octaves in the left hand. I began by practicing very slowly ...
20
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
3k views

How can I practice guitar when I don't have my instrument?

Brass players can practice using just their mouthpieces, and drummers can practice with just sticks. What can a guitar (or similar instrument) player do to practice when they can't bring along their ...
20
votes
5answers
15k views

How to learn many musical instruments?

It's absolutely possible for one to know how to play more than one instrument and even be good at or master some. I currently know how to play guitar, keyboard and drum. Planning to start learning ...
20
votes
7answers
568 views

Keeping track of problems during rehearsals

As a mostly untrained conductor, one problem I've always had is keeping track of problems with a piece as we work through it. Something will stick out and I'll want to go back, but all I could ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Creating a perfect “practice corner”

Only few of us are lucky enough to have studio or some other dedicated place to practice. I think most of the time, musicians are going through their daily practice routines at home. I'm thinking of ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

How to begin learning the CAGED Method

What is the best way of approaching the CAGED Method. What are some good resources for beginning to learn this method.
19
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
32k views

Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures

I'm pretty interested in learning, composing and playing along to songs using odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4, 7/8, ...) and I'd like some advice on how to wrap my head around all this stuff. For ...
19
votes
9answers
19k views

When singing, how to avoid being distracted by vocal harmony or other vocal lines?

I'm not a professional singer but I love singing. I find it very difficult to focus on my own vocal line when I hear other vocal lines. For example, When I was in the college choir, I sang bass, and ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I know what key to write in?

I've recently become obsessed with Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. The music has inspired me tenfold to compose, write similar music. I've posted on here before on how to compose, and I'm trying my ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it harmful to use an electronic tuner to check intonation while practicing ?

Is it a bad habit to use an electronic tuner while practicing an instrument in which the notes are not fixed after tuning (e.g. violin, trombone)? I'm asking because I've heard a lot of people say ...
19
votes
6answers
27k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
505 views

Varying rhythms on bass

I've gotten into something of a bad habit in which I either play things in a steady rhythm, in triplets, or galloping, but without much variation, and I feel like I'm stagnating. What are some good ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

From beginner's perspective, should I polish an easy piece or move quicker to advanced ones?

I have started playing piano just recently. Although I have some understanding in music theory and played various instruments before (a bit), I am a total beginner in piano. My ultimate goal is to ...
19
votes
4answers
13k views

Ways to warm up vocal cords?

What are some safe ways to get my vocal cords without over using them before a practice or performance?
19
votes
1answer
13k 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-...