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Questions tagged [practice]

For questions about practicing or practice techniques.

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85 votes
8 answers
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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
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
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
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
44 votes
10 answers
39k 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 ...
Brian Campbell's user avatar
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
42 votes
8 answers
23k 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 ...
Kyudos's user avatar
  • 561
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
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
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
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
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
36 votes
8 answers
25k 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 ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 2,262
36 votes
9 answers
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?
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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
32 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
explorer's user avatar
  • 859
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
30 votes
14 answers
11k views

My child's violin practice is making us tired, what can we do?

My daughter began taking violin lessons 2 years ago, she's now 7. She became interested because she saw an older cousin play the violin. At the beginning, we were told that in order to progress, one ...
l0r3nz4cc10's user avatar
29 votes
11 answers
17k 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 947
28 votes
11 answers
136k 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 ...
Dante's user avatar
  • 374
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
26 votes
11 answers
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 ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
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
7 answers
19k 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 ...
Chris Lercher's user avatar
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
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
25 votes
11 answers
4k views

When practicing a new piece, how do you prevent repetition from dulling the punch?

When I start on a new song, I tend to do so because I'm completely absorbed by the piece and its emotion. Inevitably, I have to play recordings of the piece a few dozen times until I'm comfortable ...
TheEnvironmentalist's user avatar
25 votes
13 answers
55k 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 947
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
24 votes
7 answers
883 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 ...
user39730's user avatar
  • 271
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
23 votes
1 answer
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 ...
brichins's user avatar
  • 342
23 votes
3 answers
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, ...
Selvek's user avatar
  • 333
23 votes
6 answers
3k views

Finding the Shadaj (tonic) in Hindustani Sangeet (North Indian Classical Music)

This question pertains to non-Western music and hence a bit of explanation before a question is stated. I listen to and play Hindustani Sangeet (i.e., North Indian Classical Music) which does not use ...
S V Pathak's user avatar
22 votes
9 answers
5k 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 ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
616 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 ...
user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Mark Lutton's user avatar
  • 8,790
21 votes
9 answers
12k views

Why can't I sing high notes as a young female?

I am 14 years old and want to become a singer. I have seen that most female singers can usually hit these amazing high notes with no problem whatsoever. Like, for example, Hasley can do somewhat high ...
Freneda's user avatar
  • 219
21 votes
8 answers
2k 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 ...
mai's user avatar
  • 313
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
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
9 answers
31k 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 ...
netvope's user avatar
  • 945
20 votes
5 answers
18k 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 ...
Sufendy's user avatar
  • 1,954
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
7 answers
723 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 ...
derekerdmann's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,132
19 votes
11 answers
5k views

Practice to avoid mistakes or practice to cover mistakes

I am having a debate with the drummer in my band. His view seems to be that it is inevitable that musicians will make mistakes so it is more important to practice recovering from mistakes than it is ...
Ralphonz's user avatar
  • 400
19 votes
9 answers
4k 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 ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k

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