Questions tagged [practice]

For questions about practicing or practice techniques.

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19
votes
9answers
24k 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
10k 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
4answers
5k 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
3answers
3k views

What did bebop masters practice?

Players such as Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, etc., invented the jazz genre of bebop. Today, I am told to be good at playing bebop you must listen to the best jazz players and ...
19
votes
8answers
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
14k 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?
18
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9answers
5k views

Does Doodling or Improvising on the Piano Have Any Benefits?

I have a friend who recently spent around seven hours of his day playing on the piano by himself. While around three hours was spent actually practicing, the other four were spent doodling or ...
18
votes
7answers
4k views

How long can a professional trumpet player go without practicing before seeing detrimental effects?

I’ve seen in multiple places that professional trumpet players feel like they need daily, or nearly-daily practice in order to maintain capability, let alone improve. How long is it feasible for a ...
18
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
902 views

How can I move beyond learning songs?

I can competently learn and play chord progressions and simple runs on the guitar but I do not feel like I understand the instrument. My playing progresses by memorizing songs. However, I know that ...
18
votes
6answers
26k views

Right hand accuracy

I've realized, that I have a big problem with right hand accuracy, when using a pick, especially, when I play arpeggios and have to skip a string or a couple of stings. Sometimes, I hit the wrong ...
18
votes
3answers
550 views

What value does practicing have without paying attention to what you do?

I've recently come across an interesting way to practice. I was asking a very accomplished guitarist on how he practiced technique, since his was amazingly effortless. What he told me surprised me. ...
17
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10answers
6k views

Importance of using all fingers while playing guitar

I have been playing guitar for about 8 months now. I would say I'm progressing decently well, but my guitar teacher has one complaint against me: I don't use all my fingers of my fretting hand. The ...
16
votes
7answers
6k views

Is it possible that some people can play one instrument but not another?

I took piano lessons for six-seven years, and became rather advanced despite having poor practice etiquette, even learning some of Bach's two-part inventions, but when I tried to learn guitar, I never ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Criteria for speeding up when practicing with a metronome

When I'm practicing with a metronome, how hard should I be on myself before saying "OK, I got it down at this speed, let's increase the tempo."? I'm going with "after playing 'a while' and getting (...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Do they make "karaoke" versions of concertos for solo practice?

Say I as a pianist want to play/practice Saint-Saens's second piano concerto, but I happen to not have a symphony orchestra in my living room. How can I play this? Are there "pianoless" recordings to ...
16
votes
7answers
11k views

Why does taking an extended break sometimes help?

Sometimes as a musician, I find myself in a rut. My solution is to simply put my instrument down and walk away from it for a few weeks, sometimes even a month, and when I come back I'm better than ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Does one play a song better after "sleeping on it"?

Whenever I'm learning something new on the piano, I'll usually learn the basic notes and rhythm of a section of the song (several measures, maybe a full page depending on the complexity / tempo, etc)...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Can music theory help hobbyist instrumentalist get better at playing?

For hobbyists who don't plan to write songs, is it worth to invest their time to study music theory rather than get better at playing? I sometimes wonder how given piece is it structured, especially ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

What resources are there for a violinist with 4 fingers?

This is depressing. I have/had a young (around 8 years old) violin student who lost his left index finger in a freak accident over the holiday. He is a beginner, about ABRSM grade 2. I know of ...
16
votes
6answers
682 views

How do you avoid mindless practicing

I finally realize the problem, why I play the same piece over and over again to the point I want to bang my head against the wall and still not improve or feel very empty and that you haven't ...
15
votes
12answers
4k views

I have been practicing a song for 3 hours straight but I keep making mistakes. How can I get it right?

There is this one song I have to play for school but every time I try to play it, I make a mistake. I did this for 3 hours straight and I sent an email to my teacher and he gave me some advice but it ...
15
votes
9answers
8k views

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

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 ...
15
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5answers
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?
15
votes
13answers
71k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
68k views

Is singing a matter of talent or practice?

This is something I have always wondered. Is singing a matter of talent, that is, only people born with the 'proper instrument' can sing properly, or is it a matter of practice? I know that practice ...
15
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
12k views

Rhythm/Drum exercises without drums

I am a 24 year old computer engineering student who just have started playing drums. I spend on avarage 1 hour on bus to school and 40-60 min on exercise like running, biking, etc every day. My point ...
15
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
835 views

What to play instead of chords with an informal group?

I typically play guitar with an informal group and we mostly play traditional and old-timey songs. When I am not soloing I usually just play the chord progression of the song. Recently however I ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Stucturing Rock Band Practices

Background I recently took over as lead singer of an alt rock band. Around the same time, we lost our guitarist due to a move, and our bassist and keyboardist decided to leave at the same time. We ...
15
votes
1answer
609 views

Maximizing Practice Time

I play both guitar and sing(I'm a much better guitarist than singer) and have been devoting around 4 hours a day to both instruments. I'm noticing that I'm having trouble covering all the things I ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

Where can I go to play an acoustic piano regularly?

I love my digital piano. She's got weighted keys and can be quiet when she needs to, but for practice there are few things which compare to a real nice acoustic piano. I live in London so there ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

When practicing a song with frequently changing time signatures, what is the best way to count in?

My percussion ensemble is working on a song with different time signatures, i.e. it is constantly changing between 4/4, 7/8, 5/16 and so on. During the rehearsals, we sometimes want to start somewhere ...
14
votes
9answers
11k views

How to keep music books open?

You know, many sheet music books are quite springy and would rather close than stay open on the music stand while practising. How do you keep them open while allowing to turn the pages easily?
14
votes
7answers
2k views

What kind of effect does practicing on difficult to play instruments have?

To clarify the title, I'm not asking if it helps your mandolin skills to play violin (or vice versa, whichever you feel is "more difficult"). Let's say you are a guitarist: Does it help or hurt to ...
14
votes
6answers
951 views

How to keep the mood of a song when you've practiced it a lot

A lot of times when I'm first practicing a song, I play it with the right 'feel' and it sounds good, but the more I repeatedly study it to get the technical parts right, it feels like it just becomes ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

How should I practice before going into the recording studio?

I've heard that one of the best ways to save money in the studio is to spend a significant amount of time woodshedding before the actual studio date, which will help keep the amount of mistakes to a ...
14
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I learn to sing and play an instrument (like Piano) at the same time?

I find this a very difficult thing to do, and also not easy to put as much energy into singing, while playing piano. I have started off by just trying the chords on the piano, though it is still ...
14
votes
4answers
679 views

Are there any "etudes for the orchestra"?

Are there any "etudes for the orchestra"? Football teams don't practise just playing football all day long, but they do all kinds of "orchestrated" team exercises just like hockey players and ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Is there a common left hand position in accordion?

I'm an amateur accordion player who is having difficulties with the bass side. There's no problem when I'm using close keys such as jumping from C to A. But when I need to jump to a further key such ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of guitar exercise is "the caterpillar"?

What does it consist in and how do you practice it?
14
votes
4answers
10k views

Soundproofing a room for drum set practice

When I practice my drums in the house, it tends to be a little too loud for people in other rooms. While I know I could trade-in my drums for an electronic kit as an alternative, I'd really rather ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Breathing practice for harmonica

What are some good breathing practices for playing the harmonica? I have been learning the harmonica for a while now, I can play small time rhymes and some songs. But when I try to get into high ...
13
votes
18answers
81k views

How can a guitarist treat and avoid lateral epicondylitis in the fretting arm?

I've been playing guitar (both electric and acoustic) pretty seriously for about a year, 2-3 hours a day most days. I couple months ago I developed tendonitis in my fretting arm, which my doctor ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

I had a bad piano lesson one day, why? [closed]

I have been playing piano for just over 2 years. My piano teacher is excellent and has really helped me to improve my playing. I already had 7 lessons with him. One day, I had a really bad piano ...
13
votes
11answers
62k views

I cannot spread my fingers easily. Am I anatomically disadvantaged for playing the guitar?

Six months ago I started to play the guitar. I like it very much. It became one of these things that I regret not started earlier in my life (I am 25 years old)! By now I can say I am not a complete ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Practice before a gig - bored of material

I'm doing a gig soon, together with a friend. We will play songs written by myself, at a small local venue. The last couple of weeks, I've been practising a lot. I now know the songs flawlessly, ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you get into "deep practice" mode?

I read the book The Talent Code from Daniel Coyle a couple of years ago. It defines talent as the combination of three main concepts: Deep Practice, Ignition and Master Coaching. The first concept, "...

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