Questions tagged [technique]

For questions about ways to use one's instrument or voice precisely to produce a desired musical effect.

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18 votes
6 answers
7k views

The same note on two staves

On rare occasions, I encounter the same note on two staves with overlapping durations. Attached is an example from an arragement of "The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles (The note in ...
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  • 6,502
68 votes
24 answers
235k 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 ...
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15 votes
5 answers
65k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
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  • 151
26 votes
10 answers
61k views

What is the difference between male head voice and falsetto?

What is the fundamental difference between head voice and falsetto in male singers? I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure in its credibility, since all my self-researched knowledge comes ...
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  • 363
9 votes
5 answers
5k views

How to be expressive?

Joe Satriani said: There are a lot of good guitarists out there. Their technique is great, their fingers stretch really wide and they can play really fast. But very few of them can be ...
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  • 8,022
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the best way to play a chord larger than your hand?

I've seen and attempted to play multiple songs on the piano that include chords that are tenths or sometimes even elevenths or twelfths (rarely), and these chords have four or five notes. If I were to ...
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6 votes
6 answers
764 views

(Piano) How should I play this harmonic unison

I stumbled with harmonic unisons for the first time trying to play this arrangement I found this question where some techniques to deal with harmonic unison are discussed, and it helped me with the ...
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  • 617
7 votes
5 answers
12k views

Tips playing F barre chord

Any tips for a newbie in playing the F barre chord. I find it very hard to put my fingers in place. I've got a strat. I hear you can move it up and down the neck for other barre chords.
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33 votes
7 answers
37k views

How is this B flat guitar chord physically possible?

This chord diagram is from the GarageBand chord trainer (I'm a beginner). How is it possible to put a barre down on the third fret without also muting the top E string?
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26 votes
14 answers
12k 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 ...
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  • 363
30 votes
10 answers
89k views

How to bend and release without flicking the other strings?

I'm trying to bend up then back down on the G string (so it plays both notes, I'm not muting the bend back down to G) but I always catch my fingernail on the D string. So when I let the bend back ...
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  • 401
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I play this slur in 'Cockles and Mussels'?

Do I simply play both hands legato? Does the slur mean that anything that falls beneath it for both hands are to be played legato? I thought I knew how legato worked, but I'm not sure anymore.
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  • 321
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

singing without lyrics

I was recently listening to some music while working on a book I'm writing and an orchestral piece came on. There was a woman singing over this instrumental but it wasn't lyrical words, more just ...
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  • 23
83 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
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  • 1,235
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
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  • 1,279
16 votes
2 answers
6k views

What can I do about my problems with piano scales which manifest in just one direction?

I've been practicing scales for some time now, and I found them mostly easy and fun to play. The problems begin when I have to play them faster, but oddly enough my problem manifests only when playing ...
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19 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
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  • 8,022
22 votes
8 answers
48k views

How can I minimize going out of tune when using the whammy bar?

Perhaps my selection of musicians is biased, but usually when I see a whammy bar used, it's usually with a locking tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose. Everybody else seems to take the whammy bar out and ...
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  • 2,232
21 votes
6 answers
2k 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/...
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29 votes
7 answers
12k views

Which fingering to use when playing the same piano key twice in a row?

I just started to learn piano, and I notice that practice sheet music for beginners sometimes specifies for all or some keys which fingers should hit them. It seems that some authors consistently ...
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25 votes
8 answers
20k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMxG90vP-...
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  • 2,754
14 votes
3 answers
18k views

String sticking to the fretting finger - how to avoid?

When raising a finger from a fret, it sometimes happens to me that a string "sticks" to the finger, producing an annoying sound (like when I would do a pull-off, but unintentional). This happens most ...
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  • 2,455
12 votes
7 answers
60k views

Fingers Too Short for Barre Chords?

My wife is learning the guitar and is getting pretty good. She gets frustrated though because she can't play barre chords. She claims that her fingers are literally too short to ever be able to play ...
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7 votes
5 answers
8k 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? ...
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7 votes
5 answers
20k views

How to play power chords without fretting hand getting tired?

My brother and I sat down to play electric / bass covers of Bad Religion together and by the end of the two hour session my hand literally died - like a tingling sensation and a sharp stinging pain. I'...
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15 votes
3 answers
48k views

What is a ghost note ?

What is a ghost note and how is it different than holding the previous note ?
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  • 1,426
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to play repeating notes quickly in the left hand on the piano

I've been working on Fur Elise, and I came to one section repeating a single note staccato in the bass. How do I play this? I've tried playing it normally, but I can't sustain it for more than a ...
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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?
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  • 1,426
13 votes
6 answers
670 views

What are some of the things that influence a player's "tone"?

Listen to Larry Carlton, Jeff Beck,Steve Morse, Grant Green, Freddie/BB/ King, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Dave Gregory ect.. - love'm or hate'm they all have very distinctive tones, Why? It's ...
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9 votes
7 answers
3k views

Guitar solo techniques

I have been playing guitar for a while now and I've decided (after playing with a guy I know and seeing how expressive his solos are) that I need to improve my improvisation. My improvisations are ...
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8 votes
4 answers
875 views

How to play two voices with a large range in the same hand?

My copy of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah includes the following measures: I don't know how to play the left hand. My problem is that I cannot reach from F2 to A3 (in the first bar, others ...
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6 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
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6 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is it possible to mute some of my strings?

I'm working on a part of a song where I need to strum the top two strings (B & E) together very fast. I'm wondering if there is some sort of a damping capo that I can put over the other four ...
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2 votes
2 answers
103 views

how to coordinate hands when playing very fast

The below image is measure 57 from Chopin, Nocturne in C sharp minor, and the time signature is 4/4. I started by playing it slowly, then sped up. When I become fast enough, my hand loses control over ...
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15 votes
6 answers
67k views

Causes of sharp pain in a fretting finger after playing guitar or bass?

I have been playing guitar and bass for about 20 years now and I have noticed that sometimes, particularly in the last five years, I will do something with my fretting hand that causes a sharp pain in ...
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  • 413
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 ...
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  • 1,724
18 votes
9 answers
20k views

Playing one hand loudly and the other quietly

I'm currently learning to play Comptine d'un autre été from Yann Tiersen (Sheet music(pdf) - youtube video) and when I play starting from the 13th bar I barely hear the notes my right hand plays. ...
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  • 727
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it acceptable to move hand position while practicing scales on guitar?

I was reading through the answers posted here, and I liked the idea of playing with the "finger per fret" method, but it's not always applicable. For instance I was practicing the Fmaj scale last ...
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  • 1,312
8 votes
3 answers
19k views

Piano scale and arpeggio fingering technique: Thumb Under vs Thumb Over methods

Let's first define the methods: Thumb Under (TU): the thumb is brought under the hand in order to pass the 3rd or 4th finger for playing the scale. The thumb has movement up and down (to play the key)...
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  • 15.9k
24 votes
6 answers
36k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
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19 votes
7 answers
80k views

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain?

Is it normal for frequent guitar playing to be accompanied by wrist pain or is it something that is caused by poor posture/position and technique? I have been playing for several years now, and mostly ...
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  • 719
9 votes
3 answers
28k views

Should I mute "unwanted" strings or not when playing power chords?

I've been playing guitar for a while but haven't yet actually learned to play any songs featuring hard power chords. Now I'm trying to learn some songs by Metallica and AC/DC, and I don't have to tell ...
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  • 245
16 votes
3 answers
26k views

How to avoid unwanted scratching/squeaking/hissing noise from the fretting hand when playing hi-gain electric guitar?

I have been playing the electric guitar for over ten years now, and this is an issue that has been troubling me for ages. Whenever I play hi-gain songs and have to switch fretting hand positions ...
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  • 301
10 votes
4 answers
785 views

Recommended arm and hand position for neck side

I was wondering if there are some really clear sites, videos or texts explaining the best practices regarding the way to hold your guitar, both to be efficient and to avoid straining your fingers/arm.
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8 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 1,259
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Flute: Techniques for clear sonorous sound

I've been playing concert flute (with a teacher) for a year, and I still cannot always get clear sonorous sound. Instead, it would often hiss. I speculate that the reason may be in the airflow -- a ...
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27 votes
15 answers
39k views

What are the pros and cons of Traditional Grip vs. Matched Grip for snare and drumset?

So far I've just been learning matched grip for my snare and drumset playing, but I see of lot of people using traditional grip as well. I'm curious, what are some of the pros and cons of matched vs. ...
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19 votes
7 answers
4k views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
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15 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do orchestral string instruments need a pause before con sordino?

I’m a self-taught wannabe composer who’s playing with strings in Sibelius and I’m trying to learn the intricacies of writing for different techniques, such as con sordino, sul pont., etc. My question ...
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  • 1,145
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

What can I do to make cover song to be more interesting?

If I want to cover some songs, I don't want cover it like the original one. Then, I need some refreshment on my cover version right? What can I do to make it more interesting? What are the techniques?...
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  • 4,089

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