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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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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 ...
64
votes
24answers
177k 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 ...
37
votes
10answers
7k views

It is ok to correct wrong notes when playing piano?

I am learning to play the piano on my own. When I play and I hear a mistake, I go back and play the correct note. Hearing the right note helps me find the next one. But I heard that you should ignore ...
34
votes
12answers
26k views

Can I play pipe organ as a pianist?

I've never played pipe organ. I'm a pianist and a friend of mine ask me to play on the church on his wedding on a pipe organ. Are there enough difficulties playing a piano song on the pipe organ to ...
32
votes
7answers
34k 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?
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
11answers
10k views

“one finger per fret” - is it worth following this rule?

When I first got into guitar, I was given advice to follow a "one finger per fret" rule with the left hand. Basically, to fret notes with all four fingers, and to follow a pattern such that in any ...
28
votes
10answers
63k 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 ...
27
votes
10answers
23k views

What is the difference between upstrokes and downstrokes while strumming a guitar?

One of the most basic guitar skills are strumming up and down freely. And I have noticed in songs that there usually appears to be a difference in sounds between the two strokes. But when I'm ...
26
votes
7answers
2k views

What are some of the components of a good guitar solo?

Putting aside the emotional value of listening to a great guitar solo, what are some of the criteria that can be applied to make an educated judgement as to the quality of a solo within the context of ...
26
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
26
votes
12answers
26k 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. ...
26
votes
10answers
70k views

What is the definition of 'playing in the pocket'?

The phrase 'playing in the pocket' is used sometimes, in jazz, hip hop, funk etc. It sometimes refers to the way a drummer plays, sometimes to how an ensemble works together. I've Googled the term, ...
26
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I become better at “playing outside”?

One can spend an enormous amount of time playing melodies "in" the tonic. For example if your are in A major, you might favor A major or A lydian. However, there is a term called "playing outside" in ...
24
votes
12answers
26k views

Is “You shouldn't play all 6 strings together on an electric guitar” good teaching?

Someone I know who has been playing electric guitar for many years says this quite often, as a key difference between playing acoustic and electric guitar. He claims that even playing rhythm, you ...
24
votes
8answers
23k views

What are the objective differences between the guitar and the piano?

The guitar and the piano are two of the most popular instruments which allow multiple notes to be played simultaneously. The acoustic quality of the two instruments are, of course, different, but ...
24
votes
8answers
16k 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-...
24
votes
8answers
18k views

Where to rest your thumb when playing bass: Pickup vs. Strings vs. Thumbrests

I'm a beginning bass player with a couple months' lessons under my belt. I haven't gotten far along enough yet to solidify a playing style, so I'm still able to change my habits if I want to. I was ...
24
votes
2answers
6k views

What are Head voice and Chest voice

Head voice and Chest voice were discussed in this question about natural voice, but despite singing in choirs for nearly 9 years I have never heard of them. Can someone provide a good description of ...
24
votes
8answers
25k views

Pick weight - functional difference, or just personal preference?

I'm at the very beginning of learning to play guitar, and I recently needed to buy some more picks. This was more complex than I was expecting, since there are apparently many different weights of ...
24
votes
7answers
49k 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
25k views

Should I look at the fretboard while I play guitar?

Is it a bad thing to constantly look at the frets while playing? Sometimes I find myself curved over a body of the guitar so much that my neck starts to hurt. It seems that some experienced players ...
22
votes
7answers
75k views

Why does my thumb hurt when I play bar chords?

Certain chords cause my thumb to be sore. How can I play in a way to prevent this?
22
votes
12answers
29k views

What are some techniques to control feedback in a musical setting?

I was always intrigued with the way Ted Nugent/Adrian Belew/Jeff Beck/Jimi Hendrix/SRV were able to control feedback and make it musical - are there guitar/amp settings and techniques that can make ...
22
votes
6answers
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?
22
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
8k views

Why can't I whistle and hum different notes at the same time?

I can whistle and hum at the same time, by making the breath from my humming go out through lips formed into a whistling pucker. I've found that no matter how hard I try to do otherwise, whatever note ...
21
votes
8answers
34k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
21
votes
6answers
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/...
20
votes
8answers
11k views

Why does music sound bad when played backwards?

I am not sure where to post this, but I hope it fits here. If you have ever recorded music, and play the track backwards, you'll notice it sounds quite strange, almost demonic. I have always ...
20
votes
7answers
11k views

How to stop distortion from making minor chords muddy?

I have a Roland/Boss GT3, which I use to get various distortion sounds. I like the sound for the most part, but I find that distorted sounds seem very ... "muddy" I guess would be the best way to ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the manner in which you release a tone on the piano affect its sound?

Watch how, for instance, Valentina Lisitsa releases her final chord of Chopin's Op. 9, no. 2 by pulling her hands up from the keyboard. Such a lift isn't reserved for slower music; this even happens ...
20
votes
7answers
8k views

How to reliably execute a snare drum rimshot?

A standard snare drum rim shot, as I understand it, requires the stick to contact the drum head and rim simultaneously. I'm having trouble finding the appropriate angle (the majority of the time I ...
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.
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How to learn to play 'out of phase' with yourself?

There's a Piano piece by Steve Reich called piano phase, in which the same notes are played on 2 pianos (usually by different people), but over time, they shift out of phase with each other. Here's ...
19
votes
8answers
6k views

Three notes on the violin?

Okay, I've been taking the rather unusual step of playing some violin scores on the mandolin (the tunings are the same, and they're about the same size, so they're usually pretty suitable parts). ...
19
votes
8answers
36k views

What should a guitarist learn first: Rhythm or Lead?

It is a slightly subjective question, however, there is, I'm sure, a common consensus as to what lends itself better to a beginner so as not to get frustrated with the instrument. I'm curious as to ...
19
votes
7answers
64k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
18k 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
7answers
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" ...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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?
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
5answers
20k views

What is the difference between 'martelé and 'détaché' bowing?

As the title asks, I wish it could be clear to me. Can someone give me a good characterization? Do you produce them differently on a cello than on a violin or viola?
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
9answers
14k 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. ...
18
votes
7answers
13k views

What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?

When playing on different steel string acoustic guitars over the years, I noticed a huge difference in how hard it was to press down a string. This made me wonder why. There are two obvious factors ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any classical precursor to boogie woogie?

It is often been said (rather too simplistically in many cases) that jazz is a combination of European and African practices. I am interested particularly in classical piano techniques that have been ...
17
votes
7answers
6k views

Standing up acoustic guitar playing position for women

It goes without saying that women typically have different body types than men and this fact often never gets addressed when guitarists are speaking on how to position a guitar when standing up. It ...