18

I would first try to focus on your timing and nothing else. If you can play in time that way, it's probably just a matter of practice to nail down your time and get away from the loose rhythm. If you still have trouble, cut out everything except you and the metronome. You don't want extra beats or notes to interfere with that you're doing. If you can't ...


15

Just a wild guess, but have you checked your input/output latency? Anything over 10ms is likely to noticeably interfere with your timing.


15

I am not an expert in human physiology, but I believe the constraint you describe is completely normal. I think it has something to do with a shared tendon? Needless to say, my hands behave the same way. You should be able to lift the fourth finger higher if you raise the pinky at the same time, yes? What I do know about human physiology is that each joint ...


12

I recommend to practice listening. Take a piece of music with a polyphonic structure or many instruments and the notes and try to listen to a particular instrument. Start with simple pieces, for example a choral piece where you already know the bass quite well and you can switch between listening to the soprano and the bass or a piece with voice ...


11

There's no such thing as finger independence(read finger equality most of the time). All our fingers are different, and they're all connected too! For instance, would you ever expect any of your fingers to match your thumb in strength? Or take your index finger and press it to your palm. Your other fingers will move as well. The key to evenness and ...


10

The best training I can think of is to use arpeggios starting with simple two/three string swept arpeggios and build up from there. Here are Some practical examples: A Minor 2 - 3 string arpeggio shapes $1.12 $1.8 $2.10 $1.8 $1.12 | $1.12 $1.8 $2.10 $3.9 $2.10 $1.8 $1.12 A Major 2 - 3 string arpeggio shapes $1.12 $1.9 $2.10 $1.9 $1.12 | ...


10

I am not an expert in anatomy, but I believe this is because the picky and ring finger are connected to each other by the superficial ulnar nerve, whereas the remaining fingers are connected by branches of the deep ulnar nerve. The good news is, despite the fact that your pinky and ring finger seem less independent, this is not permanent. It's normal for ...


10

I don't know what style of music you're coming from, but there are a couple of books aimed more at classical guitarists, and they would require reading music. One that I use a lot is "Pumping Nylon", by Scott Tennant. I know, the title sounds really cheesy, but some of the exercises will DESTROY your left hand. There are some really great finger independence ...


9

Something my teacher regularly had me do with difficult sections was to play it all stacatto. Slow it down and focus on perfect timing while you do this, then gradually increase the tempo. Don't increase it further than you can play while still keeping the timing perfect. Do this every practice session until your speed is relatively close to the speed you ...


9

I think the key is muscle memory. The only way to improve this is by specific repetitive movements. In your question you state: "quick interchanging between my 2 and 3rd finger." Presumably there is a song you are working on that requires this, so the part you are having trouble with, do that move over and over again until you no longer have a problem doing ...


9

Not really an exercise, though you could make this into an exercise: When you need to play certain notes louder than others when playing several notes simultaneously within one hand, make sure that you lift the finger that needs to play louder higher above the keys than the other fingers. When you then play the chord so that all the fingers strike the keys ...


8

I recommend Fernando Sor's studies for guitar as transcribed by Andres Segovia. These studies are both highly instructive as well as beautiful works unto themselves. Given your familiarity with Andres Segovia, the music of Fernando Sor (a major influence on Segovia's development as a musician/composer) would be a logical next step. See http://en.wikipedia....


8

If you were my student, I would have you begin by working on your basic sound. I am presuming that you are playing alto saxophone and have already found suitable equipment (instrument, mouthpiece, and reeds, along with other needed accessories) and are able to get a sound generally. Start by playing only the mouthpiece (with reed, of course). Make sure ...


8

I think that this is a very common problem, especially when you don't sing harmony very often or are just getting started (I know it was hard for me to get used to!) Here are a few tips that helped me out alot Practice the part by yourself. Especially if the part you are singing is not the melody / the commonly heard line, it's very important to be ...


8

Hand strength is important in the violin, but so is fine motor control. Why not develop both? Practicing etudes by Kreutzer (42 Studies) and Paganini (24 Caprices, Op. 1) should strengthen your fingers enough to play almost anything. Try chord and trill exercises for a serious finger workout. Here is a graded list of etudes. Archived version of above ...


8

This may be overkill, but I gained a great deal of insight into my own posture from The Thinking Body by Mabel E. Todd. The basic idea is that the body resists gravity in the same manner that a building does: by distributing the weight along lines of compression and suspension. For the most part the front of your body is suspended from the frame of the ...


8

This is a bad habit. Essentially, you need to reprogram your mind to stop tensing when what you really want is focus. The instinct to tense is extremely common, and, unfortunately, very difficult to override. luser droog gave a fantastic explanation of how to build proper posture. You should take his advice, and constantly check to see if you're following ...


8

Get a good teacher, it can really make a huge difference. Practice difficult passages slowly (surprise!) and concentrate on relaxation. Often when I get tense, it's because I play faster than I think (like, my thoughts come after my hands). So, when you practice (slowly), try to think ahead, and when you speed up, try to keep it so that your thoughts are ...


8

One "offline" (without guitar) exercise I got from my teacher is like this: Put your hand on the table. Lift fingers two or three at a time; if you are like me, combinations 1+3, 2+4, 1+2+4 and 1+3+4 will feel weird; you should try to make them comfortable. This is for both hands (you only need your left hand improved, but it cannot hurt if you train ...


8

The type of book you're talking about is called a method book and it contains exercises and home work for a student. Method books are meant to be used with an instructor. I personally favor Hal Leonard's method books but there are other good options, too. However, before you pick one up: If you need more structure, you might start by asking your teacher. A ...


7

Pitching in here as someone that does have perfect pitch - however, I'm one of these people who has just always had it rather than sat down and learning it. It's as clear to me that the note being played is say an Ab than the folder currently to my right is green, and always has been. I don't profess to know this from some superhuman effort in training, it's ...


7

Both are fine. Choose one. You will not miss out on anything if you choose one over the other. The most important thing for you is daily, quality practice. Choose literature that is playable but challenging.


7

There are a couple of differences between a metronome and a drum machine. A metronome just keeps a regular beat. Some electronic metronomes give a slightly different click to indicate the start of a bar, but that's all. Drum patterns have lots more elements that help keep you in time -- for a typical rock pattern, emphasis on the first beat, snares on the ...


7

This gets easier as one's hands grow larger. One way to work on correct, relaxed finger position is to play scales while keeping the fingers curled and relaxed. She should play any kind of exercise she is already playing, or just scales if she has no exercises, while observing the following: The wrists should be above the level of the keyboard, but not so ...


7

In a sentence, mix it up and steer away from where you're comfortable. Mix it up To start with find some methods and exercises to work with. Some examples: Always say (or sing if possible) the notes as you're playing exercises like this or scales or whatever. Saying the note name or whatever you're learning helps connect your muscle memory, your mind (the ...


7

In Slonimsky's book, page 27 (page 39 on your pdf) "Ditone Progression, Equal Division of One Octave into Three Parts" you see that Slonimsky uses the notes C E G# and C again. They all are a major third apart and they divide the octave into three equal parts. Now let's look at the sheet music of Giant steps: The piece has 3 different tonalities. It starts ...


6

If your shoulder (or anything else) hurts after playing sessions, your playing is ergonomically poor. Keep your posture erect, keep your arms relaxed and loose at your sides, and don't raise your elbows. Make sure your seat is at the correct height. Watch out for tension while you are playing and work on allowing your body to release it. To improve scales (...


6

Spend a lot of time playing with a metronome. I don't see anything different that could be done in order to practice timing. EDIT: A drum machine is not a metronome. What I like about the metronome is it's simplicity, it won't introduce rhythm, just constant "claps". The problem in practising with a drum machine is that the beat configured in the drum ...


6

I guess the two most popular answers to this question will be Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist and Czerny's wide assortment of exercises (On the Czerny web page, it's only a mild exaggeration to say that every other piece is a collection of exercises!). These are both in the public domain, and therefore free. I would like to mention, though, that to me, ...


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