14

Try working around chord tones. Three things you can add to playing only chord tones are auxiliary tones, passing tones, and enclosures. The enclosure example shows enclosures targeting each tone of a major scale, but you can use an enclose to target chord tones. All three can be modified in various ways... If only the various figures for auxiliary and ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


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 used to do all kinds of things, including most of the things everyone here has mentioned. However, I found that I got the most benefit from doing these things: Do nothing. Rest. Don't do anything strenuous with your arms, wrists, and fingers. If you spend your time effectively at the piano, that's all the physical workout you need. Most of piano playing ...


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 ...


8

There just isn't a simple graph that could be made - time played against ability to play. Every single person's would be very different! And then there's actual playing ability. Playing any of those songs, do you nail it every time? Could you sit in with other musos and play a song perfectly every time? Would it take you an hour or a month to learn, say, ...


8

Hanon exercises are designed to be played on white keys, and it was not Hanon's intention they be transposed. However, transposing them can be an excellent exercise, in which case it's up to you how to finger them. My personal preference is to use the same fingering in all keys because of the variety of "problems" it presents as the configuration ...


8

This is going to sound funny, but every time I practice, I do so by performing as though I am front of the live audience. I strap my guitar on, plug it in thru my pedal board and amps, and I stand up to the mic stand that is plugged into the music room PA system. Whether practicing by myself solo, or in a full band practice session, I perform each song as ...


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 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 ...


7

Giants Steps bears a striking resemblance to this "12-tone progression" from the Introduction to Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales (pg. vi): This was mentioned by Quincy Jones in a recent documentary and confirmed in this Tweet from composer Darcy James Argue: https://twitter.com/darcyjamesargue/status/962436071794585600 Blogger Peter Spitzer has surmised ...


7

Two broad strategies: Since you're familiar with scales, keep practicing them, but in different patterns Break up the scales into different patterns X: 1 T: Scale in 3rds M: 4/4 K: C major L: 1/8 "C"CEDF EGFA | GBAc Bdcd | ecdB cABG | AFGE FDED | C8|| X: 1 T: Scale in 3-note groups M: 4/4 K: C major L: 1/8 (3CDE (3DEF (3EFG (3FGA | (3GAB (3ABc (...


6

It sounds like my fingers are a similar length to yours. I found that the important part of reaching the octaves confidently was flexibility rather than length. Your thumb and pinky finger (or even your ring finger) can bend back further than you might think. Never force it though. As with most aspects of playing, I'm afraid it just takes time and practice ...


6

Some songs are very easy to learn and remember, other songs take longer. I usually learn a song's intro for example, just the intro, until I have the intro in fluent memory. If the intro is simple, that doesn't take long, it can be memorised in minutes, but if it's not, it can sometimes take days to master. Then I go back to adding the next phase of the ...


6

Simply stated, but a difficult question. I have never experienced cancer first hand, though I have had family members who have. That said, I have been in situations where I had to play piano with very cold hands. This sounds rather mundane I know, but it can be a problem for pianists - the hands are lethargic and unresponsive. And as obnoxious as it sounds, ...


6

The subdominant of G♯ minor is C♯ minor. The C♯ minor chord is C♯-E-G♯. The first inversion of that chord is E-G♯-C♯. So that would mean that E should be the bass note. But the question is a bit badly worded in that it asks you to put the subdominant of G♯ minor in the bass which could make you think that C♯ should be in the bass. But then it would be root ...


6

First, a warning: the best way to improve breath control is by playing long-tones on the instrument. WIthout this, you don't hear the tone quality (or lack thereof) in relationship to breath control. The next-best exercise is to train yourself to breath "down to the diaphragm" at all times, regardless of what you're doing. This means making your upper ...


5

No. True perfect or absolute pitch is an inborn and automatic trait that cannot be trained or learned. People with true absolute pitch hear different musical tones as clearly and effortlessly as normally-sighted people see different colors. It tends to be approximately as rare as true tone deafness (that is, it's a lot less common than many people think), ...


5

I've tested many different things in years, from online flashcards to books to some sort of software and so one. By far one of the best options is Notable by The Noteable Software Company. It analyses your reaction time and gives you the charts and statistics of your real ability of recognizing the notes, as well as a road map to the progress. It has some ...


5

Golden rule: When you hurt, stop! You don't want to damage your hand. It might make you stop playing music for ever! The spider as you said is for building dexterity. Hence, at first it will hurt if you are a beginner. But think of it as this: When you start running to build dexterity (and you are out of shape), you won't be able to run for a long time at ...


5

As with any dexterity exercise, slow it down! Your hands are likely hurting because you're trying to push them too hard to either: stretch while playing (you should always be doing this before playing) keep up with the exercise speed emulate the sound exactly (for a beginner, this is exceeding difficult) or fret too heavily as with the answer above me, ...


5

What it sounds like is you are suffering from tension and poor hand and arm position. Hopefully you have a piano teacher as they can help you. You are bit too early on the piano technique exercises. After you've advanced a bit more, there are some books you can purchase that have a multitude of exercises in them. Recommending them now is a bit too early as ...


5

If you're hitting wrong notes after resting, you are probably hitting wrong notes when you are practicing tired as well, while being less aware of them. If your fingers get sore and tired after two hours of practice every day for several days, then you are likely trying to force a technical goal to happen with extra effort, rather than becoming aware of the ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible