14 votes

How to break out of playing scales up and down when improvising

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 ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What method for learning the guitar fretboard is most effective?

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 ...
user37496's user avatar
  • 4,138
9 votes
Accepted

Is there any way to practice different strengths on same hand?

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 ...
Old John's user avatar
  • 2,683
8 votes

Finger Exercises for Piano when not playing

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 ...
Max Finis's user avatar
  • 604
8 votes
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Guitar book to complement my guitar lessons

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 ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How good am I supposed to be at my 3rd year of playing electric guitar? Also, suggestions for songs and exercises to improve faster

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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
8 votes

Is the fingering the same for Hanon exercises when you play in a different key?

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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
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8 votes

Learning to interact with an audience

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 ...
Sparquelito's user avatar
  • 1,860
7 votes

Giant Steps - Coltrane and Slonimsky

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 ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
7 votes

Giant Steps - Coltrane and Slonimsky

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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,486
7 votes

How to break out of playing scales up and down when improvising

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 &...
Aaron's user avatar
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6 votes

Piano exercises post-chemotherapy

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 ...
jjmusicnotes's user avatar
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6 votes
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Exercise from second chapter of Harmony by Walter Piston

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 ...
Lars Peter Schultz's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Recommended Breathing Exercises to Play Woodwinds

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. ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
5 votes

Music performance - finger dexterity with rest/exercise

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 ...
BobRodes's user avatar
  • 9,266
4 votes

Correct octave technique

John W. Schaum wrote a progressive series of "Octave Studies for Piano" Book One and Book Two. I can hardly wait until I get both completed! Book One allows you to begin with studies in smaller ...
Karen Sue Loader's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How much Hanon?

"Can someone tell me how many Hanon exercises I should be doing, and for roughly how long I should be doing the exercises before starting my pieces?" One possible answer to this question is: NONE! ...
Old John's user avatar
  • 2,683
4 votes

Are there any violin exercises for advanced playing like Hanon and Brhams for piano?

Yes, there are very many instruction and technique books available. Many Etude books are also available, providing technique work using specifically written pieces, which tends to be more entertaining ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
4 votes

Are there any historical facts about what specific piano exercises where taught by Fred Francois Chopin, Felix Mendelsohn and JS Bach?

Well, for JS Bach it's easy. Start with the notebooks Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Notebook for Anna Magdalena. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klavierb%C3%BCchlein_f%C3%...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
4 votes

Is it possible to learn advanced piano technique from the book alone?

I'm teaching myself piano. I think I'm making good progress, but still far from my goal. Can all this be learned, practised from some book alone without human supervision? I would say "no" if you ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
4 votes

How good am I supposed to be at my 3rd year of playing electric guitar? Also, suggestions for songs and exercises to improve faster

This is really a supplement to @Tim's excellent answer. First, you played for a year, took a year off, then spent part of the next year recovering what you'd lost / forgotten during the year off. So ...
helveticat's user avatar
4 votes

What musical activities can locked down musicians do via video-conferencing?

As a preface, my experience playing duets via Zoom is that in addition to the latency, Zoom doesn't handle the simultaneous sounds well -- I can hear myself or my partner, but not both. That said, a ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 86.5k
4 votes

Exercises away from the piano

A student of mine was in exactly the same position. I lent him an old keyboard of mine, but the keys worked more like an organ than a piano. It helped a bit. However, I asked the head of the local ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
4 votes
Accepted

Advice for positioning my pinky on the fretboard, it is slightly twisted toward the ring finger

There will be no right answer for this. your pinky goes where your pinky goes. Everyone's physiology is slightly different, so one will say like this, another like that. That apart, looking at your ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k

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