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 ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Pinky And Ring Finger Independence And Dexterity

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 ...
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  • 3,707
10 votes

Musically Interesting Guitar Exercises

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", ...
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  • 101
10 votes
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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 ...
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  • 4,083
9 votes
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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 ...
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  • 2,613
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 ...
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  • 594
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 ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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  • 176k
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 ...
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  • 58.9k
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 ...
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  • 1,642
7 votes

Daughter tends to raise index and middle finger whenever she plays the remaining fingers on piano

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 ...
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  • 51.6k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 6,433
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 &...
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  • 58.9k
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 ...
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  • 25.2k
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 ...
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6 votes
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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. ...
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5 votes

Is there a way to develop "Perfect Pitch"?

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 ...
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5 votes

Any established exercise to ease finger movements while playing piano?

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. ...
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5 votes

How to Practice the Hanon Exercises

The book doesn't specify what path to take for a good reason and that is the final goal is to master them a faster speed and exact path you take isn't as important as where you end up. A simple ...
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  • 46.4k
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 ...
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  • 9,016
4 votes

How can I train myself to tap my foot without hitting something with my hands?

This kind of coordination seems impossible at first but then one day it seems like it happens magically. Here are some methods that I have seen help countless students. Please note: my answer draws ...
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  • 3,707
4 votes
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Exercises to integrate syncopation into improvisation

I don't really know much about piano but what I do on the guitar is to listen to a drum beat (usually latin or jazz for complexity) and then I replicate the beat in my strum or by playing single notes....
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  • 316
4 votes

Musically Interesting Guitar Exercises

I'm the same way as you. I hate drills, they bore me to tears. So I don't do drills. Instead what I do is figure out a way to practice that's actually performance. So, for example if I'm studying ...
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  • 11.1k
4 votes

How to Practice the Hanon Exercises

Usually with a book of etudes, the thing to do is to work on one for about two weeks, give or take, allowing the tempo to increase by itself, guided by comfort, and then move on to the next etude. ...
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  • 4,332

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