Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
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Get a teacher Try another instrument Try some different styles of music Play with others Make a deadline to perfect a tune Go to an open-mic night Record yourself playing Change the practice regime - 10 mins max Learn something challenging Use the syllabus for an exam - and take it! Don't give up. It may only be a phase


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Don’t practice. Don’t force yourself to practice. Play. Have fun with it. Start learning to play your favorite songs. Or make up your own music. Every time you pick up your guitar, do some kind of warm up exercise for five minutes max, then start playing your favorite song or inventing sounds or music, however well you can. Eventually you’ll be playing it ...


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This is actually tr, the notation for "trill," an embellishment (or ornament) on a note where you rapidly alternate between the main pitch and an adjacent pitch. There are many different types of trills; the style of music (and perhaps editorial notes) will clarify exactly which type is intended. You can check out more in the Wikipedia article.


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My PhD is in Music Composition, but it was a heavily theory-focused program. I also have many theorist colleagues. Your question is interesting, and difficult to answer in total detail without writing a book, so I won't try to be exhaustive. Let me first say that the understanding of "Music Theory" is most definitely not complete, and that there absolutely ...


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Wrong reps create wrong results. DO NOT play fast and wrong. Practice as slowly as you need to to avoid wrong notes. This is very important. The reason that you need to practice in the first place is that you need to create muscle memory. If you tell your muscles to do the wrong thing they will remember to do the wrong thing. Every instance of sloppy,...


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I don't know what type of music you're considering playing, but consider stepping outside of the piano/guitar realm. Trombone would be perhaps your best choice. A very difficult instrument to learn and master, but it requires only enough fingers to grip the instrument securely. (You could probably get away with a thumb and finger on each hand). The trombone ...


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Computer: You're using one right now. You don't need a fancy new computer to make music. DAW: There are many free DAWs. REAPer is free if you don't mind a nag screen, Audacity is free and open source. Keyboard/Synth: You can get an entry keyboard for $100 that will work fine. VSTs: There are many free VSTs available from plenty of websites. Samples: Free on ...


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A lot of the benefit is in how you practice them. If done mindfully and effectively, playing scales can give you a way to focus your practice on the building blocks that make up most of the music you play. Don't think of scales as a series of notes. Instead, think of them as the foundation pieces that music is built around. Here are some examples of ...


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Learning the guitar as a beginner has many inherent challenges from the very start. For one, you are asking the new guitar student to teach their brain how to tell their fingers to contort in very strange and unnatural ways that they have never before even remotely contemplated. And the finger strength needed for many chords has not been developed yet. ...


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Even if one can ever be too old to learn an instrument (I don't think so), then this is definitely not the case already at 22. You may not be able to make as fast progress as if you had learned it at 13, but ultimately it's up to how much effort you put in. Practive five minutes every week, and it'll probably not go anywhere. But practice half an hour every ...


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Don't get hung up on 'learning theory' or 'not learning theory'. What you want to do is gain knowledge about music, so you can use that knowledge to produce music. In the field of music, some of that knowledge tends to get packaged under the heading of 'theory', and some doesn't... but so what? what aspects of music theory should I learn first? Learning ...


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Let's be very precise about what we're talking about: A MIDI controller is anything that can send MIDI commands to another MIDI device. Keyboard type MIDI controllers are only one kind. But, for the purposes of this answer, let's assume that whenever we say "MIDI controller" we mean the piano keyboard type. A MIDI sound module is a device which accepts ...


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I'm going to suggest an alternative route. Get him an electric cello. The weak point in cheap instruments is the acoustics, and to meet the price point they have to be constructed in a more rough-and-ready manner. As soon as you go electric, you don't need those acoustics. Production is much more straightforward, and there are simply fewer variables with ...


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It doesn't need to be expensive. Computer: You don't need an expensive system, and chances are that the one you are using right now is more than enough. I have used a 2GB RAM, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system for production (including mixing). The more powerful your system is, the bigger your real-time toolbox is: more channels, more effects, more programs, ...


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I'm going to post the dissenting answer here in that I feel like you don't want to look for a different kind of guitar or a perfect strap height. Most of my time in bands has been with at least one female guitarist or guitarist/bassist in the band, and in one band that I was in for a few years I was the only man. I also am a big fan of several bands feature ...


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Very straightforward. There's no room for them in the normal place! When the writer wants notes that are on adjacent line/space positions, one will have to go on the opposite side of the stem, otherwise it'd be a big black blob. I don't think there's a rule as to which go wrong side, but tidiness, thus ease of reading is probably more important, but octaves ...


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Certainly children learn more quickly than adults, particularly when it comes to languages, and to skills. (That is, "proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience.") As a former US Figure Skating Basic Skills instructor, I observed this effect time and again when teaching school-age children as compared ...


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For starters, the recorder is a great instrument that is played by everyone from the absolute beginner up to conservatory-trained professionals. There are some differences in how it is used in European compared to American culture--for starters, almost all professional-level players hail from outside of the US, whereas in the United States it is seen ...


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If you don't have a metronome, get one. They have phone apps for them now so it is pretty easy to get one. Start with a very slow speed. Once you are able to perform it ten times in a row at that speed, increase the speed by 5 beats per minute. Once you can play it ten times at that speed, increase again. Do this until you reach the speed it is to be ...


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An attempt to synthesise the various answers given, while giving some opinions of my own. Portability 'Portable' is a bit of a vague requirement. Some instruments fit in your pocket. Some instruments fit in a small backpack. Some instruments fit in a large backpack. Loudness I'm not sure what's too loud for a dorm room. It depends on your neighbour's ...


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Your voice. It is very inexpensive, very portable, and you already have a great deal of familiarity with it. Granted, there may be some work to be done to learn how to use it musically, but that is true for any instrument. Also, as with any other instrument, a good teacher is highly recommended, especially in the beginning.


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I'd suggest the piano. While it takes many years to master, the piano is one of the easiest instruments to begin playing. Learning to play even the simplest chords or melodies on other instruments can take weeks, but a complete novice can use a keyboard. The piano also lends itself well to composition because it has a wide range and it is easy to play ...


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It depends on the individual, but I'm going to talk about my own experience. Two things to note: It's not really true that each hand is doing something different. Both hands are working together to create a piece of music. Although at first glance it's "special" to have one hand playing one aspect of a piece while the other hand plays a different aspect -- ...


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This is a question without a single, solve-everything answer. There are a number of different approaches you can take, and different people will have their own preferences. Fake it. This works well in some traditional music, bluegrass, rock, or jazz, where a certain amount of improvisation is expected of a musician. With a song you haven’t played in ...


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Without. Point blank. Lights look fun to start with, but a beginner will end up watching them rather than learning to read. Note, you can usually switch them off, so you don't have to choose a keyboard that doesn't have them. I have no recommendations on mobile teaching apps, I've never used them.


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I suggest you get a ukulele. It's fairly compact and rather easy to get started playing some chords on. With only three chords you can soon play millions of songs! However you should probably be able to sing ok along with playing - beginners ukulele alone isn't too impressive after a minute or so...


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From a pedagogical standpoint, consider all of the things an "absolute beginner" would have to learn in order to perform this piece: Note names in treble clef Note names in bass clas Note values of whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth Dotted note values Rest values of eighth and sixteenth (and result syncopation) Ties Accidentals Fermata Notation ...


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If the only reason you want to learn piano is for ONE song at your wedding, I'd say don't go down that road. A non-sucky wedding song is usually at least intermediate level. Pay someone to do it right. Then learn the piano later if you're up for the amount of time and money that takes. Are you going to be ABLE to practice for several hours a week? Are ...


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Tim already provided the answer, but here's a quick mock up of what it'd look like if they weren't reversed: It's hard to tell - are those notes in the second position D-E-F? It'd be hard to tell if you're playing along and get to that group. Now, if you instead reverse the E, it becomes more clear what the notes are: Apply that same logic to the (way) ...


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