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82 votes
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Do advanced musicians still practice scales every day?

My father was a French horn player for the New York Phil and later the Pittsburgh Symphony. It was a rare day when he didn’t go down to the basement and play a series of scales and arpeggios, ...
kojiro's user avatar
  • 1,072
66 votes

Hands-separate piano practice doesn't seem to help with hands-together playing

Your experience is quite typical. Playing two hands at the same time is completely different than playing both separately. But the point of learning parts separately is NOT about making it easier to ...
fdreger's user avatar
  • 1,683
57 votes
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How to play songs that contain one guitar when we have two or more guitarists?

Some alternatives from the top of my head Double the guitar part on both guitars Double the bass part on one guitar Split the roles inside the chord: guitar 1 plays power chords (root and fifth only),...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
57 votes

How to avoid stopping when I play a wrong note on the piano

The source of the problem The most common cause I've encountered for this kind or problem is practicing primarily from the beginning a piece. The "mechanical" solution Beginners tend to ...
Aaron's user avatar
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56 votes

Do advanced musicians still practice scales every day?

I'm told that my great-grandmother, a professional pianist, practiced her scales for some hours each day. I don't think that you're "ever done," unless you've decided to quit playing. As with any ...
BobRodes's user avatar
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49 votes
Accepted

What is this metal M-shaped device for?

It's a clip that you use to hold music books open on the stand, like so:
MattPutnam's user avatar
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45 votes
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Is it true that classical musicians are not rhythmical?

From the point of view as a primarily jazz player that later in my career spent a lot of time in an orchestra I think the hypothesis is an oversimplification, and probably due to the eg. pop musicians ...
OwenM's user avatar
  • 1,977
39 votes

Do advanced musicians still practice scales every day?

Supposedly Heifetz said, "If I skip practicing one day, I notice the difference. If I skip two days, the critics notice. If I skip three, the public notices."
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.6k
39 votes

I have been practicing a song for 3 hours straight but I keep making mistakes. How can I get it right?

Three hours at one session! Unless you're the sort of person who can concentrate really well for that length of time, you've wasted at least some of it. Harsh, but realistic. Most of us cannot give ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
38 votes

Why can't I sing high notes as a young female?

You could be not reaching those high notes for any of these reasons: You are young and your voice is still developing your vocal technique is bad you're doing the wrong exercises and over-straining ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
33 votes

Hands-separate piano practice doesn't seem to help with hands-together playing

As a piano teacher for more than 50 years I can assure you that you are not alone! Many students have the same experience, though quite a few do not. Of the hundreds I have taught I would say it ...
L3B's user avatar
  • 2,631
31 votes

How can I learn to compose?

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 ...
Нет войне's user avatar
30 votes
Accepted

How to prevent one mistake from derailing an entire piece?

You have to practice the skill of playing onwards after making a mistake. You might have to start by having the music in front of you, finding the place where you made the mistake in the music, and ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
30 votes
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Is maximum speed a thing?

Almost for sure, the problem is that as you approach upper limits, you exert yourself more. When you're playing fast, your muscles have to relax INSTANTLY (like, already relaxing while you're pushing ...
Bennyboy1973's user avatar
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29 votes
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Do I need to practice recovery from confusion? How?

I’m surprised I’m the first one to bring up an important practice point that three of my teachers have recommended. Practice starting from different points in the piece. Not only at the beginning a of ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
26 votes

Importance of using all fingers while playing guitar

There are so many things that I play all the time that I can't figure out how to play with two fingers at all that I wonder if you are mainly playing very specific music. You will want to be able to ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
22 votes

What is the limit to which humans can precisely time notes on an instrument or perceive notes as precisely timed?

It's very subjective to 'the moment' and also dependent on the genre of music in question. What is considered emotive, exciting, phrasing in one piece may be perceived as sloppy or late execution in ...
OwenM's user avatar
  • 1,977
20 votes

Does Doodling or Improvising on the Piano Have Any Benefits?

I think you were too harsh. Improvisation is itself a useful skill, especially so if your friend has an interest in jazz. Trying new things can also help with composition - I'd imagine most music ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
20 votes
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Do they make "karaoke" versions of concertos for solo practice?

These types of recordings are usually called or "play-alongs" or "play-a-longs." A company called Music Minus One has been making classical music play-alongs since the 1950s. The company is now owned ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,506
20 votes

What did bebop masters practice?

A quick note at the beginning--it's important to remember that the solos a bebop musician plays are not exclusively the result of practiced notes. They are a result of ideas one hears, intuitions one ...
jdjazz's user avatar
  • 11.2k
19 votes
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Does Doodling or Improvising on the Piano Have Any Benefits?

I do perhaps see where you are coming from - 7 hours a day certainly is a big investment, and there can be a risk in doodling (and, for that matter, noodling) in that your fingers follow the same ...
Нет войне's user avatar
19 votes

My child's violin practice is making us tired, what can we do?

The first thing to note is that learning to play a musical instrument should be a pleasure not a punishment. There is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by forcing her to play / practice. The ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,620
18 votes

Is it possible that some people can play one instrument but not another?

Depends on what you mean by "may be able". Different instruments and music styles and instruments and practice material pose different hurdles and motivation for different people. That's not ...
user28713's user avatar
  • 181
17 votes
Accepted

Why are eighth notes seemingly so important in bass guitar?

They're a staple of rock, and as bass guitar is often used as a rock instrument, they are seen as one of the basic techniques of bass playing. With many rock rhythms, quarter notes are too slow and ...
Нет войне's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Five quarter notes in 4/4?

It is to do with the triplet. The three quarters are played in the time of two, so there are only four beats in the bar. Hope this helps!
Shannon Duncan's user avatar
17 votes

My child's violin practice is making us tired, what can we do?

I can see that there are already several answers and one of them has got a lot of votes. So I come in a bit late, but I would like to pay attention to some aspects. Since your child is now 7 years old ...
Lars Peter Schultz's user avatar
17 votes

How long can a professional trumpet player go without practicing before seeing detrimental effects?

@BrianTowers beat me to the quote I was going to use, but the trumpet players I've worked with all have expressed the need to play daily. I found that after a particularly intense gig, a day off way ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.7k

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