Skip to main content
35 votes
Accepted

What do musicians mean when they say "learn music, not instruments"?

You can get tied up with the mechanics of playing an instrument. And, of course, the aim is to produce music. But I don't see the point in saying that sort of thing to a 2-month student. Until the ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.5k
34 votes

Can one be too old to learn an instrument?

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 ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

I feel like I don't evolve, and sometimes shamed when playing with someone better than me

I find any learning process goes in cycles: At first, you're pretty bad. And you know it. Then, you start getting better. You're playing pretty well. Everything is great. And then you realise that ...
endorph's user avatar
  • 9,619
32 votes
Accepted

Can one be too old to learn an instrument?

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 ...
Forbin's user avatar
  • 436
31 votes

Ideas for a musical instrument to learn that is easier on the fingers

What about the trombone - a "real" orchestral instrument, should you wish to play with community orchestras, but just as at home with bands, etc, and doesn't depend on the fingertips to the same ...
Jamie's user avatar
  • 526
30 votes

Ideas for a musical instrument to learn that is easier on the fingers

I would like to suggest a theremin. It is an electronic music instrument that is played without physical contact. I personally like the sound, see here for example a performance of Over the rainbow. ...
Arsak's user avatar
  • 1,187
24 votes
Accepted

How do I stop muting nearby strings or will my fingers reshape after some practice?

You're not going to mutate significantly. In time, you'll learn to place your fingers more precisely. In some cases, this might mean placing the finger to one side rather than in the middle, because ...
Нет войне's user avatar
24 votes

Operating guitar for 10 years but can't make music

First find a teacher. Often said, but so important. A good teacher will analyse what you already know, and will point you in the right direction (for what you want to do), and provide guidance and ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
24 votes
Accepted

Would you recommend a keyboard for beginners with or without lights in keys for learning?

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 ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
22 votes
Accepted

Operating guitar for 10 years but can't make music

I'm going against the flow here, but that's no so unusual, and some of the comments have already alluded to this. I hope what I'm going to say does not sound harsh or unsympathetic - I'm just trying ...
Stinkfoot's user avatar
  • 6,832
22 votes

Would it take less time to learn the guitar fretboard if it were tuned to all fourths?

If you learned to play a guitar tuned in all fourths you will not be learning the guitar fretboard. You will be learning how to play an instrument tuned in all fourths, or an alternate tuning of a ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
20 votes

What do musicians mean when they say "learn music, not instruments"?

My read of the statement is that one should always keep a focus on the expressive qualities of music, even in the earliest stages. Even the simplest exercise or song can be "played like a ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.8k
17 votes
Accepted

Transcribing as music and relative pitch practice?

Transcribing music is EXCELLENT ear training practice. I like to tell students that transcribing one song to completion is like an entire semester of ear training. Don’t just listen for intervals and ...
jjmusicnotes's user avatar
  • 25.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Am I too old? Is it too late? Starting, Resuming, or Mastering an instrument

The consensus here on SE MP&T is... Go for it! Among the various questions and answers linked here, you'll find a wide variety of viewpoints: encouragement, pitfalls, concerns, and so forth, but ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.8k
16 votes

How do I stop muting nearby strings or will my fingers reshape after some practice?

To add to Todd and Topo's excellent answers - I will add my voice to assure you that it will get better over time with practice. I actually have short fat fingers and I have learned to compensate. ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to learn how to sing properly without a teacher?

Theoretically yes. Most probably, no. As with many other things, a teacher is not absolutely fundamental, but a professional guidance ensures that: you follow an appropriate didactic path tailored on ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,851
15 votes
Accepted

What is a paradiddle?

You're close! A paradiddle is a four-articulation pattern that alternates hands for the first three articulations but then repeats the third hand. The two patterns are L R L L and R L R R. Fancier ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k
15 votes

Ideas for a musical instrument to learn that is easier on the fingers

A harmonica might work for you. Diatonic harmonicas are very cheap, so there's no real problem if you don't like it. Chromatic harmonicas extend the range and keys available, if you decide you do ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,792
15 votes

Would you recommend a keyboard for beginners with or without lights in keys for learning?

Don't bother with lights. The player will be forever chasing them. In fact, for a few weeks I recommend not trying to read dots either. Just get used to the instrument, what it can do, and have fun. ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
14 votes

Operating guitar for 10 years but can't make music

I was in exactly the same position as you - I played guitar on and off for a number of years, playing from Tab reasonably successfully, but never being able to make anything up. I learned scales (...
silverstirling's user avatar
13 votes

Learning to identify Chords Progressions by ear

First of all you should learn to identify what the bass is playing. This is not the pure chord progression but you can guess what it could be. If you sing the triad built on the root and it fits to ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar
13 votes

Interval calculation (Eb-B#)

I would say Eb - B# is a doubly augmented fifth. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_(music)#Example The letter name distance says it's a fifth: E - F - G - A - B, five different letter names (...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
13 votes

What do musicians mean when they say "learn music, not instruments"?

When learning to play an instrument, it is useful to learn the patterns of the music itself. Later, when learning other instruments, knowing these patterns will help. Much of music is independent of ...
ttw's user avatar
  • 25.6k
12 votes

How to feel the music?

The first and foremost way to learn to feel the music is to play music. Not "practice" not "perform," but "play." The key difference between the former two and the latter is that the former two ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 1,723
12 votes

Ideas for a musical instrument to learn that is easier on the fingers

Panpipes, although typically handheld, are played without putting pressure on the fingers. You can even play them hands-free by using a neck rack: — Image source: Dom Flemons, using panpipes held in ...
Gaultheria's user avatar
12 votes

How to develop a musical ear when even singing poses great difficulty?

Your absolute best bet is to find a teacher -- both to guide the process and to give you external feedback. However, as an interim step, you could try this: get an electronic tuner (or app) of the ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.8k
12 votes

Should a right handed child hold a guitar left-handedly

Let the child hold the guitar like she wants. You may just have a child that is selectively ambidextrous. It happens. You get cricketers who bat left-handed and bowl right handed. It is not an issue. ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
12 votes

Is there any benefit in trying to play a song by ear?

Playing by ear is an invaluable musical skill. So is playing from music. So is recognising and codifying the patterns in what you play (by either means) to form a concept of 'music theory'. It's all ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.5k

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