31

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 extent as pretty much everything else.


30

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. However, since it is less prevalent than many other instruments, it might be difficult to find a teacher in your area. There are DVDs and online resources, ...


30

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 ...


29

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 you're not as good as you thought you were. Back to step one. You sound like you've reached step three. It happens to all of us. I work with a lot of younger ...


24

When I was taking piano lessons I learned each piece three times: Once with the right hand, once with the left hand, and the third time putting both together. After a while, the third "learning" came a lot more quickly, and after a few years I would start to slowly sight read both parts together. Today I will still practice the hard pieces one handed from ...


24

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 challenges, as well as explain what's happening. I don't necessarily believe that everyone needs to know theory to be able to play well, or produce good solos. I'...


24

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 ...


21

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 ...


20

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 you might not need to worry about fouling the string on one side (e.g. if you're fretting it higher) Another important thing is to put your fingers close to ...


19

I think if one wanted to be a concert pianist or part of a symphony or something, there's no question that one should get a good teacher. Precision is necessary in these areas, and precision is exceptionally difficult to teach oneself. As well, you might never be exposed to some concepts through picking up things on your own that a teacher would deem ...


19

Always use your ears. If something makes the sound better, it's good. If it makes the sound worse, it's bad. If it has no audible effect then it doesn't matter (unless you can think of other factors, like cramp). In this instance, you need the ability to leave open strings untouched, so that they sound cleanly. However if you don't want to pluck that ...


19

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 to answer this question as it is posed. It also possible that I've missed the mark entirely. Questions like these are often difficult to grasp and answer ...


17

tl;dr: You can always guess what notes to play by ear and find what notes sound good, but at the end of the day you are playing in a scale and you should be aware of that. There are some guitarists that don't know scale (or music theory for that matter) and they tend to play by ear. They listen to the progression and try to play something over it and find ...


16

There are actually two "schools of thought" about this. One (not so common these days, I think) that does not recommend practising one hand at a time, and the other uses "hands separate" a lot for learning purposes. Personally, I have found hands-separate practice essential for learning pieces that I find difficult, although, as Todd rightly explains, there ...


16

The mantra in learning piano is: "start slowly." How slow is slow? So slow you are unable to make mistakes, and then a little slower than that. Invariably when I have to choose a speed at which I think I can't make a mistake, at first I think: "come on, this is ridiculous!, of course I can't make a mistake"... and then I make a mistake. As for the specific ...


16

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 notes, but form, where tension is created and released, see if you can name all the instruments, sounds, or stereo techniques (panning, phasing, etc). ...


14

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. In addition to finger placement and angle of attack, the other thing you might need to adjust is your thumb position on the back of the neck. I find that to ...


14

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 terminology would be "alternating single strokes followed by a double stroke." I don't know where the name comes from, but I've just always assumed it was "...


14

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 (pentatonic, major, minor all over the neck) which I could play over a chord, but it never sounded musical when I played "random" notes from the scale. The break ...


14

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 like it.


14

You may make some progress purely studying theory, but it will make a heck of a lot more sense when you have an instrument to play the various bits of theory on. Any instrument. The piano (or keyboard) is generally thought to be the best to work out theory practically on. To choose an instrument, think about what sort of music you enjoy listening to, or ...


13

Leaning basic theory will always help a player regardless of instrument because there are general patterns in music that are prevalent including scales, chords, and progressions. The ability to recognize these common patters will allow you to group songs that utilize these patterns to aid in memorizing songs because instead of remembering a group of notes or ...


13

If you are serious about drumming I have good advice: Background I've been playing 13 years.I play in my college's jazz ensemble and play in a rock band outside of that. I take lessons with the percussion instructor at my university. I usually practice 3 hours a day. I get paid for some of my gigs, but not enough for me to call myself a professional. ...


12

I would venture that you're doing it correctly, and that it takes awhile. I was still reaching new levels of mastery over the same basic scales for many years after I began. One thing that accelerated the process, beyond what you described, was practicing the scales in two ways: Imagine "C" is the scale of choice. Imagine its notes C D E F G A B are ...


12

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 typically have a very directed purpose to them. Playing around has less direct purpose, and more just seeing what happens. The second most important part of ...


12

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 a neck rack.


11

Taking them one at a time: Is Rap music? Yes, or rather, Hip-Hop is, but in many ways it is meta-music. Going back to "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang (the first release of the music beyond it's core audience), it took and recontextualized the bass line to Chic's "Good Times". The DJ technique is to take pieces of pre-existing songs and ...


11

First, 22 isn't old to start music, even 82 isn't. Because skill and your propensity for music is partly inherent. You could have musical abilities that other people don't. For example, people that are more sensitive/emotional tend to be more musically inclined than people that aren't. So it's not all about when you learn, or even the theory that you learn, ...


10

Is the quality of online lesson good? With very detailed, in-depth instructions like Youtube:ProfessorV's Violin lessons, one can confidently start learning an instrument. (find something similar for your instrument) Are you aware of your mistakes? Would you know if your posture is wrong or stressing some of your muscles unnecessarily? Could you detect ...


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