Heather S.
  • Member for 3 years, 11 months
  • Last seen more than 1 year ago
In a folk jam session, when asked which key my non-transposing chromatic instrument (like a violin) is in, what do I answer?
27 votes

If someone is asking about the key of the instrument, I would answer "I play in concert pitch." If when jamming, someone asks "what key are you in?" I would say, "I am playing in (name a key) concert ...

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How can I help a piano student who doesn't slow down to read the notes
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18 votes

I understand that anxiety can cause a kid to freak out a little and start "flopping" the fingers, but I won't allow it to continue. I stop them and maybe do one measure at a time, or even one note to ...

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Can the I IV V chords harmonize any major scale melody?
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16 votes

A melody diatonic to the key can be accompanied with just I, IV and V chords, but this will give a less rich harmonization than using a wider variety of chords. But based on your question, you want to ...

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Is it hopeless in terms of becoming decent musicians, if they can't count beats?
15 votes

One of my mantras as a teacher is to tell my students to play things "painfully slow." In other words, so slow it hurts. I would say you are practicing too fast. When playing an instrument, there are ...

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How to play this passage precisely?
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13 votes

Where did you find this? It is notated extremely poorly and the division of the beats is not intuitive by looking at it. I am not surprised you are having trouble with it. I would, too, and I am an ...

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Should I start learning a piece of music?
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13 votes

I judge a piece's difficulty by how easily I can sight-read it. If I can sight read it quickly, it is too easy. I might polish it and perform it in a low-key setting but probably not in a serious ...

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When we press a piano key, why does a high pitch note not run for as long as a low pitch note?
11 votes

The higher the string, the shorter and thinner. The lower the string, the longer and thicker. The lower strings have more mass and do not let go of the vibrations as quickly as the higher strings. ...

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How to "get in the zone" before performing a piano piece?
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11 votes

Musically, it is important to be aware of what you are doing that helps to create that emotion. What notes are you emphasizing? Where are your crescendos, decrescendos, accelerations and ritards? What ...

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Isn't a tenuto marking redundant?
10 votes

Tenuto markings often show that a note has extra weight to it. Notes with these markings would not have a sharp/edgy beginning like an accented note, but they are often slightly louder than the notes ...

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How do I get into the music industry to become a performer?
10 votes

What has been told to me by PR people at record companies is this: gig, and get a following. The best thing you can do is start where you are, do your best, and keep plugging away. There is no ...

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When you look at (piano) sheet music, how do you "think about" which notes are being referred to?
10 votes

I am a pianist and an excellent sight-reader. As was said above, classical pianists read A LOT of notes in quick succession. I read quickly by recognizing patterns. The patterns can be broken into ...

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Term for two differently named chords that contain the same notes
9 votes

There are only three fully diminished chords in regards to actual pitch. They can be spelled different ways according to the key. Your example for Ddim7 is actually spelled incorrectly. It should be D ...

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Why isn't music written for ballet anymore?
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8 votes

Opera, ballet, and music in general has changed. It is getting smaller, and there is more growth in the "chamber" realm. I personally know composers of both chamber operas and "chamber" ballet/modern ...

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theory - D major in F major chord progression?
8 votes

The D chord is acting like the V of the Gm chord, and is followed directly by the Gm chord. The F# in the D chord is acting like a leading tone into the G of the Gm, essentially "tonicizing" the Gm ...

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Chord progressions and rules
8 votes

This question is too broad since the answer lies in what kind of music you are talking about. Baroque and Classical-era music has some pretty strict rules for chord movement, but the rules got a lot ...

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Which are all the musical intervals that are valid?
7 votes

The number of semi-tones between notes is not sufficient for describing an interval. A C to an F#, for example, has 6 semi-tones and makes an augmented fourth, but the same number of semitones exists ...

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Why did it take so long for keys with several accidentals to become common?
7 votes

A lot of the movement into keys with more sharps and flats had to do with the development of wind instruments. French Horns, for example, did not always have valves, and were limited to certain notes. ...

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Notating the diminished Scale
7 votes

My composition professors eschewed key signatures in situations like this. One suggested to write in the accidentals before each note, using the most common sharps and flats (the first three of each.) ...

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To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?
6 votes

If you are trying to move towards learning jazz, you should learn your 7th chords (esp. dominant, major, and minor). After you get the hang of these, you can learn less common 7ths as well as extended ...

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How to continue to play the piano after cutting off part of a finger?
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5 votes

Unfortunately, I cannot suggest specific techniques to help your playing, but there are a few things I can suggest. !) There are some physical therapists that specialize in working with musicians. ...

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What to test a used digital piano for?
5 votes

Try all these with a basic piano sound to begin. Play every single key and make sure it sounds. After that, use the pedal all the way to the right and make sure the sound sustains when you lift your ...

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What are some good guidelines for phrasing a melody?
5 votes

It is not possible to put a "rule" on phrasing since it is so subjective. I have been playing music for just about 40 years, and I have never as a rule started out phrases slower. The musical context ...

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How does 6/8 meter in jazz compare to eight-note swing in duple meter?
5 votes

Swing is not just about the length of the two notes, but also where the emphasis is placed. In swing, the 2nd 8th note (or eighth note following the quarter if thinking in 12/8) is stronger, with more ...

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Buying a saxophone online as a beginner
5 votes

I generally do not suggest buying instruments online, sight unseen, untested, and without the backing of a store who will see to repairs, warranties, and such. I teach beginner wind players, and all ...

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Should I mention the reason why I stopped performing piano for 10 years?
5 votes

From what I have been told, people don't really care how long you've been playing or about years/age. (I am an emerging composer and I wondered if I should explain why I don't have many compositions ...

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For piano scales, should I let go of the previous key before I hit the next one?
4 votes

Practicing scales is about notes and fingering. You can use whatever articulation you would like, and it is helpful to mix it up. Sometimes play separated, sometimes slurred. Maybe an alternation of ...

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What would all notes played together look like in sheet music?
4 votes

The three notes you mentioned (A/A#/B) could be written A/Bb/Cb. And, yes, music for piano that is harmonically adventurous has chords like that in it all the time. Every note can be written several ...

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When to use note beaming over/under rests?
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4 votes

I would beam over rests if the rest comes in the middle of the beat or standard grouping, such as two sixteenth notes, sixteenth rest, sixteenth note. This keeps the grouping of one beat all together. ...

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Can a well regulated piano be incompatible with a sufficiently fast/soft song?
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4 votes

If you are interested in more information on this, check out Charles Rosen's book, "Piano Notes". In short, in conjunction with a local provider, concert pianists pick a piano to play at the venue ...

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Accidentals and ties
4 votes

Accidentals hold through ties, but that accidental does not hold to the next untied note. If that note should have an accidental, it needs to be placed again. If not, a courtesy accidental reminding ...

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