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

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 ...

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Is there a name for this famous “memeish” rhythm?
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51 votes

The "Shave and a haircut — two bits" rhythm... X: 1 T: Shave and a Haircut – Two Bits T: Rhythm K: clef=perc stafflines=1 middle=B M: 4/4 L: 1/4 B B/2B/2 B B | z B B z |] w: shave and a hair-...

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What does it mean when a dotted half note has two dots instead of one?
35 votes

To briefly expand on @Tom_C's answer (thanks to @Guidot's comment below): There is no notation for lengthening all notes of a chord; each note has to be dotted individually. More expansively... Both ...

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What's the proper piano notation for adding one note at a time to a chord and holding all the notes?
26 votes

A broken chord like this is notated with double stems for each note. One set of stems corresponds to the eighth-note onsets of each pitch. The second set of stems corresponds to the duration of each ...

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Piano can play hands together but not separately. Why?
25 votes

When learning a piece on piano, our bodies -- especially our fingers, hands, and arms -- learn the "feel" of the piece. This is called "muscle memory". It sounds like your muscle ...

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How can I slow down a YouTube video I'm trying to analyze or transcribe?
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22 votes

There are at least two options: Option 1: You can slow down the video by changing the Playback Speed setting Browser instructions (this link for further alternatives) Click on the Settings menu icon. ...

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Why are tritones not consonant, confusion with the definition of a perfect fifth
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21 votes

Since intervals are ratios, they are combined by multiplication, not addition. For example, an octave is 2:1 (i.e., 2.0), two octaves is 4:1, three octaves is 8:1, etc. So to combine three single ...

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Why are there fingerings in Liszt's Beethoven's 9th transcription, a piece for a very skilled player who presumably doesn't need the finger markings?
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21 votes

In the interest of keeping this post focused, I'll just address the specific question of... Why did Liszt put fingerings in his transcription of Beethoven's Ninth? First, it's important to establish ...

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What do these three lines through the measure mean?
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20 votes

The three lines are the equivalent of scribbling out the bottom staff line. It's just attempting to make clear that there is no more music to be played on that page. In the interest of overkill, here'...

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What does the L-shaped symbol attached to C5 and G4 on the top staff mean?
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20 votes

This is a bracket indicating with which hand to play a note. The └ means that you should play that note with your right hand. The ┌ means, play that note with your left hand.

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Tied flat to natural?
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20 votes

It's a slur, not an error in your score. Here is the measure you're asking about, in the original score (IMSLP, PDF page 5, first measure): What your edition has done is rearrange the chords so that ...

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Notation - when to use staccato vs rests
19 votes

The core difference is that eighth notes/rests and quarter notes/rests (etc.) are durations; whereas, staccato marks are articulations. While it's true that staccato affects the duration of the note, ...

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Am I going to be handicapped for attempting to study theory with a monophonic instrument?
19 votes

You've expressed an accurate sense of why there is a theory advantage with the piano, but since you also very clearly are drawn to the bass, a couple of comments: Particularly if you play jazz or ...

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

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 ...

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How do I play this chord with an overlapping sharp and flat?
18 votes

As @user1079505 points out, recorded versions of the piece include an E#. This begs the question, though: how do they know to play E#? One way would be a more modern edition that contains the ...

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How could I get my Classical Music Compositions published and known?
18 votes

A few avenues you could pursue: There are many competitions for composers, and these are a primary way to gain recognition. Prizes can include monetary award, performances of the piece, and/or ...

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Does the lip really vibrate at the same frequency of a brass instrument?
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18 votes

At least for trumpet, yes, the lips really vibrate that quickly. For a high trumpet note, the lips may vibrate at more than 1000 vibrations per second. This is fast, but remember that the muscles are ...

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Can a tuplet make notes longer?
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18 votes

This is fairly common in 6/8 time, for example. X: 1 T: Duplets in 6/8 M: 6/8 K: none V:V1 V:V2 %%score (V1 | V2) [V:V1][K:none clef=perc stafflines=1] BBB BBB | (2BB (2BB | [V:V2][K:none clef=perc ...

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Is it possible to play jazz on a cello?
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18 votes

Jazz cello is absolutely possible. Here are resources to get you started in your project. Note that most if not all of these come with contact information. You should not be shy about contacting ...

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Piano: Left handed Gmaj7 chord
18 votes

Try shifting your hand toward the fall board (i.e., away from your body). That will bring your thumb closer to the F#, allowing additional relaxation in the rest of your hand. So this: Rather than ...

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How to play a tremolo between a rest and a note? (piano sheet)
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17 votes

It's a mistake in the score. Those are supposed to be the beams for two grace notes on B and D#. Below is an image from the score on IMSLP.

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Is it an issue if the white and black keys are weighted differently?
17 votes

TL;DR: It's a matter of personal taste. Preface: I've played scores of different pianos and keyboards, and it has never once dawned on me that the black and white keys were weighted differently. A ...

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What does the chord notation X/Y ("slash chord") mean?
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17 votes

TL;DR For pianists, play the X chord with the right hand and the Y bass note with the left hand. For guitar/bass bands: guitarist plays the X chord and bassist plays the Y bass note. (With thanks to @...

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Why can't the piano play middle eastern music?
17 votes

The issues of tuning systems have been addressed, but there is an additional problem. Pianos can be — and have been — retuned to accommodate, for example, quarter-tone music. The truly "...

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What is the best way to play a chord larger than your hand?
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17 votes

Summary The following general principles/techniques for handling large chords are given below: Flatten the hand Shift the hand away from the body, toward the fall board Play multiple notes with one ...

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

@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 ...

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Do pianists look at the chord letter or notes on the stave to tell what chord to play?
16 votes

Do pianists look at the chord letter or notes on the stave to tell what chord to play? Yes. As a general rule, the more improvisatory the music, the greater the tendency toward chord symbols. So ...

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

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 ...

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Are there pieces that require retuning an instrument mid-performance?
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15 votes

In relation to the violin (or other string instrument) the specific technique described — using the tuning peg to detune and retune a pitch — is called peg scordatura (also peg glissando and glissando ...

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Why does photography promote high dynamic range whereas music production tends to reduce it?
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15 votes

Sound compression is used to respect the signal limits of microphones and/or speakers. Proper compression prevents sound distortion and also helps ensure across tracks that the dynamic ranges are ...

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