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For any questions regarding music or gear that needs a simple answer.

E is for explain: Explaining concepts you'd like to understand better; not simple one word answers, super detailed walkthroughs, or personal problems.

LI5 means friendly, simplified and layman accessible, not patronizing "Little Timmy" responses aimed at literal five year olds.

  • Please Search before submitting. The search box is in the upper righthand corner of the page.

  • This is not the place to ask advice, but rather a place to broaden your understanding of a topic.

  • Please tag your post with the instrument or topic, followed by the specifics of the post. (Ex: ELI5Guitar, ELI5Piano, ELI5Theory, etc...)

Example of a good post:

  • ELI5Guitar: How string gauges work

Example of a bad post:

  • What strings should I use?

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3,626 Subscribers


what is it about the blues scale that makes it so fundamental to so many genres?

17:27 UTC


how to figure out a voice "track"'s BPM

hi, i am brand new to music nomenclature.. but i have google i just dont know what to search.ive got several songs? verses? poems? in my head,and like i can sing (poorly) the syllable rhythmand comparatively how high/low i want the words to sound,and spacing between each um word? syllable? like how drawn out each one is

specific example (theres a good bit more, but this is enough to know how it all works.. i think):What is your wish and what is your desire? (10)If you say "this", then you're a liar. (8)We all have hopes, and we all have dreams; (9)which we will capture by any means. (8)

so for this i know i want "this", then to take up the same quick/back to back/no pause as captureand the (10) line and (9) line to be the same amount of time/pacing for the first 9 syllables, then the same total time with a lingering ghost pause after (9) till (10) would have finishedand "what is your wish (slight-drawn-slur into) and what..", the same as "we all have hopes, (slight-drawn-slur into) and we all.."and the emphasis on wish, desire, this, liar, hopes, dreams, cap(ture), means

idk enough to really share the exact music bit ive got in my head but only through words, when i dont even know the words to use

i looked up some music theory videos and how to do sheet music stuff and found some free online beat-makers (soundtrap) in attempts to 1 make more songs and 2 make the songs i already have "official" via knowing what notes and rhythm and stuff im usingbut idk how to do this, i have made like 3 new beats.. one of them is ok.. but i am totally lost on how to take stuff i already made and fit it into the music system

possible trouble shooting: i record myself singing, then study the sound clip and see what the pattern is.. i go to some music place and ask them what the im doing when i do it.. idk im here asking yall rn

(if im not supposed to say something i did, lemme know and i will edit right away, hopefully this isnt delete worthy)
edit: oh or if i should ask somewhere else, pls lemme know so i can copy paste there, then ill remove this one

05:07 UTC


What's the difference between SACD and regular CDs.

So I've seen a few SACD's in my life and I'm curious what the concept behind them is? I'm mainly asking because The White Stripes a releasing their 2003 album 'Elephant' on SACD, and knowing Jack White, he strives for the best quality, so are SACD's a better quality version of CDs or what? And do they require a special player to use them?

1 Comment
16:42 UTC


Chord voicing question

What would a minor triad with a flat 3rd on top be?

16:16 UTC


Help my guitar timing "click"

I'm using some demo/Example tracks to get some ideas for new blues solos on electric guitar. Before the actual licks start there are drumstick clicks. These kind of throw me off as far as when to come into the song. I need help knowing how to count the convert the clicks into rythmn and/or standard numbers such as ' 1 and 2 and 3 and...'.

What really throws me for a loop is that there are two clicks with short clicks abd then 3 steady clicks. I think the ryhmn is 1 2 3 1 2 3 with the 2 missing in the first set but not sure ( so 1 - 3 1 2 3). Also guessing it is written in 12/8 as it is slow blues.

Here is one example for reference https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/CA8nu


12:40 UTC


Why is it when I try to start a playlist inspired by a song sung by a female vocalist, the entire "station" ends up being just girl bands??

Meanwhile, if I start playlist with male vocalist's song there are always women's voices/bands mixed in. Never the other way around.

17:53 UTC


Question about tonality

Hi redditors,

I have been practicing my music theory particularly intreval study. I noticed that even though I was practicing all decending maj/min 2nd they sounded somehow different. Before anyone says that's obvious because they are in different keys I mean different as in some major 2nd sounded sweet and pleasant while others seemed to sound more minor than major.

While trying to figure this out I came across the concept of tonality and how chord progressions that are the same will sound more "eerie" or possibly dissonant depending on the key. Also came across how g major is seen as the 'happiest' and warmest key.

Please explain to me like I'm 5 tonality and why certain chord progressions/scales have a different feel despite being the same intreval depending on key.


11:22 UTC


Sheet music for drummers

This is going to turn into a “I was today years old…” but I’ve often wondered how drummers learn a song. Do they just go with the beat or is there sheet music for drummers?

13:23 UTC


As much as I love watching live music orchestra, I am not able to understand the role or the importance of the Music conductor, Can someone please explain in detail?

Edit: Thanks for all the very detailed explanations.. feeling pleased that people are taking time to answer the question to a non music person like me .. you guys made my day

10:09 UTC


ELI5 Why is Imagine Dragons considered rock and roll?

1 Comment
08:30 UTC


Am I in the wrong hobby?

Not sure where to put this, just trying to find anyone who might be able to help me.

Been trying to get into music most of my life, wrote songs in middle school that were terrible, got guitars and pianos, loved to just mess around. Music means so much to me but I was never able to seriously pursue it because I always became too busy with school and work. Over a dozen years later and I'm trying to create an album with no formal musical training or anyone to help me and I can't understand music theory or anything to save my life. I create something and I think it's okay and then listen to it later and can't stand it. Been re-learning the guitar and trying to find out how to make my music sound like I want it to but I can never figure it out. I'm wondering if I'm just delusional about this dream and whether I will ever accomplish it. Am I in the wrong hobby? What do I really need to do to get me where I want to be?

04:14 UTC


European Guitar Amp in US

Hi, i'm a beginner guitarist & about to get my first electric guitar & amp.

i won a free Harley Benton HB-40R amp in a giveaway. unfortunately these are made for the European market & i am in the US. i know i need some sort of power transformer for it to be able to work here, but all my searching has left my head spinning.

so what do i need to make noise & not blow up either my house or my amp?

21:32 UTC


If this question has been asked a hundred times already, apologies.

What i want to know is what is it about a minor key that unnerves us and a major key that puts us at ease? Ty!

22:47 UTC


What is the difference between folks and country music?

1 Comment
05:59 UTC


What's happening in this video?

How are these cables and foam making stuff happen with the sound? https://youtube.com/shorts/oML5YiNOfFI?feature=share (I know my post has a link in it so delete it if you must)

06:55 UTC


ELI5: what is a single? Why do we care?

Exactly what the question says, lol. I always hear people talking about singles/hoping a major artist releases a certain song as a single. What exactly is a single? Why does it matter that a song is a single, especially when it’s from a mainstream artist?

04:50 UTC


Guitar, headphones, & a beat.

I’d like to learn how to play the guitar but I need headphones so I don’t disturb my roommates. I also want to play to a rhythm. How do I play the guitar to some drums through some headphones?

18:25 UTC


ELI5 Impedance and how to properly pick an amp and speakers

22:27 UTC


What are these variations of arpeggios I see sometimes?

I could be wrong but they don't sound like plain major or minor or even 7th arpeggios. I see this in other songs too. liek the prelude to well tempered clavier. Are they adding some variation to arpeggios, like add 2 or add 6 or something?


02:30 UTC


Is big time rush property of nick?

How is the boy band Big Time Rush able to regroup together and come out with new music and make social media pages under their band name? Is Nickelodeon behind owners of that band?

18:19 UTC


Really fast guitar players on YouTube and video

I've noticed with really fast guitar players on YouTube, like Tim Henson of Polyphia, the video seems sped up. Why is this?

Not the music videos, but the sitting in the studio, just ripping up the fret board.

To be clear, I'm very aware Tim Henson and other guitarist are extremely talented and very fast, but the video "seems" faster. I assume it's for the benefit of other guitarist to learn the notes/scales?


05:12 UTC


ELI5 Parallel Compression


00:02 UTC


What is the difference between Chiptune (like what's on the Gameboy Advance) and MIDI?

For context, I'm looking into using my Gameboy Advance SP as a synth with a custom cable that's been out of stock for 3 years now. Any alternative plug-n-play methods are more than welcome.

01:17 UTC


ELI5: How do sound waves from multiple instruments work?

Sound is a wave. The sounds generated by multiple instruments/singers in a piece of music would be added together and I guess, in some cases negate each other. How does the "wave" include the sounds for ALL the instruments at once? Also is there actually any negation of sound going on?

01:13 UTC


ELI5: how are you able to record over old cassette or video tapes? Doesnt the image or audio imprint the film?

05:03 UTC


How do vocoders work?

I've read about them and as I understood you have a modulator signal (for example a saw wave containing all harmonic overtones) and a carrier signal and the carrier signal gets band passed so that only the frequencies matching the overtones of the modulator can be heard. Is this correct? Wouldn't it be simpler to just pitch correct the carrier so that its fundamental pitch is aligned to that of the modulator?

1 Comment
18:32 UTC


How do microphones work?

I don’t get how the sound travels?? Eli5 pls

02:19 UTC


ELI5: Rectifiers

So I understand that a rectifier’s purpose is to convert AC to DC and that they can be either tube or solid state, but from what I’ve read it appears that only tube amps need rectifiers? Is this true? What is different about solid state amps that causes them to not need any rectifier, or is there some other portion of the circuit that accomplishes this?

02:07 UTC


Explain like I'm five how do HOAs work?

So I'm looking at getting a home or condo soon. There are more than a few condos. Most of them have HOAs in the ball park of 250-320. They cover the basic stuff. Grounds, maintenance, snow removal and sometimes trash water and sewer. There are a few tho, that have a noticably higher fee at 550 or even up to 1000 a month. But don't seem to offer any more than any of the other places. Should I try and ask why? Or if I can get more for that? Like why should I pay 5 times for the same services? What am I looking for? What should I avoid?

01:04 UTC


The Difference Between 2/2 and 4/4 Time Signatures

Understand the difference between 2/2 and 4/4 time signatures. Mathematically it appears that 2/2 and 4/4 are two versions of the same thing. Musically they are quite distinct because 2/2 contains two minim beats per bar, while 4/4 contain four crotchet beats per bar, giving the two time signatures a very different feel from each other. In this music theory lesson the detail of this is unpacked and examples played that demonstrate the essential differences. It is important for players and composers alike to grasp this topic in order to avoid confusing the two time signatures.

Watch here: https://youtu.be/0NOmCvMjkIM

09:54 UTC

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