Photograph via snooOG

Post links about learning to play music, instruments, and musical theory. Ask questions and share your thoughts of your musical journey. A community of experienced and new musicians, teachers, and hobbyists - all and anything to do with music learning.

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I want to learn the banjo?

I tried to learn to play the banjo about five years ago, I totally wigged just looked things up and purchased random how-to books. I started getting the picking down pretty well, but I just had no idea how to go about learning.

Any recommendations?

09:42 UTC


The Art of Inner Voice Chord Movement: A Journey Through Harmonic Richness

03:32 UTC


Keyboard Teacher suggesting to start with a 44 keys keyboard for an adult beginner. Confused

Hello all,

It is as the title suggests. I tried looking for teachers in my area and one of the teachers that I found to be good suggested to start with a 44 key keyboard instead of even a 61 key keyboard. And, apparently their notation of fingers is pretty different from what I have seen else where as in they use the index finger as the finger number 1. Quite confused as to continue with it or not.


19:59 UTC


A ๐›๐ž๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ, classical piece - ๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™‰๐™ค. 2 ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™‚ ๐™ˆ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ง - Ukulele Fingerstyle Tutorial

19:43 UTC


Remaking "Time is Up" by Poppy and Diplo synths tutorial

Hi guys, I'm here with another tutorial, this time for one of my all-time favorite songs "Time is Up" by Poppy and Diplo, if you never heard of it give it a chance its really amazing, the blend between Synthwave and electropop is just electrifying, so I hope you like the song.


23:15 UTC


Carbon fiber travel acoustics with onboard effects the future of guitar?

14:34 UTC


Is this a reliable technique to learn chords by ear on the piano/midi keyboard?

I really can't hear the bass notes at all in a chord, all I can hear is the highest note being played in the chord, so can I build off chord off that note and just build it downwards? Like for example I hear the note A as a top note so I try all the notes before it G F E and see if one of them fit with the chord, I know a lot of people recommend hearing the root note/bass note first but even after months I can't hear it at all.

20:05 UTC


How to read Key Signatures

Hey y'all

I made this post in r/composer and was directed here for a place that may be more appropriate. I am making a series of "music theory basics" videos, just to help those that are just getting started on things like reading music and whatnot. I see that self-promotion is an iffy subject on this subreddit so if this post has to come down, I get it, no worries. I have 4 videos out about how to look at sheet music, read notes in the table and bass clefs, and the on I will include a link to, which is how to understand key signatures.

I hope that this will be able to help someone out as they are learning the basics! If you have a topic you would like explained please let me know! I am creating a list of future video topics that people have asked about.


How to read Key Signatures:


19:14 UTC


Piano + Beatbox + Backline singing by "One man band" Vladimir Uspenskii

Hi there! My name is Vladimir Uspenskii, I am musician and music producer based in Barcelona ๐Ÿ˜Ž


I play guitar for last 25 years, I'm in love with traditional Jazz and Swing, Soul and Rock music of 60-s, and Electro Swing. Also I'm a music teacher, self-training coach, i do boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I'm a father and a "never give up" person.

My challenge is to do record these videos everyday to practice my piano, guitar and vocal skills and finally to create a live show set from all this.

If you like the video I would be happy if you subscribe to my Youtube channel

๐Ÿ‘‰ https://www.youtube.com/@uspenskiimusic ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

Thanks in advance! โค๏ธ

13:00 UTC


How to relax while playing an instrument

I started learning music as an adult. Mostly spending my time on piano and saxophone as of late.

A feedback that I keep receiving from teachers, is that I employ "too much muscle." It makes sense: In addition to music, I am avid rock-climber and I am used to having to exercise grip strength.

That is not good for neither piano nor saxophone, and yet, I cannot manage to shake that stiffness from my play that is not musical at all.

Is there any advice or practice tips on how to get around this problem?


21:50 UTC


How to make "Listerine" by Dayglow Synths Tutorial

Since this song came out I have had it on repeat non-stop, Dayglow is one of our favorite bands and we couldn't wait more to make this tutorial, so we recreated all the synth sounds from this track, hope you like it.

20:46 UTC


Good concept?

Inspired by the style of Psi. Its about drinking your problems away, thinking they're solved but then BOOM back again. So like the fast parts are about the liquid and how good it tastes as you feel warm and it flows around in your body. Then the chorus is slower and about the consequeses and how they're back now and all your pain is back Then back to fast about drinking and doing drugs for the problems to leave and it would end with SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT SHOT like a ton of the word shot used. Then silence after as wellโ€ฆthey sleptโ€ฆfor eternity.

23:59 UTC


MP3 Files for Scale Degree Recognition

At the end of this long post, I have links to a couple of zip files (free) that contain ear training samples I created and found helpful.

I have been using transcription for years as a training regimen to play by ear. I worked for years on notation, but finally decided ear playing made more sense for someone in their 60's. I'm doing a lot better lately, and hoped to share some ideas here. A few years ago, I posted some ideas on ear training and some of the ear training mp3 samples I was using at the time to r/musictheory. The zip file MrEar.zip and MrEarUserGuide. These helped me to improve quite a bit, and I've gotten to the point where identifying tonic is easy, pitch labeling by scale degree is pretty good, but not fast, and selectively identifying pitches in a texture is much better.

My approach any music now is to 1) listen, 2) find a tonic, 3) do a quick song breakdown (meter, barlines, intro, verse, chorus) 3) identify melody and harmony pitches. Finding melody and harmony (chord roots) seems most effective when worked on together. I identify pitches by hearing the pitches as a scale degree. That works for all pitches (melody, chord roots, other chord tones, whatever). I identify 12 different scale degrees, and either label them as 1โ€‰โ™ญ2โ€‰2โ€‰โ™ญ3โ€‰3โ€‰4 โ™ฏ4โ€‰5โ€‰โ™ญ6โ€‰6โ€‰โ™ญ7โ€‰7, or using pitch class number 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, t, e. I sing them as do, ra, re, me, mi, fa, fi, so, le, la, te, ti. Once oriented to a tonal center, they are all recognizable.

It was a real epiphany for me when I realized that, although there are many ways that composers may use to assert a tonic, I can always identify tonic by listening, and then picking out scale degrees that I hear. Registering any pitch to a scale degree, nails down tonic. I don't always have to find tonic first. Once I figure out tonic, everything gets easier. So my real insight (for me at least) is that scale degree recognition (SDR) is fundamental to all aspects of tonal music analysis by ear. Melody motifs are stored in our brains by scale degree (three blind mice, 3 2 1, me re do) as are chord progressions (axis, I-V-vi-IV, 1 5 6 4, do so la fa) .

So I started working my way again through the audio examples in Koska-Payne totally by ear, and that process supports my insight that SDR is the fundamental process to connecting theory to aural analysis.

Once I surmised the importance of SDR (to me), I created two new sets of ear training mp3 samples I can listen to on my phone. I think that the time I spend with these when I am away from my instrument is paying off. My aural analytic abilities are continuing to improve.

There are two sets of samples, the simpler set, consists of a tonic cue followed by a single pitch. The idea is to hear scale degree function in that pitch and recognize it by scale degree. The answers are provided in the sample file name, so I can check my answer on my Apple watch while walking the dog. Answers use pc class identification of scale degree (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, t, e).

The harder set is similar, but now, after the tonic cue, 2 pitches are presented, ie, a dyad. Each dyad is presented ascending, descending, and simultaneously. The answers are once again provided in the file name.

Initially, the harder set was too hard for me. But as I improved, due a lot of activities, such as transcribing music and playing by ear, my accuracy has gotten to high 90's. The thing that's interesting, is once I recognize correctly the scale degree's of any dyad (out of 12*11 = 131 possibilities), I find that I am then retaining tonic, even when presented with chromatic pitches that tend to move my tonic.

On the use of dyads in aural skill development, I reference an article written by a prestigious pedagogue in theory and aural skills:

Rogers, Michael. "The Jersild approach: A sightsinging method from Denmark." College Music Symposium. Vol. 36. College Music Society, 1996.

He says:

"I know of no other single set of practice materials for sightsinging that provides such a vigorous, multifaceted, concentrated, and extended workout for hearing melodic function and for acquiring tonal bearings as Jersild's "Diagram of Functional Progressions".

If you analyze the diagram that Rogers is referring to, you will find that it is essentially, a set of dyads, presented in random order in all keys. The dyads in Jersild's example, are a subset of the 131 dyads in my samples. His dyads always have the final pitch landing on one of the three pitches of the tonic triad (major and minor).

Anyway, if you are interested, you can find the single pitch samples here and the dyad samples here. I separate these samples into 12 different playlists for each of the 12 keys. The tonic pitch is also in the filename.

I am curious what anybody thinks of the ideas about SDR above.

Questions or problems with the mp3 files, reply here or send me a message.

11:48 UTC


How long does it take to learn the guitar? (the 7 variables)

11:25 UTC


Chord Melody with Triads - Unlock the Secrets to Beautiful Guitar Arrangements

03:01 UTC


Choosing school instruments

My son will be in 5th grade in the fall, and really wants to be involved with the school music program. Heโ€™s really struggling to choose, though:

Cello in orchestra Choir Percussion in band

He told me that when he met with the directors and tested some instruments, he felt really nervous until he tried the cello, and then he just felt happy. So I think thatโ€™s his answer, but heโ€™s talking himself out of it (and into choir) because he thinks cello will be too hard.

Iโ€™ve no experience with any of those instruments or with singing. Any insights or advice that might help him make his choice?

12:25 UTC


On the 4th note, what finger should I use to strum the B string? Does it HAVE to be my "i" finger, or can I decide to use finger "m" if it makes more sense?

05:57 UTC


Adult hobby musicians: Would you rather learn 1 instrument or 5?

Would you rather spend the next 30 years learning just one instrument or learn a new instrument every 5-6 years?

Iโ€™m asking this question is in the context of being an adult that learns music as a hobby rather than a professional musician. I take learning music seriously and have weekly lessons. Iโ€™m currently learning a new instrument but I canโ€™t see myself spending the next 30 years playing just that instrument. I feel like it would be more fun and enriching to spend about 5-6 years learning an instrument, getting to grade 8 ABRSM standard for example, and then switching to an another instrument and repeating this process. I think the point that Iโ€™m trying to make is whether it can potentially be more enjoyable for some of us to learn a few instruments well enough in the course of our lives rather than playing just one at an exceptionally high standard for ever.

06:30 UTC


Mapping the Modes (of major and melodic minor)

00:53 UTC


5 Position Minor 2-5-1 Jazz Licks in Dm - Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Martino

13:26 UTC


Music writing help!!

Hi r/Learnmusic, Right Iโ€™ve written lyrics, but I canโ€™t write music to save a life. Where do I go/who does cheap music writing services that I can use to get inspired? Im not even sure if this is the right place to post this, but any help is good help.

Thanks :)

23:35 UTC

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