Best products from r/Learnmusic

We found 27 comments on r/Learnmusic discussing the most recommended products. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 98 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top comments mentioning products on r/Learnmusic:

u/IndianaJoenz · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

1: That's just a controller. It doesn't have sounds of its own. I would suggest considering something that does have sounds of its own (such as a synthesizer, a piano, or something more like a normal student keyboard like this) so that you aren't tethered to a computer+software any time you want to practice. That said, you can still get by with a controller only and your laptop. Whatever you get, you probably do want Midi so you can use it with your software. (Unless it's a real 88-key piano, which is probably the best for learning IMO). For the "portable keyboards" with midi support, like the one I linked, Yamaha and Casio make some pretty good ones. A little pricier than the one you linked, unfortunately. 32 keys might feel a kind of limiting, but maybe not. You can probably find a 61-key one with MIDI on craigslist pretty cheap. (Yamaha PSR series is pretty good, nice sounds)

2: Learning some music theory is definitely a helpful tool, and that generally means studying an instrument. It's pretty much essential for collaborating with other musicians, since you'll need to speak "the language of music." (Keys, chords, etc.) One thing I've always enjoyed for learning is going to guitar chord sites (like, looking up some songs I know, and playing the chords on piano. If you don't know how to play a chord, look it up. You'll start noticing patterns (how to play a major chord, minor chord, 7th, maj7, etc). That combined with practicing scales can take you pretty far, and give you some tools to explore when writing songs. /r/musictheory seems to be a good community for resources, too.

3: Piano is so fun. I played other instruments before picking up piano, but learning piano has improved my understanding of other instruments (and theory in general) dramatically. So I think you definitely have the right idea looking at keyboard instruments.

4: If you do get a MIDI controller that doesn't have built-in sounds.. I noticed that the one you linked doesn't have any pitch bend or modulation wheel. I'd consider getting one that does. Pretty handy when working with synths (including the ones in your DAW). Another nice thing to have is pads for banging out drum beats. Much more intuitive than using the keyboard. Neither are essential, but they're fun, and something to consider. M-Audio Axiom series is a good one with both of these features. Oxygen series, too.

5: Interestingly, Keystation 49 II is the same price on Amazon as the Keystation MIni 32 you linked. Out of the two, I would definitely go for the 49. More keys, and real pitch bend+modulation wheels. (The pitch bend buttons on the mini look kind of lame IMO.) Unless the more portable size is just super important to you.

6: If the keyboard you get has traditional (round) MIDI I/O ports but no USB port, then you'll need a MIDI interface for your computer. They're cheap, and you don't need anything fancy. Something like this is fine. You can also get an audio interface that has MIDI built-in. If you go with an audio interface, you should do more research, as a good audio interface (unlike an expensive midi adapter) does make a big difference in the sound that gets recorded. But that's probably farther down the line if right now you're just trying to learn and get better at composition. At that point you'll be looking at good monitor speakers and/or monitor headphones, too.

No hard and fast rules, here. Just a few things to consider.

u/ElectronicProgram · 6 pointsr/Learnmusic

Ideally, you'd find a Jazz teacher who can step you up from the basics, but, if that's not the case:

First, if your core music theory is not solid, take a few weeks to brush up on that. Make sure you understand and can play:

- Major Chords & Inversions (i.e. C E G for C Major)

- Minor Chords & Inversions (i.e. C Eb G for C Minor)

- Dominant 7th Chords and Inversions (i.e. C E G Bb for C7)

- Memorize the circle of fifths (though in 4ths, which is much more applicable in Jazz - this is just in reverse - C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb B E A D G) - this will show up everywhere in jazz, including the first book I'll recommend.

Now onto the jazz stuff:

  1. Learn Jazz Harmony first. This starts with Shell voicings and guide tone chords. An excellent book here is the Phil Degreg book "Jazz Keyboard Harmony" It starts with the most basic shell voicings and builds upon those voicings note by note, and explicit step step instructions on how to practice and what to practice with plenty of exercises and play along tracks.
  2. Once you learn a voicing type, pop open a fake book. Play tunes using those voicings. Grab software like iRealPro to have something to play along with. If you use shell voicings, play the melody in your right hand.
  3. Going beyond just harmony, use a backing track from software such as iRealPro and play the melodies. Start improvising little by little on those melodies. Learn your jazz scales and try a course like Gary Burton's Jazz Improvisation on Coursera (you can audit this for free) to go beyond just tinkering around. I would not recommending doing this course until you at least have shell and guide tone voicings down.
  4. If you don't have iRealPro or something similar, record yourself playing your own harmony in guide tone chords, and improvise your own melodies on top.

    I'm a hobbyist, not a professional, but this helped me immensely understand jazz quite a bit more.

    Obviously advice like "Listen to jazz and try to transcribe" is good too, but that will make you hit frustrating walls if you have nowhere to start. Also, do not get "The Jazz Piano Book" by Mark Levine - it's more of a reference text, NOT a step by step learning book - even if someone recommends it - it's not for beginners.
u/flynnguy · 2 pointsr/Learnmusic

Well there are two different harmonicas so first you have to ask yourself which one. The more common one is a diatonic which comes in different keys. The generally recommended beginner harmonica is a key of C. Then there is a chromatic harmonica. These are usually more expensive.

I'll assume you want to play the more common diatonic harmonica as it's what I'm more familiar with. Some good ones to look at are the Marine Band (which has a wood comb so can be a little more picky with regards to maintenance but some swear it sounds better), the special 20 (similar to the marine band but with a plastic comb), Suzuki Harpmaster, Lee Oscar, and the Golden Melody.

Next you'll need lessons. I've found Adam Gussow's lessons to be really good. He has some free ones on youtube so you can get to know his style and for a beginner I recommend his beginner's special. As a first step I'd recommend looking at his free 2 part into lesson. part 1 and part 2.

Also be sure to check out /r/harmonica. It's not the most active subreddit but it has some good resources. Good luck, it's a fun instrument and it's pretty cheap to pick up a really good harmonica (Figure around $30USD).

u/krypton86 · 2 pointsr/Learnmusic

Yes, counterpoint assumes that you have a foundation in 18th century harmonic practice, also known as "common period" practices, e.g. voice leading as practiced by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, etc.

Harmony by Walter Piston is very thorough, but it's a serious treatment and perhaps not for the faint of heart. Also, you may want to get an edition before the fifth as it's substantially different from a pedagogical standpoint than the earlier editions. I can also recommend Kostka's Tonal Harmony very highly, but also a serious treatment. In fact, it may be best just to start with the Kostka and pick up the Piston later if the fancy strikes you.

These two books teach harmony in very structured way, and in many ways that's the best for learning counterpoint. Eventually, depending on how serious you want to get about composition, you may want to read Schoenberg's book Theory of Harmony. It covers the same material as most harmony books, but it does so from the perspective of the composer. It's even a little philosophical (and dense). It's not unusual for graduate students to re-learn harmony using the Schoenberg text as it forces you to think like a composer. Of course it's a more difficult read, but only if you're unprepared.

If you'd like something a little more easy, there's no shame in getting the Dummies series book on harmony. It does the job with a minimum of depth. Frankly, though, it's in your best interest to start with a solid, university level textbook like the first two I mentioned if you want to tackle counterpoint. Eventually, it's a good idea to read more than one book on tonal theory anyway, so it can't hurt to start with the Kostka and just put it down and use the "Dummies" book. You can always just come back to it later.

u/ieatfunk · 1 pointr/Learnmusic

You should ask in /r/WeAreTheMusicMakers but since I'm here anyway...

You should definitely get a MIDI keyboard, it helps so much more to write melodies. Depending on what you want to do depends on the keyboard; have you played much keyboard/piano? Are you planning on composing long, classical pieces? Or are you composing simple, EDM music?

Here are a few different keyboards that are good for different reasons:

M-Audio 25 - Cheap and cheerful, only 25 keys - for EDM and simple melody writing

Samson 61 semi-weighted This keyboard is pretty high quality, 61 keys which is 5 octaves, this keyboard would be for someone that can/wants to play piano pieces that are more complicated than your simple EDM melody line. Semi-weighted keys make it feel closer to playing actual hammer-action piano keys.

M-Audio 88 Weighted Keys this is for a pianist; it has the full range and has weighted keys, it feels like playing an actual piano. Obviously not for the casual EDM producer.

Now, pretty much every single modern keyboard you can buy today will be USB powered, which means the keyboard will be powered by plugging it into your laptop/PC and the USB will also carry MIDI, so you wont need any extra hardware in order to send MIDI data.

Eventually you'll probably want to get some nice headphones, some nice monitors (speakers) and an audio interface to interface between your PC and the monitors.

Head over to /r/WATMM and search for beginner posts. There are thousands.

Hope this helps!

u/forty_three · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

Do yourself a favor, don't try to power through theory without learning an instrument at the same time. Playing is fun, theory is not (unless you're a music geek like me) - still, you needneedneed theory to be a better musician. You can get to be a casual, social musician, but to learn an instrument you should really learn what's behind it at the same time you learn the physical process.

Some other quick suggestions:

  • internet! Youtube and other sites love teaching people new things about everything.
  • craigslist: you don't need a really nice, new instrument just to find out if you'd like it
  • learn whatever instrument you think feels right; go to a local music store and play around with a few; I love my trumpet, but would love to be better with saxophone, violin ond piano - there's always room for change.
  • if you want to go for piano, you can always try a keyboard (pref. full-sized with weighted keys) like this one - but cheaper. There are very few half-decent instruments for relatively cheap; fortunately, you don't necessarily need a good instrument.

    Good luck!
u/blithelyrepel · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

Second the recommendation of scales and arpeggios, in all keys, major and minor. You can start off with just a few, the easiest ones (go in order of the circle of fifths if you want), and continue to add on. Start slowly and, most importantly, EVENLY, building a good foundation for speeding it up later and applying it to technical passages. But there's no real recommendation anyone can give you for "X amount of times," because scales and arpeggios are things you'll continuously practice no matter how high of a level you get to. At a higher level once you've mastered them, you may not have to do the entire set every day, but you can then apply them to pieces by choosing from your arsenal certain exercises that practice the techniques needed in a tricky section of Rach or such.

A good resource for other technique exercises is the book of Hanon exercises. It's been used for many decades, and includes lots of scale/arpeggio-type exercises, and you can work your way through them. Be aware, though, that they're VERY tedious (literally just pattern building through each key), but it sounds like you have the ability to self-motivate yourself. Be careful not to treat these just as exercises, though, and go through them robotically and monotonously, because it's very easy to see them as such. They're just tools developed to help finger agility, speed, and recognition of patterns so you can apply them to full-blown pieces. It's like a tennis player who practices a certain type of grip for 50 serves a day. Great if she can do it through the exercise, but if she reverts to her old grip when she starts playing a game (putting it into action), the grip practice was wasted. Application of theory into pieces is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

I know this has been a giant essay, but lastly, none of us can really give you an individual recommendation. It seems like you've got the self-motivation to learn yourself, but if you are interested in really getting a structured routine, get a private teacher, if only for a few lessons, to help you develop what kinds of things you need to work on.

u/charcoalist · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

There's also a free, Berklee Intro to Music Theory course on edX. It says enrollment is closed, but I'm still able to view the lessons once I log in.

I'm new to learning about music as well, and this book has been very helpful: How Music Works. It's written very conversationally, not too technical, with great explanations of core concepts.

Also picked up The Complete Musician, which is very technical.

For writing software, Muse Score is free.

I'd also recommend getting a midi keyboard as well, if you don't already have one.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/Learnmusic

I actually just found out last night that Reddit user stathibus is currently offering a class in /r/universityofreddit on basic musical theory. Here is the link. Hes doing a very good job so far and hes going at a pace thats very manageable to all skill levels, so I think you might have some luck subscribing to his class.

As far as textbooks go, there is none other than Tonal Harmony. This is what they've used at every high school or university I've ever visited, and its what I learned from. Its a fairly comprehensive book and I highly recommend it, although I understand that the price point might be a deal breaker.

Other than that, my go-to online resource is always It's not perfect, but its the best free resource that I know of, and its fairly well written and accessible. I'd definitely recommend going through a few lessons on that site and seeing if its for you.

u/JuzamDjinn · 1 pointr/Learnmusic

Are you looking for a DAW and MIDI Controller? You can definitely get both for under 800. Logic X just came out for Mac if you have one and it's $200. If you're on Windows then Ableton Live is the way to go which you can get for 100-750 depending on what package you want. As far as midi goes, I really like M-Audio and Akai. I don't have it, but this keyboard it widely loved and gives basically everything a beginner could want. You could grab that and the mid tier version of Ableton for close to or just over 800 total. Just make sure you have a good set of headphones or monitors and check out /r/edmproduction if that's the kinda thing you're interested in.

u/maestro2005 · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

> For what it's worth, I like synthesizers a lot, and electric pianos, so traditional classical piano is pretty uninspiring to me. So anything relating more to jazz/rock/blues would be probably interest me more.

Technical drills tend to be very classical by nature. Non-classical music just doesn't push raw technique anywhere near as hard.

The two standards for technical drills are Hanon and Czerny (several books, but this is probably the one to get first). Hanon works on sheer finger speed, strength, and dexterity, while Czerny works more on fingering patterns. In the one I linked, the first two are about scales, the next two are about arpeggios, etc.

u/protobin · 2 pointsr/Learnmusic

If you love music, and can pay attention to what its supposed to sound like; that's all you really need.

I highly recommend the Sound Reinforcement Handbook to all beginners.

u/MondoHawkins · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

Grab a copy of The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It explains how to run live sound in great detail. It was the textbook from my Sound Reinforcement class in university 18 years ago and still sits on my bookshelf today.