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#1491594 - 08/09/10 01:07 PM question about counting 6 vs 4
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
A student is playing a piece (Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen) that has a couple goofy measures. I know someone can help me explain this to him.

It is in 4/4 time. The bass clef is 4 quarter notes.
The treble clef is a quarter rest and 5 quarter notes, but there is a bracket and an italicized 3 (like triplets would be)dividing the 6 into 2 sets of 3, but it takes up the whole measure.

In summary: there are 6 [quarter notes/rests] in the treble, opposite 4 quarter beats in the bass.
How can I help him count this?

Thanks all!!
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1491824 - 08/09/10 05:10 PM Re: question about counting 6 vs 4 [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 14265
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
You simply treat it as 3 vs. 2 two times in a row. So do whatever you'd do for 3 vs. 2. I have the student say "Not Diff-i-cult", where "not is both hands, "diff" is the 2nd triplet, "i" is the even note in the other hand, and "cult" is the last triplet.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1491828 - 08/09/10 05:13 PM Re: question about counting 6 vs 4 [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
KurtZ Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 1600
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Is this the part that winds up the big hard rock shuffle? Where he sings, "Just gotta get out. Just gotta get right out of here."?

Quarter note triplets. 3 subdivisions for every half note.

for your student: On a part you can mark up, subdivide the quarter note bass into triplets. Let's assume we count the triplets with the syllables "one-ti-ta, two-ti-ta etc. So now there's 12 subdivions to the bar and the (6) 1/4 triplets fall on every other of the twelve subdivisions. Off the piano, have the student slowly count the one-ti-ta, two-ti-ta while tapping them on one hand. The other hand should play the quarter note triplets on every other subdivsion. A foot tap on the quarter notes will help the student feel how the 1/4 triplets fall in between the basic 4/4 pulse. The only time the written rhythm falls on a beat is on 1 and 3 (or 2 and 4 if played "inside out"). So the six notes will fall: (1,ta) (ti) (3,ta) (ti) where each parenthesis set is a beat of the 4/4 measure.

Hope this helps.

A faster version can be heard on the hi-hat part of "Everyone wants to rule the World" by Tears for Fears.

One who does what the Friend wants done
will never need a friend.



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