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#1546549 - 10/29/10 09:41 PM Accurate counting and Score analysis
101kiwi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Zealand

I'm hoping we have some experienced muso's on board that would be willing to give me some advice.

My question is - how do you (or should you) go about counting the beat in complex rhythms and such music as Hindemith or more contemporary composers write?

At the moment, this is how I currently count music - silently - when I'm reading or just learning new pieces.

I a work that's in 4/4, I would usually count - 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & , etc,. Now I come to a problem - Although I manage by micro analyzing the sixteenth notes (i.e. 1&2&3&4& 1&2&3&4& 1&2&3&4& 1&2&3&4&, etc,) I don't have a clue how to actually count these notes in when I'm faced with.

Say, for a very basic example, you've got a phrase (4/4) where there is a quarter note followed by a eighth note with a dot, o.k, then after the dot there's a sixteenth note, and after the sixteenth note there's two eight notes one of which is tied to another quarter note... do you count this differently from my 1&2& etc?

What I mean is, is there a specific way you need to count the 4, 8(.)16, 8 8_4?

I'm just after a method of counting that makes reading easy - i.e, you don't need to over-analyze each score... you can just, you know... count.

Let me know if this isn't clear enough...

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

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#1546564 - 10/29/10 10:29 PM Re: Accurate counting and Score analysis [Re: 101kiwi]
Dror Perl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 272
Loc: NY
If I understand correctly you are basically looking for a way to count 16th notes. If so, I know there's many different approaches but 2 I can think of is:

4/4 1 e & e 2 e & e 3 e & e 4 e & e

meaning divide each beat into 1 e & e

Another way would be to use a phrase such as Ta-Ka-Di-Mi (this specific one is coming from Indian music) and therefore in each 4/4 measure you'll have 4 TaKaDiMi's

I hope that this is what you r looking for.

let me know if its not.
Dror Perl. Pianist, Composer, Teacher.


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#1546654 - 10/30/10 12:55 AM Re: Accurate counting and Score analysis [Re: Dror Perl]
101kiwi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Zealand
Hello and thank you for the fast reply!

Yes, that was what I was after - I just wanted to make sure was not counting incorrectly... I've always learned music more by "feel" and from listening to CD's but lately I've started to work harder on being more accurate to the score.

I think I'll go for the first approach - I've heard of the French way of counting - it seems a little vague, but I guess it would help clarify some rhythmic problems (esp. in jazz).

Now I'm wondering - how do you count 32nd notes and all those very rapid notes?

I usually just play them as fast as I can: at the expense of the true rhythm!

Anyway, your answer was very helpful, thanks a lot!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

#1546673 - 10/30/10 01:31 AM Re: Accurate counting and Score analysis [Re: 101kiwi]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
32nd notes are generally going to be too fast to count, when played at performance tempo.
If counting them in slow practice, I generally drop the organized groups of syllables and use something like da - da - da, na - na - na, or pa - pa - pa. Mainly, dividing beats into such small parts will actually make you lose track of your rhythm; the usual exception is when playing rhythms with dotted sixteenths, subdividing into 32nds to make them more accurate.
(I'm a piano teacher.)

#1546693 - 10/30/10 02:19 AM Re: Accurate counting and Score analysis [Re: david_a]
101kiwi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/08/10
Posts: 4
Loc: New Zealand
O.k, cool... I think that's what I've been doing too - just dividing them up into the main beat.
I find that staying in time on rhythms such as 5/4 and 7/8 is real hard at the moment - I guess I'll need to work harder!

Thanks for the reply
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!


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