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Topic Options
#1962265 - 09/21/12 07:57 PM My timing still sucks
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
I can read the sheet music I know the notes are held for different amounts of time.

But I can't help but go very quickly to the next note. Cutting off my minims, not holding dotted notes long enough my teacher says. Sometimes it is spot on, but has a habit of going wayward.

So as a deliberate practice goal, I've been counting out loud, I feel rather silly doing this but its sort of working.

Does anybody else have any other suggestions other than Metronome playing? Since I'm not going to have a lesson for another 2 weeks. I feel its a tad long to wait and maybe even be doing the wrong thing.


Thanks

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#1962271 - 09/21/12 08:06 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3206
Loc: Maine
My teacher gave me this exercise when I was working on getting the timing of dotted eighths with sixteenths in the RH part:

Play the RH notes with both hands. That is, bpth hands are playing the melody, an octave apart. Play the RH with the indicated note durations, but play the LH with continual sixteenth notes throughout (I think I added counting 1-e-and-uh to this.). This really helped me to feel the implicit subdivisions and the proper duration.

If your piece doesn't have sixteenth notes, you could try this with eighth notes.

If the trouble is proper duration in the LH part, perhaps reverse this: play the LH notes in each hand, with the written durations in the LH and pulsing eighth or sixteenth notes in the RH.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1962289 - 09/21/12 08:54 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
I'm curious.. why suggestions "other than a metronome"? A metronome would help greatly with this particular issue..
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1962366 - 09/22/12 01:26 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: Derulux]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
I read somewhere that a metronome only keeps you steady. What I'm trying to do currently with my metronome is set it to 60 bpm and do up to 3 octaves in quarter, eighths, and sixteenths. Which is turning out a lot harder to actually do perfectly than all those videos on youtube make it look. I'm trying not to look at the metronome but rather concentrate on the sound of the clicks against my scales.

Furthermore, I hate counting. And I am absolutely horrible at it. I can NOT count and play at the same time no matter how hard I try. I can hit the notes fast enough if needed, but I know that although I can make a piece sound correct, or to a point where someone may not notice any obvious problems with it rhythmically. I can't help but feel as if, if I could only count properly the piece could sound SO MUCH BETTER and much more accomplished.

But I truly hate counting I just CAN NOT do it. I've tried to count and play and I find that the ENTIRE piece falls apart. like the notes don't make any sense anymore. I find myself forgetting notes, mixing up notes, messing up hand positions, or at times completely loosing track and not being able to make sense of what I could play perfectly fine if I just didn't have to try to play it while counting.

I'm at a loss and I don't know what to do about this counting business what so ever. I'm trying hard with that metronome in hopes that this will prove to internalize and integrate the process of counting and timing beyond this 1 and ah, or 2 e and ah, stuff that I just can not get a grasp on. It's like those syllables just DESTROY my playing to a point where it doesn't even sound right to me because I'm hearing this 'e and ah' in my head and its throwing the whole thing completely off.

Sorry for the long reply. But I just went through this with a piece I'm learning about half an hour ago. So the frustration is still at the forefront of my brain smile any helpful hints?

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#1962380 - 09/22/12 02:52 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4269
Loc: Arizona.
The path you are taking may be too structured for you. Try familiarizing yourself with the tune until you know it very well. Then, just play along to the music using your own timing. Whatever feels right and natural.

The piece will still be the same and very recognizable to you and others but it will also be uniquely your own.

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#1962394 - 09/22/12 04:53 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: soundofsilenc3]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: SoundofSilence
I read somewhere that a metronome only keeps you steady. What I'm trying to do currently with my metronome is set it to 60 bpm and do up to 3 octaves in quarter, eighths, and sixteenths. Which is turning out a lot harder to actually do perfectly than all those videos on youtube make it look. I'm trying not to look at the metronome but rather concentrate on the sound of the clicks against my scales.

Furthermore, I hate counting. And I am absolutely horrible at it. I can NOT count and play at the same time no matter how hard I try. I can hit the notes fast enough if needed, but I know that although I can make a piece sound correct, or to a point where someone may not notice any obvious problems with it rhythmically. I can't help but feel as if, if I could only count properly the piece could sound SO MUCH BETTER and much more accomplished.

But I truly hate counting I just CAN NOT do it. I've tried to count and play and I find that the ENTIRE piece falls apart. like the notes don't make any sense anymore. I find myself forgetting notes, mixing up notes, messing up hand positions, or at times completely loosing track and not being able to make sense of what I could play perfectly fine if I just didn't have to try to play it while counting.

I'm at a loss and I don't know what to do about this counting business what so ever. I'm trying hard with that metronome in hopes that this will prove to internalize and integrate the process of counting and timing beyond this 1 and ah, or 2 e and ah, stuff that I just can not get a grasp on. It's like those syllables just DESTROY my playing to a point where it doesn't even sound right to me because I'm hearing this 'e and ah' in my head and its throwing the whole thing completely off.

Sorry for the long reply. But I just went through this with a piece I'm learning about half an hour ago. So the frustration is still at the forefront of my brain smile any helpful hints?

You can't count and play at the same time! (Or at least, I can't.) I couldn't possibly imagine trying to remember all of that while also focusing on motion and sound. wink

The metronome will help you find a beat and break it down internally.

However, my concern, now that you have elaborated, is that this problem does not exist in your head (or your counting), but in your technique. If it's your technique, the metronome will not help.

Any chance you can post a video of you playing something well, and then something else that is giving you trouble? We can check it pretty quickly.. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1962411 - 09/22/12 06:17 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Count OUT LOUD even if you think you sound like an idiot. If you count in your head you will cheat.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1962544 - 09/22/12 11:52 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
I have a similar problem. This book helped a lot:

http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Timing-Piani...ng+for+pianists

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#1962707 - 09/22/12 06:03 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
I’ve been playing for a little over a year, and I can’t count aloud, either – I just can’t keep it even. At first, I had major problems with metronomes – I found the one built into my digital to be highly distracting. I had an old electric one that just had a dial and one sound at one volume – just could not get used to it. It was totally frustrating.

So I did a lot of research into the new world of metronomes – and finally settled on the Boss DB-90. I had to save my pennies up for it but now that I have it I consider it one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

I like it for the flexibility it offers –

First, it has 4 different sounds – wind-up metronome, electronic metronome, electronic click, and a human voice. There is a master volume slider to control this sound.

Second, the first beat of the measure can be a different sound, which is the way many of them work – and which I find distracting – so with a slider I can take this out and just have my chosen electronic sound for every beat, which I much prefer.

Third, I like that I can add in the sub-beats if I want to – and control the volume for each – so if I’m playing a piece with quarter notes and eighth notes (my limit at the moment) and I set 4/4 time with quarter note as one beat, I can increase the volume of the eighth note beats if I’m having trouble getting them smooth or I want to check my internal time. One can also add sixteenths notes, and triplets – which I’m sure I’ll find handy in the future.

You can set the current tempo you are comfortable with by tapping a button – then you can gradually increase it (my teacher suggests a value of 5 each time) until you can play up to speed.

There are also lights – so once I learn my scale pattern or Hanon pattern and have taken the music away I can watch the lights – with or without any sound – and keep my eyes off the keyboard

Those were the most important things to me – I figured later I would have some fun with rhythm patterns as something to play along with to help improve my inner clock, so to speak. And there’s some kind of a rhythm coach mode that I have not a chance to check out yet.

So now I happily use my metronome, I actually can use it – and I have come to appreciate it as a tool to really help me get things right.

I also find that sometimes just tapping the rhythm with right and left hand as the metronome runs helps me to sort out a more complex pattern – then I try playing it.

I found a small “BookChair” was just perfect to hold the DB-90 and it sits ready to be used on my digital. I also got the power adapter – at that price they should include it, but that would be in an ideal world.

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#1962834 - 09/22/12 10:04 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: Derulux]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
I'll make a video of a piece I can play well. And I'll try to make a separate recording of the performance in case my web camera (which is pretty much useless) gives horrible quality (which it most likely will)

In response to the part of technique. I mean what more can I do to improve technique? I've learned my jazz scales, haven't put them together yet with both hands (still learning the left) but I can do each one two octaves in the right. I've done all my scales major, harmonic, melodic. I do them constantly. (I can go up to 4 octaves comfortably)

I'm working on contrary motion. Then I plan to move on to parallel. During that time I'm hoping to brush up on Hannon, keep loading on new pieces, and I'm still cleaning up my arpeggios.

I figure once I have COMPLETE control of scales. Not just some fly by night type of 'know them but don't know them' kind of knowledge. Once I am able to control the entirely and completely. Only then could I hope to see the drastic control and fluidity that I'm hoping to achieve.

(Just to add I've only played for a year and a half and have been taking lessons since day one)


Edited by SoundofSilence (09/22/12 10:07 PM)

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#1962884 - 09/22/12 11:20 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: soundofsilenc3]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
Alright so I just made a video.

To be totally honest I get really nervous as soon as I turn on a recording device and play smile It's like I can play so much better without it but as soon as I know I'm recording I get little butterflies in my stomach and mess up sometimes smile

I think this run was ok. I hope smile At least I'm pleased with it I'd say smile

It's a cover of Elton John - Funeral For A Friend

If anyone needs the sheets I've uploaded them here
http://www.mediafire.com/view/?g4qa37y9mtqdi99

As for the video .... here's the link .... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8py3vEN6sQY

I played it a second time 20 minutes later and recorded that as well. If it helps anyone here is the link to the second recording. I think I did a little better here because I wasn't as nervous ... but still nervous smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0cGOOgc87I

Please don't be to harsh. This is the first video I've ever made and displayed publicly. This was actually also my first full video recording. I've only done audio so far. I'd like to accomplish so much more before I start to think I'm ready for Youtube. But never the less here it is smile

I warn you. The video quality is horrible. And the sound quality is even worst. It's a Yamaha P95 and you will hear the thumping of the keys. It's horrendous. I've been meaning to upgrade my set up but for now this is what I'm working with.

Thanks everyone smile


Edited by SoundofSilence (09/23/12 12:07 AM)

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#1962958 - 09/23/12 02:36 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
Great, thank you for posting! smile

I have the exact same difficulty with recording. In order of nervousness that I experience (from most to least nervous), it is:

1. In front of other extremely talented musicians (pianists or not)
2. In front of any of my teachers (mostly because of #1)
3. In front of a recording device
4. In front of a live audience

Back to your post..

Would you say this is an example of something you play well, or something you're having difficulty with? (Forget the recording for a second.. I mean in general.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1963017 - 09/23/12 06:49 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: Derulux]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
I would say its something I play well considering the difficulty of the song, length of the song, the length of time I've been playing, and the fact that if it wasn't on video I could play it near perfectly.

What gets to me most is listening and hearing it as it is. But thinking how it could be if I could only count perfectly with no difficulties.

But then when I think of how much I have left to learn in terms of scales. How much I'm still working towards achieving with my scales, I say to my self that I can't be too hard on myself until only after I've acquired that level of sophistication with my scales. Which is why I work so hard at trying to internalize and learn them entirely. Because I believe it something that isn't simply a 'nice to know' but a 'need to know'

What do you think? =D


Edited by SoundofSilence (09/23/12 07:13 AM)

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#1963096 - 09/23/12 11:37 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
krzyzowski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 108
Sounds like you need rythm. ALL music has rythm. To get rythm, do these things:

Play small parts only until they swing.
Move the body parts; don't be a shoe starer.
Observe drummers.
Learn to dance.
Learn Hand Jive. Cool idea!
Study piano riffs.
If a metronome is used, run it progressively slower with more playing between beats.

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#1963120 - 09/23/12 12:07 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
DinaP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 152
I’m working with Philip Johnston’s Scales Bootcamp, which was highly recommended by a bunch of people on this forum. It has a logical, progressive classification and some really interesting variations.

So far I’m doing 2 octave C Major and the two octave chromatic scale beginning on C. I won’t add another until I can play C Major in parallel motion comfortably for at least two octaves. I can manage it slowly but not smoothly as I sometimes have to pause during it. To get going on parallel I actually added one or two notes at time until I could do two octaves. Worked out pretty well.

My teacher also has me doing Alfred’s Junior Hanon – which is an eighth note Hanon with each exercise half as long as the original. She emphasizes planning ahead and hand shape – preparing for the next sequence as soon as possible within each exercise. Right now I’m only doing 1 and 2, and both with LH only because my RH is fine but I really need to train my LH to hold position and keep closer to the keys – definitely improving.

Also making good use of my DB-90 metronome.

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#1963121 - 09/23/12 12:09 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: krzyzowski]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
This is exactly the problem right?

The counting?

I wouldn't think I make any 'playing mistakes' because it sounds like the song. There isn't any MAJOR mistakes. (I know the ending bit has to be smoothed out a little)

Its just rhythm in certain circumstances with alot of different pieces. And this all boils down to, the fact that I can not count what so ever no matter what I've tried to do to learn how.

Which is another reason why I'm trying to work with that metronome and learn quarters, eighths, and sixteenths with each scale.


Edited by SoundofSilence (09/23/12 04:20 PM)

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#1963148 - 09/23/12 01:24 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
If it's too hard to count while playing, or to play with a metronome, try just tapping out rhythms from your sheet music while counting or using the metronome. Start with one-handed (single line) rhythms, then work up to two handed ones.

This worked really well for me. When I stared I really couldn't count while playing, and the metronome totally flipped me out. But getting used to counting and tapping, or tapping along with the metronome helped me get used to this stuff. Now I find myself counting without thinking about it when I hit a tricky bit of sight reading, and I actually *like* my metronome.
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1963153 - 09/23/12 01:37 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: soundofsilenc3]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3191
.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

Free Tune from my Blues & Boogie-Woogie Piano CD:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_2665138101

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#1963183 - 09/23/12 02:18 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: tangleweeds]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
This is interesting because I find myself tapping my foot regardless even though I can't count the rhythm. It's like an automatic thing that happens once I've played a piece enough.

In the piece I recorded. Does anyone see it as "making it your own" I think I read that in a previous reply so I'm wondering if their is a correlation here. (I was tapping the foot throughout as well)

I really don't think I had a rhythm issue in that particular piece. Maybe segments that need to be smoothed over. But I thought I was as accurate as I could be. I've gone over that piece so many times at a painfully slow pace. That the only thing I could think I'm missing is the 'dead accuracy' of being able to count it note for note while playing it.

But like I said. This counting dilemma exists with EVERYTHING I know how to play. Regardless of how well I know to play it. I can NOT count it.

I'll try the trick listed below for counting. As well as definitely using the metronome more with the tapping of the foot. What I want to avoid is (considering I don't know how to account) - turning on the metronome and just letting it beat while I try to play a piece and have no idea what I'm doing because I wouldn't be able to count properly enough to give myself the start I would need.

A situation like that would make me think I'm better off to just learn the divisions of scales at speed first, then go on to trying to grasp the rest. Because after all 4/8/16ths speed in scales, is that not exactly what counting is?





Edited by SoundofSilence (09/23/12 04:19 PM)

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#1963216 - 09/23/12 03:13 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5379
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: SoundofSilence
But like I said. This counting dilemma exists with EVERYTHING I know how to play. Regardless of how well I know to play it. I can NOT count it.

I don't think you should be trying. You need to internalize common subdivisions, but I don't think you'll have an easy time of this while trying to play music. Try setting the metronome and tapping out different beats on a desk. Internalize the subdivision, and then when you see it in music, you won't have to count it.

I, too, think you did a decent job with the piece. A couple little flubs, but nothing major. Keep at it. Try the above.. see if it helps.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1963252 - 09/23/12 04:17 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: Derulux]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: SoundofSilence
But like I said. This counting dilemma exists with EVERYTHING I know how to play. Regardless of how well I know to play it. I can NOT count it.

I don't think you should be trying. You need to internalize common subdivisions, but I don't think you'll have an easy time of this while trying to play music. Try setting the metronome and tapping out different beats on a desk. Internalize the subdivision, and then when you see it in music, you won't have to count it.

I, too, think you did a decent job with the piece. A couple little flubs, but nothing major. Keep at it. Try the above.. see if it helps.


Aww thank you so much smile

I was so afraid to post that smile So it's great to hear good feedback and great advice smile

I'll keep working on it.

Thanks again =D


Edited by SoundofSilence (09/23/12 04:18 PM)

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#1963600 - 09/24/12 10:03 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
nancyzpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 44
This might sound silly, but play "Rock Band" the video game. It is a rythym game set to music. Doesn't really matter which instrument you play the concept is the same: hit the button, key or pad at the exact moment the colored circled hits the beat line. Once you advance to expert level you are playing in perfect time with the song. My kids had a horrible time keeping a beat, but this game made it fun.

Also wanted to add that I do some weird math on some pieces. For example I see a bunch of sixteenth notes in 4/4 time and instead of doing 1-e-&-a, I essentially divide the notes into parts - when I look at 16th notes I don't see a 16th or a part of the 1-e-&-a pattern, I see half of an 8th, and an 8th is half of a quarter, etc. Once I establish the beat of a quarter note, the rest is simply division. So with the pieces of 16th, I might change mentally the time signature so that the 8ths get the beat and could 1-&-2-& for the 16th and lenthen the 1/4s to halfs, etc. Easier to count 1-2- instead of 1-e-&-a, etc. Hope I made sense.


Edited by nancyzpiano (09/24/12 10:12 AM)
_________________________
Adult Beginner starting August 2011.
Self taught 1 year, College 1 year, private lessons currently
Completed: Snell Rep Series Preparatory, 1, 2, 3, Alfred AIO Book 1.
Working on: Snell Rep Series 4: Clementi Sonatina Op. 36. No. 2

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#1963628 - 09/24/12 11:10 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: nancyzpiano]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
Originally Posted By: nancyzpiano
Also wanted to add that I do some weird math on some pieces. For example I see a bunch of sixteenth notes in 4/4 time and instead of doing 1-e-&-a, I essentially divide the notes into parts - when I look at 16th notes I don't see a 16th or a part of the 1-e-&-a pattern, I see half of an 8th, and an 8th is half of a quarter, etc. Once I establish the beat of a quarter note, the rest is simply division. So with the pieces of 16th, I might change mentally the time signature so that the 8ths get the beat and could 1-&-2-& for the 16th and lenthen the 1/4s to halfs, etc. Easier to count 1-2- instead of 1-e-&-a, etc. Hope I made sense.


This is the exact same thing I'm trying to actively figure out how to do. Because it would stream line the process intensely. As for rockband :P I played guitar hero :P I actually was astoundingly good at that game :P but I find it was two different worlds lol once I got away from the video game console and onto a real instrument =)

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#1963681 - 09/24/12 01:02 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: rocket88]
soundofsilenc3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 103
Originally Posted By: rocket88
.


I don't get it?

:P

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#1971736 - 10/11/12 09:41 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 753
Loc: Liverpool, England
Timing is my nemesis. Going to try with the metrononome later.
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#1972223 - 10/12/12 08:38 AM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
emmenn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1
Loc: London, England
My teacher suggested blowing gently through your mouth in rhythm, or discreetly sniffing! Trouble is when I do these things, my blowing/sniffing/foot-tapping speeds up (unnoticed by me!) alongside my fingers, which are not playing the correct rhythm, so back to square one! Metronomes are good for the very first stage of learning a piece, but you need to also internalize the rhythm and 'live it' in your head without the metronome.

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#1972317 - 10/12/12 01:39 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
Starr Keys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 1010
Loc: california
I don't have time to read this whole thread, so someone might have already suggested this, but try listening while you drum or tap out the rhythms youre trying to play and then immediately imitate them on the piano on one key only, then play the passage in your music with the same rhythm. You can also listen to a cd sample first. One that is included with a book with the notation is best. Here's a good one:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Rhythm-Bible-Book-CD/dp/0739026771/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2

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#1972323 - 10/12/12 02:04 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: Starr Keys]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Originally Posted By: Starr Keys
You can also listen to a cd sample first. One that is included with a book with the notation is best. Here's a good one:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Rhythm-Bible-Book-CD/dp/0739026771/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_2

The link is to The Rhythm Bible by Dan Fox

I heartily second this recommendation. I've checked out most of the alternatives from the library, and this one is by far my favorite rhythm practice book. The rhythms in each section progress in difficulty, and the chapters progress logically toward improving one's ability to syncopate. Plus the rhythmic snippets make musical sense, which seems not to be the case in many rhythm practice books.

One major thing is that you don't have to finish one chapter before trying the next. Individual chapters get pretty hard, but the beginning of the next chapter will be easier, so it's ok to move on when you feel overwhelmed.

As an aid to hand independence, tap a steady rhythm with one hand while reading the book rhythms with the other (the book is all single rhythmic lines, not two-handed rhythms).


Edited by tangleweeds (10/12/12 02:06 PM)
Edit Reason: me no type so good without mornin coffee
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#1972353 - 10/12/12 03:08 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: soundofsilenc3]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: soundofsilenc3
I read somewhere that a metronome only keeps you steady. What I'm trying to do currently with my metronome is set it to 60 bpm and do up to 3 octaves in quarter, eighths, and sixteenths. Which is turning out a lot harder to actually do perfectly than all those videos on youtube make it look.

Sorry for the long reply. But I just went through this with a piece I'm learning about half an hour ago. So the frustration is still at the forefront of my brain smile any helpful hints?


sounds like something a youtube pianist I like made a video about. When the beat gets subdivided more than once or so I start to lose track of it too laugh


A helpful tip for me was to tap my left foot with the beat while playing and the physical metronome of your body helps to keep more secure track of rhythm

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#1972770 - 10/13/12 01:44 PM Re: My timing still sucks [Re: justpin]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 795
Loc: Northern, Northern California
I've always had a problem with speeding up as I play.

What has absolutely not worked has been playing with the metronome. I essentially play with a metronome whenever I play with my trio. I practice with the metronome often (with beats on 2 and 4 or only one four). Take away a time keeper and I speed up.

What has also not helped: Feeling the beat in my entire body or tapping my foot emphatically.

What has helped to some extent: consciously trying to slow down, and breathing.

If I can remember to think about it, it's not too bad.

The other thing I'm trying, at the direction of my teacher, is to subdivide the beat in my head.

So far, this is working magically well. I haven't figured out why this is helping, but it is. For example, instead of thinking 1,2,3,4 I'm dividing each beat into triplet, and actually saying ba-be-da for each beat.

To quantify this: I often test myself by listening to the metronome, and then shutting it off, recording myself, and trying to stay at that exact tempo. I then play it back, and use a metronome with tap mode to keep track of my tempo.

I usually start to speed up after about 8 beats. If I work very hard, I can keep from speeding up too much.

But, if I concentrate on the ba-be-da triplet rhythm, I can do a better job of maintaining tempo for a long time. Perhaps it's as simple as this: it's easier to hear the accuracy when thinking of (for example) 300 units per minute than 100.

A link:

http://www.studybass.com/lessons/rhythm/subdividing-the-beat/



Edited by TromboneAl (10/13/12 07:25 PM)
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