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#1989660 - 11/22/12 03:43 AM Rhythmic practice technique questions
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 194
Loc: South Carolina
Is there a "trick" to learning how to play the appropriate rhythm for a piece of music? I have great difficulty with this. My teacher told me to count 1 and, 2 and, 3 and....etc, to tap or clap the rhythm before playing, to use the dreaded metronome....all of which I've done but still can't seem to get the rhythm down. What seems to work the best is when I can find the song played on youtube and then copy what I hear. The problem is that I learn it for that particular song but can't seem to apply that learning to another piece of music. Is there a good book out there or a good youtube tutorial on rhythmic technique learning? Do you think rhythm flash cards are helpful?

Thanks in advance!
_________________________
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"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden

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#1989669 - 11/22/12 05:02 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
There are people hear who are very experienced and knowledgeable on this forum who can help you.

I couldn't do the clapping. I couldn't do the to tapping up and down with the foot on the beat and off the beat.

What I did learn and can do is to know the values of the notes in the measure. The values of the notes must add up to the total value of the measure which is 4 beats in 4/4, 3 beats in 3/4, 2 beats in 2/4. Now there are lots of time signatures, but these are the basic ones. It is important to be able to read and play ALL the notes in the measure you are working on. The reason you must know the notes and play them is that if you have to stop and think what note to play, you won't be able to play the measure in time so you won't learn/hear the rhythm in 4/4.

So you can set the metronome to 4 beats or you can count 1, 2, 3, 4.

--> Go to a music store. Ask for or look at a piano book
"Michael Aaron piano course Lessons grade one",
a blue book costs 5 dollars in canada probably only 2 dollars in the USA. This book teaches you or if you
show the book to someone they can teach you what
you have to know even if they don't play music.
The book is simple and easy to play and learn from.

I have looked at lots of music books and for me this book is awesome for teach counting, trills, all very simple and nice. It is worth its weight in gold. Even if you can't figure it out, don't worry, others will be able understand the explantion and help you.

Once you get the counting from this book then the next step is to turn on the metronome and play the musical notes for time of the value of the notes, or rests, and it must add up to the value of the measure.

The reason I stress that you must be able to play the musical notes in the measure is because - if you can't play the musical notes, you can't hear the values of the notes being play and therefore you can't feel or hear the rhythm.

If you look at page 7 in the book it shows you 4/4 and the values of the diferrent notes and the counts. And
gives you a piece that is very simply to play.

page 30 example of 8th notes
page 27 example of quarter notes

Understand that I have brain damage and I am dylexlic. In school I always got the wrong answer but they gave
marks because I would have numbers all over the page and still not get the right answer, so if I can learn it, so
can you.

It is fine that your teacher tells you to count but YOU must know what you are counting for. You have to
look at a whole note and know it has a value of 4 -> 1, 2, 3, 4. So in a measure if you see one whole note you
have to hit the piano key and keep the piano key down and make a sound until you count silently or outloud 1, 2, 3, 4, then you take that finger off the piano key and the sound ends. If you have the time signature of 2/4 then in the measure you will have only 1 half note. The half note will have a count of 2 -> 1, 2. So you will press the piano key and count 1, 2 the you will lift your finger off the piano key and the sound will stop. If you have a key signature of 4/4 then you must have 2 half notes to equal the count of 4. So in 4/4 you have
2 half notes and you would count like this - press the piano key count 1, 2 then lift your finger off the piano key and press the key down again and count 1, 2, so 1, 2 and 1, 2 is the same as the count of 4.

So simply you have to know the values of the note you have to play in the measure.
And they must total the value of the measure. If they don't add up to the correct value of 2, 3, 4, then you have made a error in the value you have given a wrong value to a note of music.

The use of the metronome is you turn it on very, very slowly and you count to clicks of the metronome to 1, 2, 3, 4. And you must play the notes in the measure when you hear the click. If you hear a click and you can't play the note, then you won't be able to get the rhythm.

Remember, tell us what you know/understand and tell us what you don't understand/know - give an example and we can help you. cheers.

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#1989670 - 11/22/12 05:04 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Haven't yet got it personally, but everyone recommend's Dan Fox's Rhythm Bible.

If you're working on material with just two voices (though the same technique can be applied to instances with more), isolate the top voice, or treble clef, and go through small bits clapping out the rhythm with your right hand on your lap whilst tapping a steady beat on your lap with your left hand. Start as slow as necessary (likely pretty slow until you get familiar with the process - it was for me) and only speed up once it's comfortable and you can feel the beats and how the specific rhythm interacts with it.

Eventually you'll want to change hands and do the opposite and then ultimately clap both rhythms at the same time while either counting the beats aloud ("one, two, three, etc.") and/or tapping your left foot with each beat.

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#1989709 - 11/22/12 08:51 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Bobpickle]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 672
Loc: Illinois
[quote=Bobpickle]Haven't yet got it personally, but everyone recommend's Dan Fox's Rhythm Bible.

I recently bought this book because of many recommendations on this forum and it covers (sequentially) every rhythm you can imagine some of which I'll likely never play ha. It comes with a cd of samples as well, I like it big time.

I think a lot of folks initially have a problem counting. My problems in the beginning was trying to count the notes instead of the beats. It occured to me finally that I had learned to count rhythms as a child just from repetition.

This is an extreme example of course but think about it. Assuming 4/4

ABCD 4 quarter notes
EFG 2 quarter notes and 1 half note
HIJK 4 quarter notes
LMNOP 4 eighth notes and 1 half note
QRS 2 quarter notes and 1 half note
TUV 2 quarter notes and 1 half note
WX 2 half notes
Y&Z 2 quarter notes and 1 half note

Right, right, right, your thinking EFG, QRS, TUV and Y&Z "could" be 3 quarter notes and a quarter rest... or other assorted notations, I know this. I'm just making a point here. This lilting cadence lends itself to different notations but the gist is, that you learned to count a rhythmic melody in Kindergarten. Mary had a little..., Jimmy and Nancy sittin in a tree... etc etc
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Just be yourself, everyone else is already taken.


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#1989717 - 11/22/12 09:23 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2554
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
The series String Rhythms teaches rhythm patterns with word associations--I don't remember very many, my daughter used it years ago--like four 16th notes was "huckleberry" and four 16ths followed by a quarter note was "huckleberry pie."

Like anything else, it helps to start with simple forms and move to more difficult ones gradually. When you have a tricky rhythm slow it way down.

When I get mixed up (or wrong) sometimes marking the beats on the page helps too.

Are you stuck on a particular one right now?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1989763 - 11/22/12 12:22 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1051
Loc: Southern California
I never got it. Despite over 10 years of playing music, with occasional attempts at learning to sight read, I never learned to match the rhythm to sheet music. I am not going to discourage anyone from trying, but I basically gave up on that part of it.

Thank goodness for Youtube, MIDI files and the like. If I hear it, I can match the rhythm, and often times the melody. The other refuge I found was writing my own music.

As an aside, after one public solo performance on whistle (my first instrument) another musician came up to me, and complimented me on my phrasing. So while I can't get the beats from sheet music or other notation, I can play it live.
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#1989829 - 11/22/12 03:38 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Michael_99]
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 194
Loc: South Carolina
Thanks, Michael 99 for such a detailed, thought-provoking response to my questions on developing rhythmic technique. I really appreciate the time you put into it.

I understand, mentally, the difference in the note values but find it difficult to play the different values distinctly. For instance, when the measure has four 8th notes and one quarter note, I can't seem to distinguish the 8th notes from the quarter notes. I do ok if the measure has all notes of the same value.

Thanks again for your help.
_________________________
Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden

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#1989832 - 11/22/12 03:44 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Bobpickle]
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 194
Loc: South Carolina
[quote=Bobpickle]Haven't yet got it personally, but everyone recommend's Dan Fox's Rhythm Bible.

Thanks for the book suggestion. I will look into it.

If you're working on material with just two voices

Now, I'm really going to show my ignorance with this question...but what do you mean by "two voices."? I've played both left (bass clef) and right (treble clef) with every piece. Is that what is meant by voices or voicing?
_________________________
Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden

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#1989834 - 11/22/12 03:47 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Sand Tiger]
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 194
Loc: South Carolina
[quote=Sand Tiger]I never got it. Despite over 10 years of playing music


Now, this statement makes me sad, 'cause I fear that will be the case with me as well, but I doubt I'll be able to play by ear as well as you do even after 10 years, especially considering that I'll be 71 in 10 years.
_________________________
Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden

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#1989836 - 11/22/12 03:50 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 905
Loc: Thunder Bay, On Canada
Originally Posted By: Tech 5

I understand, mentally, the difference in the note values but find it difficult to play the different values distinctly. For instance, when the measure has four 8th notes and one quarter note, I can't seem to distinguish the 8th notes from the quarter notes. I do ok if the measure has all notes of the same value.

Thanks again for your help.


Ah I found this tricky to learn also. One quarter note is equal to 1 in counting. Two eighth notes would be 1 and in counting. You have to really sloooooow down your counting to be able to do this at first.

So if you had 4 8th notes and 1 quarter note you would hit the key on each 1 and, 2 and for the eighth notes and then hold the quarter note for the 3 and.

I wrote the counting on my sheets when I first started so I could get the hang of it.

Not sure that's helpful or not.


Edited by BeccaBb (11/22/12 03:52 PM)
Edit Reason: I need to learn to count! LOL
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Began: 01-12-11


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#1989841 - 11/22/12 03:54 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: malkin]
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/12
Posts: 194
Loc: South Carolina
Originally Posted By: malkin
The series String Rhythms teaches rhythm patterns with word associations--I don't remember very many, my daughter used it years ago--like four 16th notes was "huckleberry" and four 16ths followed by a quarter note was "huckleberry pie."

I like the "huckleberry pie" idea. It really works well with the four 8th notes followed by a quarter note....wonder if google can find a book on "rhythm patterns with word associations" for piano....I shall check it out.:)

Are you stuck on a particular one right now?


May Dance in Faber's Adult Piano Adventures and Reveille from the same book and Gavotte from the same book.....basically anytime there is a mixture of note values within a measure.
_________________________
Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden

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#1989904 - 11/22/12 08:32 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Thanks for the comments. I played in an adult community band in my 30s and that helped. When I read/play music I have a sense of values if they are simple like 4/4 etc. but if I have 16th with a doted value I am lost. So it tells me that if and when I get more experience with that kind of music I will probably get better at the feel of those types of note values. So you, too, if you have more experience will feel more comfortable of the feel the values, too. While I am new to piano, I have been a beginner at the sax, violin. It sounds like with a little more experience you will do okay. cheer.

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#1989922 - 11/22/12 10:32 PM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2554
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Try subdividing all the notes to the smallest unit in the section. If the shortest is an eighth note, try counting all the eighth notes in the measure: a quarter note will get two eighth counts, a half note will get four of them.
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1989987 - 11/23/12 05:58 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Tech 5
[quote=Bobpickle]Haven't yet got it personally, but everyone recommend's Dan Fox's Rhythm Bible.

Thanks for the book suggestion. I will look into it.

If you're working on material with just two voices

Now, I'm really going to show my ignorance with this question...but what do you mean by "two voices."? I've played both left (bass clef) and right (treble clef) with every piece. Is that what is meant by voices or voicing?






Yea, sorry. That's what I meant; voice - The term is also used in reference to a single melodic line of music (either vocal or instrumental) in a polyphonic composition.

I actually used the term wrong, but what I was referring to as "voices" were "parts" (ex. treble clef part and bass clef part)

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#1990018 - 11/23/12 09:41 AM Re: Rhythmic practice technique questions [Re: Tech 5]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2554
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
There are times when one hand plays more than one voice. For example the LH could be happily grinding out an alberti bass of eighth notes (one voice) while the RH plays a little melody or quarters and eights (with a few dots for interest) with fingers 3,4,5 and the RH thumb accompanies with some half notes.

That would be 3 voices.
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