Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
Who's Online
110 registered (anamnesis, accordeur, ABC Vermonter, 36251, Anita Potter, 26 invisible), 1388 Guests and 13 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#2073032 - 04/28/13 06:54 PM Sometimes I find it easier not to count
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
I'm probably doing something hugely wrong (for a change) but sometimes I find that simply knowing how a piece should sound, playing it is far easier without counting.

Take the following, Joy to the World from Alfreds Level 1 book (I'm further ahead than this with Alfreds course, but it shows my point well)



When I started playing it, I initially started counting

So that we have

C (1 and 2 and)
B (3 and 4)
A (and)
G (1 and 2 and 3 and)
F (4 and)
E (1 and 2 and)
D (3 and 4 and)
C (1 and 2 and 3 and)

When I first played it, I had a metronome on, played fairly slow and was hitting the notes in the right places but knowing how the tune should sound, it simply didn't sound anything like it, there was no feel at all to the rhythm of it.

But knowing how it should sound, I can play the tune and automatically do the counting (in other words, I'm subconsciously counting without actually doing any real time counting) and it sounds great (to me).

I've noticed on a few other scores a similar thing, it's fine when I'm learning the basics of the notes at 1/2 mph and trying to work out how complicated bits are played, but I don't get to hear how the tune really should sound while doing so, I'm not really getting the feel/rhythm until I play it faster and all of a sudden it clicks as to how the piece should sound and then I find myself not counting any more.

Just like if someone sings out loud "Joy to the world" they will sing "Joy" longer than "to", and sing "the" much shorter" etc, they sing it using the correct counting but they aren't counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and" in their heads as they do so.

I also often cant play it at around the normal singing speed and possibly count fast enough, if I do, I am counting "1 and 2 and 3 and 4" so fast that it ends up more confusing than simply just playing it.

I'm sort of reaching a point where I automatically know how long a particular note should be played for when following the score without actually doing counting (either out loud or in my head)

Obviously counting helps with the initial learning but I wondered if this is a bad habit I'm getting into or quite normal?

Many thanks

Joe



Top
(ads P/S)

Sauter Pianos

#2073073 - 04/28/13 08:00 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 821
I only tend to count in confusing sections, but note that ragtime rhythms are generally quite regular.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

Top
#2073086 - 04/28/13 08:17 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
When you are not counting, you are internalizing the rhythm. I do it all the time, but it does lead to timing errors as the pieces get more difficult. It is my main problem. I constantly have to fight the urge not to count. Do yourself a big favor, count everything till you have it down 100%...it will save you lots of pain later on...

Top
#2073132 - 04/28/13 09:06 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
It would be much easier to count it as :

1-2 3-4 and | 1-2-3 4 | 1-2 3-4 | 1-2-3
_________________________
Rob

Top
#2073134 - 04/28/13 09:10 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2424
Loc: Virginia, USA
One thing about this tune, is that it really is mis-written in 4/4 time. It should be in cut time. Then the rhythm becomes easier to naturally feel (and the way you'll play it will be more natural.) In other words, think of each measure/bar as having two beats, not four.

But yes, if you can feel the rhythm internally, it's much easier than counting!
_________________________
  • Schumann - Ende vom Lied, Opus 12.8
  • Haydn - Sonata in Gm, Hob. XVI/44

Kawai K3

Top
#2073255 - 04/29/13 03:04 AM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Andy Platt]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1539
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:

But knowing how it should sound, I can play the tune and automatically do the counting (in other words, I'm subconsciously counting without actually doing any real time counting) and it sounds great (to me).


This is common sense.

You "count" the sections that you _don't_ know how they should sound!

You also count the sections that you _think_ you know how they should sound, and your teacher says:

. . . "Your rhythm is off in bar 15."

. Charles

Top
#2073277 - 04/29/13 04:33 AM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
Mickb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 14
OP

I'm not sure what level you are at but I posted a thread a couple of weeks back that sounds like it started where you are currently. i.e. you are playing pieces at a level where they are either really simple or a simple hearing of the melody will be enough to have you play it decently.

Through laziness if nothing else, I think I didn't bother with the counting, as hey!, I can make it sound perfect without counting so why bother?

I was like this, but then when I progressed on to pieces of greater difficulty that I had not heard before or was not familiar with, all of a sudden I was regretting not developing a skill for counting, as it is much harder to add it in later I think. Also, I found that everything (my timing, co-ordination etc) fell to pieces when I tried to add counting in, making stuff sound even worse than the notes I am cutting to early or prolonging too long.

Maybe this is just me, but I think counting is a skill that's worth developing and its easier to learn now before you progress to pieces of greater difficulty. I know I wish I had.

Mick

Top
#2073306 - 04/29/13 06:28 AM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
raikkU Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 73
What is the desired tempo for counting practice?

When learning a piece, should I just arbitrarily pick a slow pace and then proceed to count and play hands separated first? Right now for me things get complicated when I count while playing HT, no matter how slow. It just requires a crazy amount of coordination.

I assume the purpose of counting is to help me get a hang of the rhythm. Does counting at slow speed help me play faster in the proper rhythm without counting?

Thanks.
_________________________
yamaha p-35. a piano neophyte since 04/13. my piano links

Top
#2073503 - 04/29/13 02:16 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Many thanks all. Seems I'm doing it right then (for a change)

But I am taking to heart the warning MickB gives and I will try to make sure I try to count as much as possible while learning a piece.

I am a bit more advanced than Alfreds book one in some aspects (can sight read most pieces fine if not first time, after 5 mins of trying from the point of view of reading the notes and hitting the right notes on the keyboard, rarely having to look at the keyboard while I do so) I am still working through it as I'm very rough in other areas (when to play quiet, loud, pedalling etc)

And I know that when I move onto more advanced stuff, I will suddenly find it not so easy after all, so I'm starting back at the beginning and taking it slowly.

Top
#2073586 - 04/29/13 03:40 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1651
Loc: Reseda, California
I never count. I have a computer that can count, and it's much better at it than I'll ever be. So, I let it do the counting.

I use the free MuseScore notation program. It has a playback function that reproduces what's written with microsecond accuracy. And that reveals the fundamental flaw of counting: The notation system is really quite crude and approximate where timing is concerned. Playing exactly as written gets you in the ballpark, but it sounds kinda dead and mechanical. Because it is.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

Top
#2073609 - 04/29/13 04:06 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: Ojustaboo]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
Music played my computer-generated MIDI files or low-end music software sounds dead because it doesn't factor in the differing weights that each beat gets, depending on time signature (e,g, 4/4 vs cut time) and the shifts in rhythmic emphasis caused my syncopation. (Note that I'm not even beginning to address the expressive qualities of rubato...)

There can be a similar problem when one is first learning to count while playing (at least there was for me). It simply doesn't sound like music when you're counting a flat, dead-even
one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and

In the simplest case, to make it sound like music, the first beat gets more emphasis than any of the others, and the third more than 2 or 4. But then there's effects that one creates by playing with this, like emphasizing the backbeat (2 & 4) in rock & roll, or emphasizing off-beats in syncopation.

For those first starting out, this wikipedia article may help.

When you're counting and all is going well, you're generally grooving on the hills and valleys of musical pulse, and feeling how it supports the movement of the melody (& harmony too).


Edited by tangleweeds (04/29/13 04:07 PM)
Edit Reason: incoherence
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

Top
#2073741 - 04/29/13 07:29 PM Re: Sometimes I find it easier not to count [Re: tangleweeds]
Ojustaboo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 155
Loc: Deleted
Thanks for the wiki link.

Not looking forward to ever having to get my head around counting 24/16 as in the uplink example in that link smile

Top

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
Christmas Lights at Piano World Headquarters in Maine 2014
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Getting better
by Kekewak
12/21/14 07:35 PM
Pearl River vs. Samick
by Zekk
12/21/14 03:41 PM
Kawai vs. Yamaha: what to choose
by SeeSharp
12/21/14 02:19 PM
Disklavier Pro Alternatives? C5X Value for money?
by bryan77
12/21/14 01:15 PM
piano sound is the result of more than just the hammer speed
by Keith D Kerman
12/21/14 01:05 PM
Forum Stats
77388 Members
42 Forums
160046 Topics
2350281 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission