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#411413 - 12/11/01 03:50 PM Polyrhythms
wghornsby Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 201
Loc: KY
Polyrhythm Primer: three against four

For those of you (like me) who don't pull off 3-against-4 with the greatest of ease, please check out the above site.

They also show some measures of different polyrhythm drum patterns that you can click on to hear. The first one (3-against-4) really illustrates the mnemonic "Eat - your go*damn spinach" (sorry) that I'd heard awhile back but never understood how it helps. But you can actually say these words to yourself as the pattern is playing and it makes sense.

For a real challenge, listen to the second bar (this one alternates between a couple measures with the 4 by itself with a couple measures of the 3-against-4 pattern.) Try drumming out the 3-against-4 pattern during those measures when the 4 is playing alone. It took me a long time to convince myself that the tempo isn't slowing down dramatically when the 3-against-4 pattern starts up! But (for me, unbelievably) it's not!

Anyway, I found it very interesting (and enlightening) and you might too.
_________________________
wgh

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#411414 - 12/11/01 08:38 PM Re: Polyrhythms
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I find that it helps to play the rhythms with your hands on your thighs before you play it on the piano. Clapping is also good.
_________________________
-Amy-
*Visit my page! http://www.expage.com/pianopalace

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#411415 - 12/13/01 08:06 AM Re: Polyrhythms
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18070
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Amy:
I find that it helps to play the rhythms with your hands on your thighs before you play it on the piano. Clapping is also good.[/b]


Now, Amy, how do you "clap" two against three, or three against four? As for me - perhaps I'm a freak - but I have only two hands, so I can only "clap" one rhythm at a time, not two different rhythms simultaneously. As for the thighs, that one I can do, although I've often heard that "thighs isn't important."

Just wondering ...

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#411416 - 12/13/01 09:38 AM Re: Polyrhythms
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
If I have to try to do the "two against three" type rhythm, I use both my hands and my feet, tap out a three-beat with my feet and then clap the two-beat with my hands, for example. (I know, my terminology might be bad, but then again, I never did do Music Theory 101!)
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#411417 - 12/14/01 05:57 PM Re: Polyrhythms
Joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 86
Loc: New Jersey
Hey, that was neat, thanks! It's funny, two agin' three was no problem, but I see after going to that page that my three agin' four was not spot-on. It made it so easy and clear though. Now hopefully they'll come out with 9 against 5 and 5 against 3. Our old friend Scriabin was a maniac.

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#411418 - 12/15/01 06:30 AM Re: Polyrhythms
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18070
Loc: Victoria, BC
I don't have too much trouble putting together two against three, and eventually I can do three against four. The particular piece I have trouble with because of cross rhythms (but would really like to be able to master) is the middle section of the Chopin Nocturne Op 15 No 2 in F# major, where the rhythm is five-against-two.

How did others of you who have mastered this Nocturne work on this section?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#411419 - 12/17/01 01:18 AM Re: Polyrhythms
Jerry Maddux Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 24
Loc: Gulfport, MS
Hi BruceD.

I'm glad there's somebody else out there who's learning this nocturne. \:\) I've been playing it for over a year now and would be glad to give you some help.

In the middle section, marked Doppio movimento, you have a quintuplet pattern in the r.h. set against a syncopated l.h. The most important thing to remember here is to disregard the complicated notation that Chopin has written and study the r.h. as once voice. The basic pattern is this: r.h. & l.h. together, r.h., r.h, l.h, r.h., r.h. One thing to remember is that the "ands" in the l.h. come between notes of the r.h. But this applies only to the first 8 measures. In the 9th measure of this section the quintuplet pattern is replaced by a dotted 16th, a 32nd, and a 16th note triplet, in that order. This causes the rhythm to contract and become more energetic. And from here on to the recap of the first theme the cross-rhythms are eliminated, so that the "ands" in the l.h. come exactly with the 1st note of the triplet in the r.h.

Whew!

A couple more points: when the rhythm is in quintuplets, each of the 5 notes must be rhythmically equal. And the reason for disregarding the notation is because the pedals will catch all the inner voices.

I realize that this explanation is somewhat inadequate and that the subject of polyrhythms is very complex. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regards,

Jerry

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#411420 - 12/17/01 01:21 AM Re: Polyrhythms
Jerry Maddux Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 24
Loc: Gulfport, MS
Hi BruceD.

I'm glad there's somebody else out there who's learning this nocturne. \:\) I've been playing it for over a year now and would be glad to give you some help.

In the middle section, marked Doppio movimento, you have a quintuplet pattern in the r.h. set against a syncopated l.h. The most important thing to remember here is to disregard the complicated notation that Chopin has written and study the r.h. as once voice. The basic pattern is this: r.h. & l.h. together, r.h., r.h, l.h, r.h., r.h. One thing to remember is that the "ands" in the l.h. come between notes of the r.h. But this applies only to the first 8 measures. In the 9th measure of this section the quintuplet pattern is replaced by a dotted 16th, a 32nd, and a 16th note triplet, in that order. This causes the rhythm to contract and become more energetic. And from here on to the recap of the first theme the cross-rhythms are eliminated, so that the "ands" in the l.h. come exactly with the 1st note of the triplet in the r.h.

Whew!

A couple more points: when the rhythm is in quintuplets, each of the 5 notes must be rhythmically equal. And the reason for disregarding the notation is because the pedals will catch all the inner voices.

I realize that this explanation is somewhat inadequate and that the subject of polyrhythms is very complex. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regards,

Jerry

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#411421 - 12/23/01 09:06 PM Re: Polyrhythms
pepper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 171
Loc: SF CA
Simply put, BruceD, the LH comes in between the 3rd and 4th RH notes. If you have to go really slow, count the RH notes as 1 and 2 and 3 and, and play that LH note on 3 AND. Or go fast and play LH right after the 3rd RH note.

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#411422 - 12/24/01 06:01 AM Re: Polyrhythms
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18070
Loc: Victoria, BC
Jerry Maddux and Pepper:

Thank you for your posts in reference to the Chopin Nocturne. I've put it aside for the moment, as a couple of the Etudes have me working hard and showing some progress in other areas.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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