Metronome and scales

Posted by: MarkAW

Metronome and scales - 02/02/13 04:05 PM

I am working on Mozart's sonata 545

Using the piano's metronome has really helped. The problem is that most of the music here is 16th notes.

Playing a 16th note for each beat is no problem. But playing two or four notes for each beat is much more difficult. I find myself changing the beat when trying to do this.

Any thoughts?
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/02/13 06:03 PM

Maybe you can try practicing at a slower tempo.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/02/13 07:19 PM

Perhaps it's the notes themselves in the scale passages that are giving you the problem.

You should be able to do the following :

Slowly tap your left hand on a table and count, evenly and out loud : 1, 2, 3, 4; 1, 2, 3, 4, letting the left hand tap the table only on 1.

Now do the same thing, but this time :
both hands together on 1, and let the right hand continue to tap on 2, 3, and 4.

Your left hand is now your "metronome" setting the beat, and the right hand is "playing" continuous sixteenth-notes,

Now, using that same tempo set your metronome to match the beat of your left hand, and play the right hand only scale passages, four sixteenth notes to each beat. Play it as slowly as you must to get four even notes to each beat.

This is something you must master as soon as possible. You will never get any sense of the rhythm and the forward movement of this piece if you set your metronome to click on each sixteenth-note.

Regards,
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/02/13 11:21 PM

I have a neat trick called "chunking".

(I also share other easy psychology tricks on my blog.)

To "test" yourself, play as fast as you can while maintaining even notes, with the strong counts emphasized.

That's your baseline speed; that's where you start.

Now, you set the metronome to that speed and work on notes between two strong counts, making those even.

For example:
1 2 3 4 1
C D E F G

When those are even, you move on to the next set of notes.

This shouldn't take very long (relative to what you've been doing).

When that's alright, you can adjust the metronome. smile

Eventually, getting rid of the accents (it's a piece of cake when your notes are all even).
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/03/13 04:15 AM

Double the tempo of the metronome so it is clicking half beats
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/03/13 05:15 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Double the tempo of the metronome so it is clicking half beats


... or buy a metronome designed for 230 VAC and plug it into 115 VAC ... wait, that won't work. Never mind.
Posted by: MarkAW

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/03/13 06:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Bluoh
I have a neat trick called "chunking".

(I also share other easy psychology tricks on my blog.)

To "test" yourself, play as fast as you can while maintaining even notes, with the strong counts emphasized.

That's your baseline speed; that's where you start.

Now, you set the metronome to that speed and work on notes between two strong counts, making those even.

For example:
1 2 3 4 1
C D E F G

When those are even, you move on to the next set of notes.

This shouldn't take very long (relative to what you've been doing).

When that's alright, you can adjust the metronome. smile

Eventually, getting rid of the accents (it's a piece of cake when your notes are all even).


What do you mean by strong counts?
Posted by: riley80

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/03/13 09:16 PM

I guess I 'chunked' my way thru the choir a capella section - the altos needed some non-obvious support. Hey - I LIKE that term. I admit I have stooped to using that when the bass clef music gets ornery, especially with @$#% leaps.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/03/13 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkAW
Originally Posted By: Bluoh
I have a neat trick called "chunking".

To "test" yourself, play as fast as you can while maintaining even notes, with the strong counts emphasized.

That's your baseline speed; that's where you start.

Now, you set the metronome to that speed and work on notes between two strong counts, making those even.

For example:
1 2 3 4 1
C D E F G

When those are even, you move on to the next set of notes.

This shouldn't take very long (relative to what you've been doing).

When that's alright, you can adjust the metronome. smile

Eventually, getting rid of the accents (it's a piece of cake when your notes are all even).


What do you mean by strong counts?


It depends on your music and how you're setting you're metronome.

If you're playing 4 sixteenths for every metronome beat, then beat 1 would be your strong count (assuming you go |1|-2-3-4 |1|-2-3-4). That's your chunk.

So it really depends on how you're playing it and how big you want your chunks to be.

Originally Posted By: riley80
I guess I 'chunked' my way thru the choir a capella section - the altos needed some non-obvious support. Hey - I LIKE that term. I admit I have stooped to using that when the bass clef music gets ornery, especially with @$#% leaps.


Haha, you're welcome to keep using it.

I named it chunking because it puts the music in easy chunks, like in design psychology.

People remember things in chunks. Things like phone numbers is in a chunk of 3-4.

The idea is to make it as easy to remember as a phone number. smile

[EDIT]
If you're wondering (or if you messaged me): I share my other useful tricks here (click here to go).

I also have a free email list where I share my Insider tips.
Posted by: LoPresti

Metronome and scales - 02/04/13 10:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Double the tempo of the metronome so it is clicking half beats


... or buy a metronome designed for 230 VAC and plug it into 115 VAC ... wait, that won't work. Never mind.

I think you are onto something there, Dave. Or try this:
Set the metronome to click 64th notes, and then articulate on every fourth. It feels like you are playing slowly! Or, set the metronome for triplets in compound time, and then . . .
Posted by: MarkAW

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/11/13 11:26 PM

How did Mozart keep the time without a metronome. I understand that metronomes were not yet invented for him.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/11/13 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkAW
How did Mozart keep the time without a metronome. I understand that metronomes were not yet invented for him.


He kept time ... without a metronome!

Just about anyone can develop a sense of timing, whether, initially, it's by tapping the foot or by nodding the head. One has to learn to listen closely, making sure that the tempo is even. You don't need a metronome to do that, but it can help.

Regards,
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 12:52 AM

If you want to play K. 545, you need to be able to subdivide beats!
Posted by: wr

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 06:56 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkAW
How did Mozart keep the time without a metronome. I understand that metronomes were not yet invented for him.


How did people know when to eat lunch, before clocks were invented?
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 07:04 AM

In addition to subdividing which is actually the most important and effective thing you can do, I learned over the years that having more technique than you need helps tremendously to keep your time honest and accurate.

When I was younger and possessed less technique I would rush the tempo terribly. If I now record myself and listen back, I still have a tendency to raise the tempo a few markings but it's still entirely acceptable (at least to my ears).

Having the clicks from the metronome represent the weak beats of the measure forces you to supply the strong beats. It's not as easy as you think and I advise everyone to give it a try.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 10:31 AM

This is how I do it
Posted by: MarkAW

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 12:58 PM

But 545 is marked 132 quarters per minute in the first movement.

How would Mozart know this without a metronome?
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 01:16 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkAW
But 545 is marked 132 quarters per minute in the first movement.

How would Mozart know this without a metronome?


Because that is a (modern) editor's indication. Mozart did not indicate metronome markings.

Regards,
Posted by: woodog

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 03:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Andromaque
This is how I do it



This guy could handle Mozart's rhythms. No doubt.

I know it was a snarky response, but that was really fantastic, and if you are able to internalize the pulse and syncopation to that degree, well...

Forrest
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/12/13 04:00 PM

Sorry it sounded that way. That was not my intent.
Posted by: LoPresti

Re: Metronome and scales - 02/13/13 07:39 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkAW
But 545 is marked 132 quarters per minute in the first movement.

How would Mozart know this without a metronome?

On this thread, are we starting to confuse the MACHiNE that serves the music, with the MUSIC itself?

It is just like wr's "when to eat lunch." Lunch told the inventors of the clock when it was noon - not the other way around. Once we had the clock, then it was convenient for musicians to think in terms of X-beats each minute. And THEN the machine was developed, and musicians began using it as a tool - A TOOL.

Ed