Advice for keeping in time

Posted by: Mizcef

Advice for keeping in time - 02/10/13 11:51 PM

Hey!
I'm new to playing piano, have only been playing for a couple of months, I struggle to keep in time when playing. Can anyone offer some advice?
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 12:16 AM

Counting and clapping are what many beginners start with. Many start by counting or clapping without touching the piano. A person can do this with the sheet music, or to a recording (YouTube has a ton of recordings). Some count while they are playing, some tap their left foot, saving the right for the pedal.

Many slow the tempo way down, so they can play accurately. Only when there is a high level of accuracy, do they pick up the tempo. Slowing way down is probably the most valuable learning tip I have gotten directly from the forum.

The metronome can also be a useful tool. There are old school mechanical metronomes as well as apps for phone or tablets, and software for computers. Some prefer a blinking light without sound. Some prefer a drum sound so it feels more like music.

I tend to need to hear a tune to pick out the timing and phrasing.
Posted by: Mizcef

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 01:39 AM

Thanks for the advice, I have a metronome at home but I just struggle with trying to coordinate everything together, but I guess it just takes practice. Ive also only been getting informal lessons and I start with a proper teacher tomorrow so hopefully this helps also smile
Posted by: 4evrBeginR

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 02:31 AM

You basically have to slow down, way down if necessary, if you are struggling. Also, learn to count out loud while practicing without the metronome. It's tiring, but very beneficial. There is no need to practice with the metronome all the time. I use it once in a while to check my timing, but otherwise, I count instead.
Posted by: cirenosach

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 11:50 AM

Singing helped me. The words can be the note names (A, B, etc.) or the place in the rhythm (1, "2 and", "3-ee-and-uh", etc.) Or just hum. It helps my kids too, but they hate doing it.
Posted by: GlassLove

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 01:04 PM

Early on in my learning I used a nifty little book entitled "Basic Timing for the Pianist." It is a collection of "105 short, short exercises leading to thorough and complete mastery of basic timing problems." The author is Allan Small.

I enjoyed working with it and while I cannot say I mastered timing thoroughly and completely (as promised in the title), the exercises certainly did help!!!
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 03:19 PM

Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Early on in my learning I used a nifty little book entitled "Basic Timing for the Pianist." It is a collection of "105 short, short exercises leading to thorough and complete mastery of basic timing problems." The author is Allan Small.

I enjoyed working with it and while I cannot say I mastered timing thoroughly and completely (as promised in the title), the exercises certainly did help!!!


I used the same book, and it helps...
Posted by: hamlet cat

Re: Advice for keeping in time - 02/11/13 11:48 PM

Originally Posted By: GlassLove
Early on in my learning I used a nifty little book entitled "Basic Timing for the Pianist." It is a collection of "105 short, short exercises leading to thorough and complete mastery of basic timing problems." The author is Allan Small.

I enjoyed working with it and while I cannot say I mastered timing thoroughly and completely (as promised in the title), the exercises certainly did help!!!


I once had a rock oriented teacher that suggested using a drummers book for timing. He said it was useful for a well rounded musician that wants to improve timing skills. I did that for awhile and it helped.

I also used the book by Allan Small and preferred it. In my opinion, its a must have for any keyboard player that wants to work on timing.