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25

There was a trick for these that I used all the time based on what the rests look like. The whole rest looks like a hole. The words sound the same so it's a good way to equate them. The half rest looks like a hat and since hat and half both start with the letter 'h' they go together. I like this trick a lot because it associates the rests more with ...


24

Yep, the second one is far better for precisely the reason you say. A general rule is that you shouldn't have dotted-notes that start on an off beat and carry through the next beat. There are exceptions even to this rule, but showing the underlying beat structure of the meter is paramount in the vast majority of situations. Elliott Carter is an example of ...


21

Using only your ears, it's impossible to determine the exact time signature the composer would have used when writing the score. This is because there are many ways to write the same thing, all of which sound the same when played. For example, a piece written in 3/4 time can easily be re-written in 3/8 time by halving all the note values and playing it half ...


21

A semibreve rest CAN be used in 6/8 time - or ANY time (apart from 4/2 - quite unusual)) to represent one bar's rest. At that point, it isn't actually a 'semibreve', but represents just one bar of that music. It's become a shorthand way of saying "one whole bar rest".


18

The best way I've found to get bandmates to fix things is to record a performance, without their knowledge, and give them a copy at the next rehearsal. They do have to listen to it, of course. It takes a lot of the feeling of being criticized out of the equation.


17

In elementary school, I was taught to think of the rest like a raft in water. Since a half rest gets two beats, it's like a raft carrying two people - light enough to float on top of the water: The whole rest, on the other hand, gets four beats (in common time, anyway) and so it's like a raft carrying four people - enough weight such that it sinks down ...


16

I'd definitely recommend a metronome, especially when the rythms are trickier. I basically use it for these types of exercises: the ones with difficult rythms, and the ones where the point is to build up velocity. The latter ones, I use a metronome to keep in check, because the main mistake in virtuosity exercises is to want to go too fast too soon and then ...


16

Normally, we're told that 5/4 is really 3/4 + 2/4 or 2/4 + 3/4. Well, I have to ask "told by who?" It is not the case that 5/4 has to be interpreted as either 3/4 + 2/4 or 2/4 + 3/4. It is perfectly valid to use groups of 5 crotchet beats as the overall rhythmic template of a piece of music, without having to have the same sub-groupings in different ...


16

A semibreve rest is the symbol to be used for "whole-bar rest", regardless of the meter. A whole-bar rest is also distinguished by being written in the middle of the bar rather than being aligned with beat 1 in other staves or voices. This exalted central bar position is otherwise only used by "bourdon" notes carrying multiple syllables in free meter, like ...


13

As far as I can tell, the composer's either having a mathematical in-joke, is trying to be "too" clever, or he's just a little confused. Either way, the short answer is that you should play/count that passage in exactly the same way as if the semiquavers (16ths) weren't dotted, and the triplet marking didn't exist. Why? Well, let's look it it ...


13

Actually, the fact that you've analyzed your playing to the point where you can describe where you're going wrong means you're halfway there, so good job so far. Some additional practice suggestions: Try feeling macrobeats: instead of listening for a pulse on every beat, listen for every two beats, or every full measure--thus de-emphasizing the snare:beat ...


13

I think @Ulf is on the right track--I'll elaborate here. It sounds like your student is at the point where you'll need to work on the absolute basics of rhythm. Before you get anywhere near subdivisions, time signatures, even the concept of a quarter note, your student needs to become proficient with steady beat. This is, in many ways, the concept that ...


12

Try playings some new styles of music; like funk or jazz or some other area you haven't spent a lot of time in; listen to some new music, groove along to it, Jazz in particular is awesome for this especially for bass. Try mixing up your playing a bit, listen to chords, outline them with arpeggios if possible, all of these things will help.


12

What you seek, my friend, is "the groove". As you're discovering, there's more to it than the mechanical (or even mathematical) approach of playing certain notes with a triplet rhythm. While your approach is technically correct, I'm guessing it lacks the feeling you're looking for. That's what's known as "groove" or being "in the pocket" or (especially ...


12

Playing ahead of the beat means hitting the notes for the beat a liiiiittle bit early. Playing behind means a liiiittle late. Only by a couple microseconds, just to make the groove groovier. Usually drummers and bass players do this to make you feel sort of a "longing". It's playing with time to evoke a particular feeling. Musicians play with time in ...


12

Several things. First and foremost -- I cannot stress this enough -- we express ourselves in the idioms of the music we listen to. If you want to start having more rhythmically interesting inspirations of your own, you need to be filling your ears with rhythmically interesting music. If you're not already doing this, start compiling collections of music ...


12

A whole-note (semibreve) rest hangs D-O-W-N from the line (four letters, so four beats). A half-note rest points U-P from the line (two letters, so two beats).


11

Subdivide the 8 beats in unorthodox ways. For example: Coldplay's "Clocks" subdivides 8 beats into a 3-3-2 rhythm. Not exactly groundbreaking, but a bit different from the usual. You can take that idea and run wild with it. Here are some ideas: Re-arrange the more familiar 3-3-2 subdivision into 3-2-3, which is a bit more unusual. 3-5. Play a beat in ...


11

When I was in choir in high school, a technique that clinicians and teachers from different events I was involved with used was just singing the rhythm. Pick a note for the student to play that is in a comfortable playing position and have them play the rhythm (without changing notes) throughout the piece. If the piece is accompanied then play the ...


11

Just a wild guess, but have you checked your input/output latency? Anything over 10ms is likely to noticeably interfere with your timing.


11

It's a good start that you are aware of the problem because many people never become aware of their timing issues. I suggest you use a simple DAW or a drum computer for producing drum grooves with variable tempo. Choose a comfortable tempo and keep playing a 4-bar vamp which is technically not challenging for you. The latter is important because as long as ...


10

Chamber musicians generally run into the same sort of issue -- and, in fact, even if you do have a drummer, this can be an issue. In the better groups I have played in, solutions have boiled down to three things: Each musician must be able to perform his or her part alone, in time. That means practice with a metronome, working toward the tempo that the ...


10

I would first try to focus on your timing and nothing else. If you can play in time that way, it's probably just a matter of practice to nail down your time and get away from the loose rhythm. If you still have trouble, cut out everything except you and the metronome. You don't want extra beats or notes to interfere with that you're doing. If you can't ...


10

The 3 indicates a triplet. The quarter notes should be played at 2/3rds their normal duration. You end up with the three quarter notes taking up the last 2 beats of the measure, divided equally.


10

A couple of possibilites come to mind when I read your question. It's possible that you are starting with a piece that's simply too difficult. I don't think it's a terrible thing that you've taken hours to learn one measure (all piano players started somewhere!), but it's a strong indicator that you might be trying "too much, too fast". If you go to a ...


10

Start by finding the beat. Tap your finger for every beat, like a human metronome. Resist any urge to tap uneven rhythms; just the underlying constant pulse. Once you've got that, listen for the start of bars. There are various indicators that a bar is starting; an emphasis, a chord change, etc. Now count. "One" for the first beat, then counting upward, ...


10

The difference between a sextuplet and two triplets is that the two triplets are clearly substructured into two units. The sextuplet in contrast may either be substructured into three groups of two notes, or it may not be substructured at all. If you have one ascending run (for example) written as sextuplets, chances are that the composer intends you to ...



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