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Cross-rhythm exercises #1003834
07/01/06 09:44 PM
07/01/06 09:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
P
Paul Kolodner Offline OP
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Paul Kolodner  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
Can anybody in pianoland recommend exercises that will systematically build my skills in playing different rhythms in my left and right hands? I can play 2 against 3 easily, but 4 against 3 is still little rough. My own improvised exercises are too simple, and the only other ones I know are by Brahms, who was a malicious old man, even if he wrote beautiful music. I can't even play his exercises one hand at a time!

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Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003835
07/01/06 11:30 PM
07/01/06 11:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 36
F
flyingfroggy Offline
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flyingfroggy  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 36
Paul, check out Bernhard's suggestion from the Pianostreet.com website: 3 on 4

froggy


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Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003836
07/02/06 07:14 AM
07/02/06 07:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 535
New Hampshire
Shortcircuit85 Offline
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Shortcircuit85  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 535
New Hampshire
Hummm... sounds like you need the endless tortures of the Hanon Books


Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.
Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003837
07/02/06 10:18 AM
07/02/06 10:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
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Paul Kolodner Offline OP
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Paul Kolodner  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
So far, the advice I have gotten is to use the famous phrase "Pass the golden butter". Following that rhythym will easily get you to be able to beat 4 against 3 in a table-tapping contest, but playing, say, a scale of 4 notes with the right hand while playing a broken chord of 3 notes in the left hand is one step more complicated. Any other suggestions? I'll look into Hanon.

Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003838
07/02/06 06:23 PM
07/02/06 06:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 535
New Hampshire
Shortcircuit85 Offline
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Shortcircuit85  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 535
New Hampshire
Hi Paul, I guess I misunderstood your orignial question. I thought your were referring to your fingers (i.e. finger 3 and 4 etc.)

I see now you are referring to playing triplets while playing quarter or 8th notes. As far as I know, Hanon is defintely not the answer. I can't think of any exercises specifically for this purpose either. I would just look for a piece which uses the rhythm you are looking to improve and work on that piece. I can't think of any that have a 4/3 pattern. These have a 3/2 if I remember correctly...

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Brahms Intermezzo in A 18.2
Sonata Pathetique (Can't remember which movement)

In the past I had considerable trouble playing such melodies which were out of sync from the bass. The key for me, was noticing the common beats of those measures and learning to get a feel for what that section is suppose to sound like. It boils down to learning hand independance and teach ing your right hand to handle the melody while the left is almost automatically playing a different rhythm. It's hard to put into words, but you just have to practice.

If you are having alot of trouble in this area, it is likely because you are trying to coordinate your hands together too much. If necessary, try practicing a piece hands seperate (HS) until you feel extremely comfortable (especially with the left hand parts). When you attempt to piece them together, try to focus on the measure as a whole or groups of notes. Don't obsess over when to hit each note in relation to each other. After practicing enough pieces with offset rythms, you will find it is much easier to adjust to the timing differences.


Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.
Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003839
07/03/06 08:34 PM
07/03/06 08:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
P
Paul Kolodner Offline OP
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Paul Kolodner  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
I encountered this issue while learning Chopin's last nocturne in e. The left hand plays even triplets thoughout. The right hand has every conceivable rhythm - my favorites are 8, 10, and
11 against 3. But the trick there is just to keep a steady rhythm in the left hand and do whatever is needed to get the right hand melody to end up where it's supposed to - unevenness is hardly noticed in such a welter of notes. But the simple 4 against 3 is the hardest because deviation is so obvious. So far, the best thing I can think to do is to turn on the metronome and play a triplet arpeggio in one hand while playing a 16th-note scale in the other. It's still a bit rough, but at least I can do it....

Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003840
07/03/06 11:42 PM
07/03/06 11:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 10
Southeast U.S.
Margo Largo Offline
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Margo Largo  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 10
Southeast U.S.
I had this problem with the Chopin Fantasie Impromptu. I worked with the metronome a lot. I also found that recording myself (at a very, very, very slow pace, and then faster as I became more competent) was a HUGE help. I could tell exactly where I was speeding up or missing a beat, or whatever, and it made it easier to adjust.

At some point, after all that practicing (and it was a LOT of practicing, I am a very slow and methodical learner!!) it just started to "click."

I still have to work hard on cross-rhythms individually when I encounter them, including all of the self-recording. Each piece is different for me (except for 2-against-3, I think I am like you in that respect, they're quite easy for me).

Good luck.


"In life one must decide whether to conjugate the verb to have or the verb to be." --Franz Liszt
Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003841
07/04/06 08:40 AM
07/04/06 08:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
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J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
Cross rhythms are not easy to play, but one of the keys is to understand the relationship of the notes to the beat. One of the best ways to understand the relationships is to be able hear these clearly.

When learning these things, I've played the two different rhythms in two contrasting scales at the same time. This makes the differences obvious, and once I hear them, I can internalize how they work.

A teacher I had awhile back gave me some exercises for this. This is done using two contrary motion chromatic scales. You place your right-hand thumb on E above Middle C. You place your left-hand thumb on Middle C.

When you play your chromatic scales against each other for an octave, you'll end up on the same notes lower and higher. If your rhythm is correct, you will be able to begin and end together as you return back to the home position.

With the ratios of 4 against 3, you'll notice that they are really like meshed gears, and that the last triplet eighth cuts in just before the final 16th in the 4 16th notes.

Good luck with these. They are not easy, but once you get them, they can be a lot of fun to play.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003842
07/05/06 01:31 PM
07/05/06 01:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 361
dearborn, mi
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pianojazz Offline
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dearborn, mi
You might check into drumming/percussion method books. Although you won't see anything that resembles a melody line on a grand staff, a lot of snare drum/percussion ensemble pieces/exercises deal with polyrhythms - 2 against 3, 3 against 4, 3 - 5, 3 - 7 etc. The trick would be to transcribe it for piano. I know some of the advanced snare drum exercises have extremely complex rhythm figures - much more than any piano music I've ever seen. I will also say that I'm not a drummer and have never tried this myself - but I would start with individual drum lines and play one line in the LH (just one note) and second in the RH (again, just one note). The Chopin waltzes have measures here & there that will have for example, 7 against 4 - but those are isolated cases - not extensive exercises - good luck to you - it could be quite an undertaking.

Re: Cross-rhythm exercises #1003843
07/05/06 07:40 PM
07/05/06 07:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
P
Paul Kolodner Offline OP
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Paul Kolodner  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 143
Hoboken, NJ
Thanks for all your answers. On a related note, I attended a performance of Mahler's third symphony a few years ago. There is one passage where the 8 horns play a turn figure consisting of seven beats against a figure of four beats in the strings. They played in absolute perfect unison. It was amazing.


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