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Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
#1730939 08/11/11 11:06 AM
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Here's a screenshot of a triplets exercise I do everyday:

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A new one is generated each time and the computer makes sure that my rhythm is correct. I find that though triplets occur every now and then, they don't occur often enough in music sheets to get direct practice with them without creating an exercise soley devoted to them. Here you can tell, I'm focusing on triplets everywhere combined with other note values. I just want to know your opinions on this exercise that I came up with. Of course, the random notes don't form any music, but I'm not bothered by that.

Note: My goal is to improve my sightreading.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 08/11/11 11:44 AM.
Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1730941 08/11/11 11:09 AM
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Holy crapolo -- exercise? ha

To me that's way too hard to call an exercise. IMO it's an exercise in the same respect that Chopin etudes make us "develop" our technique. smile

Looks to me like something that can be an 'exercise' only if you already have a tremendous ability to do stuff like that, in which case I would think you don't need an exercise.. I'm pretty good with that kind of stuff but wouldn't be able to just sit down and play it. I'd have to work on it, and pretty hard.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Mark_C #1730947 08/11/11 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Holy crapolo -- exercise? ha

To me that's way too hard to call an exercise. IMO it's an exercise in the same respect that Chopin etudes make us "develop" our technique. smile

Looks to me like something that can be an 'exercise' only if you already have a tremendous ability to do stuff like that, in which case I would think you don't need an exercise.. I'm pretty good with that kind of stuff but wouldn't be able to just sit down and play it. I'd have to work on it, and pretty hard.


Well, I made the pitches very simple. The notes don't differ by more than a 2nd interval in most places. So your hand hardly has to move even. The tempo can be lowered to whatever you want (I set 40 bpm to be normal for this exercise). It's only the rhythm that is being being emphasized, and the computer makes sure you get it right else it will kind of zap at you.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 08/11/11 11:16 AM.
Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1730951 08/11/11 11:17 AM
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Those things you mentioned are beside the point. Rhythm is all I was talking about, and computer or no computer, IMO it's like I said. But let's see what others think.....

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1730953 08/11/11 11:21 AM
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If you can do that fluently, why are you still doing triplet excercises rather than repertoire?

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Steve712 #1730956 08/11/11 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve712
If you can do that fluently, why are you still doing triplet exercises rather than repertoire?

+1

Seems like way overdoing.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Steve712 #1730969 08/11/11 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve712
If you can do that fluently, why are you still doing triplet excercises rather than repertoire?


I never said I can do it fluently, at least not the first time around. That is what I consider to be my problem, since I'm focused on being an excellent sightreader. I'm trying develop the ability to get it correct the first time around. That's why new ones are generated each time.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 08/11/11 11:40 AM.
Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Steve712 #1730970 08/11/11 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve712
If you can do that fluently, why are you still doing triplet excercises rather than repertoire?

Well, I can understand if MathTeacher plays in a contemporary band or something that requires him to sightread odd rhythms frequently. If the goal is to perform from memorized/learned repertoire, then this is way overdoing it.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Frozenicicles #1730973 08/11/11 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Frozenicicles
If the goal is to perform from memorized/learned repertoire, then this is way overdoing it.


That's something I don't want to do. Only sight-reading, and hence this exercise. So basically I'm asking: do you consider this a good exercise for those who want to improve their sightreading?

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731009 08/11/11 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
Originally Posted by Frozenicicles
If the goal is to perform from memorized/learned repertoire, then this is way overdoing it.


That's something I don't want to do. Only sight-reading, and hence this exercise. So basically I'm asking: do you consider this a good exercise for those who want to improve their sightreading?


Probably not as much as you'd like, because you rarely see these kind of passages in real music.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Lingyis #1731015 08/11/11 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Lingyis
Probably not as much as you'd like, because you rarely see these kind of passages in real music.

I agree. It's a poor investment of time and effort. There are far better ways to spend it -- like just sight reading pieces, or playing them, or working on them. Or listening to music. Or reading about it.

Or posting here. grin

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731017 08/11/11 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
Originally Posted by Frozenicicles
If the goal is to perform from memorized/learned repertoire, then this is way overdoing it.


That's something I don't want to do. Only sight-reading, and hence this exercise. So basically I'm asking: do you consider this a good exercise for those who want to improve their sightreading?

No, you see these kind of rhythms more frequently in contemporary music. Not so much in tonal classical music. When you're sight reading and you can't figure it out, just simplify it on the spot so the general beat is still right and move on.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Frozenicicles #1731029 08/11/11 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Frozenicicles
....When you're sight reading and you can't figure it out, just simplify it on the spot so the general beat is still right and move on.

Great advice. It's important not to be too obsessive about getting everything exactly right when sight reading. The flow is more important. Especially since one of the reasons to be good at sight reading is to be able to accompany and to play chamber music, and when we're doing that, they could care less about whether we're getting all the details exactly right.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731032 08/11/11 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MathTeacher
Originally Posted by Frozenicicles
If the goal is to perform from memorized/learned repertoire, then this is way overdoing it.


That's something I don't want to do. Only sight-reading, and hence this exercise. So basically I'm asking: do you consider this a good exercise for those who want to improve their sightreading?


It's good if you want to sightread contemporary music that uses these kinds of rhythms often. Carter, Adler, Sessions, Kirchner, etc...

If you're wanting to be able to sight-read music written before 1940, then you're not going to see those rhythms very often, so it won't be as helpful. Before that time, these rhythms were occasionally used, but not in such a randomly mixed fashion. The exercise you've created may be good, but it's very specific. It's a little like studying vocabulary by focusing on 2 and 3-letter words that contain X, Z, V, J, and Q. VERY helpful if you're playing Scrabble, but not if you're wanting to read Eco.


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Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731114 08/11/11 02:22 PM
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It's interesting because you called it a triplets exercise and said that you don't encounter them enough in repertoire to get practice doing them in combination with other rhythms. Hence the assumption that it was an exercise to help you with playing triplets.

Since you're trying to get better at sightreading, however, I don't necessarily know if this is the best way to go about it. You'd probably be better off sightreading and learning lots of pieces. You basically have to encounter enough patterns and variations on that pattern in repertoire to get an idea of what's going on at sight.

There are plenty of pieces at various levels that highlight playing triplets as well as playing them in conjunction with other rhythms that you may want to look into. Again, I think that is much more effective than sightreading something computer-generated where you can't possibly make use of the patterns that occur in music to aid you (which is a necessary component of sight reading).

Last edited by Morodiene; 08/11/11 02:22 PM.

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Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Morodiene #1731130 08/11/11 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's interesting because you called it a triplets exercise and said that you don't encounter them enough in repertoire to get practice doing them in combination with other rhythms. Hence the assumption that it was an exercise to help you with playing triplets.

Since you're trying to get better at sightreading, however, I don't necessarily know if this is the best way to go about it. You'd probably be better off sightreading and learning lots of pieces. You basically have to encounter enough patterns and variations on that pattern in repertoire to get an idea of what's going on at sight.

There are plenty of pieces at various levels that highlight playing triplets as well as playing them in conjunction with other rhythms that you may want to look into. Again, I think that is much more effective than sightreading something computer-generated where you can't possibly make use of the patterns that occur in music to aid you (which is a necessary component of sight reading).


I know that there are pieces to practice with that has many triplets, but sometimes when I sightread I encounter a triplet bugaboo that I only see once every 2 years (or never seen before at all). If I can practice every combination directly and regularly, then I figure that at those rare times I actually see them on a score I will no longer mess up.

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731136 08/11/11 02:56 PM
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I don't find an exercise such as this useful for developing sight-reading skills in standard repertoire nor in developing polyrhythms involving triplets. Rarely does one come across music - except in very contemporary compositions - where the rhythmic patterns are constantly changing as they do in this exercise. I would find it much more helpful to use exercises that, individually, concentrate on one combination of rhythmic patterns rather than on constantly changing patterns.

That said, I am sure that, on a certain level, this type of exercise would work, but it also seems to me to require the type of mental gymnastics (constant shifting of rhythmic patterns so that there is no pattern) that doesn't allow one to concentrate on one pattern and get it right before going on to the next.

Exercises are most effective, as you well know, when they repeat patterns or allow us to repeat consistent patterns long enough for those pattern(s) to settle into the brain and fingers. It seems to me that these constantly changing patterns constitute not exercises but rhythmic challenges to be solved, challenges that rarely appear in all but contemporary music.

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Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
BruceD #1731143 08/11/11 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
I don't find an exercise such as this useful for developing sight-reading skills in standard repertoire nor in developing polyrhythms involving triplets. Rarely does one come across music - except in very contemporary compositions - where the rhythmic patterns are constantly changing as they do in this exercise. I would find it much more helpful to use exercises that, individually, concentrate on one combination of rhythmic patterns rather than on constantly changing patterns.

That said, I am sure that, on a certain level, this type of exercise would work, but it also seems to me to require the type of mental gymnastics (constant shifting of rhythmic patterns so that there is no pattern) that doesn't allow one to concentrate on one pattern and get it right before going on to the next.
Exercises are most effective, as you well know, when they repeat patterns or allow us to repeat consistent patterns long enough for those pattern(s) to settle into the brain and fingers. It seems to me that these constantly changing patterns constitute not exercises but rhythmic challenges to be solved, challenges that rarely appear in all but contemporary music.

Regards,



Hmmm... Good point. Maybe I should generate these exercises in categories with similar patterns rather than putting all the different types of patterns in each exercise. I think I will adjust the code for that.

Last edited by MathTeacher; 08/11/11 03:05 PM.
Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
MathTeacher #1731154 08/11/11 03:18 PM
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Why don't you just sight read repertoire and, when you reach a challenging part, work it out until you can play it fluently?

Re: Do you consider this triplets exercise useful?
Steve712 #1731155 08/11/11 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve712
Why don't you just sight read repertoire and, when you reach a challenging part, work it out until you can play it fluently?


That makes a lot of sense!


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