Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Fall 2017
Who's Online Now
86 registered members (andrea monza, anamnesis, accordeur, Bambers, 25 invisible), 1,230 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2167403 - 10/16/13 07:37 PM help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Eveewonder Offline
Full Member
Eveewonder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
NJ USA
I am having the hardest time with this trying to make sure i play the 4 notes in the four cords and then the melody has a lot of eight notes and a slurred half. I'm having a really tough time playing. I feel like I'm all too focused on making sure I get the 4 quarter notes in the harmony played steady for each measure and the melody is messed up. Or more like the melody sounds fine and I can't keep the proper beat with the harmony. I feel like I may play too many or too few notes to the measure. I'm so worried about the counts and everything matching up I can't play the darn thing and just get the beat. Any advice at all much appreciated. I hope you can even understand what I'm trying to say. Thanks!


Pam
Essex EUP 123FL
Started playing August 18, 2011
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2167408 - 10/16/13 07:58 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,769
Whizbang Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,769
Relax! We all struggle here smile

Can you describe the right hand in more detail or post a picture of the measures in question? I'm assuming the left hand is a steady rhythm?


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
#2167409 - 10/16/13 08:00 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted by Eveewonder
I feel like I'm all too focused on making sure I get the 4 quarter notes in the harmony played steady for each measure and the melody is messed up.


You are absolutely right.
It sure is! smile
Look at the very bottom of page 107. There is a note there for you.
That should give you some rhythm. smile

EDIT: I just looked at this again. You might be confused. You can also go: short, long, short, long,... In this case...the second long is very long. Remember girl... this ain't no Beethoven... it's da blues...
EDIT2: Second bar... short, long, short, short, long....short, short...
The point is you are free to improv on those four notes in da blues. It's got swing. It's got rhythm. Just make sure you keep da booty movin'. smile

Last edited by rnaple; 10/16/13 08:22 PM.

Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2167415 - 10/16/13 08:18 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Johnny D Offline
Full Member
Johnny D  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Brazil
[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Eveewonder
the melody has a lot of eight notes and a slurred half.


That's not a slur, it is a tie. It means that note gets ½ a count for the eighth note plus 2 counts for the half. You don't play the note twice, you play it once, but you hold it for 2½ counts.

The thing is to take it slow. Tap your feet to the beat (and/or use a metronome) and know that the bass chords come on those taps or beats. Look to see which notes in the melody also come on the beat or tap, and realize which notes come halfway in between the beats or taps. If you count out loud these notes come on the "and's" as in "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and".


1978 Dittrich Acoustic Upright
Alfred's 1 Graduate
Currently on Alfred's 2
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2167417 - 10/16/13 08:22 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: rnaple]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Eveewonder Offline
Full Member
Eveewonder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
NJ USA
This is what I'm trying to play and for the life of me I can't get it together. I have no rhythm. I'm so focused on counting the 4 beats I can't play the melody. Uggg

[img:center]http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindframephotography/10320163046/[/img]


Pam
Essex EUP 123FL
Started playing August 18, 2011
#2167421 - 10/16/13 08:27 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Eveewonder Offline
Full Member
Eveewonder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
NJ USA
Thanks Johnny D. I meant tie. I was using the metronome and i swear for an hour I just keep trying to get it. I felt like I kept tripping over my two left feet or something. I would just practice the harmony to get the beat down and then when I added the melody I became so focused on trying to get the melody played in the that measure I just fell apart. I've been at it for days and wonder if I'm making it harder than it needs to be. I've been listening to other people play on youtube and it seems so simple.

Last edited by Eveewonder; 10/16/13 08:28 PM.

Pam
Essex EUP 123FL
Started playing August 18, 2011
#2167423 - 10/16/13 08:30 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Johnny D Offline
Full Member
Johnny D  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Brazil
Take your time. Play the right hand by itself first. Then focus on what goes together. The first notes are a G chord in the left hand and a B note with the right hand. Play those. Then you see for the next notes, that you keep the G chord pressed down while you play the next note (D) in the treble clef with your right hand.

So just take it note by note and go slow. Once you get the hang of it, then pick up the speed.

And, it's not as easy as it seems. You have to get the independence in both hands. It's tricky at first but it should come.


1978 Dittrich Acoustic Upright
Alfred's 1 Graduate
Currently on Alfred's 2
#2167428 - 10/16/13 08:56 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,769
Whizbang Online content
1000 Post Club Member
Whizbang  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,769
Originally Posted by Eveewonder
This is what I'm trying to play and for the life of me I can't get it together. I have no rhythm. I'm so focused on counting the 4 beats I can't play the melody. Uggg


You can get this!

This isn't exactly kosher counting, but one way to count is to break the measure into the tiniest bits instead of trying to count the 1-and or 1-e-and-a type of counting.

So your shortest notes are eighth notes and this means that there are eight of them in the measure (in 4/4).

So you can count notes thusly:

* one eighth note is one beat. So "1"
* one quarter note is two eighth notes. So "1-1"
* one half note is four eighth notes. So "1-1-1-1"
* your tied note in the treble of the first measure is one eighth note plus a half note... or 1 eighth note plus 4 eighth notes ... or 5 eighth notes. So "1-1-1-1-1"

This means your melody in the first measure is

"1" "1" "1" "1-1-1-1-1"

and your harmony in the first measure (don't try to visually line it up because the forums don't work good for that!) is

"1-1" "1-1" "1-1" "1-1"

So you can play them hands separately. Use one hand to clap out your "1"s on your knee and play the music with the other line.

When you can hear the way the individual lines sound, then you painstakingly line them up--don't get too frustrated... it takes a while!


Whizbang [Linked Image]
amateur ragtime pianist
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeschala
#2167434 - 10/16/13 09:30 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,442
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member
mom3gram  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,442
New Jersey
I know exactly what you mean, and had the exact same problem when I was learning this one. I don't think I ever got it to work right until I came back to it after finishing the book and starting to review. I would suggest learning the right hand melody until you don't have to think about it anymore, and then concentrating on the beat of the chords.


mom3gram

ALFRED'S ADULT BOOK 1 GRADUATE
Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#2167437 - 10/16/13 09:37 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,169
earlofmar Online content
3000 Post Club Member
earlofmar  Online Content
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,169
Australia
The key is to practice very slowly even if that means you can no longer keep rhythm. You can also just practice the first measure until you get the hang of it and then progress onto the first two measures.

Another thing you can do is just sit and play your G chord in a steady rhythm and improvise with your right hand. With no need to think about what your right hand is playing it will start to feel a bit more natural.

For any technical difficulty I follow a well tested system. Slow it down even if it is preposterously slow (accuracy is more important), practice for no more than twenty minutes and once done don't go back until the following day. Amazing what a nights sleep can do but don't be surprised if a stubborn problem takes several days or more. You will however feel incremental progress quite quickly the trick is not to try to run before you can walk.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
#2167450 - 10/16/13 11:00 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012
tangleweeds  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,333
Portland, OR
Learning syncopation is hard for (just about) everybody. We're so used to hearing syncopation in modern music that we hardly notice it... yet when we try to *play* it, many of us discover, yet again, how our hands want to act in rhythmic unison.

One place to start is to make sure you are able to play the RH melody along with the metronome (before even trying to put the hands together again). If your metronome can do different time signatures by emphasizing the first note of each measure, try playing just the melody with that also.

Another thing to do before trying to play both handed on the piano, is to make sure you can tap both hand's rhythms together, reading the sheet music's rhythmic durations, but ignoring melody and harmony. Try it with and without the metronome.

You may find one variation may be harder or easier, so master what's easiest first, then work up to challenging yourself to master the other.

And don't feel bad: syncopation is a well known stumbling block to playing most 20th century and contemporary music, and there are whole books to help you learn to deal with it.

My favorite is Dan Fox's The Rhythm Bible. First he gets you up to speed with standard rhythms, then gradually increases your familiarity with a number of different sorts of syncopation.

It's one of those books (like Tim Richards' Improvising Blues PIano) in which each chapter starts out easy and gets progressively harder, so you evaluate when that chapter is getting to hard for you, them forward to the next one. Thus more advanced students can travel deeper into each chapter to find material to challenge them.


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.
#2167591 - 10/17/13 06:57 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: tangleweeds]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Rerun Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Rerun  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Louisiana
Hey Evee,

Think of it as getting both hands in sort of a dance together. I don't know if you're interested in playing New Orleans style particularly, but Allen Toussaint breaks it down using a popular blues bass line you'll recognize beginning at 0:35 of this tape. Great tape for getting those ears more into the game too, imo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q62qTlHfyWI&feature=related


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



#2167610 - 10/17/13 07:40 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Eveewonder Offline
Full Member
Eveewonder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
NJ USA
Thanks everyone. At least I know I'm not alone and others have trouble. I'll keep at it an use all your suggestions. Thank you!!1


Pam
Essex EUP 123FL
Started playing August 18, 2011
#2167644 - 10/17/13 09:31 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: rnaple]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,145
PianoStudent88 Online content
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Online Content
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,145
Maine
Originally Posted by rnaple
[quote=Eveewonder]short, long, short, long,...

I would go long short, not short long for a bluesy swung rhythm.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
#2167678 - 10/17/13 10:42 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Johnny D Offline
Full Member
Johnny D  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Brazil
Another thing you could try to learn this is to play the left hand slowly and lift your left hand about 5-6 inches (10-15cm) between beats so that you get an up and down motion. Count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, playing so that you hit the chord on the beats 1, 2, 3, 4 and the "and's" come just as you lift your hand off the keys. Count it and try to get a steady beat. Then you'll know which notes in the melody come when you hit the chord/beat and the notes that come in between.

Edit: I am not saying you should eventually play the song lifting the hand so much, just to use it as a learning tool.

Last edited by Johnny D; 10/17/13 10:56 AM. Reason: edit

1978 Dittrich Acoustic Upright
Alfred's 1 Graduate
Currently on Alfred's 2
#2167988 - 10/18/13 04:23 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
I may have deceived you in referring to page 107.
I just noticed Johnny had Why Am I Blue on page 73.
My Why Am I Blue is on page 116. I am on Alfred's All in One Course.
The page 107 I am referring to is Got Those Blues. Talks about the Blues. The note at the bottom of the page, to quote it is: "The eighth notes may be played a bit unevenly; long short long short ."
My teacher explained this to me.
We're not talking about turning eighth notes into 1/16th notes and quarter notes. If they wanted to add or take away like this, they would have done it. Like they did with the fourth note in the first bar. Thus the syncopated note. We're talking about shaving a bit or adding a bit simply for rhythm's sake. Which is maybe a 64th or a 32nd.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2168088 - 10/18/13 10:46 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,145
PianoStudent88 Online content
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Online Content
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,145
Maine
Rather than as short as a 64th or 32nd, swung eighth notes are closer to triplet: two triplet eighth notes tied together for the ling, and one triplet eighth note for the short. The exact timing can vary in different pieces depending on the effect you want. Listen to some blues or jazz and listen for if you can hear this effect.


Piano Career Academy - Ilinca Vartic teaches the Russian school of piano playing
Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
#2168215 - 10/18/13 03:59 PM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 55
Ohio_Mark Offline
Full Member
Ohio_Mark  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 55
Try tapping the beat with your hands on your lap counting eighth notes.

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
Tapping the Right hand on 1, and, 2, and
Tapping the left hand on 1, 2, 3, 4

Do it enough times until you feel the rhythm.


Last edited by Ohio_Mark; 10/18/13 03:59 PM.

[Linked Image]
#2172692 - 10/27/13 08:18 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
Eveewonder Offline
Full Member
Eveewonder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 56
NJ USA
I think I have to leave this song for a bit. I'm really frustrated. I keep getting 5 beats in the second measure instead of 4. I think maybe I have psyched myself out and need a long break.


Pam
Essex EUP 123FL
Started playing August 18, 2011
#2172702 - 10/27/13 09:15 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Rerun Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Rerun  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Louisiana
Well, if worst comes to worst, let your ears get the job done, not by counting beats ...listen to when this guy is playing on and off the beat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_84glk-v_uQ


You can do it!


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



#2172708 - 10/27/13 09:34 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 48
Moonraker Offline
Full Member
Moonraker  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 48
Wales, UK
Try the first 2 bars with hard, soft, hard, soft rather than long, short, long, short:

WHY am I blue-oo-oo-oo-oo|
BLUE er THAN the dee-eep BLUE sea

#2172715 - 10/27/13 09:50 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,206
Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted by Eveewonder
I think I have to leave this song for a bit. I'm really frustrated. I keep getting 5 beats in the second measure instead of 4. I think maybe I have psyched myself out and need a long break.


The left hand is there to keep the beat straight for you. Play around the left hand with the right.
Don't worry. Alfred is looking at you like the Governator saying: "I'll be back" in Book Two.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
[Linked Image][Linked Image]
#2173063 - 10/28/13 06:32 AM Re: help with syncopated notes Alfred's why am I blue [Re: Eveewonder]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,400
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,400
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Sometimes I have to write in the counts and count out loud.

Don't worry about leaving it for a while. It will still be there when you get back.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl


Moderated by  BB Player, casinitaly 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Opinion on wrist/slur motion in a video
by wirecat. 12/10/17 09:45 PM
MP11 or MP11 SE setup
by dpilot83. 12/10/17 09:42 PM
MP11SE - First impressions
by OneWatt. 12/10/17 06:49 PM
Kawai MP7 MIDI
by kangolboy. 12/10/17 05:50 PM
Jingle Bells
by MusicaMusique. 12/10/17 03:55 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics183,198
Posts2,678,161
Members89,257
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0