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#2251247 - 03/24/14 02:27 AM Hard to keep the beat  
Joined: Feb 2014
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johan d Online content
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johan d  Online Content
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Belgium
Hello,

Just a month with a piano teacher and we are doing solfege music reading + hand clapping in rythm for 4 weeks. I find it hard to keep the beat without metronome. My teacher says a should pratice music reading without metronome, learning to feel a psysical beat in my body to keep in rithm.

Now i've tried to tap with my feet, but what's the correct way for doing it. example 2/4, should i tap twice, and 3/4 should i tap 3 times, or should a tap once per beat, or just what i find the easiest way? Are there any other good methods for learning this, or does it come al of the sudden while pratcising?

thx, Johan

Last edited by johan d; 03/24/14 02:27 AM.

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#2251310 - 03/24/14 08:03 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by johan d
Hello,

Just a month with a piano teacher and we are doing solfege music reading + hand clapping in rythm for 4 weeks. I find it hard to keep the beat without metronome. My teacher says a should pratice music reading without metronome, learning to feel a psysical beat in my body to keep in rithm.

Now i've tried to tap with my feet, but what's the correct way for doing it. example 2/4, should i tap twice, and 3/4 should i tap 3 times, or should a tap once per beat, or just what i find the easiest way? Are there any other good methods for learning this, or does it come al of the sudden while pratcising?

thx, Johan
You are saying the same thing above here. in 2/4 the top number means how many beats per measure, the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets one beat (in this case 4=quarter note). So to tap the beats in 2/4 you would tap two times per measure, or in 3/4 you'd tap 3 times per measure. Just keep in mind that it should be like the ticking of a clock or like the sound of a metronome. You don't really hear measures at first when learning to sightread rhythms. You will eventually hear how beat one in a measure gets a little more stress either melodically or with a slight stress or accent on that beat. But that will come with time. At first, the beat keeps on going, so you tap and just match your notes or clapping with that beat.

Do you count the beats out loud? This is crucial even if your counting at first has some stops and starts.

Also, be very careful you are picking rhythms that are not too advanced for you. Start with easy and work your way up. Also, don't start with a fast beat, but pick a beat that is very, very slow, something that you are confident you can do the passage well.


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#2251315 - 03/24/14 08:22 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: Morodiene]  
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johan d Online content
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johan d  Online Content
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Belgium
Thx for the reply
Originally Posted by Morodiene
You are saying the same thing above here. in 2/4 the top number means how many beats per measure, the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets one beat (in this case 4=quarter note). So to tap the beats in 2/4 you would tap two times per measure, or in 3/4 you'd tap 3 times per measure.
My mistake, i meant per measure, not per beat. But I understood I should tap 2 times per measure when 2/4 and 3 times per measure when 3/4

Originally Posted by Morodiene
But that will come with time.
Reassuring

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Do you count the beats out loud? This is crucial even if your counting at first has some stops and starts.
No, I sing the notes out loud (do, re, mi,...). or don't i understand your point?

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Also, be very careful you are picking rhythms that are not too advanced for you. Start with easy and work your way up. Also, don't start with a fast beat, but pick a beat that is very, very slow, something that you are confident you can do the passage well.

Only working with 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 at the moment @75bpm maximum.


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#2251321 - 03/24/14 08:39 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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rnaple Offline

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Joined: Dec 2010
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Rocky Mountains
I still remember from when I was a kid in band. We always tapped our heels. Counted in our minds at the same time.
That crept into my body. It's easy and natural to me to keep count now.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2251323 - 03/24/14 08:46 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by johan d
Thx for the reply
Originally Posted by Morodiene
You are saying the same thing above here. in 2/4 the top number means how many beats per measure, the bottom number tells you what kind of note gets one beat (in this case 4=quarter note). So to tap the beats in 2/4 you would tap two times per measure, or in 3/4 you'd tap 3 times per measure.
My mistake, i meant per measure, not per beat. But I understood I should tap 2 times per measure when 2/4 and 3 times per measure when 3/4

Originally Posted by Morodiene
But that will come with time.
Reassuring

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Do you count the beats out loud? This is crucial even if your counting at first has some stops and starts.
No, I sing the notes out loud (do, re, mi,...). or don't i understand your point?

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Also, be very careful you are picking rhythms that are not too advanced for you. Start with easy and work your way up. Also, don't start with a fast beat, but pick a beat that is very, very slow, something that you are confident you can do the passage well.

Only working with 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 at the moment @75bpm maximum.


Depending on the complexity of the rhythm and subdivisions of the beat (8th notes, 16th notes, etc.) this speed may be too fast.

As for counting out loud, this is what you would do while playing piano or while clapping a rhythm. If you are doing solfeggio, I recommend first clapping and counting the rhythm before trying to then read the solfeg. When we sight read we are deciphering rhythm and pitch, so it's necessary sometimes to break these out into two separate activities: do rhythm-only exercises and pitch-only exercises (a melody all in quarter notes for example).

To count out loud while clapping, you first need to look at your time signature and your smallest note value in the example. Let's say you are in 4/4 time and your smallest note value is a quarter note. Your counting would be, "1-2-3-4". If you are in 4/4 time and your smallest note value is an 8th note, your counting would be, "1&2&3&4&" even if you don't have 8th notes on that particular beat.

This is something your teacher should try to explain to you, however, as it's much easier to do in person than on a forum.


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#2251340 - 03/24/14 09:52 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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ShannonG Offline
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Canada
I count in my head, as I find any superfluous physical movement distracting. And counting definitely helps your rhythm become second nature after a while. Don't give up; a month is not a long time!


Yamaha LU101, Casio CDP220R. 1968 Mason & Risch 'frankenpiano' only the cat plays. It's where our musical journey began though so I refuse to get rid of it.
#2251348 - 03/24/14 10:09 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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zrtf90 Offline
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Ireland (ex England)
Counting out loud or with a physical action such as tensing a muscle or tapping a foot is less likely to be subjected to mental time stretching.

Time is the most important attribute of music so it may be better to learn to play while counting rather than learning to count while playing.



Richard
#2251387 - 03/24/14 11:58 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Italy
Basic Timing for the Pianist is a nice little book/ebook with 105 rhythmic exercises that one can clap or play on the piano (very easy 5-finger positions). I did a page a day over a couple of months and found it beneficial. Especially while sight-reading, it is very useful to be able to recognize rhythmic patterns at first sight and "hear" them in your head instead of having to count everything.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
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#2251682 - 03/24/14 10:56 PM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: johan d]  
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Dave B Offline
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Try going out for a walk. Just feel your steps. You don't need to count.

Sometimes I find myself trying to follow a beat rather than 'creating' the beat. The piano can create an amazing array of rhythms. Have fun.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#2251755 - 03/25/14 02:05 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: Dave B]  
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johan d Online content
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johan d  Online Content
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Belgium
Thanks for all tips&tricks. I do recognize a lot of them, but actually creating a beat yourself and stick to it while reading, is still hard for me. We'll see in a couple of month if it gets any better (becomes a 2nd nature)


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#2251775 - 03/25/14 06:08 AM Re: Hard to keep the beat [Re: Dave B]  
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Rerun Offline
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Louisiana
Originally Posted by Dave B
Try going out for a walk. Just feel your steps. You don't need to count.

Sometimes I find myself trying to follow a beat rather than 'creating' the beat. The piano can create an amazing array of rhythms. Have fun.


Yep an old boot camp trick ... the army threw in rhythm and voice lessons along with the extreme haircut. 4/4 only tho ... no waltzing allowed. grin

Last edited by Rerun; 03/25/14 06:22 AM.

Rerun

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