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Inspired by the other thread.

Tips to count it out, and to play it?

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There are polyrhythms which are meant to be played in a very precise manner like 2 vs 3 or 4vs3 and a few other ones. There are also polyrhythms which are meant to be interpreted as basically written out rubato. It really has to be taken on a case by case basis. I feel like 5vs2 would be one of the ones which allow for a pretty relaxed interpretation, but like I said it depends on the style of music you're playing.


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The right feel comes from - is informed by - the harmony. Absorb the counterpoint, which is the harmony.

If you really listen to each harmonic event, each interval, throughout the passage, the way to move - the timing - becomes more natural, because it will be based on the dissonances - tensions and resolutions thereof.

One you understand (feel) this, aurally, you may then concentrate on the figuration as a whole, in terms of bigger events (beats;) meaning, the time it takes to play all 7 notes, taken as one beat.

We don't want to hear 7 notes, we want to hear the counterpoint: two things moving through an event.


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Count:
1 2 3 & 4 5

The group of 2 happens on 1, and the & of 3.

Try tapping the 5 in one hand while tapping on 1, and the & of 3 in the other.

The key is to be able to do this and really feel the lower number beat, in this case the 2.

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Depends on the context.


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That should be the proverbial no-brainer.

Both groups come together on the first note; the second of the group of two comes exactly between the third and fourth note of the group of five.



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Originally Posted by DanS
Count:
1 2 3 & 4 5

The group of 2 happens on 1, and the & of 3.

Try tapping the 5 in one hand while tapping on 1, and the & of 3 in the other.

The key is to be able to do this and really feel the lower number beat, in this case the 2.


Yes, thank you. That's the way you count it out.

I knew the group of 2 landed between the 3 and 4, but
it didn't click that I should count it as an "and".

Played it, and it's pretty cool to get in the groove.


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Originally Posted by pianoman9
Inspired by the other thread.

Tips to count it out, and to play it?

I solve any polyrhythm by doing two things:

1. Math -- when you find a common denominator, it's very easy to plot out the notes. The "feel" of it comes from working this out.

2. Context -- sometimes, it makes sense to make changes. This is more the "art" side, and is much more difficult to teach. The basic concept comes down to "grouping" the notes. The way you group them will create a certain sound, and it's important to make sure you want that sound (as opposed to any other sound). Note: I define "sound" in the broadest musical sense.


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^ this is a great approach with any hard-to-understand rhythm -- both doing the math so you understand the exact written-out rhythm, and thinking about the artistic context. People make fun of me for talking about lowest common denominators and such, but I really think it's a necessary step.

(Also, many artistically beautiful passages call for evenly flowing groups of notes, and to develop those, we need to get them mathematically accurate and keep the sound very consistent.)

Deciding to squeeze and stretch notes in a complicated rhythm shouldn't be any different from deciding to squeeze and stretch simple quarter and half notes -- complexity isn't a reason to avoid learning to count accurately.


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