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#2704001 - 01/11/18 02:04 PM Am I normal?  
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Okay I am in Grade 4 now. We have started playing triplets and mixing them with "regular" time notes. I'm playing the "other minuet in G", BVW 116. In bar 23-24 it goes from a triplet to a regular and I cannot fricken get it right for the life of me! Is this a normal problem at this level or am I slow? My teacher keeps saying ba-na-na pear apple pear or whatever other help there is and I still am horrible at it. If I put on the metronome it just makes me go insane! Help!!! I am so frustrated.

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#2704005 - 01/11/18 02:15 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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No, nobody is normal.


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#2704007 - 01/11/18 02:17 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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You're not normal......none of us are. I mean, what the heck is normal anyways. Regardless of all that noise, you're having a hard time with that because, well, it's HARD AS HECK. All I can say is, it will eventually "click". Go so slow it hurts, and keep doing it, then do it some more. Before too long, it will be less uncomfortable. Eventually it will even feel normalish. It's right up there with polyrythms though when it comes to beginning the process of learning them. Some skills are quick to pick up, but forever to master. Tying in with triplets is slow to pick up, but quick to master, once it clicks.

Last edited by JayWalkingBlues; 01/11/18 02:20 PM.

Currently working on:
Waltz in Am - Chopin
the Aria of the Goldberg Variations -Bach (update, just finished)
Polishing up Nocturne in Em. -Chopin
Also working on a cool variation on "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Christmas.
#2704010 - 01/11/18 02:25 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
Okay I am in Grade 4 now. We have started playing triplets and mixing them with "regular" time notes. I'm playing the "other minuet in G", BVW 116. In bar 23-24 it goes from a triplet to a regular and I cannot fricken get it right for the life of me! Is this a normal problem at this level or am I slow? My teacher keeps saying ba-na-na pear apple pear or whatever other help there is and I still am horrible at it. If I put on the metronome it just makes me go insane! Help!!! I am so frustrated.


Maybe this will help.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0o3-bYsMT4

He's strumming a triplet on every 3rd beat.

Last edited by RaggedKeyPresser; 01/11/18 02:30 PM.

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#2704014 - 01/11/18 02:36 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Haha I love you guys. Thanks for the video. It seems I either get the triplet and swing the eighths or mess up the triplet. I can't seem to have it both ways.

#2704015 - 01/11/18 02:37 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I'm not gonna lie, there has been some yelling and piano bashing at my house the last two days.

#2704016 - 01/11/18 02:41 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Everyone has difficulties that seem unsurmountable. At some point it will click.

Have you tried listening to someone else play (at a slower tempo) and tapping the rhythm? On YT there is an option to play the video at 50% tempo.


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#2704018 - 01/11/18 02:44 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I've seen two variations on this bar (24):

- dotted quarter note followed by 3 eighth notes (Bastien)

- quarter note followed by 2 eighth notes followed by quarter note (Anna Magdalena Notebook)

And I've heard it played both ways. I think the Bastien (and other) version is easier (more intuitive) to play, but I like how the AMN version sounds, so I play the latter.

Which one are you trying to play? I think it helps to "get it into your ear" and then it will come to your fingers. So listen to a recording that has the version you are trying to learn.


Linda
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#2704021 - 01/11/18 02:47 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Ah, very interesting Linda because my music reads AMN but my fingers are playing the other way, with a dotted quarter rhythm. I wonder if the first time I heard it there was a dotted quarter and somewhere deep in my brain wants to do that.

#2704028 - 01/11/18 03:10 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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It could be. I've also certainly heard performances of this minuet by folks that are stated to be the AMN version, yet they play the Bastien version on that bar. So if you have some confusion, it's understandable.

A very nice performance of this by forum member Mel_lem is a good one to listen to, to get the AMN version into your ear:
https://soundcloud.com/mel_lem22/j-s-bach-minuet-in-g-major

I also did this version in my recital piece in August.

And that bar was one of my trouble spots in learning as well smile


Linda
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#2704029 - 01/11/18 03:10 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Bastien is wrong. See the following link:
https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/0/09/IMSLP475024-PMLP06107-Partitur_D-B_Mus.ms._Bach_P_225.pdf

On page 59 of that PDF you have it in Bach's own handwriting!


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#2704032 - 01/11/18 03:14 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: dancingfish]  
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Originally Posted by dancingfish
I think it helps to "get it into your ear" and then it will come to your fingers. So listen to a recording that has the version you are trying to learn.


+1. Listen to it over and over, play it in the car while you're driving. Listen to it a few times before you go to sleep, and try it in the morning.


-- J.S.

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#2704033 - 01/11/18 03:20 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: Qazsedcft]  
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Bastien is wrong. See the following link:
https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/0/09/IMSLP475024-PMLP06107-Partitur_D-B_Mus.ms._Bach_P_225.pdf

On page 59 of that PDF you have it in Bach's own handwriting!


Interesting to see the proof. But I wonder why do many (most?) people play it the "wrong" way even if they are following music that's notated correctly?

Edit to add this note: there is another difference in that bar between Bastien and AMN, and it is that Bastien repeats the accidental sharp on the D from the previous measure, whereas in AMN it is noted as a D natural. Per Bach's notation, it is not a sharp. I hadn't seen this clarification, so I played it with a sharp because I preferred how it sounded (and I think mel_lem played it this way too). So you might notice this as a difference if listening to these recordings and then following the AMN version exactly. FYI

Last edited by dancingfish; 01/11/18 03:39 PM.

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#2704037 - 01/11/18 03:41 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: dancingfish]  
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Originally Posted by dancingfish
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Bastien is wrong. See the following link:
https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/0/09/IMSLP475024-PMLP06107-Partitur_D-B_Mus.ms._Bach_P_225.pdf

On page 59 of that PDF you have it in Bach's own handwriting!


Interesting to see the proof. But I wonder why do many (most?) people play it the "wrong" way even if they are following music that's notated correctly?

There must be a history to it because many people also play D sharp in the next measure even though there is no sharp. Because this menuet is so widely used in teaching piano it's possible that errors like that get propagated from teacher to pupil over the generations. Just a theory...


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#2704040 - 01/11/18 03:47 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Maybe it's just me, but ba-na-na seems like a terrible word for helping with triplets, since the accent is on the wrong syllable. You'd have to say banana. If it has to be fruit, what about strawberry, apricot, cantaloupe, pineapple--lots of better possibilities! smile


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Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
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#2704047 - 01/11/18 04:10 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Hm. I think she might actually use strawberry. Hard to remember. Mostly she says trip-el-et.

#2704051 - 01/11/18 04:20 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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The D sharp in measure 23 is acting as the leading tone in the key of E minor. It appears in a section in E minor which starts at measure 17 and continues to the first beat of measure 24 (E in the melody).

The remaining three notes in measure 24 are pickup notes into the rest of the piece which is in G major. The D natural in measure 24 is part of how the composer signals a return to G major.


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#2704052 - 01/11/18 04:21 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Philip in China is right—none of us is normal.

However, my teacher gave me choc-o-late to use for triplets. Works for me!

#2704054 - 01/11/18 04:27 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: dancingfish]  
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Originally Posted by dancingfish
It could be. I've also certainly heard performances of this minuet by folks that are stated to be the AMN version, yet they play the Bastien version on that bar. So if you have some confusion, it's understandable.

A very nice performance of this by forum member Mel_lem is a good one to listen to, to get the AMN version into your ear:
https://soundcloud.com/mel_lem22/j-s-bach-minuet-in-g-major

I also did this version in my recital piece in August.

And that bar was one of my trouble spots in learning as well smile


THANK YOU MEL_LEM!! Okay I listened to this about 60 times and I think I finally get it. I can at least sing it properly now.

#2704118 - 01/11/18 08:44 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I have a version on SoundCloud as well, but it's not fast like Mel_lem's! Note the RCM version doesn't have a triplet at the end.

That's an interesting PDF. Why is G the middle line? As for measure 24, it shows D natural in both the RCM book and Alfred's Masterwork Classics (Vol 4). The note in the Alfred's book says, "Most modern editions have D# here. The sharp does not appear in the original manuscript"

I struggled with triplets in the beginning, particularly with making the first 2 notes too fast, and then holding on the 3d a bit longer before playing the second beat. My teacher suggested I say "Go - Ing - To - There". It helped to keep the 3 notes even and playing the second beat on time.


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#2704137 - 01/11/18 10:31 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I have heard:

"Ham bur ger Hot dog"

so many times that I can now only think of it in my teacher's voice.


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#2704146 - 01/12/18 12:29 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Normal or not, it's just something to learn smile

It's never easy when a triplet rhythm suddenly appears from nowhere in the middle of a piece or it goes back and forth. I have never used words but I spent a lot of time playing pieces with triple meters quite early. After you get the "feel" of a triplet ingrained it gets easier to switch. So maybe more practice with triples outside this piece in the same tempo would help, making sure you emphasize the first note.

#2704150 - 01/12/18 01:02 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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This kinda rhythm change is tricky and it took me a long time to sorta get there. Don't panic. Ride it out.


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#2704160 - 01/12/18 02:47 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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There's a cheap little book/ebook that helps with rhythm, it's called Basic Timing for Pianists by Allan Small.

Also, are you playing scales in triplets? You start with a single octave in quarter notes, slowly (no more than 60 bpm), then you play two octaves in eighth notes, then three octaves in triplets, then four octaves in sixteenths. No stopping between them. It feels weird at first. For me, putting a strong accent on the first note of each triplet is the key.


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#2704163 - 01/12/18 03:18 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
That's an interesting PDF. Why is G the middle line?

Because it's written with a C clef, which was still common in Bach's time. The bottom line of the top staff is middle C.


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#2704187 - 01/12/18 07:29 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: Qazsedcft]  
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
That's an interesting PDF. Why is G the middle line?

Because it's written with a C clef, which was still common in Bach's time. The bottom line of the top staff is middle C.


Thanks, I had asked around about it last night and was told it was common to use what was called the Soprano clef during the Baroque period, or C on the bottom line as you said. Always something new to learn!


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#2704196 - 01/12/18 08:26 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I really enjoy learning new concepts, ideas and information from all of you!

#2704220 - 01/12/18 10:05 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: Qazsedcft]  
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft

There must be a history to it because many people also play D sharp in the next measure even though there is no sharp. Because this menuet is so widely used in teaching piano it's possible that errors like that get propagated from teacher to pupil over the generations. Just a theory...


Wonder if it's like the "Schwencke measure".....someone thought they were fixing Bach's error, lol. For the record, I loathe the Schwencke measure.


Currently working on:
Waltz in Am - Chopin
the Aria of the Goldberg Variations -Bach (update, just finished)
Polishing up Nocturne in Em. -Chopin
Also working on a cool variation on "When You Wish Upon a Star" for Christmas.
#2704240 - 01/12/18 10:55 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I wonder if it would help to play something that's practically all triplet, just to get the feel of that rhythm solidly into your body and brain. Others have said something similar above, like the triplet scales. Another way you can think of triplets is that they're like playing 6/8 time with stresses on beat 1 and 4, only faster.

I think it's really important to feel the main beat stresses. Then if both duple and triple feel "normal" to you, it's not as big a deal whether the beat is one note, or divides into two notes, three notes, four notes--it's still the same steady beat.

Here's something you might try if it doesn't make you crazier. I wouldn't use the metronome on your piece itself, but either with or without it, what if you play four very steady beats--one note, two notes, three notes, four notes (or you could skip the four, but to me it helps with that feeling that we're just subdividing the same beat into the number of notes we want). Or you don't even have to play them, maybe better first to just tap your foot and say /ba/ba-da/ba-da-ba/ba-da-ba-da/ (slashes indicating the steady beat point, accent always on the downbeat ba). There are lots of possible variations of this, e.g. doing it backwards, going straight between 1 and 3 or 2 and 3 syllables. Focus most on the steady beat and just toss in the syllables.


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
Mendelssohn, Op. 19 no. 2
#2704250 - 01/12/18 11:21 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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I think Sonatina in C Major by Duncombe is a good exercise in triplets. It's RCM 1, but I still play it from time to time. I found using a metronome helps to make sure the eight notes after the triplets are played correctly.


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#2704254 - 01/12/18 11:26 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: jdw]  
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Originally Posted by jdw
I wonder if it would help to play something that's practically all triplet, just to get the feel of that rhythm solidly into your body and brain. Others have said something similar above, like the triplet scales. Another way you can think of triplets is that they're like playing 6/8 time with stresses on beat 1 and 4, only faster.


FWIW, I found the opening by Philip glass to be excellent for this, it is easy to sight read and you can really focus on that exercise. Once comfortable and you start getting the hang of it, you can then focus making the triplets sound more musical too in a piece such as this.

Lisista has a wonderful rendition of it, it's on spotify. There is a rather dull mechanically played version of it showing the score on youtube, but you get the idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc1KM57LblQ

For me it just clicked with some practice over a number of days practising those 3 v 2 timings. The way I recall it, it was bit like learning to juggle or ride a bike, at first you can't do it, it feels unnatural, but you stick at it for for a few days, then, suddenly it just clicked into place one day for me (for the most part).

PS I am not a teacher, everyone may have had different experiences, so I am no expert, I am just sharing the fact I found it personally very useful to play that piece to help with that issue.

Good luck.


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#2704298 - 01/12/18 01:54 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
Okay I am in Grade 4 now. We have started playing triplets and mixing them with "regular" time notes. I'm playing the "other minuet in G", BVW 116. In bar 23-24 it goes from a triplet to a regular and I cannot fricken get it right for the life of me! Is this a normal problem at this level or am I slow? My teacher keeps saying ba-na-na pear apple pear or whatever other help there is and I still am horrible at it. If I put on the metronome it just makes me go insane! Help!!! I am so frustrated.


The best advice I have had about triplets are that from my guitar tutor. The down-up-down, then up-down-up plectrum sequence lit up a light bulb in my brain. I still use this rhythmic feeling when playing piano triplets.

Ian


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#2704708 - 01/13/18 10:42 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I think Sonatina in C Major by Duncombe is a good exercise in triplets. It's RCM 1, but I still play it from time to time. I found using a metronome helps to make sure the eight notes after the triplets are played correctly.

I unfortunately don’t have the grade 1 book. Can you link me your soundcloud of 116?

#2704753 - 01/14/18 08:23 AM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,047
bSharp(C)yclist Online content
1000 Post Club Member
bSharp(C)yclist  Online Content
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,047
Orange County, California
Hi Sarah,

The Duncombe piece is a 1 pager. It's easily found on Google Images. See link below smile

https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.musescore.com/2159181/987a8f2656/score_0.png

Here is the SoundCloud link

https://soundcloud.com/crouthamel/minuet-g-major-bwv-116

Here is a YouTube video, but where I play all three (114, 115, 116), but on the YDP-181. It was put together to try and sell it on Craigslist. Wow, so many scammers, lol. I had one person send me a check for $2000 and asked me to send $800 to the shipper. I just laughed. She/he followed up and asked if I got the check (which was obviously fake). I said, yea, I got it, I cashed it, and bought 2K worth of cocaine to make holidays merry, haha. I love playing scammers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx_Z2Sa81bg


♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
SoundCloud
[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
#2704868 - 01/14/18 02:43 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 442
sara elizabeth Offline
Full Member
sara elizabeth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 442
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Hi Sarah,

The Duncombe piece is a 1 pager. It's easily found on Google Images. See link below smile

https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.musescore.com/2159181/987a8f2656/score_0.png

Here is the SoundCloud link

https://soundcloud.com/crouthamel/minuet-g-major-bwv-116

Here is a YouTube video, but where I play all three (114, 115, 116), but on the YDP-181. It was put together to try and sell it on Craigslist. Wow, so many scammers, lol. I had one person send me a I check for $2000 and asked me to send $800 to the shipper. I just laughed. She/he followed up and asked if I got the check (which was obviously fake). I said, yea, I got it, I cashed it, and bought 2K worth of cocaine to make holidays merry, haha. I love playing scammers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx_Z2Sa81bg


Omg hilarious!! Thank you for the links. I’m going to watch tonight.

#2705188 - 01/15/18 03:15 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: sara elizabeth]  
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 182
Simon_b Offline
Full Member
Simon_b  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 182
Kent, UK
Hi Sarah

I don't know the piece and I haven't seen the sheet music, and I'm not really a 'classical' Piano player. But I can read music, quite well, and know about the difficulty of trying to translate rhythms from the page.

This is what I suggest, and have just tried doing. Sitting down, tap your left hand on the chair at a steady beat, like you are a metronome, use a metronome at the same time if that helps you to keep a steady pulse. Then count out loud (if neccessary) 1 2 3 to each tap for a while, then switch to counting 1 2 to each tap for a while (obviously keeping the pulse at exactly the same tempo). Then switch between counting 1 2 3 and 1 2 whilst tapping until you can effortlessly do both. Now go to the piano and tap your left hand on anything, the stool, the lid whatever, and play 1 2 3 on the same note to the pulse, then switch to 1 2 (count out loud at the same time if required to start with) and then eventually alternate 1 2 3 and 1 2 on a single note. Once you can do this start articulating the actual notes in the phrase you are trying to play, whilst continuing to keep a pulse with the other hand. Then stop tapping!! and just play :-)

I haven't read the other replies, so I'm sure you'll of had loads of other helpful advice.
Listening to a recording repeatedly will also make it sink in eventually...

Cheers


Simon
Yamaha CLP535




#2705227 - 01/15/18 05:35 PM Re: Am I normal? [Re: jdw]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 18
MichaelJK Offline
Junior Member
MichaelJK  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 18
Connecticut, USA
Yes, you're normal. Music is hard.

Originally Posted by jdw
I think it's really important to feel the main beat stresses. Then if both duple and triple feel "normal" to you, it's not as big a deal whether the beat is one note, or divides into two notes, three notes, four notes--it's still the same steady beat.


This is, at the end of the day, the main point. If you can't feel a steady beat, you're never getting anywhere. So make that your priority. You said you hate the metronome, which is also very normal for beginners. It's definitely worth making friends with it, though. And it is entirely possible.

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