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I can't play and count at the same time! #2846069
05/07/19 11:51 AM
05/07/19 11:51 AM
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chongjasmine Offline OP
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I can't play and count at the same time.
I can play with the help of a metro.
But I can't play when I am the one doing the counting. Any help?

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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846072
05/07/19 11:58 AM
05/07/19 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chongjasmine
I can't play and count at the same time.
I can play with the help of a metro.
But I can't play when I am the one doing the counting. Any help?


One of the voices on my Dr. Beat DB-90 metronome is a human voice. I find it helpful to listen to a human voice doing the counting. So, maybe try that, and see if you can say the one with the metronome, then work on saying the other beats. Start by saying it in your head before saying it out loud.


Yamaha P-515, Pianoteq Standard 6
Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846082
05/07/19 12:37 PM
05/07/19 12:37 PM
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dmd Offline
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That can be challenging.

It is typical of the types of things you need to be able to do in order to play piano.

You need to be able to do 2 things at the same time with different rhythms and keep track of where you are.

The best way to learn how to do it is to be at the piano trying it while your teacher helps you with it.

And you keep trying over and over in little short bits until you can do it.

There are no shortcuts here (or anywhere for learning piano skills).

Try to make use of your teacher's experience with this.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846089
05/07/19 01:12 PM
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Sometimes I can and do play and count, but, and it’s a big but, my counting is often not in time, so in fact it doesn’t help keep time and can instead emphasise and help learn an incorrect timing. It’s ok for easier timings and breaking down a complicated rhythm or timing, but it is not a panacea, and like most things has to be learned if it doesn’t come naturally. I use a metronome a lot, for time or to get the beat, use a foot, head, body, thereafter if I have to. I also use the ear to hear the timing and rhythm, from my teacher, or a recording, then copy it, and that helps a lot. Therefore for me counting is overrated.

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846095
05/07/19 01:31 PM
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Pau Gasol Offline
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Don't feel bad; I bluffed my way through two years of lessons without learning to count. I used to think the teacher never noticed, but looking back I suspect she knew.

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: Pau Gasol] #2846098
05/07/19 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Don't feel bad; I bluffed my way through two years of lessons without learning to count. I used to think the teacher never noticed, but looking back I suspect she knew.



Heh, heh, I used to do that too, just do my own thing , but I soon had to learn how to count timing properly and work on the concentration.

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846103
05/07/19 01:57 PM
05/07/19 01:57 PM
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I'm the opposite. I can count, but the metronome is tricky for me. As a beginner, I don't trust my rhythm much yet, so count everything out loud... to the point that it would annoy my old teacher. With the metronome though, I'm just starting to get the hang of it. I think it's just one of those things you just have to keep trying until you get it. Even now, I'll usually take the easy way and turn on the metronome to get the speed, start counting/tapping with that, turn it off, and away I go... counting out loud.

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846105
05/07/19 01:58 PM
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I believe counting while playing is one of the most important things. I am coming up to one year of piano - you can click on my screen name and read some of my threads about counting out loud. Like you, I could not do it at all. My patience is questionable - but my stubbornness can conquer my patience I guess. Play slow and try to count. Actually, just put five fingers on five keys and play your fingers sequentially, and repeat (this is the 5 finger pattern). This way you don't have to read notes. Just count while you do the five finger pattern. Next step would be to try counting on simple piece you already know.

It takes awhile, but the brain learns. If you are like me, you will stop doing it at some point. Then when you get to eighth notes you will be forced to start counting out loud again. Good Luck!


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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846109
05/07/19 02:10 PM
05/07/19 02:10 PM
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Counting out loud has been recommended a number of times, so try that if you haven't already. I can count out loud only just so long, then I revert to counting in my head. frown

Whether out loud or in your head, start out slowly (playing slowly) so you can consciously pay attention to your counting. You could also write in the count on your score as a visual reinforcement of your counting.


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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846125
05/07/19 03:14 PM
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. Go slooooooow. It will get faster once you get new skill under your belt.


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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846140
05/07/19 04:06 PM
05/07/19 04:06 PM
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chongjasmine Offline OP
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Thanks for all your suggestions!

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: meaculpa] #2846241
05/07/19 09:23 PM
05/07/19 09:23 PM
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earlofmar Online content
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Originally Posted by meaculpa
Originally Posted by Pau Gasol
Don't feel bad; I bluffed my way through two years of lessons without learning to count. I used to think the teacher never noticed, but looking back I suspect she knew.



Heh, heh, I used to do that too, just do my own thing , but I soon had to learn how to count timing properly and work on the concentration.



me too.

I had to learn to count when a new teacher told me how badly out of time I was. I am still learning four years later the importance of counting. I had to start with baby steps, doing clapping exercises, playing simple stuff like scales and counting, and gradually work it into pieces.


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

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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846308
05/08/19 05:05 AM
05/08/19 05:05 AM
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slow down. split the bar up. you'll manage.

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846347
05/08/19 08:56 AM
05/08/19 08:56 AM
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Some ideas...

Counting and playing is harder than counting and listening. Count aloud to beat music to start with. Move and dance to it too; feel the music in your body. Make it a regular (daily) thing.

Count and click your fingers while you're frying eggs, tap your hands on the worktop while you're preparing food, gazing out of the window etc. using rhythmic drum patterns (with triplets and paradiddles etc) with regular counting.

At the piano count and add the notes that occur on the downbeat (one). Then add the notes that occur on the three beat. Then add the notes that occur on the two and four beats. Then add quavers/8ths, then semis/16ths.

It doesn't happen quickly. Don't use a metronome (it's not a help - it's for time control not for time keeping).


Richard
Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: zrtf90] #2846399
05/08/19 10:53 AM
05/08/19 10:53 AM
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Pau Gasol Offline
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Some ideas...

Count and click your fingers while you're frying eggs, tap your hands on the worktop while you're preparing food, gazing out of the window etc. using rhythmic drum patterns (with triplets and paradiddles etc) with regular counting.

At the piano count and add the notes that occur on the downbeat (one). Then add the notes that occur on the three beat. Then add the notes that occur on the two and four beats. Then add quavers/8ths, then semis/16ths.



That makes sense.

I brought this in to work with me.... Maybe I can tap out the rhythm on my desk. I have the other 98% of the song down perfectly and in the correct rhythm; I just have to work on this and the measure which comes afterward (not shown here).

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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: chongjasmine] #2846409
05/08/19 11:14 AM
05/08/19 11:14 AM
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dmd Offline
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When you count that second measure you should be counting with ANDS because you have eighth notes in there.

One AND Two AND Three AND Four AND.

The left hand should be playing the base notes on One Two Three Four.

The dotted quarter note of the melody should be played on the AND of Three.


Don

Kawai MP11SE, Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers, Yamaha HS8S Powered Subwoofer, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq and numerous other VSTs
Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: zrtf90] #2846413
05/08/19 11:19 AM
05/08/19 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
[....]It doesn't happen quickly. Don't use a metronome (it's not a help - it's for time control not for time keeping).

Agree about it doesn't happen quickly, but in my experience the metronome can be used for both time control and for time keeping. You need some starting standard for time keeping and the metronome does that. I've heard people say that time keeping is inborn--you have a regular heartbeat, you have a regular stride, etc, but I've never found that helpful. Relying on my own internal time keeping got me screwed up royally when I started (self-teaching). It has been a long slog to repair that, and my teacher's patient instruction and, when I practice, using the metronome to check myself has been invaluable.


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams
Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: dmd] #2846431
05/08/19 12:02 PM
05/08/19 12:02 PM
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Pau Gasol Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
When you count that second measure you should be counting with ANDS because you have eighth notes in there.

One AND Two AND Three AND Four AND.

The left hand should be playing the base notes on One Two Three Four.

The dotted quarter note of the melody should be played on the AND of Three.



Thanks! Yes this one I really have to count carefully and honestly because I keep being led astray by following the lyrics (more notes than syllables!). I am sure I'll get it eventually if I go slow...

Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: spanishbuddha] #2846441
05/08/19 12:41 PM
05/08/19 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by spanishbuddha
Sometimes I can and do play and count, but, and it’s a big but, my counting is often not in time, so in fact it doesn’t help keep time and can instead emphasise and help learn an incorrect timing. It’s ok for easier timings and breaking down a complicated rhythm or timing, but it is not a panacea, and like most things has to be learned if it doesn’t come naturally. I use a metronome a lot, for time or to get the beat, use a foot, head, body, thereafter if I have to. I also use the ear to hear the timing and rhythm, from my teacher, or a recording, then copy it, and that helps a lot. Therefore for me counting is overrated.

Coming late to this discussion, so just wanted to respond to this. Yes, at first, your counting will not be metronomic. It may be like 1...2.3.....4. But, the better you get at counting out loud while playing that passage, it will fall into the correct rhythm because you instinctively know that it should be 1.2.3.4. Rather, you are learning the correct relationships between note values at this stage.


Here are a couple of notes about counting:

- Always start with very simple melodies - no hands together music when you are learning to count. This is often best when you are in the beginning stages of learning and playing these simpler pieces, but introduced after you've gotten used to finger numbers and basic note names.

- To get the most out of counting, you need to address all 3 learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). You do this by writing in the counting and be sure to line up the counts with the notes or with where the beats should lie if you have a note that covers more than one beat - this satisfies the visual learning. Then you count out loud as you play, so you can hear the note associated with that beat, so satisfying the auditory learning. Lastly, the physical act of counting out loud while physically playing the note gives you the kinesthetic experience. This also helps you keep track of counting, otherwise if you do it in your head, you'll eventually lose track.

- It's a skill. If you do it once or twice and say, "That's too hard," and stop, then you won't benefit from it. You have to do it every time you play from the very first time playing that piece - adding counting after you've even played it once will result in you making your counting match your incorrect rhythms. It gets better with that piece the more you do it. Then you start over with the next piece and get good at that. The more pieces you do this with, the better you get at it and the easier it becomes.

It's really valuable to be able to separate your mind to be able to monitor different tasks at once, so well worth the effort.

Last edited by Morodiene; 05/08/19 12:47 PM. Reason: sometimes I type like Yoda

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Re: I can't play and count at the same time! [Re: Morodiene] #2846465
05/08/19 01:28 PM
05/08/19 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
........... To get the most out of counting, you need to address all 3 learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). You do this by writing in the counting and be sure to line up the counts with the notes or with where the beats should lie if you have a note that covers more than one beat - this satisfies the visual learning. Then you count out loud as you play, so you can hear the note associated with that beat, so satisfying the auditory learning. Lastly, the physical act of counting out loud while physically playing the note gives you the kinesthetic experience. This also helps you keep track of counting, otherwise if you do it in your head, you'll eventually lose track.

- It's a skill. If you do it once or twice and say, "That's too hard," and stop, then you won't benefit from it. You have to do it every time you play from the very first time playing that piece - adding counting after you've even played it once will result in you making your counting match your incorrect rhythms. It gets better with that piece the more you do it. Then you start over with the next piece ......
This (bolded) has helped me immensely. I write in counting for the first several measures (or whenever something tricky comes up) before I even play for the first time, then use that visual cue to learn it correctly from the start. I felt kind of guilty doing that (like it was "cheating"), but when I brought it up with my teacher she said no, it wasn't cheating, absolutely continue to do it.


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