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#3055841 12/12/20 10:14 AM
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Hi

How do you maintain tempo when recording solo piano? I've attempted several times with various pieces mainly soundtrack music, and always find throughout the course of playing there will be various mood characteristics and attributes of a piece that will change the course of its tempo, ranging from Andante, Allegretto, Allegro, Accelerando and Ritardando.

There seems to be a pulse that can be kept but not a continual beat so as to maintain a consistent tempo. This is the dilemma I'm finding when trying keep a benchmark when recording using a sequencer DAW such as Logic Pro. How do you compensate for tempo changes when trying to render a professional recording?

Thanks.



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Is it your own soundtrack music or other's compositions?


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Right now I'm working on Bach Minuet G Major! :-)
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If you are recording a solo piano, who cares about perfect tempo. If you want to play rubato and give more feeling to the piece then go ahead. That's the difference between a human being and a computer.

But if you are recording with a drum track and a bass track then you have no choice but to follow the drum. In the old days recording was made with live musicians but today music is record with a DAW and base on rhythm generated by a computer, so everyone follows the click.



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I don't know if I understood very well your question, but I will try to give some insights.

First, if you just want to play perfectly on tempo, record using a metronome.

If your question is about playing perfectly on tempo but without a metronome, I would say this is a mattter of training and practice with and without metronome, and it can take years to achieve a good mastery of this skill.

If your question is about how to express the different moods in a piece without changing tempo, well... There are a lot of things a pianist can do to change the mood or character of the music apart from changing tempo, like dynamics, voicing, articulation, pedal, etc. But again, this is something you practice for years, it is at the core of the art of interpretation, and the best way to improve this skill is to have piano classes with a good teacher. I think there is no other way. No pianist can describe how to do this in a forum post. There is no easy or magic formula to do this.

But as Serge88 said above, "if you are recording a solo piano, who cares about perfect tempo"? Obviously, different musical styles demand different approaches to tempo (as to everything), but in a solo you have much more freedom to use rubato. But as with everything else, a good rubato requires technique and can take years to achieve. I had a teacher who used to say that a bad musician plays rubato because of incompetence, a good musician plays rubato because of choice.


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That's great advice matschulat and your English is fine!

I agree. It takes years of study to learn the art of interpretation and the mastery of our instrument.

I like to think of the beat as the pulse of the music. As long as the basic overall pulse is reasonably steady, then we are free to shape the phrases and make the music speak and sing. My teacher in college would not allow me to use the metronome except when practicing scales and other technical exercises and that forced me to learn how to sense the universal pulse of the music. But I don't know if I could have learned that on my own.

Rubato takes time to learn to use tastefully and I found it helpful to listen to recordings made by pianists at the beginning of the 1900s and many are on YouTube and elsewhere.


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I create music on my DAW and I never use a click track. No life in that scene. Ditto quantize. Forget that!


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Don't record with a metronome, practice with a metronome. For me at least, following the metronome while playing is very distracting.

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Originally Posted by Skyscrapersax
I create music on my DAW and I never use a click track. No life in that scene. Ditto quantize. Forget that!

I have before to realise this very quickly, click metronome = mechanical robot, no click = natural life in the piece, thanks for that.

Also thanks to everybody else for your input.



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