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Posted By: onaiplatigid How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 10:47 AM
Like quarter note, single note, half note, full note, my teacher said my timing is inconsistent, wrong and she wants me to keep it steady.

What can help? Just metronome?
Posted By: bennevis Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 11:12 AM
Count beats aloud "one, two, three, four" or "one-and-two-and three-and-four-and" - with every piece you learn (practice doing it away from the piano to make sure it's regular first) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bt1BF1PC2k
Posted By: JimF Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 11:48 AM
Count out loud..... sloooooowwwwwwly
Posted By: dmd Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 12:26 PM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
Like quarter note, single note, half note, full note, my teacher said my timing is inconsistent, wrong and she wants me to keep it steady.

What can help? Just metronome?

That is a tough one.

I do not think any THING can help you with that.

A metronome might help ... but all that does is tell you which part of a measure you should now be playing. It does not help you with anything in between those beats.

There are many variations in how a measure of notes needs to be counted in order for it to help.

It is mostly a problem involving math skills. Each measure could be a "story problem" in a basic math class. I know ... I taught math for many years.

Your best hope is to have a good, patient teacher sitting right next to you explaining how you should be "thinking" about the timing as you play.

Since you have a teacher .... I would begin to focus on that topic for a while and see if you can improve it. It is well worth that attention.

Good Luck
Posted By: mizmar Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 12:39 PM
Here's my personal take... It's a struggle for me and my only conclusion is ... practice!

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...xercises-with-metronome.html#Post3000465

(warning, some people get a little shoutee in that thread!)
Posted By: Greener Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 12:54 PM
Dance, sing and play with others. Or, along with sound tracks. If so inclined, this would also help.
Posted By: Josh1770 Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 01:24 PM
I don't have an answer (which does nothing to help the problem - sorry) but I thought I could share my concerns. One is for 8th and 16th notes. Let's say you have a section of a measure with four 16th notes in a beat. You might be able to hear that you played all four notes in-between beats of the metronome but how can one tell that they were all correctly timed? Were they all of equal duration? Or sometimes I come across a measure that starts with an eighth note, followed by a quarter note, followed by an eighth note. So you might hit the first eighth note on the first metronome beat, then a quarter note (did the quarter note come in exactly when it was supposed to or was it a 32nd off???), the second metronome beat clicks while holding down the quarter note, then you get in the second eighth note in before the third metronome beat sounds. Was it really an eighth note?
BTW - these are not trivial problems for pop music musicians who deal with syncopation, or playing with a rhythm section. Fortunately, rock and roll tends to be very forgiving. Still, the issues raised by the original poster have always concerned me.
Posted By: dmd Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 01:48 PM
Originally Posted by Josh1770
I don't have an answer (which does nothing to help the problem - sorry) but I thought I could share my concerns. One is for 8th and 16th notes. Let's say you have a section of a measure with four 16th notes in a beat. You might be able to hear that you played all four notes in-between beats of the metronome but how can one tell that they were all correctly timed? Were they all of equal duration? Or sometimes I come across a measure that starts with an eighth note, followed by a quarter note, followed by an eighth note. So you might hit the first eighth note on the first metronome beat, then a quarter note (did the quarter note come in exactly when it was supposed to or was it a 32nd off???), the second metronome beat clicks while holding down the quarter note, then you get in the second eighth note in before the third metronome beat sounds. Was it really an eighth note?
BTW - these are not trivial problems for pop music musicians who deal with syncopation, or playing with a rhythm section. Fortunately, rock and roll tends to be very forgiving. Still, the issues raised by the original poster have always concerned me.

That is precisely the issue.

The possibilities are too numerous to solve with just a simple "tip".

These are complex mathematical "story problems".

They need to be discussed carefully in order to gain any real understanding of how this works.

A teacher should be able to discuss this "in depth" with you but it cannot be glossed over with .... phrases like "count" or "stay on the beat" or "use a metronome" ...

Each measure needs to be analyed mathematically and then a method "counting" it needs to be devised for THAT MEASURE and that counting may change for the NEXT MEASURE if an entirely different set of circumstances (arranged notes) comes up.

I repeat .... these are often complex counting issues and need personal attention with a patient teacher in order to gain a true understanding of how to handle.
Posted By: Josh1770 Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 02:35 PM
Quote
That is precisely the issue.

The possibilities are too numerous to solve with just a simple "tip".

These are complex mathematical "story problems".

Don - what you wrote did remind me of a minor solution I had to my timing problem. I took a few of my pop music selections and rewrote the sheet music at half speed (using a program like MuseScore). It takes work, but it's fun for me because it immerses me in the music. What I do is rewrite the song in half-time, so eighth notes become quarter notes, etc. It doesn't mean I necessarily get the song up to the intended speed (since I'm slow!) but it does help me understand the timing better and get some more flow into the song. I have found the problem with timing is not always the duration of the notes themselves. One can always slow down the metronome. It's the hesitation in-between notes. So the more notes in a measure and the shorter their duration, the more possibility there is for hesitation. It's not enough to just "play slowly" as is common advice. One first starting out has to take in less information at a time.
Hope this helps the OP.

-Josh

PS: Don - thank you for replying to my thread ("Shut down a few weeks"), and for the advice you gave me. I will look for a piece to make my masterpiece!
Posted By: Nip Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
Like quarter note, single note, half note, full note, my teacher said my timing is inconsistent, wrong and she wants me to keep it steady.

What can help? Just metronome?

Get a metronome with more divisions down to any tuplet even.
You can set level of the different sounds for each division.

This way you will be able to also track down to any division you need.
You count by yourself too, but have a steady clock like this to really hear where you are in the beat.

Boss DB90 is a good one
https://www.boss.info/us/products/db-90/

I have a Korg Beatlab which is the same principle, and my eDrums engine also have this kind of resolution for click.

I have not seen such advanced features on metronome in digital pianos yet. Good investment and you can even take with you to any place you play the piano.
Posted By: Qazsedcft Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by Josh1770
Don - what you wrote did remind me of a minor solution I had to my timing problem. I took a few of my pop music selections and rewrote the sheet music at half speed (using a program like MuseScore). It takes work, but it's fun for me because it immerses me in the music. What I do is rewrite the song in half-time, so eighth notes become quarter notes, etc. It doesn't mean I necessarily get the song up to the intended speed (since I'm slow!) but it does help me understand the timing better and get some more flow into the song. I have found the problem with timing is not always the duration of the notes themselves. One can always slow down the metronome. It's the hesitation in-between notes. So the more notes in a measure and the shorter their duration, the more possibility there is for hesitation. It's not enough to just "play slowly" as is common advice. One first starting out has to take in less information at a time.

But simply re-writing the music to longer note values doesn't reduce the amount of information. It's exactly the same notes played slower.

Simplifying can be very useful. It can help you get the rhythm in your mind and get the right phrasing and musicality. For example, a very common rhythm is the dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth. The sixteenth note in this case is almost like a grace note; it's on the weakest part of the beat and you pass over it quickly. You can practice this by playing just the first dotted eighth note for the full quarter note value, skipping the sixteenth, and playing the next note. That gives you an outline of what the phrase should sound like. When you get that you add the sixteenth note. You can do the same with syncopated rhythms and tied notes. Start by playing everything on the beat without syncopation and play all the tied notes. Then, when you have a good feeling for the music you add all the additional rhythmic elements.
Posted By: dogperson Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 03:53 PM
You can download advanced function metronomes to your cellphone. I have downloaded the iPhone app of Pro Metronome
Posted By: dmd Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 04:13 PM
Originally Posted by Josh1770
Don - what you wrote did remind me of a minor solution I had to my timing problem. I took a few of my pop music selections and rewrote the sheet music at half speed (using a program like MuseScore). It takes work, but it's fun for me because it immerses me in the music. What I do is rewrite the song in half-time, so eighth notes become quarter notes, etc. It doesn't mean I necessarily get the song up to the intended speed (since I'm slow!) but it does help me understand the timing better and get some more flow into the song.

Good idea.

It appears you have some mathematical skills.

The bottom line is .... whatever works.

Your solution reminds me of how I often deal with complex timing issues.

I work within a single measure at a time ....

I assign the smallest denominated note a value of ONE.

Then, every other note in the measue gets a RELATIVE VALUE related to that note having a value of one.

For example, if the note with the smallest denomination is an eighth note (having a value of ONE), then a quarter note gets a value of TWO because a quarter note is equal to TWO eighth notes.

A half-note would get a value of FOUR. etc ....

Then I add up all the values in that measure and that is how many TICKS I have to deal with and those TICKS have to take place within the number of BEATS in the measure and they must be evenly spaced in time.

Then, I must be able to "hear" those TICKS so I know how long to hold each note.

That will allow you to experience the relative timing of the notes in the measure.

I gets complicated to explain so I will stop.

However, if you understand, it will work for any combination of notes.


Quote
PS: Don - thank you for replying to my thread ("Shut down a few weeks"), and for the advice you gave me. I will look for a piece to make my masterpiece!

Thank You. Good to hear.
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 05:15 PM
A metronome might help. It can establish a steady beat, and you can practice counting/clapping/marching to that, until you're steady --

. . . and then stop the metronome.

. . . and re-start the metronome, and see if you've kept steady.

A problem is that you might be able to count steadily while you're only counting, but have your concentration lapse, when you try to count _and play_.

. . . Try counting, with metronome running, playing very simple things -- a scale, an arpeggio.

. . . Record your playing, and you may hear glitches where you weren't aware of them.

First one note on every tick, then two notes on every tick, then four notes on every tick . . . .

The "triplet patterns" -- 3 notes, 6 notes -- are more difficult for most people.

The beat has to run, constantly, _inside your head_ -- and I think lots of practice is the only way to make that happen. I once had a long walk to work, and I walked with a woodblock in my hand, and played rhythms as I walked. Walking establishes a steady beat, without any mental effort. You can make up ways to subdivide it yourself, and after a while, you'll become aware of your own uneven tapping. Then you can fix it.

Ask your teacher for some simple rhythm exercises -- playing, or clapping, it makes no difference.

Go to Youtube.com, search for "rhythm exercises" -- there are _lots_ of videos.

Amazon.ca has many books -- search "rhythm exercises". Some of those should be at the local music stores. (Avoid the ones aimed at "kit drummers" -- too complicated, too soon.)

I don't know any "universal solution". There are lots of approaches, and one of them will work for you.

I recently discovered that, when I sing solo, I tend to pause for breath -- and it destroys the rhythm of my singing. My teacher pointed that out, and I didn't believe it until I listened to a recording of myself.

. . . So "mastery" is a fleeting dream.<g>
Posted By: onaiplatigid Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 07:35 PM
I failed Math in high school. Can I still play the piano?
Posted By: Josh1770 Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 08:32 PM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
But simply re-writing the music to longer note values doesn't reduce the amount of information. It's exactly the same notes played slower.

What I meant was how it appears on the page. There are only half as many notes per measure. Things are more spread out. Makes it easier to play at half speed. Plus, I usually don't rewrite the whole song - pop songs usually have a lot of repeats. I just want to get the basic feel of the piece.

-Josh
Posted By: Josh1770 Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
I failed Math in high school. Can I still play the piano?

Of course! When were we ever going to use that stuff anyway??? :-)
Posted By: Lakeviewsteve Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/01/20 08:56 PM
One issue that can really throw off timing is inaccuracy of playing the notes and with the correct fingering. If you don't fix that right away when learning a new piece your timing will be adversely affected because you need to slow down over that part. That is why when you have a difficult passage you need to make sure you master that passage perfectly so that it doesn't distract you're timing. In pencil try marking the areas of notes where you are having a problem and make sure you start your practicing in those areas and working on them until you can erase your pencil markings, rather than starting at the beginning of the piece, having the same problems in the problem areas, and then not accomplishing anything because you never solved the problem areas.

Once you can glide through a piece without encountering those nasty problem areas you have solved, your timing may be vastly improved or if not much easier to fix.
Posted By: Farmerjones Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 01:19 AM
Is it against some rule to able to listen to a recording of the music one is trying to play? I'm an old man. If i want to learn a tune or song, you can bet i have an example recording of it.
I feel like my timing is in my palms, and the notes are in my fingers. I've gone as far as listening while "bongoing" out the meter with my palms.
Math goes along with the printed notation. That's a plan, not music. Same could be said of an example recording, but in the end we want to make music.
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 01:36 AM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
I failed Math in high school. Can I still play the piano?

We had rhythm long before we had mathematics. Don't worry about it.
Posted By: Nahum Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 06:08 AM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
I failed Math in high school. Can I still play the piano?
You can play the piano, but you must learn to perceive the rhythm through its verbalization, without counting one-and two-and . http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...atives-to-the-metronome.html#Post3005749


Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
But simply re-writing the music to longer note values doesn't reduce the amount of information. It's exactly the same notes played slower.
.
The saturation of audio information is determined by the number of sounds (notes ) per unit of time ,for example, a second. Therefore, slowing down the recording reducing this saturation , allows for better listening.
Posted By: FloRi89 Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 07:10 AM
The only thing that will REALLY help is a metronome of some kind. Personally I prefer the Soundbrenner Pulse, I have troubles hearing a tick over my playing. The option to feel the pulse has made my timting a lot better.

Additionally there are apps like "Perfect Ear" that have timing excercises, those are great but in the end a metronome is what you need.
Posted By: Nahum Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 07:27 AM
Originally Posted by FloRi89
The only thing that will REALLY help is a metronome of some kind. Personally I prefer the Soundbrenner Pulse,
.
Or Seiko BU10 - it is cheaper.
Posted By: earlofmar Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 10:47 AM
Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
Like quarter note, single note, half note, full note, my teacher said my timing is inconsistent, wrong and she wants me to keep it steady.

What can help? Just metronome?

this is one of those fundamentals of piano that requires the guidance from a good teacher, so perhaps talking to your own teacher is the best tip I can give.

However, my own experience in coming to grips with counting is probably typical. It only gets better over a long period of time, and perhaps with some targeted work if needed. A metronome is a useful tool, but my own teacher rarely uses it with me (mainly just to check on the tempo of a piece). She believes timing must be felt physically, and there seems to be no better way to do this other than counting out loud, and when ready introduce clapping/tapping. This also means having a language for counting subdivisions, this will quite possibly vary between teachers and definitely varies between countries so I would be asking my teacher what they recommend/use.

I don't know how other students fared, but my first two teachers never taught me a thing about timing/rhythm/counting. Perhaps its a bit like sightreading, in that teachers assume you know what to do, and also assume you are doing it between lessons. By the time I got to my third teacher (who put me straight) I naturally had a bit of catching up to do. One thing that really helped me where clapping exercises, my favourites where those found in Improve Your SightReading from the Paul Harris books. Things start to get a bit more complex in books 3 & 4, but are the sort of rhythms encountered in the first and second grade levels (dotted notes, simple syncopation etc), The sight reading exercises themselves have more variance, and they are now available as mp3 downloads. It is well worth learning to clap along to these, and then to actually learn/play them as the next stage of improvement.

Originally Posted by onaiplatigid
my teacher said my timing is inconsistent, wrong and she wants me to keep it steady.

My final word is make sure your teacher is not just telling you there is a problem, but is showing you how to fix it. Addressing a lack of understanding, getting early principles correct, is vital.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 11:35 AM
Try not to rely on metronome for too long, the rhythm must come from inside you. It's better to count out loud or to tap your foot steadily (just make sure the latter will not become a habit).

Also try drumming different rhythms with your fingers on a table - this has helped me much in my teens.
Posted By: wszxbcl Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Try not to rely on metronome for too long, the rhythm must come from inside you. It's better to count out loud or to tap your foot steadily (just make sure the latter will not become a habit).

Haha I'm a foot tapper. I started music on the violin so the foot was free to tap. By the time I started piano the rhythm could be felt so no need to tap anymore. But I think for me tapping was more helpful than counting because it's physical so gets felt more than words.
Posted By: BruceD Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 05:24 PM
Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Try not to rely on metronome for too long, the rhythm must come from inside you. It's better to count out loud or to tap your foot steadily (just make sure the latter will not become a habit).

Haha I'm a foot tapper. I started music on the violin so the foot was free to tap. By the time I started piano the rhythm could be felt so no need to tap anymore. But I think for me tapping was more helpful than counting because it's physical so gets felt more than words.

I was watching a program about Schubert on PBS's, "Now Hear This" from the "Great Performances" series. At one point, the string quartet was joined by a fifth member for the Schubert ("Cello") Quintet. The first violinist was a foot-tapper. I have seen many chamber music concerts and have occasionally been aware of the first violinist's discreet foot tapping, but never one where the foot tapping was as conspicuous as in this performance. I found it distracting even though the overall performance was outstanding.

Lesson: Those who have to count or keep time during performances, however they do it, should do so discreetly.

Regards,
Posted By: Nahum Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 05:36 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
[ The first violinist was a foot-tapper. I have seen many chamber music concerts and have occasionally been aware of the first violinist's discreet foot tapping, but never one where the foot tapping was as conspicuous as in this performance. I found it distracting even though the overall performance was outstanding.

Lesson: Those who have to count or keep time during performances, however they do it, should do so discreetly.

Regards,
He did not know what I had learned in the symphonic orchestra as principal violist : tapping out the rhythm with big toe in a shoe ...
Posted By: dogperson Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by BruceD
[ The first violinist was a foot-tapper. I have seen many chamber music concerts and have occasionally been aware of the first violinist's discreet foot tapping, but never one where the foot tapping was as conspicuous as in this performance. I found it distracting even though the overall performance was outstanding.

Lesson: Those who have to count or keep time during performances, however they do it, should do so discreetly.

Regards,
He did not know what I had learned in the symphonic orchestra as principal violist : tapping out the rhythm with big toe in a shoe ...

I’m surprised he had not been taught to tap inside the shoe— I thought it was common instruction
Posted By: wszxbcl Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 06:20 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
At one point, the string quartet was joined by a fifth member for the Schubert ("Cello") Quintet. The first violinist was a foot-tapper. I have seen many chamber music concerts and have occasionally been aware of the first violinist's discreet foot tapping, but never one where the foot tapping was as conspicuous as in this performance. I found it distracting even though the overall performance was outstanding.

Lesson: Those who have to count or keep time during performances, however they do it, should do so discreetly.

Regards,

Yes that would be annoying. I wonder if he was tapping for the whole ensemble, sort of like a big band leader.

As others have said, I can do big toe tapping in the shoe :-) But even that needs to stop for piano, at least for me, I can't do that and pedal. It's funny cos in an ensemble the pianist keeps the rhythm so he'd better be good at it!
Posted By: Nahum Re: How can I improve my "timing"? - 10/02/20 06:38 PM
Originally Posted by dogperson
I’m surprised he had not been taught to tap inside the shoe— I thought it was common instruction
It cost me 13 years of study, 9 years of experience in the orchestra and moving to another country to learn this trick.
I like my Seiko Beat Unit even more than SoundBrenner: I attach it to the back of my trousers belt, put it on a stronger pulse; and start getting kicks like the violinist is tapping a rhythm on my back with his foot, but silently. Try to play out of rhythm in these conditions!
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