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Author: Chuck Kelly 
Date:   1999-09-15 04:54

Not sure how to word this. I'm beginning clarinetist of nine months private instruction. My timing is constantly off. My instructor says to do the count, not the notes. When going from quarter to eighths I do pretty well. but when I hit a dotted quarter, I'm thinking how do I add an eighth to the count/timing. I usually either shorten it or make it too long. Of course the tempo shortens or lengthens the count as it changes. A metronome can help me to get the timing right to enter the next measure but it doesn't tell me "where" I sped up or slowed down to make it.Besides the director can change the tempo as he or she pleases on the fly. Are there specific books dealing with a "count"? Or is it primarily a matter of getting used to the rhythm patterns. Also where and/or when does the counting end and the automatic adaptation take place? Hope you get what I'm trying to say. EX: in 4/4 time a measure may begin with two eighth notes and counted "one and". the next may begin with an eighth and then a quarter. Counted ??
Thanks much. Maybe it's my age.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Jim Carabetta 
Date:   1999-09-15 12:24

A dotted-quarter followed by an eighth, if you're a foot-tapper, would be played by holding the tone until your foot strikes twice, then playing the eighth as your foot goes up after the second strike. 1 (down/up), 2 (down)- AND (up=the eighth).. If your using a metronome, I'd suggest setting it to click with each beat, using it in conjunction with foot-tapping, with your foot striking the floor with each click. Also, have your instructor play it correctly as you tap your foot with him/her - once you're comfortable with the change, then you play it.

Your instructor is correct about the count - the director can change the tempo at will, meaning you must change the rapidity of your foot, but still play in relation to the new "beat", where, in 4/4 for example, a quarternote is still one beat, although the beats now come more rapidly.

An eighth followed by a quarter is a syncopated rhythym: 1 (down), AND 2 (up/down), AND (up) or AND 3(up/down) depending on the next note being an eighth or a quarter... remember, a quarter note is equal to two half-beats, usually a downbeat and an up, but it can also be an upbeat and a down, as in the rhythym you described.

For 16ths, I use the potato method for my students. Way back when, in chosing sides for games, selection was made by "one potato, two potato, three potato, four". Counting that way is an easy way to handle 16ths and count beats in the measure - each beat being a "1-potato", or "2-potato" or so on, with each syllable representing a note.

Good luck.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Ginny 
Date:   1999-09-15 15:23

Rhythm is typically difficult for people to get. Practice just tapping rhythms, and this will transfer to your playing. It will take time, but it will happen. I have a very old program called Rhythm Ace, which is just great. I also just got Earobics for my kids, which has a decent rhythmic trainer in it. Rhythm Ace was better, in that it gives you a % score, such as 80% if your pretty shaky. Get a drum book, or book of rhythms and tap and tap and tap. You'll get it.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: herb 
Date:   1999-09-15 16:02

When I get stuck on a complicated pattern, I resort to marking the chart with a down-arrow (down beat), an up-arrow (up beat). For some swing patterns, it often helps me to think of a phrase that "booby-do-bop!" (quarter rest, eigth rest, play-note!). Works for me.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Dee 
Date:   1999-09-16 00:05

for dotted quarter followed by eighth. Count from the beginning by eigths. 1 & 2 & , etc.

Now the dotted quarter will be 1 & 2 with the eighth being the next &.

Or here is another aid. In the lyrics "My Country Tis of Thee" the words "Tis of" are sung as a dottedd quarter followed by an eighth rhythm.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Claire 
Date:   1999-09-16 04:14

I have used all of the above suggestions. Make a chart with the up and down arrows to show which is the upbeat and which is the downbeat then follow that pattern with the tapping of your foot.
Or, if all else fails, break the passage down like the previous message states. Instead of counting 1 2 3 4 for your 4/4, count 1 through 8. Then mark the passage on your music above the notes.
For the dotted quarter followed by an 8th, put a 1 over the quarter then a 3 over the 8th, and so on. Then count by quick 8ths in your head and tap in 8ths with your foot instead of quarters. For the 8th followed by a quarter, put a 1 over the 8th, and then a 2 over the quarter and a 4 over the next note, to remind you how long to hold that quarter. This helped my young niece who now plays my old bundy in her junior high band.

Above all, in practice, slow down, play the rhythm at quarter=60 or slower until you get it.

Good luck!!

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-16 14:28

I love all of the postings above. Claire's posting seemed to "click" with me the most, but all of them are great.

Two hints. First, from my pro tutor (and referenced above), slow the tricky measure down and very slowly count it out in many more beats per measure. For instance, break up quarter notes with dotted eights into appropriatetly tied 16ths and very slowly practice it. Then, pick up the speed when you get the feel of the music. This is a very good sight reading strategy. Second, referencing Claire's posting, I have a very good metronome that clicks quite loudly. However, it doesn't compare to the loud clicking clock that I hear in my bedroom every night. 60 beats per minute for 8 hours at a time can either drive you nuts, or it can help you get the feeling of music timing. So, as I drift off to sleep, I'm thinking of that technically tough passage and using the loud clock ticks as my metronome. Usually, 60 bpm is slow, but fast enough to catch the concept of rhythm that the composer wanted. Then, since I have a ticking clock in my practice room, I can recall the rhythm during the practice session the next evening. It's obviously not totally accurate nor scientific, but I have pretty good results with it.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Milton 
Date:   1999-09-16 19:38

To be able to play it, being able to hear it has helped me tremendously. When I listen to music I use my finger to tap out the beat and try to visualise what the rhythm is in my head. A great place to practice this is while driving, of course don't get too engrossed in it.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-17 20:31

I have to agree with Milton' posting. Even the pros listen to recorded music (especially classical) to get the feel of it and to understand the different interpretations of it from other major orchestras. This is a tried and true method of thoroughly studying specific pieces of music. I personally have used this to quickly grasp the concepts of phrasing and rhythm in popular music for live playing later. I find it absolutely amazing how well I can play "The Entertainer" or the "Star Wars I:Cantina" song based on ear only, using the written music as a guide. So, put together all of the helpful hints listed in these postings and assemble a good set of winning strategies for learning how to get timing/counting into a musical and usually much more fun rhythm.

Most of all, relax and enjoy the music. When it's serious work, I can't seem to break through very quickly. However, when it's fun, it's amazing how quickly I can "get it".

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Steve Epstein 
Date:   1999-09-18 15:56

I have found that there are really two kinds of rhythm problems. The easier kind is when you have some kind of tricky rhythm written down on the music. You fix this as described in the preceding posts, by slowly counting and playing until you have it.

The other kind of problem is more subtle. You have easy rhythms, and you think you really have it down, no problem...until you play with other people. Then you find out that you, yes you:-) rush, or slow down, or whatever your bad habits are. I find myself actually rushing difficult phrases, as if to get them over with quickly. So you have to start learning to hear what other people are doing, and stay with them, even more important than following the conductor, at least in an informal group setting, paying special attention to percussion, and, if you can hear it, the bass (assuming, of course, you're playing a type of music which has this. Maybe the "beat" will be held by a piano playing chords.). I once thought I had good rhythm. A week of playing Balkan music this summer cured me of that notion.


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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-09-19 04:03

The cure is to count and clap. Clap the notes and count the, two, three and four-e-and-a and so on. Clap notes but count beats. Do it until you have the phrase down then pick up the horn.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Tim2 
Date:   1999-09-19 04:36

Rick2 has given you the answer without getting mathematical about it. Thanks for making it simple as it should be for now.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Merry 
Date:   1999-09-22 01:49

My grade 8 music teacher made us all learn time names to help us with our timing. To this day some 18 years later I still remember and use these time names. It takes a while to learn them all but they really help and believe me, once you learn them they will be with you for life.

Here is a list of all of the ones that I use frequently.

semibreve - tah-ah-ah-ah
minim - tah-ah
crotcher - tah
two quavers - tah-tay
triplet - tripola or galloping
four semiquavers- taffateffie
crotchet rest - sah
quaver rest- ay

combinations of notes
dotted crotchet quaver - tah-ay-tay
quaver and two semiquavers - tah-teffie
two semiquavers and a quaver - taffa-tay
dotted quaver and semiquaver - tah-fe (extended use of this note may be done by - day today today with the emphasis on "day")

Obviously not every combination is covered here but it is surprising how much is covered by these. I hope this makes some sense.

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Mark Charette 
Date:   1999-09-22 01:57

Merry - we don't learn crotchets, quavers, minims, or breves here in the USA. I _think_ I know what they all are, but how about a translation for us Yanks?

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 RE: Timing/counting/rhythm
Author: Merry 
Date:   1999-10-01 01:45

A semibreve is a whole note
Minim is a half note
crotchet is a quarter note
quaver is an eighth note
semiquaver is a sixteenth note

I really thought you did know what these notes were in the USA. It is much easier to write quaver than eighth note. I guess our system is British in Australia. I find it hard to think in your system where a whole note is "most" often 4 beats it has always seemed to me that a whole note should be one beat.

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