Quick Links This Day in Music History Music Education @ DataDragon.com Music Education Forums Maintain Your Forum Information Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best Sudoku (take a break for a puzzle!)

Topic: HELP!!!!!
From the Music Questions forum.

Post a reply or begin a new topic.

AuthorTopic:   HELP!!!!!
Mystro
Registered User

Registered:
12/8/2004
posted: 12/8/2004 at 9:42:31 PM ET
i have been playing by ear for almost 12 years. but in school now tring to learn how to read. but am having a real hard time understanding the rythms, what can i do

Mystro

TheHornSupremacy
Registered User

Registered:
11/17/2004
posted: 12/9/2004 at 10:00:39 AM ET
Is your problem that you don't understand the value of the notes and how they work in a given meter, or are you ok with note values but just have a hard time playing them in a piece of music?

If it's the former, then you need to start by learning the values of all the notes and learning as much about simple and complex meters as you can. A simple google on "music notation" or something similar will give you plenty of websites on the subject.

If your problem is the latter, then you can do a couple of things.

1 - Buy a metronome. They're pretty cheap (unless you go all out and get a fancy one). You can probably pick one up at a local music store for \$10-\$15. Heck, you might even be able to find one at Wal-mart for cheaper.

2 - Learn to count using the words "and" and "uh". Sounds silly, but it works. Beats get a number, and everything in between gets either an "and" or an "uh". In 4/4 time, if you have 4 quarter notes in a measure, then you'd count them as "1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4" (my examples will have two measures). If you have eight eighth notes in a measure then you'd count "1 - and - 2 - and - 3 - and - 4 - and - 1 - and - 2 - and - 3 - and - 4 - and". If you have 16 sixteenth notes in a measure, then it's "1 - uh - and - uh - 2 - uh - and - uh - 3 - uh - and - uh - 4 - uh - and - uh - 1 - uh - and - uh - 2 - uh - and - uh - 3 - uh - and - uh - 4 - uh - and - uh". Make sense?

3 - Don't be ashamed to clap it out when you're first learning the piece, or tap your foot while you're playing it.

4 - Take your time. Don't rush too much or you'll frustrate yourself. Just because a piece is marked "allegro" doesn't mean you have to learn to play it that fast right away. Start out by playing it at a tempo you can handle like "largo" and gradually work your way up to "allegro" as you become more familiar with the piece.

5 - Practice. As with anything, the more you practice, the better you'll get and the easier it will become.

Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
205.188.116.x

posted: 12/9/2004 at 10:45:49 AM ET
I'm finally beginning to get a handle on sight-reading, if I could get my fingers to cooperate that would be a great help (beginner piano), it's getting there.

I find your help on counting very helpful, having a good ear for music I find dosen't matter much especially with Bartok's Mikrokosmos.

If this makes much sense, when you count l and a 2 and a etc. how do you play and a,
I know you play on the 1 - counting is my hurdle. Thanks again for your very clear answers, you are a good teacher.

TheHornSupremacy
Registered User

Registered:
11/17/2004
posted: 12/10/2004 at 9:41:06 AM ET
Playing "1 and a 2" is pretty easy if you keep this in mind - whenever you have a sixteenth note in a beat, it is helpful to imagine that the beat is full of sixteenth notes. In this example, what you're given ("1 and a 2") is an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes then a whole note (assuming that nothing else comes after the "2"). Rather than trying to hear that combination right away, try to hear what the beat sounds like as four sixteenth notes (which will be easier to hear because all the notes will be the same length). So now you are hearing "1 a and a 2". Repeat that in your mind four or five times in a row using a very steady tempo. After you can hear that, the only thing you need to do is drop out the first "a" so you're left with "1 - and a 2".

I hope that makes sense. Never realized how complicated this was to explain when all you can use is words!

Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
205.188.116.x

posted: 12/10/2004 at 12:13:44 PM ET
Thank you for getting back on counting. Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to have sound. I know it's difficult to explain in words.

maintube
Registered User

Registered:
5/26/2004
posted: 12/10/2004 at 4:36:02 PM ET
I really like this web site for music theory. Look and see if there is any help here for you. It does get a little deep.
http://www.musictheory.net/

Anonymous
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
64.12.116.x

posted: 12/10/2004 at 6:34:34 PM ET
Hi Maintube,

Musictheory.net is a great website. Thanks. It does make things a little clearer and you are so right, it is kind of a tricky wicket.

This site manages to explain things in simple easy to understand terms and in some cases uses the keyboard to make things clearer. Many thanks.

Do you think this topic is inappropriate? Vote it down. After a thread receives a certain amount of negative votes it will be automatically locked.