How to count and play notes at the same time?

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BugDog
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Re: How to count and play notes at the same time?

Post by BugDog » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:34 pm

I'm a little confused about the actual problem. Is it maintaining a steady rhythm or figuring out the duration of the individual notes within a measure? Or both?

If it's the duration, then counting of some form is the only way I can figure it out. Especially with those pesky dotted notes. This is often done measure by measure or phrase by phrase. As the "inner ear" (the one in your brain) begins to "hear" the way the measure/phrase is supposed to sound, fitting it into the overall rhythm of the piece becomes easier.

If it's steady rhythm, then a metronome can help a great deal, as frustrating as they can be. What I found was that playing with a metronome is a skill unto itself. If you're not used to one, play drills or scales, or pieces you know really well with the metronome first. Aim at tempos that feel natural for what you're playing at first. Speed up or slow down as you get better. I found playing slow harder than playing fast.
BugDog
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Pirooz Emad
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:16 am

Re: How to count and play notes at the same time?

Post by Pirooz Emad » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:57 am

No doubt practicing patiently and slowly (slow enough that you can play accurately) will pay off. Be sure to include practice time with the metronome as well. Practicing your scales will improve your ability to associate the note symbol, its sound, and its location on the fingerboard so over time you will need less time to 'think' about finding the note. If you are having trouble with counting itself it is also helpful to double the meter as a way to clarify the rhythm. For example, let's say the piece is in 3/4 meter and you are having trouble subdividing the beat by 8 (i.e counting 32nds). Assuming you are comfortable subdividing by 4, you can count the 32nds as two groups of 16ths on two different beats. In effect you will be counting in 6/8 until the subdivision becomes clear. Be careful not to confuse the natural stress patterns of the two meters though.

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