keeping time

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by alant, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    I was thinking of this when I was practicing this morning and of a common issue I encounter, as I do also in my community band... holding a note for its full duration. A half note is a half note, not a dotted quarter. A whole note is a whole note, not a dotted half. When you practice, make sure you hold those notes as long as you're supposed to, and it will carry over to your ensemble playing as well.

    After my section mates find me dangling in the wind holding a note its full duration, they get the hint and start doing it themselves, though I admit sometimes I have to cut a note short because they just don't figure it out some days.

    Tom
     
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Absolutely no disagreement about timing having the utmost priority. I'll be finding such soon in three beginning students I'm now tutoring once I get them past note type recognition. I'll try to integrate the beat count with tempo and rhythm. Just 2 lessons so far, and 9,998 (or more) to go! Haven't got really decent sounds from them yet. At this point, I expect to be dead before they are ready for stage performance. What on earth will they do when they later encounter a retard notation?
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    During a pops symphony Christmas concert rehearsal we played Sleigh Ride and nailed the part where the trumpets get briefly featured, but the conductor wanted the last note played shorter and was kind of rude about it. Nobody in the section said anything to each other, but at the concert we held the last note longer than at the rehearsal, but cut off together. Boy, that really made the conductor furious, however, in the future he always asked us play things a certain way rather than tell us!

    The end of a note is as important as the beginning and middle.
     
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    Metronome ... a must
    tapping ... in my opinion..a must ( but you will have to learn not to on stage)
    Vulgano is dead on ..sub-divide and conquer.
    You should try to get lessons for this but if you can the jist is to practice certain patterns (ie dotted eighth -16th in succession) until anytime you see it you know it ... then you add another pattern 16th 1/8th 1/16th .. until you nail it.
    When you play along with the metronome you will learn to listen for certain things... if you feel like the metronome is slowing down you are rushing.. if you feel like the metronome is speeding up you are lagging .... what is really cool is when you are spot on the click disappears .... it's really a trippy feeling and then you see how long you can go before you hear the click (meaning you are out of time again) ..
    It takes alot of concentration and you need to do it at the sub-divide level.
    An instructor can really help here.
     
  5. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    I too have problems with keeping time. It is improving. Mostly due to using the metronome for EVERYTHING I practice. Anytime I get new music I will sight read it and then find a recording and try to play along. I usually find out in quick order where I am making mistakes and why. My next step is to get a good teacher. I already have a good one in mind. Just trying to find a way to pay for the lessons.
     
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    You probably can find a a music student at the university who would give you a good rate.
     
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    A few random comments to add to the above - and one which surely isn't going to win me any friends, sorry:

    Record yourself playing with a metronome. Frankly, record yourself frequently anyway. The recorder doesn't lie when it comes to pitch, phrasing and rhythm. When you listen to the playback you are freed from any other activity but using your ears and you can hear more precisely where you are putting your beats and rhythms in relation to the beats.

    At slower tempos let the eight-notes be the pulse that is going through your body as you play, not slow quarter notes.

    One can tap one's toes and yet not let the tapping be seen - do it inside your shoe. I've been doing it that way for decades.

    Vulgano - sorry but I think your comment invites a response. IMO the tail doesn't wag the dog. If you guys don't respect your conductor enough to restrain yourselves from a bit of mutinous conduct - especially during a concert - maybe you guys should consider either cutting youselves or the conductor loose from one another. Otherwise, this just doesn't seem to be a very professional way of handling the situatoin and nobody wins.
     
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    A mutiny implies conspiracy, and one definition of conspiracy is "any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result." (Conspiracy | Define Conspiracy at Dictionary.com)

    Ensemble playing (or at a more micro level, section playing) absolutely requires "concurrence in action." The "given result" was that our conductor treated us with more respect (which we returned)--a win-win situation, and nobody in the audience got hurt.

    Later, at an open air Fourth of July concert with about 30,000 people in attendance he let us play Bugler's Holiday our way, we nailed it because of our "concurrence in action." He introduced us as one of the "best trumpet sections in America" (Bruce Ferden did a lot of guest conducting, and knew lots of orchestras). If he was telling the truth or not I don't know, but our section could mind-meld, which was the point of my post.
     
  10. stevesf

    stevesf Piano User

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    here's a simple exercise to train your inner metronome. Go for a walk.....
    Keep a steady moderate pace at first. Walking on a flat sidewalk with evenly spaced cracks can be beneficial. Think of the cracks in the sidewalk as bar lines. Adjust your stride and pace so that you end up hitting the same spot on each sections of sidewalk(or every other crack being beat 1 the of bar if needed)
    Clap or in your head think of rhythms in relation to your "sidewalk music score". Easiest is each step is a quarter note (or crotchet for those of you across the pond...hehe I always get a chuckle when I hear that) on the down beat.
    All other subdivisions are in between each step (2 claps = 8th notes , 3 claps = triplet, 4 claps = 16th notes etc....)
    Once you get basic rhythms internalized , move on to simple music.(you could sing,whistle,sing silently in your head, whatever) Your favorite march tune will do nicely. Again use your "sidewalk music score".
    As you get better at it move on to more challenging music and change up your pace.
    This is not a new technique...marching bands have been doing it for centuries...many of us just often forget a simple solution is sometimes right in front of our faces at no cost to us other than creativity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011

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