Relearning to count rhythms

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ♠♥CORNET♣♦, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    That's actually a valid real-world point.
     
  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I like watching Indian musicians count rests they have an elaborate hand sign time marking system almost like a conductor, except all the resting musicians will do it.
     
  3. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    For me rest counting is crucial! Measures of rests are easy enough to hear/feel, but 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 rests are the ones that can throw everything off. Also counting helps to regulate breathing for me, I know if I have a half rest I can top off if need be
     
  4. Mellophone Man

    Mellophone Man Pianissimo User

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    Here is a (perhaps) different perspective - how well you need to read music really depends on circumstances - i.e. what kind of playing you do.

    I started playing trumpet when I was about ten and took private lessons during my school years, along with playing in the concert band. I developed sound reading skills right from the start.

    I marched in a number of drum and bugle corps off and on over the years, beginning in 1966 until as recently as 2012. In the yearly cycle of things in the groups that were field competitive, we would get about 10 or 12 minutes of music in the fall, rehearse and memorize it during the winter, put it to a drill in the spring, and perform in field competitions during the summer. Many of the people that I played with played strictly by rote - they had no sight reading skills at all. Some of them did not even know an A from a B from a C - they just knew which valves to push, and when, to play their part. This was a situation where we played a few minutes of music over and over hundreds of times. In all cases, once the music was memorized we rarely if ever looked at it again. After enough repetitions playing the field show, you were on automatic pilot. The notes came out of the horn and the feet marched the drill without any conscious thought. This is one extreme.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I played in a community concert band for several years. The majority of the members were current or retired music teachers. We would get a big folder of new music every six weeks, rehearse each piece a couple of times during our weekly rehearsals, and the play a two hour concert for about 1,000 people. At the same time I was playing second trumpet in a professional brass quintet (myself, three retired music teachers and a trombone performance major). In both of these situations, I would have stood no chance without good sight reading skills. In both cases the expectation was the right note at the right time, all the time.

    I have never played improvisational jazz but have been fooling around with some "play along" lessons recently. Whole different set of skills needed here, mostly developing the ability to play by ear and rhythmically.

    In any case, being able to read music well makes you a better rounded musician and is a great skill to have, but it is far from all that you need to know.
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    That's right on the money. I had some more of a post written, but Ivan covered it so I deleted it - I'm just repeating for reinforcement of what Ivan said. :D
     
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Just so there's no misunderstanding about "forgetting it after you've learned it", while one may not count the rhythms specifically after learning the piece, that is not the same as not "counting" or rather, "feeling" the time. While you may not actually count each rhythm, you need to have an internal metronome that is constantly going. Some people need to translate that into physical action - tapping a foot, moving a toe inside the shoe - others completely internalize it, but it's always there.

    @ Mellophone Man - Don't know if this is needed or not, so I'll just share it FWIW. In jazz and pop, I've found it helpful to pick someone or some instrument in the rhythm section to get my basic metronomic beat off of. Depending on the style of music, I might listen to the bass or the drum's ride cymbal. Just a tip if you need one regarding counting (or better - feeling) time in your play-alongs.
     
  7. Mellophone Man

    Mellophone Man Pianissimo User

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    Thanks for the advice. My issue with jazz is not feeling the beat or feeling when to come in. Rather, it is being able to hear and know what notes fit well. And, being able to improvise patterns using notes that fit the key of the piece while playing along in real time. It is a LOT harder to do well then I ever imagined. If you need to think about it, you are behind the power curve after the first measure or two.
     
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    Yep. Totally different problem. The only real answer to that is constant playing, practicing and preparation. It takes time and it also takes stress-free playing in the moment.
     
  9. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

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    And it also takes being kind to yourself - and to those around you who are all, no matter how wonderfully or poorly they may play, struggling with exactly the same issues as you. It takes time, dedication, luck, and support to improve at things. Kindness. Study it.
     
  10. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

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    For me, after playing for quite a long time (since I was 5), I recognize rhythmic figures, and make sure I'm aware of where the beat is at all times.
    Like I tell my students - the beat is like the "bouncing ball" that doesn't stop - and if you know where and when it's going to hit the bottom (downbeat) and when and where it'll hit its apex (upbeat), then you're half way there.

    Whether I know a piece of music or not, the tempo is always like an internal metronome. I don't need to count as such - I'm just aware of the beat.

    FWIW, I always recommend that students start their music education on piano (if interested and able). Playing both clefs, multiple notes, etc. simultaneously is like swinging three bats. When they move to a "regular" instrument that plays one note at a time, reads one clef at a time, etc., it's really easy - all they need to do is learn to play the horn and learn fingerings/positions, etc. No worries about learning how to play the notes and rhythms.
     

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