Rhythm advice?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BowmaninBb, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Harky

    Harky Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    Lancaster, PA
    +1 to all responses. You are a 'victim' of the music education process. From the get go I bet that school bands to which you belonged practiced the same pieces over and over, perhaps you had to memorize half time shows. The band sounds good but you learned to play by ear and memory, which is not entirely bad, but does not develop sight reading skills. How the band sounds is the goal of the director, not necessarily the sight reading skills of the players. Most kids just want to play. Sound familiar?

    Here's what helped me:
    1) Back to 1 e, and, a, 2
    2) Get some music staff paper (band director, internet sites have free downloads you can print off.
    3) Write out a few measures of 1/16 notes, perhaps 2nd line G's or F's with one 1/16 rest and then the note on the 'e' syllable followed by two 1/16 rests. Throw in one or two one beat rests and then another 1/16 group on 'e'. Do this for a few measures.
    4) Write more of the same for the 'and', 'a' and '2' syllables. This won't take long to do.
    5) Play AND sing while looking at this musical figure. Writing your own material out is important to this. Anyone who has done transcription will tell you how valuable that work was.
    6) Play this over and over, focusing on and connecting the syllable with playing the tone. Add this to every piece you play in band and practice on.
    7) You focus for this time will be on reading the sounds on the paper, not how it sounds. Eventually you will see the figure and know how it sounds without thinking much - but what you really want to develop is playing on the correct syllable. It's just that simple. Break it down, play it correctly over and over, thousands of times and you will be golden. Knowing you are 'right' about the figures will drastically build your confidence and the others in your line will know you as the person who 'always' plays the notes at the correct time, always.

    You are thinking, 'Hey, I saw this in my beginning trumpet books. You haven't told me anything new!' Yes, but as a young person did you really learn to associate the musical tone with the syllable ALL THE TIME? I bet not. Do this and you will never go wrong.
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    The first part of Arban is all about learning rhythmic patterns, with the exercises on pages 23-36 being particularly useful.

    Harky gives extremely good advice in that you must at first play them very, very slowly, counting out each 1/8th or 1/16th note until you feel the rhythm in your bones. Only then can you gradually quicken the pace while making absolutely sure that dotted eighths/sixteenths aren't lazily sliding off into triplet rhythms etc.

    Also read the introduction. It's full of really good advice on where to put emphasis on various elements of the main rhythmic patterns.

    Then practise, practise, practise until idea is replaced by instinct.
  3. fredthewhale

    fredthewhale Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2011
    New Jersey
    I was told that reading books (to yourself and outloud) helped sight reading. I don't know how much this helped ... but i did catch up on some homework ;- )
    Try to practice sight-reading with material that's a easier than your performance level. Then, over time, step up the difficulty until you're sight-reading at your performance level.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If you have no rhythm, how can you claim being "able" to play the Hindemith - or even the Arbans?

    In any case, rhythm is for many a learned process. The only way to get it is to commit the patterns that you should have been learning from the beginning to memory. Scales, intervals are the place to start. If your current rhythm sucks, then you will have no short cuts. You have to "unlearn" bad habits while developing new ones. You will need thousands of repetitions to ban the previous bad. That does not need to take a lifetime, it is simple structured practice time with no excuses. If you start today and devote 45 minutes EVERY DAY to scales and intervals with the metronome very softly and very slowly, you will improve faster than with any other method!

    Good luck!
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
  6. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    Dance and sing, then dance and play with a metronome (don't take it in your arms), don't try to play and sing at the same time.
  7. Reedman1

    Reedman1 Piano User

    Sep 5, 2013
    NY, USA
    Also, sing a song you like - preferably one with some syncopations - and clap or tap the pulse - i.e, if the song is in 4/4, clap the quarter notes. And practice, and LISTEN to a lot of music that you really like.
  8. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I have to say that Barliman2000 is exactly correct. In fact, almost every response of his sounds like they came directly from my own teacher who is in fact phenomenal. It sounds as if I am a 52 year old version of you. Physically, I can play with people much, much better than me. But, it is sight reading and rhythm that is hold me back. Thus, that is what we work on all the time. Rhythm is job #1.

    Right now, we are focusing on singing and solfeggio of a piece before I play. I wake up every morning and conduct, sign, and count through new pieces with my morning coffee. Spend a 1/2 hour a day just doing that. Progress may be slow but it will get you there; It depends on how badly you want it. How much time of the day do you spend keep a steady beat. Try doing it as much as you can throughout the day. When your confidence from rhythm and timing and not being able to physically, a whole new world will open up to you.

  9. vern

    vern Piano User

    Mar 4, 2008
    I too like the Arban single tongue/rhythm exercises pp 23-36 and subdivide with metronome. Many people can count correctly, but few amateurs (myself included) seem to be 100 percent rhythmically inaccurate on these common patterns. :oops:
  10. Honkie

    Honkie Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    When I started, my teacher stressed how important it is to be able to subdivide a bar, mentally, by sight: if it's a 4/4 rhythm, you should be able to see it as two 2/4 bars. These smaller units are more likely to be a familiar pattern.

    Another possibly useful tip is to select some music you enjoy, and look at its notation while you listen to a recording of it.

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