Time

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by xjb0906, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    Yes. I also posted this in TH. Looking for as much feedback as possible. Learning from others struggles and how they overcome them gives me the courage and focus to keep trying. Thanks up front for any that provide some insight with this matter.

    Are some of us doomed to always struggle with being time with the rest of the ensemble or accompaniment?

    My most challenging times are when I play with a group or with piano accompaniment. Piano accompaniment really gives me a fit. I have worked tirelessly trying to develop a good sound with solid articulation. I play all major scales and blues scales each day. I am working on learning on learning minor scales. I try to hit playing from every angle but I seem to get let down more by my short coming in respect to counting and keeping time. It is no good to have the best tone in the world if you can't use it at the right time. It is very frustrating to make marked improvement in so many areas and not be able to effectively put it use.

    Have others struggled with this early in their development and become proficient time keepers? My fear is that there is a natural ability to stay in time and count the notes and rests that can't be taught.

    I am going to keep at it and keep putting myself in situations where I am forced to sink or swim with hopes it will take care of itself over time.
     
  2. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

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    It can be taught, and much of it you can teach yourself. I'm sure you will get plenty of good tips in this thread, but why don't you start by telling us how often you practice with a metronome, and also what you are playing when you play along with a metronome. That will give us a better idea of what is going wrong and how to correct it.
     
  3. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    My practice while using a metronome has been sporadic. I really need to incorporate it into my daily practice and will. I really struggle with reading what's on the page and staying in time. Once I learn or memorize a piece I am fine as long as the audio queue I have picked up on does not change. I aspire to be the kind of musician that can sit down and read the first time and be on time. Some day I would like to be a well rounded player that can play any style of music as well as be a lead player. Being a lead player means so much more than just being able to play high notes. You have to know the style of music and effectively communicate that to the rest of the section through your own playing. That is very hard to do if you are waiting to see how the song goes from others in the section.

    This frustration was brought out when trying out some new music with the Choir director of a local church. Having to play solos while being in time with an ensemble really wears me out mentally too. The ability to play the notes and individual rhythms is there but I was having a hard time figuring out how to make it all fit together. Throw in a time signature I am not used to and the comedy of errors quickly ensues.
     
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    +1 for the metronome. And I agree, you can learn it. My sense of rhythm is good, especially since I'm a drummer, but I have trouble sometimes with time as written on the trumpet page. Clapping exercises (with a metronome) are a big help to me to suss out the rhythms of written music.

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  5. Darten

    Darten Mezzo Piano User

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    Being a drummer as well, I ran into this problem many years ago, take a look online at the headphones with a built in metronome. The first one I bought was solid state, but they are digital now, affordable, and not too heavy to wear for long periods.
     
  6. hup_d_dup

    hup_d_dup Piano User

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    Yes, and if you do you will see an improvement. You need to get your internal clock in order. If you don't have good internal timing, it's extremely difficult to play in time with other players, especially if you're playing a piece with tempo adjustments. This is exactly what is happening to you when you play with other musicians. It's like trying to run when you haven't mastered walking.

    Start with the simplest things. You already said you are practicing scales ... this is a great place to start. Practice with a variety of tempos and also a variety of subdivisions – that is to say, one click per beat, two clicks per beat, and so forth. You will know you are improving if you can do one click per measure, but don't start with that. Also, find some scales (or write them out) that are in 6/8, because you need to get a feeling for playing triplets evenly and in time.

    Another thing you can do is play the scale a number of times, until you feel it sounds right. Turn the metronome off and play again. Is it still rhythmically even? Did you finish at the same tempo you started?

    Start easy, but listen rigorously. If you establish a strong foundation it will serve you well. You can use the metronome with musical pieces as well but I think for now start with the scales and get them down so that they are perfectly in time.

    I would like to hear from you some time in the future to see how things are progressing.

    Good luck and good playing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    Sounds like you really need a good teacher who can help you with all your problems. Learning to read music and play in time are learned skills that can be taught to anyone willing to learn.
     
  8. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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    I agree and plan to do just that. The problem is that I keep getting set back by family life. The kids clothes, food,education, and interests come first. Getting there. Just not as quickly as I would like.

    I would rather die a better dad than trumpet player anyway. I would die a lot happier as a great dad and an awesome musician though.
     
    turtlejimmy likes this.
  9. Branson

    Branson Piano User

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    All the above information given sounds good to me but there might be another issue. When we play by ourselves, we many times move the time to fit our situation. When playing with others, we must be consistent. It sound like you spend a great deal of time practicing by yourself and this could be the problem.


    I would suggest that you start playing along with recorded music. Start with pieces you know and stick to them for awhile. Playing by ourselves trains our ears to listen to only our sound but when we’re playing with a group, you are constantly switching your listening from yourself to the group and this is where you need the practice time. The brain can only concentrate on one subject at any one time and shifting back and forth needs to be practices as well as any other element in playing.


    If you are not able to play along with recordings, then record yourself playing scales with a metronome. Play the recording back and start getting used to playing with another player, even if it is you on the recording. You need to develop the ability to shift back and forth from what you are doing to what the others are doing. With practice this will also be achieved.
     
  10. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I would advise anyone who wants to develop a better sense of time to take up the drums.

    These days that doesn't have to mean a big, loud kit ... it can be an electronic drum kit that you play through headphones (Roland is the best). Going from playing the drums, especially along with music, to another instrument for me always brings with it a better sense of rhythm. If I haven't played the drums in a while (like now), I have to go to the Metronome to get that good sense of timing back. Of the two, the metronome is a lot cheaper.:lol:

    Turtle
     

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