Rhythm

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Darren78
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Rhythm

Post by Darren78 » 13 Jun 2010, 21:49

Hi all,

Just wondering how easy everybody found learning and sticking to the rhythm when first learning the piano.

I've just started and sometimes find it difficult. I have bought myself a metronome and that does help.

Is it something that simply comes with endless practice?

Also, as you gain experience and move on to more complex pieces, do you still count the rhythm to yourself or does it become autonomous?

Thanks,

Darren.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Rhythm

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Jun 2010, 23:29

It generally becomes easier the more you do it. If you drive, liken it to clutch control; I remember thinking I'd never be able to change gear smoothly, now I never think about it.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

chrisg
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Re: Rhythm

Post by chrisg » 17 Jun 2010, 06:56

I'm not sure I fully understand your question. Are you referring to a difficulty in keeping the beat or understanding the rhythm written on the page?

yokewong
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Re: Rhythm

Post by yokewong » 23 Jul 2010, 07:05

Hi Darren,
Learning and practicing rhythm is an on-going process. Even after years of practicing and learning, we still have to work on our rhythms. Using a metronome is a good way to start but may become too robotic and not being to feel the rhythmic pulse. Aside from metronome, I recommend practicing with a rhythmic accompaniment. Most keyboards have that feature or a drum machine.

Occasionally, you will still need to count the rhythm on more complex pieces but you will also develop a inner clock.

Yoke Wong
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Last edited by yokewong on 02 Sep 2011, 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Rhythm

Post by Colin Nicholson » 23 Jul 2010, 08:30

Hi Darren

I agree with Yoke.
When I teach rhythm, it is at first totally separate to playing the piano. A metronome will not correct rhythms for you, nor will it advise you how to count - they are just a clockwork devise to help you to maintain a steady & even tempo.

Learning things like dotted, duplet & triplet rhythms involve special counting techniques - and if you don't know the music, you may need to be taught how to count that rhythm. For example, I say to my pupils that a dotted note (say a dotted minim), consists of a bundle of 3 notes inside it - hence 3 crotchets. Dotted crotchet = 3 quavers. The actual application of a rhythm and concept of bringing that rhythm across to the listener - are two different things.

As a general rule:-

Count your rhythms aloud first, eg. 4 quavers in 4/4 time = 1+2+ (stress the main beat)
Then either clap or play on one note on the piano - counting aloud & "play what you say"
Now convert your rhythm into the melody - say, C D E F , the G may be a minim, so count 1+2+3 4

Sometimes the concept of counting quavers is misunderstood, and inadvertantly they are counted as crotchets instead (1 2 3 4) - oops!

So put the + beat between all crotchets aswell - 1+2+ 3 (+) 4 (+)
Even though the 'and' beats are not played during the minim, this ensures the minim is held down and sustained for the full duration.

In some cases, some private lessons are needed, so the teacher can correct any counting errors.

Thanks

CN
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samasap
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Re: Rhythm

Post by samasap » 12 Aug 2010, 14:30

From experience myself of playing piano and from teaching others - Rhythm is one of the hardest things to grasp in music, and it is a skill that will improve over time, so just practice it as much as you can, and you've done the right thing to get a metronome, so use this to play your pieces, but start off really slow, then increase speed once your rhythm is 100%!

Good Luck
:)

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