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Topic: Timing, how do you do it?  (Read 2984 times)

Offline guitarwolf

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Timing, how do you do it?
on: September 13, 2003, 05:34:50 AM
You know the 4/4 or whatever time its in. How do you guys do it, a metronome? Do any of you have ways of doing it without one? Or do you learn the piece with one then later dont need it. Also when there are rests and so forth how do you know how long to wait when there is no tempo for the piece? One of the biggest things for me is how do you know how long to hold some chords when they have the ties on them. I know you combine their rythmic values but I am new to this and am not sure just how long to wait. The piece I am learning is Beehtoven Sonate op. 13 pathetique so you have an idea of what I am trying to interpret. One last thing is do any of you know a site that lists all the time signatures and their values? Like this piece has a C and I dont know what that means. Thnx for any help.

NetherMagic

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #1 on: September 13, 2003, 07:57:23 AM
umm okay what's with beginners starting with Beethoven's Pathetique these days?  I feel so behind =P

Okay guitarwolf I don't think many ppl here are going to bother with your questions.  Why?  Not because we're not mean ppl, of course not ;D but you do know the questions you are asking are the basic, and I mean REALLY BASIC theory of music.  Explaining the basics would take forever, but about the metronome, sometimes we use it for harder pieces and sometimes don't, it depends on your style and your skill with timing classical rhythmic values.

And how long have you been playing the piano?  Are you one of those ppl who improvise all the time and finally decide to read music for once, that's why you dunno any theory?  Because if you're starting, PLEASE lay off Pathetique, I think lotsa piano beginners have already disgusted Beethoven so much that his coffin has flipped upside-down

NetherMagic

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #2 on: September 13, 2003, 07:58:00 AM
oh and GET A TEACHER!

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #3 on: September 13, 2003, 08:39:54 AM
Cant afford a teacher right now and have been playing for about 4 months. I taught myself how to read the music from a website and am just trying to learn all the symbols and get used to the timing. Dont worry about me butchering any music I am a perfectionist, it comes from playing guitar for about 6 yrs without ever taking lessons and hearing all my friends butcher classic songs. If its that hard to explain then sorry for the annoyance. I am sticking to pathetique, so far I can play minute waltz, chopin waltz 34 no 2, fur elise, half of mozart fantasy and figured I would start a harder piece that would take al lot of time and effort and so I found pathetique and it was perfect. People were saying the same thing when I started guitar and when I first started playing piano, just because they cant do it doesnt mean someone else can. But thnx for reading the post atleast, if you know of any websites that would explain let me know.

Offline Irock1ce

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #4 on: September 13, 2003, 08:40:39 AM
uh.. C = common time.. in other words. 4/4. Then you get a line through the C which is cut time.. which is the equivalent of something like 2/2 or 1/2. (cant remember totally.. its just naturally there for me when i look at it) and for that the half note gets the beat.
Member of Young Musicians program at University of California, Berkeley.

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #5 on: September 13, 2003, 08:42:17 AM
Thnx irock1ce :)

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #6 on: September 13, 2003, 02:34:30 PM
Don't pay much attention to Nethermagic (whispers: I think it might be that time of the month). To clear up any confusion that may remain - C with a line through is 2/2 (in other words, two minims (or I guess you call them half-notes or something in USA) in a bar.). If you have any other theory questions feel free to e-mail me or instant message me - rather than annoying Nethermagic again,
Ed

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #7 on: September 14, 2003, 01:05:54 AM
Will do and thnx alot ed for being so courteous.

NetherMagic

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #8 on: September 14, 2003, 01:16:10 AM
haha sorry if I was rather rude on my last post there guitarwolf (that's what happens when you log in at night with a big pile of homework to do)

I thought you were a fresh fresh beginner as in like yeah you know what I mean.  If you're a perfectionist that's great, 99% you won't be playing Pathetique so slobbishly like the other half million ppl around the globe.  

However, the reason I suggest you to get a teacher ( I know you can't afford it but just listen) is to make sure you develop the correct hand positions right at the start, because it can really really screw you up later and get you into all sorts of hand problems later on (Tendonitis sucks big time, trust me I had it before).

And each composer's style is different, where as in Bach you would be more cautious about putting tempo rubato in and Chopin or Liszt or other Romantic era ppl you would be putting evidently more variation with the tempo.

Newayz good luck with your piano playing guitarwolf ;D

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #9 on: September 14, 2003, 01:59:12 AM
NP nethermagic we all have our bad days. As for the hand positioning and all that I try my best to have good posture and not play with flat hands as to prevent injury. When I first started playing I injured my left hand pretty bad and stopped for about a week or 2, it was pretty scary. It tingled the first day then ached for a few days quite bad but its ok now. It happened from playing too long without a break (6 hrs) and my hands were not conditioned for playing yet. Now I take frequent breaks and stretch and do some warmups because of the incident. One day I will most likely take lessons for just that reason and to have someone critique my playing, cause you know how family and friends can be to shy too criticize. My hands do ache once in a while by the pinky and elbow but some other people I know say its pretty normal from playing, since their wrists hurt from playing just for 5 minutes. If you could tell me any symptoms of the tendonitis that would help.

NetherMagic

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #10 on: September 14, 2003, 07:25:30 AM
Quote

My hands do ache once in a while by the pinky and elbow but some other people I know say its pretty normal from playing, since their wrists hurt from playing just for 5 minutes. If you could tell me any symptoms of the tendonitis that would help.


What, their wrists hurt for just playing 5 minutes?!  Okay don't listen to what they say seriously, it is absolutely not normal to have hurting wrists in 5 minutes.  If you are practicing right, your hands, fingers, forearms, and wrists should not hurt at all.  Professional pianists often practice maybe 8 hours a day for some.  When you get to that level, it is -usually- the mental fatigue that make them take breaks, not the physical fitness of your hand.

My suggestion is that if you feel any part aching you should stop at least for 10 or so minutes before you resume again and see if it's just from fatigue.  Never play when you feel stiff or sore wrists/forearms!  It'll greatly increase your chances of injury.

And I recommend stretches prior to practice.  There are many exercises.  The ones I use are the 5 following ones:

*Note* if it hurts doing any of these exercises don't force yourself

1) Stretch both arms out straight in front of you as if you were to punch someone, make your hands into fists, then bend them down towards the ground.  This stretches your tendons on the outer side of your arm

2) This one's for the inner side of your arm.  Stretch one arm out, the one you wanna stretch, with the palm open, facing towards the sky. Then use your other hand to pull your stretched hand towards you.  

3) This one's for stretching the little tendons between your fingers.  THis is how you do it.  I dunno howta explain, but just put your right hand pinky on the middle C, then put your ring finger on a G or something, just try to go as much distance as you can to stretch.  Do you feel that?  Do that for every pair of adjacent fingers.

4) Stretch out your arms in front, stretch your fingers as much as possible, then make them into tight fists.  Repeat a few times to relax them.

5) This one's for your thumb tendons.  Just say we're focusing on the right hand.  Put your thumb across your palm, then lay your fingers on top of your thumb as if you were grabbing your thumb.  Hold your arm straight out in front of you, then try to bend your whole fist towards the ground while you're holding your thumb.

Yup hope that helps everyone ;D

And how does tendonitis symptoms?   You won't be able to stretch your fingers as far as it normally would (my right thumb cannot stretch as far as my left thumb  permanently after a really bad case of tendonitis).  And it would hurt then you stretch your fingers with tendonitis.  You would not be able to play up to normal tempo and it'll just really suck.  So don't go around learning bad habits.

Anways have fun with your piano ;D

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #11 on: September 15, 2003, 07:36:06 AM
Ok thnx for the info, been doing stretches and I think its helping the little aches, my left arm may just be weaker not sure. Gonna take it slow and try not to strain it too much just incase.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #12 on: September 15, 2003, 07:59:38 PM
Guitarwolf,

There is a funny story where Einstein - who was a mediocre violinist - was playing with Paderewski - the great pianist. If paderewski was known for anything, it wasn't his tact, and on this occasion Einstein kept messing up the counting, and Paderewski finally got fed up, and said to  the genius physicist and father of relativity, "What's wrong, can't you count?"

Learning timing takes a bit of experience, and some work. This site outlines the basic, and more complicated time signatures:

https://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/13ts.html

In general, the top number is the number of beats per measure, and the bottom number is the note that gets the beat. For example: in 2/4 there are two beats per measure, and the quarter note gets the beat. Until you are comfortable with this, you should try to count out loud through your pieces.


BTW, the Op 13 Beethoven sonata is pretty difficult for a beginner. There is plenty of music worth playing that is more on your level.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline Joannetmj

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #13 on: October 04, 2003, 07:16:53 PM
Oh man I feel like such a fool here. I've got a dumb problem: I CAN'T count! I started piano since 5 years old and my first teacher didn't really teach me to count, just told me to hold it there longer for certain notes. Well, I was under her for few years then she retired. Now my current teacher is drilling timing into my head but I still DON'T seem to get it! I get it all right in theory but when I'm playing a piece, my timing goes all wrong. Any idea how to improve my timing?

P.S. Sorry for such a dumb question, but I failed my aural in my last ABRSM exam because of this timing again!
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #14 on: October 05, 2003, 06:03:56 AM
Guitarwolf--

You would really be best off trying to find a way to take some piano lessons for all the reasons already given to you.   Playing the piano involves a multitude of complexities--tempo, rhythm, counting, technique, phrasing, hand positions, touch control, dynamics, different roles of the fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms and trunk, chord voicing, voice leading, balance, articulation, fingering, nuances, rubato, pedaling, interpretation, performance practices, etc., etc.  

What I'm most afraid of is that the longer you "make progress" teaching yourself, the longer it will take you to UNLEARN a slew of bad habits later.  So not only will you be re-starting from zero, you'll actually be re-starting from a deficit position, which is even harder to overcome.  If I were you, I'd look around at institutions such as the YMCA.  Often there will be an amateur piano teacher there as part of the public recreation program.  The cost of a lesson is usually very, very modest as compared to studying with a private, professional studio  teacher.  If you're serious about learning the art of piano correctly and at least understanding the basics, you need to do something other than what you're attempting now.

Please understand that I'm not trying to discourage you--just trying to head you in the right direction so that you get the correct early training and foundation to enable you to make real progress in playing and enjoying the piano to the maximum.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline hawa1

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #15 on: November 17, 2003, 04:03:47 AM
Guitarwolf, just wanna know, how's ur progress in playing the Pathetique sonata?
You start from the 1st movement right?
How do u approach learning it?
How long have you been learning it?

Offline guitarwolf

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #16 on: November 17, 2003, 06:48:08 AM
I think its going well, but should speed up considerably now that I am getting much better. I learn it very slowly 1 hand at a time. Yes 1st movement. I have been learning it for 2 months now I think, but I dont learn more till I get a certain section perfected. I am on the 3rd page now. Its going slow cause I switched my primary piece to chopin etude op 10 no. 3 and just got to the hard part in that one. If u have any questions about certain parts feel free to e-mail me, maybe I can help out. Guitarwolf@attbi.com Its a hard piece, and I planned on it taking a long time, but one day it will be mastered :)

Offline hawa1

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Re: Timing, how do you do it?
Reply #17 on: November 17, 2003, 01:56:10 PM
Thanks Guitarwolf.
It seems that it'll take a long time to learn it, for a beginner like me. Will give it a "trial period" before deciding to take it :p. You're an inspiration, though, never crossed my mind to consider Pathetique before reading your posts. Good luck, I believe you can master it ;-)

btw I love Chopin etude op.10 no.3 too...
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