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Topic: Counting  (Read 535 times)

Offline softbn

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Counting
on: May 17, 2022, 10:19:40 PM
Hello ;) Iíve come back to playing piano after several years. I remember that when I played white Christmas or something boogie woogie the counting was different. Can you remember what counting is it. ?

Offline Bob

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Re: Counting
Reply #1 on: May 17, 2022, 10:27:23 PM
I'll guess four.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline j_tour

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Re: Counting
Reply #2 on: May 17, 2022, 10:55:11 PM
I remember that when I played white Christmas or something boogie woogie the counting was different. Can you remember what counting is it. ?

Well, I don't know about "White Christmas":  not something I play!

But you can count a really fast boogie/straight-eight piece in cut time:  you're not going to be tapping your foot or even your inner ear on every beat, so just cut it in half.

Less work, gives the right feel.  It doesn't matter if you count on the upbeats or the downbeats, despite what some jazz pedants would have you believe.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline lelle

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Re: Counting
Reply #3 on: May 18, 2022, 01:28:45 PM
Are you talking about counting or the swing rhythm that gets applied to straight note values?

Offline softbn

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Re: Counting
Reply #4 on: May 19, 2022, 10:30:39 AM
Are you talking about counting or the swing rhythm that gets applied to straight note values?
yes. I remember playing something that said that a quarter note equaled three eighth notes or something that was a bit odd. I canít remember now ;(

Offline lelle

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Re: Counting
Reply #5 on: May 19, 2022, 10:54:08 PM
yes. I remember playing something that said that a quarter note equaled three eighth notes or something that was a bit odd. I canít remember now ;(

I think you may be referring to swing rhythm in this case. That's when two eight notes are played as if they were made from an eight note triplet containing a quarter note and an eigth note instead. So it's played long-short long-short instead of as written - just short short short short. Does this seem familiar?

(hoping my explanation doesn't suck haha I'm super tired)

Offline mad_max2024

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Re: Counting
Reply #6 on: May 20, 2022, 02:19:22 PM
If you mean swing
It's usually explained as shifting the eight notes to the third note of a triplet like lelle said.
Besides that, the strong beats are also placed on the 2 and 4 of the bar. And usually there is more emphasis in the upbeats than in the downbeats when compared to classical.

It's hard to reduce swing to a "formula" though since swing isn't really about following a strict pattern. It's more about getting into the feel and groove of it. Some players will shift the triplet earlier or later, sometimes they will occcasionally mark the 1 or 3, as long as it still feels like swing it's ok to break the "rules".
I am perfectly normal, it is everyone else who is strange.

Offline mad_max2024

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Re: Counting
Reply #7 on: May 20, 2022, 02:42:38 PM
That being said, if you're new to it it may be helpful to be strict about it at first until it becomes second nature. That will give you a strong foundation you can then deviate from.
I am perfectly normal, it is everyone else who is strange.

Offline j_tour

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Re: Counting
Reply #8 on: May 20, 2022, 04:52:24 PM
yes. I remember playing something that said that a quarter note equaled three eighth notes or something that was a bit odd. I canít remember now ;(

Oh.  Yeah.  Well, I wouldn't count that, but, to use some kind of analogy, it's like when shooting pool/billiards.  There are abstractions one can systematize, such as fractional aiming, but it's not something one thinks about when playing.

That's extremely trite, but it is true in the case of playing in an improvised manner:  there are too many options available at any given moment to truly schematize the values of each note's duration, ahead of time.

I do find it's useful when transcribing pieces off the recording, to go extremely slowly and then approximate the duration values in standard notation.

But, yeah, your swing time is going to be usually that dotted eight/triplet idea, and at very quick tempi, like +300 bpm, you'll be using pretty much straight eighth notes as the pulse.

As an exercise, try to write out the rhythm of the "Charleston" LH comping technique on the recordings of Red Garland (piano) with the Miles Davis quintet.  That should introduce you to the idea of notating rhythms independent of whatever particular pitches or voicings are involved.  Just write it out using an "x" on the note, and use the notation to indicate duration.

And, yes, at extremely slow tempi, that "swing" feel can be notated in double-dots....and all kinds of [16:7] stuff....one has to subdivide somehow, but, ultimately the notation will provide the basic floor of how much one can meaningfully present in a score.

Is it useful?  Yes, I think so.  You'll practice your handwriting abilities with pencil and paper, and your ear won't suffer for meticulously notating, in this case, just rhythms.  Is it worth spending a bunch of time on?  Yes, I think so. 

You'll get a better idea when going to the recordings and attempting to notate various qualia, in this case, rhythm, and see what the floor and ceiling functions give as possible ranges (i.e., from heavy swing, using the dotted/triplet idea, to a relatively even stream of eight notes).
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.
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