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Help with timing please

tom9437

Member
Messages
169
Hi all can anyone help with my timing please. I have told my teacher i will not be attending anymore lessons[please dont think its anything he has done ] Iv been playing about 3 yrs or more and still feel like a new beginer i dont know any other musicians so all my practice is at home in my music room, My wife must think i am an idiot lol. Anyway i went back to my teacher after a break [ money lol] I asked if he could please help me with about 5 tunes to a good standard by july as my sisiter is over from ozz and she knows how long iv been playing so she will ask to have a listen and i want to feel confident. Any all i have been doing is scales ect and last lesson wants me to sing the dots wich i find hard as im not that confident but he says if i cant sing it i cant play it [Yes of course he is right but i feel a fool now now am a bit stuck [sorry about the grammer[ no time lol
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
clap it...

count it.

do it by da da di dit e.g. da daaa and so on (no this isn't an invitation to OG and others to revert to morse)

And try playing to a metronome, or with a backing trrack.

And... Record yourself and listen to it critically.
 

andyb1970

Member
Messages
450
You're not alone, I struggle terribly looking at sheet music and being able to clap the rhythm. I think it is something you'll get better with over time, exposure to lots of music will make the rhythm patterns more familiar, that's what I'm going to try and improve on over the next few weeks too.

I use this software to try and help me improve:
http://www.earmaster.com/
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
When you say you struggle with timing, is it the "actual" timing that you find hard to grasp i.e. counting the beat,1&2&3&4 etc? Or is it note recognition (or lack of it) that is in turn mucking your timing up? you need to establish this before you can make it right.

Up until recently i struggled when reading (quickly) notes such as high C and above, which in turn completely wrecked my timing.

The only way to beat it as i did, is to forget your sax and just study reading saying the notes out loud, graduarly getting faster to the point were it becomes second nature.
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
With just a few exceptions, I believe everyone has timing problems... we are all different therefore you need to find methods that can work for you - plenty of threads regarding options, just search.

The biggest help for me, was a community band(s); this has been discussed with you before so I assume you didn't try? Bands are also the cheapest option as well!

What are the 5 songs you are working on & do you have backing & playalongs for them? The playalong is important because this gives support & feel even though the fingers may be finding it hard to keep up!

& as Kev has said to record yourself (another problem I seem to remember?)..

What about a "helping hands' player in your area?
 

tom9437

Member
Messages
169
Thank you and frazer yes i do have that problen with recognising c and above.But i ca read ok is its the counting that does me.
 

tom9437

Member
Messages
169
With just a few exceptions, I believe everyone has timing problems... we are all different therefore you need to find methods that can work for you - plenty of threads regarding options, just search.

The biggest help for me, was a community band(s); this has been discussed with you before so I assume you didn't try? Bands are also the cheapest option as well!

What are the 5 songs you are working on & do you have backing & playalongs for them? The playalong is important because this gives support & feel even though the fingers may be finding it hard to keep up!

& as Kev has said to record yourself (another problem I seem to remember?)..

What about a "helping hands' player in your area?
Hi c90ff the five i was thinking was moon river, misty, mack the knife, and fly me to the moon, no fith yet. no dots for mac the knife. or backing no backing for moon river,.
Yes you are right about backing tracks a few months ago. And to be honest the little compaq laptop i use in my music room i am told is not man enough for alot of these down loads and i am no good on the computers anyway lol.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
It would be good to have the music and an actual recording of a piece in order that you can count whilst just listening to the music, not playing it as well. There are lots of people that learn tunes and timing through listening and copying what is played. I often find that there are tunes that I can play completely from memory, with accurate timing, time and time again - Some prioritise counting, some prioritise listening, and some, like myself utilise a combination of the two. I would suggest trying to get hold of some recordings of the pieces that you want to play, or learn some tunes that you have both music and recording for - such as the various tutor and examination and other Music books with accompanying CD.

If you name your tunes I am sure that one of us would be able to help!
Kind regards
Tom
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
366
You are certainly not alone, timing is an issue that i'm only just starting to get to grips with too, playing in a band helps, it puts pressure on you to count but lessons too. Perhaps at home you could try a "guest spot" book or an other playalong, thats good practice.

I am told that one day "it will just click" well we'll see but i know i'm getting better recently..
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Tom,
Teachers are supposed to be helpful and should realise that each client is different and therefore have different needs. It seems you might be unlucky enough to have found one who will only teach his way and believes the pupil should know their subservient place.

Presumably you know the five tunes already, if not, You Tube until they are in your head. Now try again, as you will try to replicate your 'in head' sounds. Maybe this small success will help you to recognise similar timing from the dots.

Remember that music teachers frequently do not have any modern teaching techniques training, so they expect you to do what they advise, usually by rote and without question. Modern teaching's accent is on encouraging client/pupil to believe that they can do it and plenty of praise. Does your teacher's system comply?

Apologies for being serious.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Tom, I personally wouldn't recommend Mac the Knife as it is nothing but key changes, one after another. Moon River, and Fly me to the Moon are both nice and relatively easy, and how about Sunny side of the Street and Cheek to Cheek. I picked them up quite easily as they are tunes that I already knew the melody to (sort of). I've got the backing tracks to both but no dots I'm afraid. It's a shame you don't live a little closer to Rugby.
 

tom9437

Member
Messages
169
Hi old git serios is good too. I believe he is a good theory teacher[his sound i got to say i am better lol] serious. i know reading is important very important and i can read to a piont. and i love nothing more than learning to read. But i am often told how good my tone is very good and i have a very good ear. But all i wanted is for him to say ok tom lets get you playing these tunes the way they should be played. And just take a real interest in making me feel like a player. I am 50 in june and all i ask in life is to prove to my family and friend who all know and buy me musical gifts at xmas b/day ect. But not one has ever said Oh tom lets have a listen to the sax give us a tune. When my mother pops over she talks of my brothers golf quest and how well my sister is doin. But would never ask how my music isect it hurts this is my life its what i love but i just cant get on . Sorry rant over lol tom
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
Hey Tom here you are."LoverMan pdf" www.box.net/shared/bgkpfijs7h
Assorted sax melodies www.box.net/shared/l24azmm8vv
"Over the Rainbow" backing track www.box.net/shared/zdju7i68b8
"Cry me a River" backing track www.box.net/shared/poo8qmfavc

See if you can get on with any of these.The melodies have been transposed for tenor so just play whats on the paper..

I have a cool version of "Round Midnight" if you would like to try that.I got Biab to extend everything by 2 so its all pretty sraight forward and sounds good..

Enjoy and if you have any ???'s just ask

Chris
 

funkymonk

Member
Messages
88
Hello all.
It's been a long time since i posted on here. I've played a more passive role recently. I have a tip that works for me (and maybe me only) I try to scat (i.e. sing, screech blabber or what ever comes out of my mouth) over a song, half the time the notes aren't in tune but i find it helps me approach a song more rhythmically, even if I only do it in my head. That way you learn to be in time (better said - "feel time") and eventually you'll play in time.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Tom,
Music is not an exact science. What do you think those fellows in penguin suits fronting symphony orchestras are for? If the charts were extremely accurate, they would not be needed.

Music is about interpretation and your interpretation will be different, THAT is its value, the Tom bit. Perhaps your teacher does not understand your needs, he is an authority figure and therefore difficult to suggest ideas to. Show him this thread, maybe he will come round to granting your wishes. If not, remind him who is paying. A further help is to remember the old saw, those that can, do; those that can't, teach and those that can do neither, criticise. Guess I qualify for the last classification. ;}

Again, apologies for being serious.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Not sure I agree with you OG.

Conductor's job is not just to dictate tempo, but a lot more than that.

Interpretaion is one thing - but someone with a timing issue needs to learn an internal rhythm and be able to get the right note values before they can speed up/slow down and so on. And someone playing one bar in half a second, the next in three quarters of a second and the next in three eights of a second isn't ready to interpret the way you describe. It's also no good playing a quaver the same length as the crotchets in the bar, for instance. These are learned skills, different from playing something you know from listening.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
I'm with you Kev,

Timing is the crucial element that most of us lack. Three things that helped me:

1) Listen to music WHENEVER you get the chance to (doesn't matter what really, but a variety is better) and make sure you're properly listening to it, find beat one, clap along to the pulse, try to copy rhythms either by scatting or clapping. All this can be done either silently or preferably out loud.

2) Practice scales and pieces (scales first as a warm up), WITH A METRONOME! I know they're irritatingly correct, but that's the point. You have to imitate its pattern first of all, then play with it, then start to 'hear' it in your mind even when it's not going. This may be a long process...?!

3) Work on individual bars that are tricky - play them slowly but in tempo, always try to be aware of how the rhythm fits into the pulse, so start by playing bars to the metronome, so you're coming in on beat 2 everytime for instance, not just playing the rhythm from the start of the tricky bit. You can then extend this principle to multiple bars and phrases, but keep the metronome going!

Good luck with it all,

Nick

P.S. OG, I'm not offended from my position of somewhere between 'can' and 'can't'...!
 
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