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Beginner practicing a 4/4 time signature.

stringy

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When there are 2 minims in a bar, do i stop abruptly after playing the first minim or should there be a slight continuance?
Is there a certain technique with the tongue, when avoiding abrupt stopping?

Sorry if it's a vague question.
Anticipating a flood of replies or an answer.

Thanks,
Stringy.
 

kevgermany

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Play each note as written. You control the abruptness with your tongue. If the notes have a dot over or under them, they're played staccato - for half the written length, usually fairly abruptly. If there's a curved line joining the notes play without any tongue or stopping(slurring or legato). If those notes are the same pitch (tied) play as a single note.

Try and find/listen to a decent recording of the tune. Listen to it, reading the music, as many times as you need to to fix it in your head and as you do it look at the different markings on each note
It'll soon fall into place.
 

stringy

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Play each note as written. You control the abruptness with your tongue. If the notes have a dot over or under them, they're played staccato - for half the written length, usually fairly abruptly. If there's a curved line joining the notes play without any tongue or stopping(slurring or legato). If those notes are the same pitch (tied) play as a single note.

Try and find/listen to a decent recording of the tune. Listen to it, reading the music, as many times as you need to to fix it in your head and as you do it look at the different markings on each note
It'll soon fall into place.

Thanks Kev for your helpful advice, regarding my two questions.
I'll put your advice into practice.
Good to hear from you.
Stringy.
 
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MandyH

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If you tongue with a "duh" rather than a "tut" or even a "tuh" you shouldn't get quite such an abrupt end to one note or an abrupt start to the next.
If you continue to blow and just tap your rounded tongue end (rather than a pointed tongue tip) against the reed you can just interrupt the note and get a reasonably smooth transition from one note to the next.
Hope this makes some sense.
 

jbtsax

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Generally speaking notes should be given their full value unless marked otherwise. A way to do that accurately is to feel the "subdivision" of each note, which is just a fancy way of saying to measure the note by how many quavers it contains. For example:

4 Crotchets would be: tu-oo, tu-oo, tu-oo,tu-oo
2 Breves would be: tu-oo-oo-oo, tu-oo-oo-oo
1 Semi Breve would be: tu-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo

You could just as easily substitute "du" for "tu" depending upon the style. You can actually play the oo's as a slight puff of air if your wish. This is called the "breath impulse" method of counting. It is important to turn that off once you can "feel" the subdivision of each note, since the pulses would sound silly if used in playing music.
 

Tenor Viol

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You also need to be aware of what articulation is indicated - legato, staccato, marcato, tenuto etc.
 

stringy

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Thanks to everybody, who took the time to post their advice and knowledge.
It's great to be a part of a community of people who love music.
All advice is greatly appreciated.
Stringy.
 

kevgermany

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Something else that'll probably come up very soon is swing. Here the music's not played with all the note values as written. Quavers (8th notes) are played unevenly. So in 4/4 time there can be 8 in a bar. The one on the beat is played longer than the second, but both together take up the same time as a crotchet (quarter note). If one of the quavers is a rest, the swing rhythm still applies.

The balance between the quavers is a matter of feel, so listen and experiment. Generally the first is two to three times longer than the second. Try swinging pieces that aren't usually swung for fun.

You may see swing rhythm written at the top of a piece, or timing marks showing two quavers being equal to a triplet with the first two quavers tied (or similar). Or it may not be marked at all.
 

Reed Warbler

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Greg Fishman's Jazz Phrasing vol.1 is a good aid to understanding how to interpret written jazz. Buy it as a download and the pages turn automatically, quite cheap too.
 

Colin the Bear

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The dots are the written on paper way of comminicating a musical idea. Play it so it makes sense to you. Be musical. Experiment and express yourself. If the dots were a rigid thing with only one interpretation, the conductor would be redundant and computers wouldn't sound wooden.
 

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