Mentally keeping time/counting

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings, Using Metronomes, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

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tnoyes
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Mentally keeping time/counting

Post by tnoyes »

Any suggestions for learning how to keep time/count in your head? I have been taking lessons for 4 months but find it impossible to count internally. The minute I try, then I make mistakes on fingering. Thoughts, suggestions?
Tracy

zummerzet_lou
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Post by zummerzet_lou »

I find it helps to "feel" the beat ... although not sure if this is something that I've always been able to do, or if it's something learned.

Do you have a metronome? Set it as slow as it will go, and practise the bar at that pace ... really get a feel for the rhythum.

Tapping your foot can help, or if you're standing, maybe sway to the beat.

All the best,
Lou

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Fox
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Post by Fox »

I've been having the same problem. I use a metronome and it's perfect. I try it without a metronome and I don't have any concept of keeping time. And when I play with others I'll get lost after the second measure.

What I've been trying to do with Brahm's Lullaby is that first I played it with the metronome and learned it at the speed I wanted. I now am doing the same thing, but I have changed the metronome from flashing and pinging to flashing only. My thoughts are that now I'm not hearing the pinging so I'm only hearing the music and it's in time because I'm following the flashing. Hopefully this will eventually lead me to playing it without the metronome.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper »

When first learning to play flute (or any instrument), you are having to learn to do several things at once: reading music - both notes and rhythm, learning new notes/fingerings, listening and blending with others, etc. If you get hung-up on any of these, it's good to isolate the problem. Try playing the rhythm of the music on one note. Or, leave your flute in it's case and count aloud while clapping the rhythm with your hands. When you can do that correctly, then play the notes slowly (ignoring the rhythm) to get the fingerings. Then take a measure or two and combine the rhythm and notes. Repeat for other measures and gradually begin to put it all together a little bit at a time. Taking all these new things together can be overwhelming, so break it down into bite-sized pieces.

As others mentioned, using a metronome is helpful to maintain a steady beat. I advise against foot tapping because it's considered unprofessional and it's a hard habit to break. Imagine a 100 piece band or orchestra on stage with some or all of them tapping their foot. It can make noise - thump-thump-thump being heard during soft passages. Also, it is visually distracting to see foot tapping. If you must tap, tap your toe inside your shoe rather than tapping the entire foot. On the other hand, if you are playing at a hoe-down, foot tapping or even foot stomping is welcome... :)
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

tnoyes
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Location: Wisconsin

Post by tnoyes »

Thank you all for your suggestions!
Tracy

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muzikislif3
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Post by muzikislif3 »

Usually tapping your foot or better yet, having a metronome by you may help

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