Counting and using metronome help
Hi everyone, I've been learning to play the violin for about 18 months but I am struggling with counting and playing along with a metronome on harder pieces.
As an example I have been doing a few folks pieces that are all pretty much quavers so I count with a noise in my head kind of just saying da da da da and can play along with the metronome.
However with some of the more complicated music I don't really know how to count, I know the note values but I struggle with what to count in my head, as an example in 4/4 say it's crotchet,crotchet,quaver quaver,crotchet should I count 1,2,3 & 4, or just 1,2,3,4. Or break it down to 1&2&3&4&.
I need to sort this out because I avoid counting properly and practicing with a metronome.
Any advice would be appreciated as I haven't had a lesson in the last month and not sure when my next one is going to be
On a harder piece you could break it down to focusing on one meaure at a time. For example,if your metronome was set to play four beats per measure you could break it down to sixteen beats per measure which is a slower tempo to count out the more tricky note patterns.
@jeff, so In your example I should break down the tricky parts until I can play them at a slower tempo counting sixteen beats per measure, then when I can do that I should start trying to play it counting four beats per measure?
One of the generally recommended techniques is to sing or tap through your rhythms before putting bow to string. All your mental bandwidth can go to the rhythms then.
You may find this chart helpful. It uses US terminology, but it should be pretty self explanatory.
I think that if you are having a hard time with getting the measure to fit on the correct metronome beats it might help to break it down to more beats per measure until the pattern makes sense to you and you work it out to fit right. By taking a 4/4 measure and and turning it into a sixteen beat measure it allows you tick each note with a beat, but some notes might be one beat or three or four beats. This does incredibly slow the tempo of the tune down and besides helping your rhythm I think it is good for tone production exercise.
I'm terrible too with a metronome and counting. Sometimes I don't hear the beat of the metronome and for me counting an 8th note, or multiples of, among quarters becomes a matter of coordination.
The Rhythm Chart linked in by Krista should help you "get rid of" the da da da stuff. (You need to know where you are in the bar.)
Jim, if you are using your phone or tablet for metronome app then you can plug it or bluetooth it to your stereo or TV and then you can really jack up the volume.
Identify where the downbeats occur in the sheet music, and draw vertical arrows to identify them. Sometimes the arrows will point between two notes, and sometimes they'll point directly at a note. But by visualizing identifying where to expect the "tick" of the metronome in the sheet music, you'll have a much better grasp of the rhythm.
The important thing is to keep the rhythm.
Hi thanks for all the advice, now I feel like I'm going in the right direction, on another note does anyone know of any useful Android apps?
just do a app search for violin, tuner or metronome- all kinds of stuff comes up. Here's what I use:
Basic percussionist’s rhythm book works for learning to subdivide, which is often lost in metronome dependent instrument work. Also, one of the things you learn in university courses is to break a line down and start seeing which notes are ornamental. Often, things that look complicated are nothing more than ornaments that have been written out. For an example, compare Couperin to Bach. Couperin left much to the player, while Bach was scrupulous in writing everything (nearly) out.