Chinese Proverb

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." - Chinese Proverb.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lesson #76 (06/05/2012): Rhythm

I hate rhythm...

One of the reasons I’ve been focusing more on technique, bowing and shifts rather than my jazz pieces with Clayton was because I was avoiding working on my jazz pieces because of the rhythm. A lot of the pieces start and end on the ‘and’ and are syncopated, and have “weird” time signatures. Well, no avoiding it now!

Maybe I wasn’t ready for it before, but it’s starting (very slowly) to sink in. Or maybe it’s because I know I need to at least get a "hold” of it so I don’t let my ensemble group down (whomever they may be), whereas before I was playing the pieces for “fun” and knew I could stop at any time – which I did…ugh, quitter!

Anyway, during this lesson, we spent the time counting out and clapping Chant and Fugue. I always find it so embarrassingly funny when I have to do this. Embarrassing because I think I must look like a stammering idiot being an adult not knowing how to count to FOUR! And funny, because I just have to laugh out how flustered I get – reminds me of being in second grade having to go up in front of class to do a presentation or something. Lol! ;).

Why am I always so embarrassed when I have to do this?
When I dance Lindy Hop and am working on rhythm and footwork I can easily scat the rhythm/syncopation and steps. Although I don’t count the steps any more since scatting is so much easier, maybe I should start counting again… Yet I get embarrassed when I have to count out or say the rhythm. Why is that?

When I first started to learn how to count out rhythm, I was actually SUPER embarrassed to count the rhythm in front of Clayton, which made me all flustered and made my counting worse! Surprisingly, I got flustered when I had to count it out for Adam too, although not nearly as bad since I had practice doing it with Clayton.

I was discussing this with my husband, and he mentioned that math and music use up the same area in the brain which is why it makes it tough for some people to concentrate on math and music at the same time. My husband says that he can’t listen to music and work on physics at the same time either. I’m going to have to look into/research that! Is that why it's easier to clap out or do some kind of body movement for rhythm instead of just saying it because physical movement uses a different part of the brain?

Anyway, I digress…
When I was working on rhythm with Clayton we were doing subdivisions and I found that I had to go back to doing subdivisions. Which I wasn’t doing correctly for this piece anyway since this has a  4/4 time signature and I was doing a 2/4 count since it's obviously easier to count to two! Which Adam of course noticed and recommended that I start counting it with 4/4 timing. ;).

I also discovered that I have to at least have a handle on my bowing and fingering before I can start working on rhythm. I know rhythm is more important when playing with an ensemble, but if I can't get my fingering and bowing where it should be when I need it, than I'm going to miss the beat every time.

Lots to work on for this piece!!

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