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how could I help my daughter keep the beats right?
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pky
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January 21, 2012 - 6:37 pm
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I know the FM has games on this site, but my daughter definitely has a right brain (so am I) so she has been struggling to get the beats right for most of the songs she is playing. Her problem is she cannot keep a steady beat.  Her teacher has offered several techniques to help her with this issue, but i would like to hear more. Thank you!

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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January 21, 2012 - 7:15 pm
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If your daughter is anything like me, hearing a metronome doesn't help.  I have to see the tempo which means I have the old style metronome.  Mine is just an old box that clicks off the tempo and flashes a light but I prefer the old tick tock ones with the pendulum going back and forth.  Another thing is if it's a song she knows well that can help or have someone play along with her.

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Aleive
Northern Norway
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January 21, 2012 - 10:32 pm
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Kevin M. said

If your daughter is anything like me, hearing a metronome doesn't help.  I have to see the tempo which means I have the old style metronome.  Mine is just an old box that clicks off the tempo and flashes a light but I prefer the old tick tock ones with the pendulum going back and forth.  Another thing is if it's a song she knows well that can help or have someone play along with her.

I agree completely. The way I learned beats as a 7 year old was to watch the swingy metronome, and tilt my head back and forth for the longest of times. Then moved on to clapping whenever my head was upright. It helped me multitask, as well as learned me 8ths. Good luck to your daughter!

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

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CGBownut
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January 22, 2012 - 6:57 am
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I also have a hard time trying to keep the beat. I have tried the metronome, but I focus on it so much, that I then can not play well.

 I found that listening to someone else play the song ( Youtube ) a few times in a row and just either singing along, or if no words just counting the beats in my head, while someone else plays it, then I immediately practice it trying to keep the beats going in my head. I feel like when I do this, that I am able to notice right away when I am off and I go back a replay that measure or the last couple again.

  The big thing for my learning style is that I find I improve faster when I focus on just one issue at a time. So for the last few weeks I worked mostly on intonation and did not worry about anything else for the first portion of my practice time. I feel like my muscle memory is pretty good and can now focus on my bowing to straighten it up more. But I also mix it up and do not spend a whole practice session on one thing. So I like to finish going back to something I feel I play well and that is when I really work on trying to keep the beat.

 I am still off, but feel like it is getting better.

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Aleive
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January 22, 2012 - 1:59 pm
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CGBownut said

I also have a hard time trying to keep the beat. I have tried the metronome, but I focus on it so much, that I then can not play well.

 I found that listening to someone else play the song ( Youtube ) a few times in a row and just either singing along, or if no words just counting the beats in my head, while someone else plays it, then I immediately practice it trying to keep the beats going in my head. I feel like when I do this, that I am able to notice right away when I am off and I go back a replay that measure or the last couple again.

  The big thing for my learning style is that I find I improve faster when I focus on just one issue at a time. So for the last few weeks I worked mostly on intonation and did not worry about anything else for the first portion of my practice time. I feel like my muscle memory is pretty good and can now focus on my bowing to straighten it up more. But I also mix it up and do not spend a whole practice session on one thing. So I like to finish going back to something I feel I play well and that is when I really work on trying to keep the beat.

 I am still off, but feel like it is getting better.

 

Hi there! Try wagging your body gently back and forth a few seconds before you play, in the beat you are supposed to play in, and continue doing so while you play. I do not guarrantee that it will work. HOWEVER, I was eventually able to keep the beat like that. And the more I played, the more subtle I made the movements, until I barely moved. Then I proceeded to just imagine the swaying in my mind. Though I have a very strange thought pattern, it might not work very well for you. But most musicians in my local area have reported great success using this, or similar methods (Like clacking teeth together) 

 

Most important of all I think is to make the beat physical. Not theoretical or completely auditive. This is because: Playing an instrument is roughly about 3 things. Remembering in your head what you need to play. Having the knowledge HOW to produce that tone. And muscle memory. There are of course other factors involved. But in my honest opinion which is shared by many. Muscle memory is number 1 on the list. My theory is that if you incorporate say a 60bpm rythm to your muscle memory, you can very easily modify that to your liking. Most tunes I play are at roughly 120bpm, so it would then be like playing 8ths. 

 

TLDR: Make your muscles remember the rythm. Practice on modern, conventional tunes. You don't start with a song that has a pace-change every third second. And that incorporates all the technique in the world. Constantly challenge yourself. But DO NOT set unrealistic goals. That is the downfall of a musician.

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

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myguitarnow
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January 22, 2012 - 2:47 pm
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I like that, "make the beat physical". Relax and feel the beat before you even start playing. You got to get into it, feel the beat.

What I like to do instead of listening to a metronome (too robotic for me) is playing along to the song with another instrument playing the rhythm, like a piano or guitar. I create my own tracks but you can find midi and MP3 files all over the internet to jam along that way. And for sure listen to a professional version of the song many times before you learn to play it. Then listen a bunch of times while you learn the song.

Glad to see you posting again pky. Been missing u 😉

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myguitarnow
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January 22, 2012 - 3:33 pm
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A cool gadget that I use to tune and keep in time is call a Snark. It has a rubber clamp to clamp on the scroll and it picks up the vibrations to tune the violin and has a metronome with a visual heart beat to keep in time to with no sound. It works great. You can see your fingering  and tuner/metronome because of the placement.

Here's a pic of mine:

snark.JPGImage Enlarger

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 23, 2012 - 11:21 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Very difficult problem Pky, but maybe she does need to move when she plays to keep a beat. The problem is when the movement affects the sound. There are good movements and bad movements. Someday I will make a video demonstrating the difference. smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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January 24, 2012 - 3:14 pm
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Fiddlerman said

Very difficult problem Pky...

OMG! Fiddlerman scares me! Having the similar problem... speeding up/slowing down.... my teacher says that i can't count to 4 facepalm.. but much worse i count to 3 facepalmfacepalmfacepalm So i'm doing some excercises:

try to tap my foot: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

+ counting          : 1    2    3    4

+ play (D E F G A for example): 1 e & da 2 e & da 3 e & da 4 e & da....

+ the same for counting to 3...That explodes my brain.. but i'm trying yell

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Aleive
Northern Norway
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January 24, 2012 - 3:20 pm
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Hehe.. I could never do the foot tapping conciously.. I cannot multitask at about any level.. I even have issues doing the vibrato without playing tremolo 😛 But swaying my body back and forth helped me 🙂 

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

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pky
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January 27, 2012 - 5:05 pm
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Thanks everybody for your input. One thing I forgot to mention is my daughter is only six years old.

After some practice, she has no trouble if I count for her and have her counts along with me. It is when she is doing it herself then she cannot keep the beats.

Right now, she is playing songs while marching/walking (but not walking in place). I also let her reads the music while she plays. Both techniques help. When she moves her body, sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't; just like walking in place is too multitasking for her. I myself have, still, trouble using metronome. I tried it maybe a few times with her and that didn't help. So, now I'm also trying to tap the beats on her body while listening to the music so she could hear it and feel it at the same time. I just hope this wouldn't not frustrate her while she is learning to play violin.

I am waiting for the FM's video to see if it works for her.

Again, thanks!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 27, 2012 - 5:32 pm
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Good that you remind me Pky. I have a list of videos to do and am also bogged down with work. I'll add it to my list of things to do 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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