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Advanced question: 6/8 against 2/4 with sixteenth notes
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso trouble with 2/4 against the piano 6/8
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John Sellers
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May 1, 2017 - 3:55 am
Member Since: May 1, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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Before I started studying this piece, I would have never guessed that the hardest part for me would be the relatively slow easy section where the time pattern in each measure is:

The piano and violin measures both each have the same total time duration:
(violin quarter note 1.5 times as long as piano quarter note)

  One measure Piano 6/8 time:
       { 1 eighth note - 4 sixteenths notes - 3 eighth notes } (every measure)

  One parallel measure Violin 2/4 time: 
       { 4 sixteenth notes - 1 quarter note } (typical measure)
       or { 1 eighth note - 1 quarter note - 1 eighth note } (typical measure)

For some reason, perhaps because I am not autistic but tend in that direction, I can't always filter out information coming to me and it will sometimes distract me.

 So in spite of the fact that I was able to sight read this con morbidessa section with perfect time with no problem, and the double stops were easy to learn, as soon as I hear the piano part and try to play with it....I am immediately pulled off my time and can not even keep track of the time of my part against the piano.  I know that in principle I should be able to count the measures in 2, but to no avail.

I've tried a half dozen ways to fix this problem, but I can't get anywhere even near a solution.  I can count perfect time, and play the section without error, but the moment I hear the piano or a metronome with the same time pattern as the piano, my counting not only goes south, but I can't even get through the first 2 or three measures except with great effort and discomfort.

I am pulled into the 6/8 time in spite of every effort to keep on track.  Any ideas out there how to practice to solve this dilemma?fainting-1344

Both the Introduction and the last fast page are well on their way and going just fine.  They are starting to work well almost as a matter of course from good practice.

Thanks, JS

Fort Lauderdale
May 3, 2017 - 5:19 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16062

Interesting dilemma for you. The best way to properly count this on both ends is to count 2 on both parts. You should hear the 2 beats on the 6/8.
On the first beat you feel the pulse (1 eighth note - 4 sixteenths notes) as you mentioned followed by the next beat of 3 eighth notes.
If you can focus the piano to 2 instead of 6 beats you'll feel it.

Looking forward

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


May 5, 2017 - 5:13 pm
Member Since: June 7, 2016
Forum Posts: 373
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Best suggestion I can make is to set up two metronomes (preferably ones that will do sub-beats) and have each one play the two different times). Have them play different tones or pitches, so that they sound like different instruments, and just listen to it as it if it were a (admittedly, somewhat boring) song. Learn that odd, bizzare song, and plan on playing it, not the piece you've practiced so far.

The problem is expectation. If you expect the two halves of it to be different and you are trying to play those differences when playing with the piano, I don't think you'll have near the difficulty that you're having right now. What you're fighting against is your expectation that the piano and your music will be in the same time signature. Change that expectation to what the piece actually is, and I think it will suddenly become easy. Hope so, anyway. Good luck with it.

John Sellers
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May 29, 2017 - 4:17 am
Member Since: May 1, 2017
Forum Posts: 2
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I've made quite a bit of progress on this, the piece as a whole is NOT up to performance standard, but I've played it all the way through several times with a piano without stopping.

There is still a lot of work to do, but I only need to continue the matter of course path that I am on, until I can play as well at speed as I can now, for the most part, play well slowly. 

But the 2/4 against the 6/8 is still the weakest part.

Without the piano I have the section nailed, but it is still a mystery to my how completely the presence of the piano sucks me into the 6/8.  I have to focus very sharply ever instant, and still it isn't consistent from time to time with the piano.

But I know it will come eventually.  I've just got to keep plugging at it.

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