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Thread: Counting...and those that need to do it

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Counting...and those that need to do it

    I've gotten around to learning charts that (for the most part) counting throughout is an absolute must. The kind that at the easiest are 32 bars through composed with a key change each bar. Now in the past I've just counted song segmants...but that aint possible anymore. The good old one 2 3 4 / two 2 3 4 / three 2 3 4 method works alright...but I've come across a rather obvious problem. If you change seven to sev and eleven to lev you can keep everything as 1 syllable up to 12...but what about after that? what about into the 30s and 40s. (try saying twenty-two 2 3 4 / twenty-three 2 3 4 in time at 200 beats per minute) Repeating seems somewhat flawed and wouldn't really work in odd meter. Even if you just repeat every 10, it still seems like a flawed method. Of course ear training can help all of this so counting might not even be necessary, but that's not really the point. I've been told that most of the top jazz guys are so good at counting while playing that it's just constantly in the back of their mind and they can't turn it off (kind of like really good ear training...just continous numbers)

    I'm not really looking for an answer here because this is very specific and really all personal taste, more just...how does everyone here count in there head so as to not get lost reading a challenging song?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I feel its easier to go one 2 3 4/ two 2 3 4/ three 2 3 4/ four 2 3 4 and then start again at one- breaking the piece basically into 4 bar segments. Another thing is to try find obvious changes in melody and rhythm, and count up to them then start again (could be eight bars maybe, for longer ones i would just use my first message.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Personally, I dont think you should have to deliberately count "out-loud" in your head, unless you're totally sight-reading something. When I was in a classical guitar ensemble I just took it one measure at a time. I never found the sense in trying to count "one-ee-an-uh" during pieces that included dotted notes, dotted rests, etc. To me, it just seemed like another ball to juggle so to speak.

    That being said, my recommendation would be to count by tapping your foot and try not to think about it, just let it happen. If that dosent work, simply start over every four measures, unless you're playing something in some compound meter like 5/4, 13/8, etc.
    Last edited by Vilesilencer; 08-24-2011 at 08:27 PM.

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