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  #1  
Old 08-23-2006, 12:10 AM
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gyutae gyutae is offline
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Triplets with straight notes help


I don't know why but one of the hardest things for me to do is to play triplets with one hand and either eighth notes or sixteenth notes on the other.

For some reason I've never been able to fully master this polyrhythm type of thing. Any suggestions on what I can do to improve this?
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2006, 12:27 AM
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In the beginning it might be helpful to write out the notes on paper and work from that.

Write out the triplets as straight notes with rests if you have to. That may help a little bit. Also get someone to play it for you and listen to what it sounds like.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyutae
I don't know why but one of the hardest things for me to do is to play triplets with one hand and either eighth notes or sixteenth notes on the other.
Basically, you're talking about three-against-two, and three-against-four. Find the common denominator in each case.

For three against two, it's the same basic polyrhythm, regardless of how it's notated. Let's use 6/8 time to describe it. (If you're not familiar with 6/8 time, let me know and I'll use another meter signature.)

Count all of the eighth notes aloud. In one hand, you're going to play every other eighth note:

1 2 3 4 5 6

...that's the "three" of the "three against two." (The counts you play are shown in bold print.)

Now, in the other hand, play every third note:

1 2 3 4 5 6

Together, you get three against two (or "two against three" - same thing.)

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6

It can be counted differently (i.e., eighth note triplets against eighth notes, etc.), but that's the polyrhythm. In 3/4 time, it can be notated using eighth note divisions:

1 & 2 & 3 &
1 & 2 & 3 &

Now, the same idea for the second polyrhythm you mentioned, which is three against four: let's start by counting sixteenths in 3/4 time.

In one hand, play every fourth sixteenth note; in the other hand, every third:

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a
1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a

In both cases, once you have a handle on how to count and play them in one meter, eventually you'll learn the feel of the polyrhythms and it'll become easier to apply in other meters.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:42 AM
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That was a great way to put it, malletjazz.
Do you teach at all?
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2006, 12:59 AM
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Thanks, Russ - and yes, I do teach drums and percussion.

That's actually the way I was taught to count/play/hear these particular polyrhythms. Not all polyrhythms will lend themselves well to this sort of approach, but if one can find that "common denominator" - the division or note value that both rhythms can share - that makes it a lot easier to understand how they fit together. Once that understanding is achieved, it's that much easier to hear/feel the polyrhythm.
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:00 AM
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Slow and steady wins this race.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2006, 12:31 AM
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Cool! Thanks, those are some really great suggestions.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2006, 04:33 AM
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Two thumbs up Malletjazz!! Excellent way of putting it. I also find that working on coordination helps abit here. What I had done in the past to get my left hand to become alittle more independant was to do everything you would normally do in life with your right hand with your left instead (or vice versa). brushing teeth, eating, writing ....... etc. I found after doing that for awhile everything else seemed to come so much easier. Just a thought.
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