Monday, December 28, 2009

Learning to listen

I'm having some issues with the metronome.

This is something that my attention hasn't really been drawn to very much before because mostly teachers haven't had me work (that) much with a metronome, and I generally avoid metronomes.

But now I'm doing a duet with my brother.

When I started speeding up on our duet piece he was really quick to hand me my metronome. Not only that, but he decided that my own metronome isn't annoying enough, so he gave me his own more annoying metronome. But guess what? I'm still having trouble.

It's not that I'm untalented. I am talented -- I'm just very talented at ignoring metronomes.

lol Ok, ok...yes, I've got a problem here. But I'm working on it. And as a music major I really do need to learn to keep tempo with metronomes.

And it's not that I can't feel rhythm. I do feel rhythm. I very definitely feel rhythm. It's just that when I start playing, the rhythm in my head stops synchronizing with the tempo of the metronome. I go off and do my own little thing. So the question is, how do I get the rhythm in my head to match the metronome's tempo? Do I just need to find a louder more annoying metronome that is harder to ignore?

I was discussing this with Tall One, and he asked me if I'd lost the users manual for my head.

Kidding aside, part of the key (or all of the key) to the answering this question is probably to listen, which takes me back to this post from a couple months ago. It seems to me that listening and really hearing things is harder than I had thought.

I'm also turning to Taliesin, and asking him to help me learn to feel the beat of the metronome. For those who don't know, he is THE bard of Welsh mythology. As such, I figure that he's a good one to turn to for help in musical matters.


Dalesings said...

Keep in mind, a metronome is merely a tool, not a relationship!

Tricia said...

The beat in your head doesn't have to match the metronome, but the beat you play should, yeah? It's more a matter of priority from my view. Same thing happens with dance. Are you doing what you want to do, because it's what you want to do (or because you can't control your body well enough to match time), or are you doing what the music says, despite what you may actually want to do (sometimes, things just don't fit in with the music.)?

Are you playing what you want to play, because you want to play it? Or, are you playing the music the way it's composed for the group, or for a certain kind of presentation? This isn't improvisation, if you want that...become a jazz musician :P (kidding, but still, they have to know the rhythm to, so they can deviate.)

Sarita said...

If the beat in my head doesn't match the metronome I'm not sure if I can keep with the metronome.

I think I do like jumping ahead of the beat, but I don't really feel like arguing with my brother, and anyways this is DEFINITELY a good exercise for me. Even if it does drive me crazy. :)