Fours

60bpm

72bpm

84bpm

96bpm

108bpm

120bpm

132bpm

144bpm

156bpm


5.TuA Method . . .


As the music you are reading is now becoming more complex it will pay to prepare each piece methodically. If you develop a method now, it will eventually become a process that you apply instantly and unconciously (i.e. you'll be sight-reading). If you don't - it won't!

The piece in today's session will be in D 'natural' minor. Before you go any further, make sure that you can play that scale fluently and - ideally - while you are reading a book (to prove you really, really know it.

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That's helpful because your fingers are now ready for all the scale-runs that are likely to be in the piece, and you should hopefully slip into the key without having to think whether this note should be flat or sharp and so on. Your fingers just know. This is just a start, though - it pays to prepare other aspects of each piece in a series of steps -

Step 1 : Sus The Rhythm

The next thing to know about the piece is that it's in 4/4 @ 72bpm, and that it has lots of eighth-notes in it. So we know that '1 & 2 & . . .' is going to be needed . . .

  • Count & clap the rhythm until it becomes something that you 'know'.
  • Notice that beams can connect eighth-notes/quavers in groups of 4, but accross the middle of a 4/4 bar.
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Step 2 : Sing it!

Rhythm and contour (the up and down shape) are the two most important factors in tune-recognition. The right notes are surprisingly less important.

If you stick to your prepared rhythm and follow the approximate shape of the tune up and down, a crazy vocal shot will give you a surprisingly good sense of 'how it goes'. When you come to play the right notes on your instrument, you'll find that you're playing something that is strangely familiar.

Play the scale and the starting note, then have a go . . .

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Step 3 : Sus the notes.

This is about looking for potential surprises - the big leaps are always between Ds and As, for instance. It's also about looking to see what's easy - there are lots of scale passages here, and actually only seven bars of fresh material.

It's also helpful to simply play through the notes without thinking about the rhythm. Go over the awkward bits until they stop tripping you up . . .

KEYBOARD TIPS

Click to expand for fingerings.

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This metronome marking tells you to play roughly 75 half-notes/minims per minute.

The curved lines are slurs. They tell you to connect the notes that they bracket smoothly.

Step 4 : Remind yourself . . .

. . . of the rhythm and shape of the piece. Clap it . . sing it . .

Step 5 : Play it.

Give yourself two bars in and then, if possible, DON"T STOP! Accept wrong notes - who cares? - but get the gist of the melody, it's flow and shape. You can look at the problem bits afterwards and then take another shot.

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Play the opening G with your index finger and use your thumb for F and F# in this tune - you won't need to move your hand at all.

This metronome marking tells you to play roughly 75 half-notes/minims per minute.

The curved lines are slurs. They tell you to connect the notes that they bracket smoothly.

Here's how the tune should have sounded (on C, Bb, Eb instruments).