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I can't count fast enough!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by danqi, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    Ok, this may sound a little stupid.
    I have got a problem with counting out my notes. E.g. I can't count faster than 16th at a speed of about 80 bpm. You know that whole "one-e-and-a-two-e..." thing.
    And I can't play anything that I can't count because then I have no idea where I am at.
    I am new to playing fast. Is there anything I might have missed?

  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    There's no secret here, you just have to keep at it. I assume you have some particular etudes, rhythms, phrases, licks or whatever that you're working on. Keep playing it. Play it at 50bpm. And do that for a certain amount of time, say 5-10 minutes each day. Consistency is important here. You want to try and do this at least 5 minutes a day. Then, after a week, move up to 60bpm, and so on. You have to be completely comfortable at one tempo before you move up. In other words, you should be able to do it at the one tempo without even thinking about it, or maybe not even having to count, before going to the next tempo. It doesn't work if you just "kind of have it" and then you move on. Really get it under your fingers.

    This method will take time, but it will work. Rome wasn't built in a day.
  3. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    If the counting is the problem, just count half of what you are playing. If you're playing 16ths, just count 8ths and double up on the playing.

    Just a thought.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I like Chris' post.
    ...& Jazzbrother's "get it under your fingers"(muscle memory)...you should be able to gauge how fast you'll need to pluck(alternate fingers, hopefully) a 1/4 note, an 1/8th, a 1/16th, a triplet, etc whilst at tempo. See below...

    I slow stuff down to count it out(1e&a-2e&a-etc)
    Playing at tempo & attempting to count...not for me. Hopefully, by working things out SLOWly at first, I have somewhat engrained what a 1/16th note feel is about without having to count each & every subdivision.
    Many espouse counting SLOW while playing fast...



  5. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The key to speed is starting slowly and just keeping at it.

    I set my click to a very slow tempo and consitantly went over scales until i was solid at that tempo, then gradually kept increasing the clicks tempo. You'll find that once you get your internal clock "charged" that you wont have to actually count it all out in your head. At least thats been IME.

    Just stick with it and you'll eventually get it.
  6. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    Thanks for your advice. I'll keep at it and see how it works best for me.
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