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pluck
06-06-2015, 03:18 AM
Sixteenth notes are kicking my butt right now and I'm not sure if I should keep toughing it out or just go away and come back in 6 months or so. I think it's important to do hard things but sometimes you gotta walk before you can run. Is there any value in playing difficult pieces badly?

k0k0peli
06-06-2015, 04:17 AM
Is there any value in playing difficult pieces badly? We all start off lousy. Play difficult pieces SLOWLY till they get easier. Consider: When Stravinsky wrote The Rite Of Spring it was considered unplayable by the world's leading conductors. Now it's common in high-school orchestra work. The lesson? Practice, practice, practice. Slowly, then faster.

pluck
06-06-2015, 04:46 AM
I do try this but playing sixteenth notes slowly makes quarter notes unbearably slow. I've thought about playing every other sixteenth until I have the piece down better then try to fill in.

JustinJ
06-06-2015, 08:32 AM
How are you counting 16th notes? Take a look at this website and learn how to count them. After learning how to count them. Start off slow. This is important then speed up gradually. Do not expect to get it right away. It takes a little while. Spend 5 minutes a day working on it. In about a week or two you will have it down, at least at a slower speed.

http://www.freedrumlessons.com/drum-lessons/sixteenth-notes.php


Are you playing with a metronome? If not, you need to purchase one. A metronome that beats on the first measure is best. I use a digital metronome. I like the mechanical ones but have found it easy to miss the first beat of the measure with a mechanical one.

Piecomics
06-06-2015, 09:02 AM
For what it's worth, I agree that a Metronome will help with speeding up. However a metronome can mess you up and paying attention to the dynamics of the measure. For that there's no substitute for Counting. But otherwise agree, everyone has a hard time with speed at first. play it slowly, increase speed slowly, that way when you get up to a decent speed, you do not feel hurried but like you're playing appropriately.

uke4ia
06-06-2015, 11:23 AM
Sixteenth notes are kicking my butt right now and I'm not sure if I should keep toughing it out or just go away and come back in 6 months or so. I think it's important to do hard things but sometimes you gotta walk before you can run. Is there any value in playing difficult pieces badly?

In general, it's not a bad thing to put aside a small part of your practice time for things that right now you think are impossible for you to play. It will help your playing. A few of these things you will find out that you actually can play after all, with others you will gradually get to where you can play them. And with others, you won't be able to play them but trying will help you to improve at playing other songs.

I've been playing uke for nearly 40 years now, so I can tell you there's value to the long game. There are things that took me 10 years before I could play them -- and now I've been able to play them for 30 years! There are other things I'm just working on now, and I can't play them today, but I believe I can get there.

Brad Bordessa
06-06-2015, 12:03 PM
Playing something badly is practicing the mistake(s). Suck it up and play it as slow as you need to go to do it correctly. You'll learn a lot about playing quarter notes at that speed too, not just the 16ths. If quarter notes are "unbearably slow" at practice tempo then how do you feel about half notes or whole notes at regular tempo? Do they seem slow? Just something to think about. Because at half speed 16th notes = 8th notes, 8th notes = 1/4 notes, etc...

Pro Metronome app. It's the beesknees and it's free.

UncleMoon
06-06-2015, 03:07 PM
Playing something badly is practicing the mistake(s).

THIS. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

uke-garou
06-06-2015, 05:07 PM
Perfect practice makes perfect.

Booli
06-06-2015, 06:41 PM
+1 for the metronome. Just about ANYBODY can play crazy fast (but without precision), but it actually takes a reasonable amount of effort to play slow.

Try @ 120bpm. Then try again @ 100 bpm. Think that was DIFFICULT, not until you've tried 80bpm. Mastery of a slow tempo will help you to see mistakes, as well as make it EASIER to correct them.

mds725
06-06-2015, 09:10 PM
Playing something badly is practicing the mistake(s). Suck it up and play it as slow as you need to go to do it correctly. You'll learn a lot about playing quarter notes at that speed too, not just the 16ths. If quarter notes are "unbearably slow" at practice tempo then how do you feel about half notes or whole notes at regular tempo? Do they seem slow? Just something to think about. Because at half speed 16th notes = 8th notes, 8th notes = 1/4 notes, etc...

Pro Metronome app. It's the beesknees and it's free.

Everything Brad said.

pluck
06-07-2015, 02:40 AM
Thanks for all the replies. There is a lot to consider. I thing that a metronome will make it easier to slow things down.

JustinJ
06-07-2015, 03:38 AM
I use this metronome everyday. http://www.amazon.com/Wittner-MT70-Digital-Metronome-Control/dp/B000EELA3I/ref=pd_cp_267_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09W0E9FFD6FEMD6Y1EZH


It has several different types of rhythms. I bought it because of the volume switch. Some metronomes do not have a volume switch. It's nice to be able to adjust the sound. I like having a physical object and prefer this metronome instead of an ipad app. But this is just personal preference.

Do not worry about slow. It's much better to understand note duration. Sometimes, I will have to learn something very slowly. Say, around 45 beats. It's difficult to play slowly but it's worth the effort.

A metronome will also improve your technique. You'll be surprised how you may hold a note longer or shorter depending on the difficulty. A lot of people slow down on difficult passages. With a metronome, it will keep moving forward.

Ukejenny
06-07-2015, 09:25 AM
+1 on slowing it way down. Even if it is so slow the 16th's feel like quarter notes. Learn it correctly, ingrain it in your brain and muscle memory, then speed it up. Research shows that making mistakes just ingrains your mind/muscles to play a passage wrong. Slowing down, even momentarily stopping before a difficult note/passage, and making sure you get it right makes it correct in your mind and muscles.

Studies also show not to keep beating a dead horse by playing the same measure over and over. Play it slowly a few times, then go to a different spot in the music. It makes your mind "grab and retain" the passage harder because you've moved on. When you come back to it, it should be better.

With my wind students, I slow it down and skip around. It seems to work. They progress at a faster pace and progress seems to come a little more easily.

stevepetergal
06-07-2015, 10:06 AM
Is there any value in playing difficult pieces badly?

No. The trick to learning to play this stuff is slowing it down. You can play sixteenth notes very slowly. In fact, you must. Don't speed up until long after you're able to play your sixteenth notes perfectly. Otherwise, you learn the mistakes right along with the right notes. Infact, you'll find professionals who say never play up to performance tempo except in performance (not my philosophy, but not a bad one).

stevepetergal
06-07-2015, 10:06 AM
I've thought about playing every other sixteenth until I have the piece down better then try to fill in.

Don't do this, whatever you do.