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Players who have trouble counting

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  • eddard
    Ping: Entire list..... I don t usually throw any questions into the forum, but I have blundered into one that has me baffled, so I thought I d ask one and all.
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Ping: Entire list.....

      I don't usually throw any questions into the forum, but I have blundered into one that has me baffled, so I thought I'd ask one and all.

      You have probably all, unless you are one of them, encountered an occasional picker who can't seem to count: who seemingly lacks a sense of timing and rhythm, who persistently comes in for his break or the next phrase in his break on the wrong beat, who seems to count "1, 1, 1, 1" instead of "1, 2, 3, 4." This particular problem I allude to could be best described as a defective sense or NO sense of how long to hold long notes, what pickup notes are, or which time through the B part we are currently playing. People who have this problem often jump to the A part of a song after once through it when everybody else is playing that A part twice, or sometimes they'll try to play it a third time. More infuriatingly, they will come in early and play a whole chorus one or two beats ahead of the accompaniment unless the accompaniment skips beats to catch up with them, or they'll start at the right time but on the wrong pickup note, consequently play one too many pickup notes, and be half a beat behind everybody else, yet continue to play just fine but a half beat behind the rest of the group. And they do not seem to have what it takes to realize that they are out of step with four to eight other people and get back in step. This is strictly analogous to being out of step in a marching band or drill team; i.e., "two left feet." And some of these people WANT to play, very badly.

      My question: does anyone know any effective measures which, in their experience, have helped people with this problem. I've tried everything I can think of, and some cases seem to be intractable. I'm stuck with forgiving them, for they know not what they do. Any theories as to the cause of this one?

      Hoping for input, hoping also that it's not a Pandora's Box.
      eddard

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Matthew Snook
      My dear old Dad is one of these people, and I m afraid Mom and I have at long last given up any hope of improvement. He loves to play his guitar and sing, and
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 2, 2004
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        My dear old Dad is one of these people, and I'm afraid Mom and I have at
        long last given up any hope of improvement. He loves to play his guitar and
        sing, and he's not a bad singer. He loves the old Eddy Arnold and Jimmie
        Rodgers tunes. My Mom loves to sing harmony; and she does-when singing
        along with recordings. He is absolutely the hardest person to pick or sing
        with. He may start just fine (or not) and he will cut or insert beats or
        measures wherever he wants them, and it's up to us to keep up! It's still a
        lot of fun, but definitely a challenge. So we pick whenever I'm home, but
        he doesn't go to jams.

        If you find the cure, let me know.

        Matt



        -----Original Message-----
        From: eddard [mailto:eddard@...]
        Subject: [nwbluegrass] Players who have trouble counting

        * .You have probably all, unless you are one of them, encountered an
        occasional picker who can't seem to count.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Charlie Williamson
        Two ideas: 1. Suggest that they record their backup chords with a metronome and then play the melody onto the tape too - maybe 2 or 3 times through. Then
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 2, 2004
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          Two ideas: 1. Suggest that they record their backup chords with a metronome and then play the melody onto the tape too - maybe 2 or 3 times through. Then try and play along with the lead over the backup and vice versa. They should be able to tell when they are off if it's only them and practice getting in right. 2. Band in a box offers the same sort of training if they have access to a computer that will play it or the Steve Kaufman parking lot pickers CD/book series is good to play along with and see if you finish the same time he does. Charlie W.

          >>> eddard@... 03/02/04 03:17PM >>>
        • eddard
          Thanks, and these do seem like effective methods to me; if only these people can be persuaded to DO something, so others can follow them a little more easily.
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 2, 2004
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            Thanks, and these do seem like effective methods to me; if only these people
            can be persuaded to DO something, so others can follow them a little more
            easily. One who is a lifelong friend of mine seems to have whatever his
            block is intensified by such suggestions, though; like it's an anxiety that
            he'll miss the bus making him miss the bus. Maybe there are different
            reasons for this problem? I've thought of hearing deficits, being stuck in
            note-for-note memorization that was wrong in the first place, and this
            anxiety thing maybe eclipsing their awareness of their surroundings for
            assorted moments here and there, but I honestly don't know what the problem
            is.

            -e

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Charlie Williamson" <charlie@...>
            To: <eddard@...>; <nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 3:33 PM
            Subject: Re: [nwbluegrass] Players who have trouble counting


            > Two ideas: 1. Suggest that they record their backup chords with a
            metronome and then play the melody onto the tape too - maybe 2 or 3 times
            through. Then try and play along with the lead over the backup and vice
            versa. They should be able to tell when they are off if it's only them and
            practice getting in right. 2. Band in a box offers the same sort of
            training if they have access to a computer that will play it or the Steve
            Kaufman parking lot pickers CD/book series is good to play along with and
            see if you finish the same time he does. Charlie W.
            >
            > >>> eddard@... 03/02/04 03:17PM >>>
            >
            >
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            > Yahoo! Groups Links
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          • eddard
            You don t get to choose your relatives, and I don t get to choose who turns out for the next (or last) jam. I say this with a certain ambiguity designed to
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 2, 2004
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              You don't get to choose your relatives, and I don't get to choose who turns
              out for the next (or last) jam. I say this with a certain ambiguity
              designed to avoid naming names.. Don't know if these folks are CRUSHED by
              mention of their problem or not, and I hate to take chances. If I'm into
              ongoing association with them, I'll risk it if my intuition is that they
              won't be devastated, but so far, it's never really helped.

              This is really about a couple or three seemingly intractable cases that I've
              known for years, (none of them listers here) but from time to time, I get to
              examining myself to see if I could maybe find a way to cast the appropriate
              spell. One of them was receptive enough to sit down and go over "1 & 2 & 3
              & 4 &" with me and hear what I had to say about pickup notes, but in the end
              he didn't get it.

              Interestingly, this paticular guy only makes timing mistakes when playing
              his instrument, and doesn't when he sings. Could it be a thing like
              stuttering?

              I guess maybe it's like road hazards that are a threat to tires; when it
              happens we deal with it, but we're also thankful when it doesn't.


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Matthew Snook" <msnook@...>
              To: <nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 3:27 PM
              Subject: RE: [nwbluegrass] Players who have trouble counting


              > My dear old Dad is one of these people, and I'm afraid Mom and I have at
              > long last given up any hope of improvement. He loves to play his guitar
              and
              > sing, and he's not a bad singer. He loves the old Eddy Arnold and Jimmie
              > Rodgers tunes. My Mom loves to sing harmony; and she does-when singing
              > along with recordings. He is absolutely the hardest person to pick or
              sing
              > with. He may start just fine (or not) and he will cut or insert beats or
              > measures wherever he wants them, and it's up to us to keep up! It's still
              a
              > lot of fun, but definitely a challenge. So we pick whenever I'm home, but
              > he doesn't go to jams.
              >
              > If you find the cure, let me know.
              >
              > Matt
              >
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: eddard [mailto:eddard@...]
              > Subject: [nwbluegrass] Players who have trouble counting
              >
              > * .You have probably all, unless you are one of them, encountered
              an
              > occasional picker who can't seem to count.
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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