Brams #2 Counting rests

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whitbey
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Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by whitbey » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:52 am

Playing the Brahms #2 and counting rests is beating me up. There are only 200 notes in a 45 minute piece. I have written in cues. I am ready to take a mechanical click counter with me, but all the rests are smaller chucks. Then there is the random off time strings.
Please help with your counting tricks.
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AndrewMeronek
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:08 pm

I like to go to recordings with my part and basically memorize the structure of big works like that. Learn important cues, where sometimes a cue that sounds like a cue for me happens at some other time (to prevent getting tricked), progressions of melody a.k.a., AABBCCAD or however things line up. 19th century publishers were often kind of random in what they considered important cues to write into parts.

If necessary, pencil in divisions of multirests so you know phrase 1 is 10 bars, phrase 2 is 12, and so on, with measure numbers for rehearsal.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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brassmedic
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by brassmedic » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:00 pm

I have never performed it where it wasn't the Breitkopf & Härtel part. This part has copious cues written in. If you don't have that part, go to imslp.org and print it out. You don't even need to count the rests because the cues printed in the part are excellent. Your first entrance is preceded by a 1 bar timpani roll all by itself. It's impossible to miss. If you don't know the names of all the other instruments in the orchestra, learn them. For example, "pk" is short for Pauken, which means timpani. If you follow the cues, there should be no problem knowing where to come in for the rest of the piece. The only place that might be tough is the beginning of the 4th movement where you rest for a long time. I never count those rests, because at H, the first motive is sort of turned upside down, and you see the cue for that in the viola and clarinet, so I always know when we are at H. Then you just have to wait 23 bars and follow the 1st violin cue until your entrance.
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Kdanielsen
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by Kdanielsen » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:45 pm

Write in what happens at each new bar rest ("clar." for example) so you get confirmation that you're in the right place. Count on your fingers subtly. You really don't have to count all the rests in Brahms 2, just know the spots to start counting from. If things get really tough, read the bassoon part or viola parts if you can see that far.
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paulyg
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by paulyg » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:02 pm

No real substitute for knowing what's going on. I try to at least know the phrase lengths of any piece I'm performing, and use that to confirm a count I keep on my fingers (silently).

Don't bring a click counter- if I realized somebody was using one next to me, I might blow my stack. Also don't mutter measure numbers under your breath.
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CalgaryTbone
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by CalgaryTbone » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:32 pm

whitbey wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:52 am
Playing the Brahms #2 and counting rests is beating me up. There are only 200 notes in a 45 minute piece. I have written in cues. I am ready to take a mechanical click counter with me, but all the rests are smaller chucks. Then there is the random off time strings.
Please help with your counting tricks.
Good ideas for you from the previous posters. Learn the piece, and mark cues to help. I like to make it a habit to know the piece well enough so I don't need to count everything, but I usually go ahead and count too - belt and suspenders.

By the way - the part may only have 200 notes, but they are 200 of the finest notes ever written for the trombone. Brahms was good to us.

Jim Scott
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by Posaunus » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:25 am

CalgaryTbone wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:32 pm

Good ideas for you from the previous posters. Learn the piece, and mark cues to help. I like to make it a habit to know the piece well enough so I don't need to count everything, but I usually go ahead and count too - belt and suspenders.

By the way - the part may only have 200 notes, but they are 200 of the finest notes ever written for the trombone. Brahms was good to us.

Jim Scott
:good:
Bach5G
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by Bach5G » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:44 am

If I’m not confident about my entries, I will listen or watch a performance in YouTube and follow along in my part.
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LeTromboniste
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by LeTromboniste » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:17 pm

Study the score in addition to your own part and/or follow along with a score during rehearsals. Knowing the piece itself and not just your notes doesn't just negate the need to count rests, it also gives you so much more understanding of how the piece as a whole is built and how your part functions within it and contributes to the big picture.
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:45 pm

If you don't know the piece you're playing, and it wasn't written this year, Naxos Music Library has your solution.
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by GBP » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:19 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:45 pm
If you don't know the piece you're playing, and it wasn't written this year, Naxos Music Library has your solution.
Or YouTube
whitbey
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by whitbey » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:01 am

I have talked to the Director on this. I think my problem is they put up plexiglass behind the trumpets sitting in front of the trombones. What I was hearing was off the back wall and a very delayed beat. The Director is going to make some moves and such.

Hopefully this will help.

I could not believe after playing for 50 years I forgot how to count rests.

We will see at the next rehearsal.
Edwards Sterling bell 525/547
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Bass Bach 50 Bb/F/C dependent.
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brassmedic
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by brassmedic » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:39 am

Well you need to follow the conductor, not the back wall. I don't see how that would affect your ability to count the rests. :idk:
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whitbey
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Re: Brams #2 Counting rests

Post by whitbey » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:04 am

After I posted this I realized my problem was the bran new plexiglass wall in front of the trombones. It changed the sound, could not hear the well and the vision of the director was distorted through the plexiglass.

The next rehearsal I moved the wall over so the sound got through and I could see. Solved my troubles.

Because of what I was hearing, I mistakenly though my troubles were counting and that chewed on my confidence. Once I could see and hear again, everything got easy again.

Plexiglass walls are new to me. I have noticed drummers in plexi rooms all have headphones so they can hear. And in large orchestras they are on stages that are more open so the listening is still good. The setting I am in is I am on the floor kind of in a corner while the horn players to my side are on risers. It is a narrow church. The trumpets are in front of the trombones. Could not hear the trumpets either.
Edwards Sterling bell 525/547
Edwards brass bell 547/562
Edwards Jazz w/ Ab valve 500"/.508"
Conn 34H Alto
Bass Bach 50 Bb/F/C dependent.
Cerveny oval euphonium
Full list in profile
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