Polyrhythm: Triplets against Eighth Notes | Elvire Boelee | Skillshare

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Polyrhythm: Triplets against Eighth Notes

teacher avatar Elvire Boelee, Pianist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Step 1: Timing

    • 3. Step 2 : Triplets

    • 4. Video 3 step 3

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About This Class

This class is about playing triplets in one hand, and eighth notes in the other hand. I will teach you not only how to do this, but in what way to practice it in order to get it not only correct, but smooth as well. This course is for a little more advanced students, able to play pieces by L. Einaudi, or the easier Waltzes or Nocturnes by Chopin.


Meet Your Teacher

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Elvire Boelee



I started playing piano at the age of 6 and basically I've never stopped. I started winning prizes in competitions at just 11 years old, and at 19 I started studying at the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen (the Netherlands). I received my Bachelor degree in Classical Piano, and I've been teaching at the Music School Kunst&Coo (Art&Co) since January 2014. There I'm teaching piano to a little over 30 students of all ages and levels. It's from my students that most of my ideas for my Skillshare courses come. 

I've been drawing since I can remember. After choosing the Conservatory over Art school, art has been a little on hold, but I've recently started up my dream of trying to improve my art skills so that I'm able to depict all the stories and images music gives me.&... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Sofia globally, and I'm a Dutch concert pianist and teacher. This course is going to be about polyrhythms, and that means that you play one rhythm in one hand and another rhythm in your other hand. Specifically, this course is going to explore playing triplets in one hand and thing eight notes in the other hand, discourses for a little bit more advanced students students who are already able to easily regionals understand most rhythms, know what a trip it is and have some skills to play a piece through fluently, if you don't know exactly if you're on the correct level yet, if you're able to play a standard Ayn Al Ity piece or a standard, um, Chopin Nocturne without problem, you're definitely advanced enough for this course. These courses for anybody who has never played triplets against eight notes but also for people who can theoretically play it. But where it doesn't go smoothly enough, I will show you ways to practice it, to not only play the rhythm correct, but also display it smooth and easy. Okay, so let's begin 2. Step 1: Timing: I have for you a peace in which most of my students meet triplets against eight notes for the first time, that is Monday by tonality. If you're not familiar with an out of work, it it's it's really, um, nice modern classical music, he, uh he composed moving music, for example, into Chablis, and it's kind of minimalistic, very nicely written for pianists. And generally it's It's a great idea to check that out. You can buy, although all of his books on Amazon or or wherever they're very, very easy to find. Okay, so after a few pages, the triplets against eight notes start. I have here in front of me the page where it starts. I'm going to first explain to you how you play the triplets against the eight notes. After that, in the lessons after that, we're going to explore how to practice it, to turn it into something smooth and natural sounding. Let's see now here it's first important to know how do we start? It's important to know that not all knows will be at the same time you will start together , but after that the hands they come after each other just to refresh your memory on eight. No trip. It is where 38 notes are played in the same time as to so you can imagine that the right hand in this case who was playing the triplets has to blame or notes in the same time as the left hand who's bring eight notes. First, we're going to explore, in which order we're going to play them. Now. It's important to remember that the first of every triplet is always together with the 1st 8 note. That means that this first triplet is together with the F sharp this first trip. It is together with this f sharp this first trip it this together with the G sharp on this first trip was together with yea and so on. So every first of the trip, it goes together with the aid note. So every time you see, that is the first in the 3rd 8 note every time on the strong beat off the bar. Okay, so now we've got the 1st 1 solved after that. Remember? I said the right note is going to be more notes in the same time as the left hand. So actually, you start off together. The right note is going to start. So the right hand starts because it has more notes they That means that this c sharp will come in between the f sharp and the C sharp of the left hand is going to come in between. So first we start off together here where the red stripe is, we start off together, then comes to see sharp of the right hand. And after that you will play the seizure of the rift hand. Then finally, as the last note you will play again the right hand. You see that in this way the right hand plays three notes in the same time as the left hand placed two notes. After that, you start again together. You repeat this whole cycle so together starting right hand comes first in between. Then I use played the left hand the c sharp over there and then you and this little cycle with the A off the right hand. Start here again one more time. You start off together where the red stripe is the two notes together you pay the c sharp of the right hand in between here. Then you play the C sharp off the left hand and you end the little cycle with the A off the right hand. That's gonna sound like this together, right? Left right together, writes, Left, right together, right, left, right together, right, left, right, and so want together is continues. As you might notice. It kind of sounds like a little, um, starting and stopping. It doesn't sound like a fluent thing, but I want you not to worry about that right now. It's not important at this stage to get it fluent at this stage, which I call step one. It's important to not have to think about the order anymore. So what is usually my students usually go through the steps. They they start, start out, they get a little better at it. They increased their temple of it and then they get confused again. So make sure that you practice it enough times that even if you increase your tempo a bit, you always remain really are getting to know the order. So the order has to be really stuck in your brain. You don't have to think anymore together, right? Left, right together. It really goes automatically already Well, in order to make sure that gets correctly into your head, I would advise you two very important things First of all, is always start slow. Every day that you're practicing, start slow, kind of to remind your brain in would order, start it slow. And the second you can start slow and increase the tempo. It's not a problem, but always go back to this slow. This is in order to make sure that you don't, um, study any, any mistakes. You know, if you repeated a lot a mistake, you're gonna be difficult to to, um, get it right after that. Yes, we always start off slow. So you make sure that you're doing it in the correct order before you increase your temple on. The second very important thing in this stage is not to practice with pedal. This is because if you do practice with pedal your playing a little bit faster Temple. If you're not skilled at this trip, it's against eight. Note. You'll not be able to hear if you are in playing in the correct order. So always start slow even also before you increase the tempo and don't play. Peddle played without pedal. Practice it without. Okay, So if you're ready with this step and this might take a few days at least and give it as much time as you need, we're ready to move on to step two. 3. Step 2 : Triplets: Step two and three are all about getting it fluent. If you are already advanced in Step one and you really know the order very well by heart, you'll start noticing that it doesn't sound like Trip. It's against eight notes. It sounds like you're trying to kind of put them all in the right place in the right order . It might sound not fluent enough. Not as fluent as you would like it. So Step two and three are all about getting it fluent and getting it to sound really like two different rhythms. So in order to do this, I developed this exercise, and that's what's Step two is over. Okay, so Step two is about him really trying to feel the different rhythms. That's why we're going to do this exercise. We're going to play the right hand, the full rhythmic figure, which means we're going to play the triplets all off the notes. But with the left hand, we're not going to play all of the Agnos. We're only going to pay the eight notes that come together with the triplets. That means we're not going to have any notes this time that are in between we're just going to play only the knows that go together. So that means they have sharp over here. The f sharp over here. The g sharp over here, the a over here and again. This I would advice for this step to practice one bar at a time in a constant loop without stopping. That's why I show you only this first part. So we're not going to play this c sharp. We're not going to play the sea shark. And we're not going to play these to shoot she sharps because they come in between. We only want to play the notes that come at the same time. That means we play only these ones now. The exercise isn't complete yet. What we're going to do is we're going to play it in a constant loop. And the first time we played, we're going to play on Lee. These eight Knowles had come together those marked in red, and the second time we repeat it, we're going to play also, it knows that come in between so all of the ignites. But while you're doing this, I want to try to try to really still feel the feeling of the triplets that you had while you were still while you were only playing the notes that come at the same time, the third time you repeated. So we're going to repeat it a lot. The third time you repeat it, you're going to play again on Lee. The eight notes had come at the same time and really try to feel that trip it feeling. And then the fourth time, we're going to repeat it. We're going to play again. Journals that coming between and try to hold on to that feeling. And you're going to repeat this as as much as you can, you know, just for several minutes, nonstop in a loop, playing only the ones that come together. And then with the same kind of feeling of the rhythmic figure of the triplets were going to play all the notes. Hell, demonstrate that for you now, huh? Okay. You might want to find your own temple. If this is a bit too fast for you, don't have state to go slower. And really make sure that you are done with step one already. If you're noticing now in this second step that you actually don't remember the order that well, go back to practicing several days. Step only step while no pedal from slow to fast er trying to get the order in your head again. Okay, that's it for step two. And this process don't try to. This process is about repetition. Don't try to get it in one day. Don't try to get it in one practice session. Kind of do it all. Do it every day for several weeks and it will become a part of you. The point is really to try to start feeling the triplets and the eight notes as two separate things and to develop the skills to be able to feel them. Ah, at the same time. Now we're moving on to step three. 4. Video 3 step 3: Step three is exactly like step to. Except this time we're going to play the full rhythmic figure off the left hand, the eight notes and we're going to loop it first with the triplet that comes at the same time, which is every time, the first very easy. So every time there's a and, uh actually not that one. As you heard, maybe in the previous video, I actually played only the first bar on Repeat. So we're playing it until here. And if you want, you can do the same thing with the second bar. And you can also do the first and the second bar in one loop. So until here and the loop again back to this one. Start with the first bar and see if you can expand later. If that If you feel like Okay, so the first time we're going to play this bar is going to be only the first that comes together with the AIG knowledge wishes the a, the first of the triplets. And then the second time in the loop, we're going to play all of the triplets and try to remain try to hold on to that feeling off the eight notes in the left hand because it's a different feeling than the Triplets. Then the third time we're going to repeat it again. All of the aid notes, but only the first of the triplets to get back to that feeling of the AIG notes, because you might lose it. You know, the first few hundreds of times you do is you might lose the feeling that's very normal. It's really something you need to develop. Um, and then the fourth time you repeat the Luke, you repeat the bar again, you're gonna play all the triplets and try to hold on to that feeling off. Eight notes and so on. Also, what is maybe something that is useful to do? Is that what, When you're focusing on, the eight knows to get the feeling of the AIG, Nell's try to make that amenity. So make the ignores mezzo four to make the triplets pianissimo. And in the second step, when you were focusing on the trip that's trying to make those amenity eso play those mezzo Fortier and play the left hand pianissimo so that it helps you kind of intensify the feeling of that rhythm by making it more important by making it a bit louder. Okay, so, um, this will probably most likely take you several weeks to really get the hang up. And I think that it's important that you also give it absolutely all the time it needs. It's something that really needs to develop over time and become a part of you. I hope that I have helped you out either learning how to play triplets against eight notes or by how to make out of practice how to make its more smooth if you already knew how to do it. Okay, Happy breakfasting.