Attention-Deficit Rest Counting

Attention-Deficit Rest Counting

Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    17:48 on Saturday, March 27, 2010          

(480 points)
Posted by Tibbiecow

I have an issue with rest counting. I lose my place too easily. I have been counting along, and literally between 5, two three four and 6 two three four I can't remember whether I was at 5 or 6. Thoughts go through my head soooo fast, it seems even when I am concentrating, I can lose count.

Counting on my fingers helps a bit, but not if I get into the 20 measures of rest- I can't take off my shoes in a concert!

Listening to recordings a whole bunch helps, too, so I know by the other instrumentation/voices where I come in.

I had a solo in the last concert, and missed my entrance. Sometimes the conductor cues me, and sometimes he doesn't.
Any suggestions?

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    20:07 on Saturday, March 27, 2010          


If I have a long rest, I label important measures based on what section comes in with what. Example: measure 123, the trumpets come in with the theme on beat three, or whatever applies. Then I start counting there.
Another idea is to ask the other flute players in your section to help you out. If they subtlety count with their fingers, you can confirm your counting by looking at theirs.
Sometimes it's just a matter of being confidant. While you're counting try not to start thinking, " I counting this right? What if...??"
Often for me, it just boils down to practicing counting along with a recording. That helps sometimes.
I also used to have similar problems with long rests. Almost everything can get better with practice and time.
Good luck!

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    04:34 on Sunday, March 28, 2010          

(437 points)
Posted by Pyrioni

I don't count 5 two three four and 6 two three four. I only count the first beats 5...6...7...8

Normally over 15-20 rests, the scores will give you other instrument's notes so you know when to enter


Another trick of mine to count over 10 bars:

I hold the flute with my left hand, and then I count bars with my right hand 5 fingers, I count them in 5s to verify, to make sure I don't mis-count if you know what I mean... For example 18 bars, that must be 3 fingers used - 5,5,5,3

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    21:58 on Sunday, March 28, 2010          

(259 points)
Posted by arabians207

I sometimes have the same problem not remembering if i do 1123 2234 etc knowing if I'm at 5 or 6 like you said. But I learned a trick lol. I usually count in 5's on my fingers like 1234 2234 3234 and with fingers like once you get to six that is one again. Seven is 2, eight is 3 etc. Then 11 is one again etc if that makes sense. I hardly ever get lost anymore

Also when I know a song well enough I can usually tell where to come in without counting, but I always count as a back up. I also occasionally look at others in my section I know kinda mouth the numbers to make sure im not off.

And for your solo if you want the cue as a back up, ask for it! Most conductors are more than willing to give you a reassuring cue.

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    23:51 on Sunday, March 28, 2010          

(820 points)
Posted by DanTheMaster

I've found that orchestra pit music often has cue notes written in after long rests--which are frequent in trombone music. I find them very helpful. You might try writing in your own cue notes.

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    20:36 on Tuesday, March 30, 2010          

(121 points)
Posted by OboeLover4Life

Wow and I thought I was the only one! I swear at times I'll be counting putting all my concentration into it, yet I still come in a measure early or late. Sometimes I just baffle myself xD

Well what helps for me would be something like......when I have a run with a pattern that just pops up over and over again. Look at each rest like it's brand new and give a bit more emphasis on the first beat. It's a bit energy consuming where you should be "resting" but it works for me. :D

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    10:51 on Wednesday, March 31, 2010          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

After 33 years of playing I still can sometimes find myself lost in a long rest, or after multiple long rests. I always pencils in which measure any given instrument or voice makes an entrance. So if I have 20 measures and the clarinet comes in on measure 12 of that rest I write "clar 12" just past the half way point of the 20 measure bar.

Listen for patterns. Many rest will be related to the phrase. Example: music that is using 8 bar phrases you will find yourself getting 8,16, and 24 bar rests. When obvious I count the number of phrase repeats rather than the individual measures.

Something that takes a little gettign u sed to but I learn from a freind is counting backwards. rather than 1, 2, 3 bars she counts 24, 23, 22, 21 etc.

Great ideas all over here.

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    13:20 on Wednesday, March 31, 2010          

(11 points)
Posted by Kanea

Actually, if I can manage without counting rests, I don't count them. Of course, when the band has a new piece, I have to count them, but I try to listen and remember what the other sections are doing. After the pieces have been played over and over again, I can remember when the flutes have to make their grand entrance fairly well, so I don't have to count anymore. And yes, listening to recordings helps as well.

There's a reason why I don't like counting, especially if there are many rests: I tend to get lost, meaning that I have to rely on the other flutes to get it right. Once in a while this strategy can be used, but I don't like feeling helpless - besides, it is possible that the others get lost, too!

When I do count rests, I prefer counting them like this: one, one, one, one, two, two, two, two etc. I do this for long counts, and it seems to work moderately well. However, I prefer relying on my memory when possible.

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    19:05 on Wednesday, March 31, 2010          

(480 points)
Posted by Tibbiecow

Yep, we sight-read our June concert program last night and the regular counting worked just fine. We're expected to get lost sight-reading in the complicated parts, the conductor yells out the measure number or rehearsal marking. (There were some truly impossible page turns, too.) With lots of scales practice, my sight reading has gotten better, and I was really pleased with how I did.

My troubles have tended to be in fairly complicated music, in the last couple of rehearsals or the concert. When we did De Meij's Lord of the Rings, I was on piccolo, which comes in here and there as a bird in the forest; I never seemed to be able to count it the same way twice, and I put the bird in a measure early in the concert. (I think only the director and I noticed that one, though!) But it is frustrating, and I want to make it work better. So thanks for all the replies

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    02:58 on Thursday, April 01, 2010          

(437 points)
Posted by Pyrioni

Yes, Kanea, if you had too much rehearsals, you don't even need to count, everybody just play by ears, lol.

In 1812 overtune, we had a lot of rehearsals, and there was one night, the horns were not here, our conductor had to sing out the horn part, but somehow he was one bar earlier, then the next bar almost all of us sang out the horn part together, lol, so you see, we can remember other instruments parts in our brain.


"I put the bird in a measure early in the concert." - LOL, you are the bird, you're free to fly....

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    09:04 on Thursday, April 01, 2010          

(58 points)
Posted by Watcher

If I may add my 2 cents not as a flute professional, but simply as somebody interested in learning and thinking...
The fact that you find your fingers to be useful suggests to me that you should find ways of exploiting other kinesthetic cues. Two ideas come to mind:
1. Prayer beads. This may not be practical in a concert setting, but they're used successfully by people who need to track hundreds of repetitions without thinking much about it.
2. Come up with some type of carry notation. For example, count five measure with your left hand, using each finger as a measure. Then touch your thumb of your right hand to your leg and let that serve to mean "5", and you left hand counts from 6-10. Then your next finger goes down, indicating 10 (5+5), and your left counts 11-15. And so on. Or you can come up with any variation that makes sense to you.
Either way, make sure you practice listening to recordings while holding your flute so you can learn to do it automatically while not getting tangled up in your instrument.

Re: Attention-Deficit Rest Counting    18:19 on Thursday, April 01, 2010          

(480 points)
Posted by Tibbiecow

Oooh, that's great- I'm the bird, so I'm free to fly!

Yes, kinesthetic approaches will probably help a bunch.

And prayer beads might help in other-than-kinesiological ways!


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