Author Topic: "Seeing" the notes  (Read 8033 times)


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"Seeing" the notes
« on: December 29, 2008, 11:18:31 PM »
Jim, do you have any tips on being able to "see" the notes as placed on the keyboard? Like I have mentioned in our communications, C-E is not as bad as F-B, especially finding that G and A.

I am looking at 12 notes in an octave arranged in an illogical fashion, all things considered. To me, anyway. Is it just practice, practice, practice that helps the eyes find these same colored notes (in my case all black with a Malletkat), or can the eyes and brain use "tips" in seeing things as one plays?

With wood materials I suspect there might be grain patterns in the actual keys the eyes would get familiar looking at. But with metal vibes, or with the malletkat the only thing to really distinguish placement is the spacing of the two and three sharp/flats. Is that all the player really has to work with?

Jim McCarthy

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Re: "Seeing" the notes
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 01:29:10 AM »
No - I think the practice is the thing.
Really individual bar recognition is no good unless you always play exactly the same instrument. A professional player does not always have that luxury. The visual pattern is definitely the main thing, and it DOES get a lot easier with hours under the belt. Also of course, just the muscle memory. Scales, arpreggios and chords and other patterns that are common - well they eventually get repeated often enough that the physical movement and distances become remembered and ingrained. Of course that is one of the main reasons why it can be difficult for a player to switch between instruments, and also why my marimba building designs try to employ as close as possible to "standard" commercial bar dimensions and spacings.

Practise is the thing.
When I was a very young baby, walking on two legs seemed impossible, but now I make it look easy!