### teaching 2 against 3 (RH and LH)

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I have a student playing a piece that has triplet quarter notes in the right hand and quarter notes in the left hand. I can play it but I find myself unable to explain it easily to her. Isn't there a simple method (that I forgot long ago). Thanks, Anne

-- anne stanton (writeannesoon@cs.com), September 25, 2001

I find that explanations don't get you very far. Simply try modeling the sound. Work on each hand alone until secure, but at the same time, foster the sound of both hands together. The ear can often take over where the mind fails!

-- Arlene Steffen (asteffen@fresno.edu), October 26, 2001.

Try using the idea of a common denominator (the same as adding fractions in arithmetic). In playing 2 against 3, the common denominator is six (1/2 and 1/3). Count by six, sounding the duple part on every third beat and the triplet part on every second beat. Comes out ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six in one hand and ONE-two-THREE- four-FIVE-six in the other.

-- Ted Lesher (ted@sonnet.com), November 02, 2001.

Hello Anne,

I have had success with both two against three and three against four by saying the words "Not dif-fi-cult" and "Not Ver-y dif-fi-cult".

In your example, where the RH has 2 and the LH has 3, the first notes are played together, "Not", then Left-Right-Left "dif-fi-cult". The syllables and the pronunciation are easy to understand.

If I haven't been clear enough, please email me.

Sarah

-- Sarah (slyngra@hotmail.com), January 03, 2002.

I learnt how do it just by listening and also mathematically working it out. However, I have since been told the "cold-cup-of-tea" and have use it with students - it works wel

-- alison dite (alison.dite@ntlworld.com), July 15, 2002.

As others with word games, I have used 'red rubber boots' First I say the words over and over to get the feel of the rhythm in their ears, and then have them say it with me. Then I have the student tap on the closed piano lid like this: Together, right-left-right. Together, right-left-right. etc. They will be essentially describing what they are doing physically, talking themselves through the learning of the rhythm. Do this as slowly as you need to to accomplish the rhythm. Once that is mastered have them say aloud 'red rubber boots' as they tap. Then have them play the rhythm on the piano on two C's an 8tve or two apart, first describing the sensation, 'together, right-left-right' over and over, then substituting the words. Then have them try the actual two agaoinst three from the repertoire. Just those notes. Nothing before or after, using the above verbal drills in succession. Then try from a beat or so before. It works great!!!!

-- Craig Richey (Craigetty@aol.com), September 10, 2002.

There is a book entitled Twos & Threes by Katherine K Beard. I do not know if it is still available.Boston Music Company 14161. It offers explanations, simple exercises and 2 pieces using the 2-3 polyrhythm. I usually loan the book out to students. All of the other suggestions are good and have been successful for me also.

-- marciajyurko (mjyurko@hotmail.com), December 08, 2002.

The method Sarah described not only works, but also encourages. Here is yet another: Tell your students, concerning two with three, "Let me show you how 'ea - sy it is'"! Use the same l.h./r.h.pattern for "not difficult" on two notes an octave apart. I hope this helps someone.

-- Rob (Gurganusr@imail.walkercountyschools.com), August 15, 2003.

The method Sarah described not only works, but also encourages. Here is yet another: Tell your students, concerning two with three, "Let me show you how 'ea - sy it is'"! Use the same l.h./r.h.pattern for "not difficult" on two notes an octave apart. I hope this helps someone.

-- Rob (Gurganusr@imail.walkercountyschools.com), August 15, 2003.

Here's the way I was taught:

1 2 + 3 1 2 + 3 1 2 + 3

1 2 1 2 1 2 etc...

Tap the above, top line RH and lower line LH, reverse for thorough practice

-- Lea Johnson (clearfuture@erols.com), March 09, 2005.

Hi-

My last post did not convert properly to show the actual layout of the counts. Does this work?

one two + three one two + three one two + three

one two one two one two etc....

-- Lea Johnson (clearfuture@erols.com), March 09, 2005.

I guess my explanation isn't going to look right. Try to remember that the 1 in each group should match, and the + between beats 2 and 3 of the 3 group should match.

-- Lea Johnson (clearfuture@erols.com), March 09, 2005.