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sixstrings121
08-29-2005, 04:15 PM
Hey, I'm really having trouble reading rhythm's in musical notation. When you read, do you just go by feel, or do you actually count out the notes and stuff? I cant really read anything well that isnt straight whole notes, half, quarter, eighth, or sixteenth notes (for at least one beat). Like if they're all jumbled together, I have a really hard time reading it.

Malcolm
08-29-2005, 04:41 PM
What do I do? I'm acoustic backup, because of this I'm relying on the vocalist to set the timing -- so regardless of what the sheet music may say, what the lead vocalist does is what I would follow...........

No lead vocalist, then the tempo the lead instrument plays is the tempo I would follow.............

My point -- as acoustic backup I see my responsibility being to provide backup to the lead and follow the tempo they choose, even if it differs from the sheet music.

sixstrings121
08-29-2005, 04:56 PM
Im not really talking about reading backup guitar parts, Im mainly talking about melody, where the rhythm really matters. Thanks for the input though.

SeattleRuss
08-29-2005, 06:16 PM
Assuming you've never heard the tune before, there's really no way to "go by feel". If reading was just a matter of note values, it would be simple. It's the combination of rhythmic values and rests that are much more of a challenge.

I suggest that when trying to sight read a tune, so as not to overwhelm yourself, try to tackle the note values and the rhythmic aspect separately. Try just counting a few bars (or just one!) to get a feel for the where the notes fall in time (and duration) without worrying about the note values themselves. I think this helps make sight reading a less stressful thing.

widdly widdly
08-30-2005, 02:39 AM
I agree with russ from seatlly. Ignore the melody and count the rhythm. Count out loud, tap your foot and clap the rhythm of the notes. Counting out loud when you start playing it helps too and renforces the timing.
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sixstrings121
08-30-2005, 05:40 AM
So should I practise saying it and clapping it before I even try to play it?

widdly widdly
08-30-2005, 08:01 AM
If you look at it and can't figure out the rhythm straight away I'd try counting and clapping. That way you know how the rhythm should go.
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silent-storm
08-30-2005, 08:12 PM
once you have a number of rhythms commited to memory so you don't have to calculate where each note goes, but rather see the beat or bar as a whole, I've always found it very helpful to keep track of the time and rhythem with your pick.

Down strokes for all down beats and up strokes for the off beats, or with 16th notes down for the 1st and 3rd 16th and up for the 2nd and 4th 16th...just remember to keep your hand moving up and down with the beat at all times, regardless of whether notes are actually there. The only problem with this is how to get around triplets, but often they are in a position where you can hammer or pull one off, or slur, or 'sweep' 2 on adjacent strings.

AndylovesGuitar
11-17-2005, 03:00 PM
Down strokes for all down beats and up strokes for the off beats, or with 16th notes down for the 1st and 3rd 16th and up for the 2nd and 4th 16th...just remember to keep your hand moving up and down with the beat at all times, regardless of whether notes are actually there. The only problem with this is how to get around triplets, but often they are in a position where you can hammer or pull one off, or slur, or 'sweep' 2 on adjacent strings.

Excellent point that, something itry and drill into all my students about rhythmn playing........lends itself to a more fluid style me thinks!!

BillyJack
11-17-2005, 03:47 PM
This is great topic! I too have the hardest time with reading rhythm from notation. In the past I have been a copy cat player that just mimics what I have heard and add to, take away from or mixed the sound with others to make it my own. About two years ago, I started learning the aspects of theory that involve intervals, scales, sight reading and timing, things I thought I already had a handle on, in order to try to do some composing and I tell you it's been a challenge. The first year was really tough because of an error I made in my method of learning. I assumed I knew enough about the basics to skip anything I thought I had an understanding of. I was wrong in this aspect; the repetitiveness of the very basics is where I am developing the abilities that have alluded me for so long. I found that although I know a lot about music, there are too many gaps in my knowledge to be proficient when it comes to anything but copy cating. I find that several of the players that I look up to have the same flaw so, it appears to be a common mistake.

Panhead, a friend and a fellow IBMer, made the comment on here awhile back that, "grammar does matter". He's right, it's a language! As with any language, you do not have to know who to spell the words in order to say them but if you wish to read or write then, how can you skip any part of basics?

The best advice I can give someone with these same issues would be to get some entry-level theory books (or a good teacher) and DO NOT assume you know anything. Follow the lessons to the letter. Most basic theory starts out with note identification followed very quickly by their time values and practice exercises.

Bande
11-18-2005, 01:09 PM
Well, I also have a problem like that...

I was looking into some Dream Theater solos (not that sh*tty shredding, but some really good and melodic ones), and well, their rhythm was extremely weird, I can say. I got it in GuitarPro, but I insisted on trying to read it by myself, and not "cheating" by making the program play it. What worked for me was to set the metronome to the slowest possible speed (40bpm on mine) and start reading VEERRY slowly, and trying to figure the thing out. Sometimes even at this slow speed I had to double every note's value, thus "slowening" it 2times as much.

...well, not a big advice, but this worked for me so I thought I'd share...

Factor
11-22-2005, 03:13 PM
Start with something simple, that's my advice.

http://www.lightandmatter.com/sight/sight.html

forgottenking2
11-23-2005, 12:16 AM
Try one bar exercises. Like:

1 + (2) + (3) + 4 + ::

or stuff like that. I'm assuming you already have a good hold on straight rhythms and it's syncopated stuff that shows up in music what gives you trouble. If you DON'T have a good hold on straight rhythms then try combining quarter notes and 8th note pairs in a bar. Once that is easy add groups of 4 sixteenths to the mix. Once you can do those in any combination then start using a single 8th along with quarter notes, add ties, use uneven numbers of sixteenths add tripplets. Etc.

You can come up with patterns of your own or simply pick up a piece of music and clap one bar.

Once you master single bar rythms then start combining them and from then you pretty much have it.

I hope this helps

Spino
11-23-2005, 07:14 PM
You might like to check out 4/4 Rhythms by Louis Bellson it has great exercises from basic to wildly syncopated . :)

perth
11-26-2005, 07:06 AM
learn to play drums. if you cant afford a drum kit, get a 15 gallon paint bucket and a couple dowel rods from home depot.

klerg
12-08-2005, 06:32 AM
Actually, since a lot of people keep mentioning that counting is a way to recognize rhythm i found this (http://www.alexandertechnique.com/articles/piano/) in an article on the web "Here are some beliefs, usually unconscious, that many people have picked up in the course of life...

3) The belief that rhythm is something that takes place solely inside your head. This is leant when rhythm being introduced and only ever referred to as 'counting', which especially for a young child means intense concentration on getting notes in the right place, according to an internal, intellectual number scheme...A musical response which involves only the brain can barely be called a musical response at all. Music is movement, life, a physical sense of rhythm, an emotional response. This is why it is dangerous to first approach rhythm by teaching people to count. Counting in an intellectual activity. Rhythm is not intellectual, but physical. We feel it, we move to it, and from that movement comes action to produce sound which is already musically intelligent without the need for analysis. Movement is more musically intelligent than thought."

I have no clue who the author is that wrote this other than the info provided at the bottom of the page; a link to his website did not work for me. The question i have is how, then, is one supposed to learn (i.e. notate) rhythm?

dsparling
12-20-2005, 05:16 PM
learn to play drums. if you cant afford a drum kit, get a 15 gallon paint bucket and a couple dowel rods from home depot.

There's some truth in that...I started out as a drummer, or actually a classical percussionist (snare, timpani, marimba), though I did play set for a while. I switched to guitar pretty early on, but recently started playing drums again after many years of not even thinking about drums. I studied drums with a jazz teacher and it became obvious that reading rhythms was a major weak point. You don't need a set, just some sticks and a few good books...try the Chaffee "Patterns" books for a real whooping....