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Tapping out rhythms to real music is a practical way to learn rhythm. You can practice it almost anywhere.

I initially used the Rhythm Bootcamp book when I was self-teaching. It’s good for beginners, covers the most common time signatures, and it has all those fun Philip Johnston games to “level up” your skills.

When I found a teacher, he assigned the Modern Reading and Odd-Reading books by Louis Bellson. A step up from the Rhythm Bootcamp book, but very well rounded. I usually take these books with me when I travel. I fire up Spotify or iTunes and I’m good to go.

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Re: Where is the beat
[Re: Jitin]
#2709980 01/30/1804:06 AM01/30/1804:06 AM

If you do: the "beat" is anytime you say a number. The "downbeat" is anytime you say 1. When getting used to playing with the metronome, you can try counting out loud. Anytime you say a number should be at the same time as a metronome click. Or if that's difficult at first, start by just trying to tap your finger on the wood of the piano at exactly the same time as the metronome clicks.

If you don't know how to count rhythms, many folks here can help with that.

(And yes, one SHOULD always know exactly where the beat is when one is learning a piece. Music has a pulse just like we all have a heartbeat. No, it won't always be metronomically even, depending on the style of the piece, and no we won't always be counting numbers in our heads any more than we go around all day counting our heartbeats, but it's always there.)

Working on: Cabaret (whole show) 12+ variations from classical ballets Verdi: Stabat Mater Copland: Appalachian Spring Tangos and other fun music for piano duo

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.

Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

It matters how the person who wrote the notation chose to use dots and ties. For instance, the same measure could be written:

quarter, eighth, dotted quarter, quarter

quarter, eighth, eighth tied to quarter, quarter

The first takes less space on the paper, the second gives you something to see where all the beats are.

-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927 Yamaha CP33 Kawai FS690

Re: Where is the beat
[Re: dmd]
#2710116 01/30/1802:51 PM01/30/1802:51 PM

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.

Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.

Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.

I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.

Re: Where is the beat
[Re: Jitin]
#2710156 01/30/1805:27 PM01/30/1805:27 PM

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.

Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.

I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.

I guess it's possible to avoid the math, I am thinking back to myself as a child. Lets say a 4/4 passage on middle C. Crotchet, two quavers, crotchet, two quavers. With visualisation, the child will see the little flag on the quaver, it looks different so will realise it means something different, and by sound association and given an example by the teacher and can learn that way. I had recorder lessons when I as 4 - 5, I still have book of the pieces I was playing so I checked, I am pretty sure I didn't know fractions then, but for sure there were quavers and crotches. I had no issue learning them just fine, judging by the grades of the pieces at the time and date stamps to confirm it.

There were no theory lessons at that early age until about 6 or 7 for me, not in terms of math and such anyway, there was sight reading of course, and lots of following by example. It was a case of, when a note looks like this, then play this as follows, if a time signature is this, listen to the sounds etc. I would just copy and follow it by ear is how I recall it mostly , and I understood the concept after that. Perhaps it was a case of that I learned most easily/quickly that way ... at that age.

Selftaught since June 2014. Books: Barratt classic piano course bk 1,2,3. Humphries Piano handbook, various... Kawai CA78, Casio AP450 & software pianos. 12x ABF recitals. My struggles: https://soundcloud.com/alexander-borro

The first part puzzles me every time I ready it: "Able to see on the music where the beat is". Something in there doesn't seem to be understood properly, because in written music, where the beat is, is crystal clear. In 4/4 music there are 4 beats in a measure, 1, 2, 3, 4 and that can be seen visually.

Certainly anyone who knows the note values could sit at a desk and figure it out measure by measure like a math problem. But it'll take a beginner a while to get to the point of doing it as fast as the music is played, while also pressing the right keys.

The thing I think about learning to read rhythm, though, is that it should not figured out measure by measure like a math problem. Rather, students should be taught to feel the beat, and the subdivisions, and to go automatically from notation to subdivisions.

Later, for much more complicated rhythms, being able to do the math problem might be useful. But it really discourages me (in a certain online course I'm thinking of, for example), where rhythmic notation is initially introduced as math rather than as pulse, rhythm, and relation.

I am not sure what exactly you mean by figuring out measure by measure like a math problem? Imo understanding has to come first. I do not need to figure out rhythm by doing math when I sight read, but if I never understood the system in the first place how could I get it right without outside help? Because like it or not, notation of rhythm is based on fractions and you need some (simple) math to get it. After that becomes counting and feeling the pulse etc.

I guess it's possible to avoid the math, I am thinking back to myself as a child. Lets say a 4/4 passage on middle C. Crotchet, two quavers, crotchet, two quavers. With visualisation, the child will see the little flag on the quaver, it looks different so will realise it means something different, and by sound association and given an example by the teacher and can learn that way. I had recorder lessons when I as 4 - 5, I still have book of the pieces I was playing so I checked, I am pretty sure I didn't know fractions then, but for sure there were quavers and crotches. I had no issue learning them just fine, judging by the grades of the pieces at the time and date stamps to confirm it.

There were no theory lessons at that early age until about 6 or 7 for me, not in terms of math and such anyway, there was sight reading of course, and lots of following by example. It was a case of, when a note looks like this, then play this as follows, if a time signature is this, listen to the sounds etc. I would just copy and follow it by ear is how I recall it mostly , and I understood the concept after that. Perhaps it was a case of that I learned most easily/quickly that way ... at that age.

Since this is the abf I would assume that any starter will be well equipped to understand and not just copy. Children who start very early may be a different matter. But there is the risk that they become quite good at doing without no understanding and that needs to be patched later.

And I don't even want to start on the difficult to remember names used for note values in some countries...it all makes such perfect sense with whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and so on

Re: Where is the beat
[Re: outo]
#2710168 01/30/1805:54 PM01/30/1805:54 PM

@keystring Here's a picture, not great quality, but you get the idea:

Ok ..... now show us a picture like this for 3/4 time.

That was not the purpose of this exercise. Different meters were the next step.

You didn't keep those ?

Not sure I understand what you mean?

I assumed the picture you showed was something from your previous experience with the picture method someone used with you.

Then ... I thought you would have the other ones also.

Maybe not. Maybe you just drew the one that you showed us.

If so ... I was presenting you with a challenge to draw one for 3/4 time.

If you do not care to .... that is fine.

It was a method I made up myself. I did not draw those now, I just had them left after I created them to help my friend understand the note values. And there are more pieces to the puzzles...

Yes, of course I could do the same for 3/4 time. Just a little bit of computer work...slightly more difficult though because of having to divide a circle in 3

But it was not necessary because the goal was only to train her to understand how the note values relate to each other and how they must always "fit" into the measure. Since all the pieces were the correct size relative to the time value of the notes you could not fit an incorrect amount of notes/rests to a perfect circle (representing a measure). From these "puzzles" we went to actual notated music with different meters and I made her write into each one how to count the notes. It worked well.

Unfortunately I could not convince her to consistently count while learning her pieces because her teacher let her play with her "own rhythm". But she was still happy to finally get this thing that had bothered her about the notation.

Re: Where is the beat
[Re: outo]
#2710220 01/30/1809:05 PM01/30/1809:05 PM

This piece is actually 3/4 108bpm, I guess 6/8 would work at 54 bpm. I think I’m going to learn my next piece with a metronome and figure out where the beats are for each measure