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Is it common that getting rhythm down takes longer than everything else? It seems when I learn a piece the hardest part is the rhythms. Wondering if this is common and is it like anything else where the more rhythms you learn and play they become easier to pick up? Do you eventually build an internal rhythm library similarly to note recognition, intervals, etc.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Is it common that getting rhythm down takes longer than everything else? It seems when I learn a piece the hardest part is the rhythms. Wondering if this is common and is it like anything else where the more rhythms you learn and play they become easier to pick up?[bold] Do you eventually build an internal rhythm library similarly to note recognition, intervals, etc.[/bold]

Exactly right.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by Sebs
Is it common that getting rhythm down takes longer than everything else? It seems when I learn a piece the hardest part is the rhythms. Wondering if this is common and is it like anything else where the more rhythms you learn and play they become easier to pick up?[bold] Do you eventually build an internal rhythm library similarly to note recognition, intervals, etc.[/bold]

Exactly right.

I'll second that. Yes, some rhythms didn't come easy. I used do a little rhythm practice away from the piano most days (just five minutes or so). I partly used The Rhythm Bible book, but mainly I used the Paul Harris series Improve Your Sight Reading. I would select anything that didn't come naturally and built up a list of representative exercises I could do from the various grades (at that time it was just books 3 & 4). Clapping along to the tracks eventually ingrained itself and this really helped my sight reading as well. I don't have trouble with rhythm at all now, although I did have to repeat the same work on the higher grades as I approached them.

Last edited by earlofmar; 10/08/20 10:38 PM.

Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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I'm the exact opposite. Rhythm has always been a piece of cake for me. But someone told me once as a kid to count and I think I kind of do that internally and automatically without consciously doing it. And once I hear it for a piece I never forget it.

Reading and to a lesser extent finger dexterity is what I struggle with.


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It goes without saying that the designations of rhythm are for the student the most complex and voluminous of musical designations in general. Here's compare:

-18 (on average) permanent note locations in the bass clef.
-23 (on average) permanent note locations in the treble clef.
-5 signs of alteration per every note .

And at the same time :

-At least 22 different rhythmic notation per every note - including the use of slurs and dots.
-3 main types of rhythmic connections between notes.
-12 types of rests .
-Finally, to reinforce the good feeling: in the French pause system, a quarter is designated as a rotated eighth.


Happy reading!

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Is it common that getting rhythm down takes longer than everything else? It seems when I learn a piece the hardest part is the rhythms.
No, not for me. But maybe I am a bit too fond of my metronome. But hardest for me - and getting more difficult as my pieces gradually get more difficult - is playing fast. I spent most time on increasing the tempo.


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Hm I do certainly hope so, since it's very hard for me. Without a metronome I'm lost, and even with it I really have trouble sticking to it, especially to syncopated rythms. At least I'm not alone, so at minimum there are two of us now ^^.

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I've told this story a few times already: my teacher never worked on rhythm with me. We never practiced clapping or counting beats. I don't know if she just didn't see the need to do so, or if I was good enough at bluffing my way through a piece to make it seem as if I was actually counting beats.

So now as an adult, reading the notes and intervals is easy and I can approximate the correct rhythm based on what kind of note is printed on the page (quarter, eighth, half, etc) but to get it exactly right sometimes takes extra effort and months of work on difficult measures.

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I try to practice some rhythm away from the piano by reading the notes and clapping from time-to-time. Sometimes, I make up games tapping both hands on the desk. Sometimes I will tap out the beat with the left foot; that requires some coordination (my classical piano teacher says that is distracting but I see a lot of Jazz musicians tapping a foot to keep time).

Over time, the horizontal axis becomes intuitive IME.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
It goes without saying that the designations of rhythm are for the student the most complex and voluminous of musical designations in general. Here's compare:

-18 (on average) permanent note locations in the bass clef.
-23 (on average) permanent note locations in the treble clef.
-5 signs of alteration per every note .

And at the same time :

-At least 22 different rhythmic notation per every note - including the use of slurs and dots.
-3 main types of rhythmic connections between notes.
-12 types of rests .
-Finally, to reinforce the good feeling: in the French pause system, a quarter is designated as a rotated eighth.


Happy reading!

Sorry for my confusion but what does this mean?

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Originally Posted by FloRi89
Hm I do certainly hope so, since it's very hard for me. Without a metronome I'm lost, and even with it I really have trouble sticking to it, especially to syncopated rythms. At least I'm not alone, so at minimum there are two of us now ^^.

Happy to hear we're not alone! I feel the same, especially with syncopation. I was like wtf is this and how is it done takes forever to make it sounds halfway decent and quarter speed even haha.

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The most important aspect of rhythm - any rhythm - is the establishment of a regular beat when playing or singing. When listening, being able to hear where the beats fall, and where the strong beats are. Without it, the rhythm cannot be discerned.

If you are having problems with rhythms of any sort, it's better to start from first principles: listen to music - everything ranging from nursery tunes to folk & pop songs to marches: and a good place to start is with very familiar stuff - like The Star-Spangled Banner and La Marseillaise and God Save the Queen, which are strongly rhythmic - and see if you can deduce what meter they are in (duple, triple or quadruple time) - and beat time to it.

Because, if you're already having trouble with knowing how many beats-in-a-bar familiar music is in or where the beats fall (and beating time to it, like a conductor) you'll have problems with more complicated stuff like syncopations.

In all music, you need to know - and feel exactly - where the beats are, to be able to play syncopations properly. For instance, can you tell what meter this well-known music is in, and beat time to it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h4mAceHmrI

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Sorry for my confusion but what does this mean?

Sorry; what did I say wrong, that it is impossible to understand that we are talking about the written notation?

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Check out Rhythm Blocks from this inspiring video.


They also have other formats, including Rhythm cards. They are sold by Lucy from North Carolina (but I saw some at my local sheet music store).

https://e-znotes.com/product/e-z-rhythm-blocks/
https://e-znotes.com/product/e-z-beats-rhythm-cards/
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1465656/Re_magnetic_board_for_teaching.html

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Originally Posted by newer player
Check out Rhythm Blocks from this inspiring video.
[video:youtube]https://y2Tn29-0[/video]

They also have other formats, including Rhythm cards. They are sold by Lucy from North Carolina (but I saw some at my local sheet music store).

https://e-znotes.com/product/e-z-rhythm-blocks/
https://e-znotes.com/product/e-z-beats-rhythm-cards/
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1465656/Re_magnetic_board_for_teaching.html

I would like to see a clip with children playing with these toys.


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