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Counting/ Rhythm Tips, anyone?

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by camCARV03, May 13, 2006.

  1. camCARV03


    Apr 23, 2006
    memphis, TN
    hey guys..Im pretty average i guesss you can say, at counting and rhythms. But i find myself a little slow at it and sometimes might spend a little alone time to figure the rhythms out. Just the other day i was asked to site-read a piece and the rhythm was EXTREMELY tricky. I screwed up badly. Are there any tips or ways to fix this problem? Obviously metronomes help, but I was not allowed to site read with one..do you guys "subdivide", etc? what are the most effective things? thank you
  2. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    I tap out the down beats with my foot (1...2...3...4...)
    and clap out the notes with my hands.

    The more you read, the more familiar the syncopated patterns will be. Pretty soon you won't even think about it. It becomes as fluid as reading print (as you can read this w/o to much trouble (hopefully!)).

    Even when sight reading I quickly scan the material and clap out the syncopated passages.

    If it's a tricky meter I'll have the drummer beat it out a little so I can hear the feel.

    Hopin' this helps, -Ryco <%+
  3. +1

    It's just a matter of being prepared to read rhythms. The more rhythms you read, the more likely you'll be prepared when you see them the next time around in another piece.
  4. I like to compare note values to the smallest note in a section . Count everything out loud, slowly, by the numbers. Each note receives the proper proportional value this way. For example: if sixteenth notes are the smallest, count "one" for each. Count "one, two" for each eighth note. Count "one, two, three" for each dotted eighth note. etc... Tom
  5. This is how we were taugh to count the supdivisions of a measure:

    Counting quarters = 1 2 3 4
    Counting eights = 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
    Counting 1/8 note triplets = 1 triplet 2 triplet 3 triplet 4 triplet
    Counting Sixteeths = 1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a

    So if you actually say the beats and sub-beats, it helps you hear how a rhythmic passage is structured. Do it slowly using the 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 style method and you may find that you start to see how the rhythms pan out.
  6. Check out this book: The Encylopedia of Reading Rythmns by Gary Hess. It's a great method book.
  7. nypiano


    Feb 10, 2003
    Crack sightreader and great bassist Tom Hubbard recommended 2 (non-bass) sources for rhythm/sight read:

    Louis Bellson rhythm books
    Joe Allard sax sight read books

    It's about pattern recognition. You become extremely familiar with various combinations

    There is another method book by Michael Longo, how to sight read syncopated rhythms. His method is that you count the offbeats with the next counts for example 4"and" as (anticipated 1). 12341--234. The theory being that "western/classical" counting methods are not designed to handle jazz and african rhythm concepts.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I'm rather partial to the Charles Colin RHYTHM STUDIES FOR BASS CLEF INSTRUMENTS volumes 1 and 2.
  9. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Yeah, but I count on my fingers. :bag:

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