• i'm thinking time signatures and maybe a book or two on full set drumming...


    dont worry; full set "properly notated" only concerns itself with the notes, rests, and repeats and such.... there is no "pitch" to it. each "instrument" in the drum kit has its own line in the staff, and its either being HIT at a certain point in time, or not...


    you should be able to scan basic drum beats, and move on to the more complicated versions of the basic beat, and "see"/"hear" the syncopation or whatever.


    my earliest exercises, knowing nothing of pitched instruments? I rather was picking out pitches and using the pitches in a percussionistic manner, lol...


    when i was young and still taking percussion lessons... I didnt then realize that some of the more complicated rhythms (like the naningo, HATED that one, lol) are actually polyrhythms or complex time signatures NOTATED as 4/4 or 8/4 time...


    its equally important in percussion (which is rhythm, is it not?) that you play ON the beat, and also OFF the beat. it creates a "stuttering" (my own word for it, lol) that comes and goes and adds ornamentation to an otherwise bland simple time beat.


    tech tip: occasionally skipping a "strong beat" (on the 1,2,3 or 4?) when it is expected, creates a tension of sorts... if you wanna call it that...


    a good drummer can also on demand... start "jumping" the beat, IE, playing precisely out of time


    you can "lead" or "lag" by a whole beat, a half a beat, a quarter beat, whatever... as long as its temporarily CONSISTENT, note that you are technically perfectly IN TIME even though you are actually OUT of time, well, so to speak, anyways...


    I have heard a good lead guitar guy talk about leading or lagging the beat deliberately for a sound recently, so its not just drummers doing it.

  • When I practice rhythms I use a very logical exercise. I play through all the values I know with a metronome. Then I record one value and play it with all the other values. Before playing anything I'll make sure to hear it in my head first and if I don't I will practice until I do (it's like the difference between be able to recognize and to really know an interval.)    


    This is a lifetime exercise because the combinations are many and you can never hear a rhythm or a combination of many too good in your head. But it takes time, at first I had problems with 16th triplets, I was "able" to play them but I didn't hear them in my head and 1/4 triplets against eight notes took me many, many hours. The key is often to first think in half tempo. The good thing about this exercise is that you will be able to notate whatever you like immediately. 

  • Thanks for that, how bout something like a web site? or something to actually see, hear, and do all at the same time? Am I asking too much? I really don't know even where to begin here. I might have a little more than a basic understanding here. I can see the drum idea which has helped so far, but I have no experience with an actual drum set of any kind. Unless you count banging on my desk at work.LOL
  • Read scores.


    The more you dig into rhytms that are already notated (and try to reproduce them, of course), the more accustomed you get to certain patterns and motifs that are very common. In the end, you don't even "read" the rhytm anymore - you just see a note group and immediately know how it sounds. It goes the other way too - you hear a pattern, you see in your head what it looks like. Notation problem solved.

  • Thanks y'all very quality all the way round. HOSS
  • I have only a basic experience with old/modern rhythms, but I have a fantastic tool for experimenting, which is Arpeggiator of my synthesizer Yamaha S90 ES. It contains thousands of embedded rhythms (loops) in hundreds of styles, stored from live sessions and controllable from the keyboard. You feel as you are a conductor of a sophisticated rhythm section, whose instruments can be added, deleted, modified etc. I use this in my compositions. 

  • I use conducting to transcribe the rhythms that I come up with.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am nowhere near being a professional or even useful conductor for an ensemble- it's all about figuring out the patterns for each time signature.  Then you conduct, and try to sing your idea while watching where your arm is.  This gives you a visual reference for how the rhythms are lining up in your meter (ex: I may notice that my arm is in the "and of 2" position when I sing a particular note in my idea).  Do a search for "how to conduct music" on you tube, there are plenty of helpful and simple videos to watch.

  • May I am misunderstanding your question, but what about some ear training software like EarMAster. Is it a great program and very usefull for becoming a better musician overall. It has a decent section for training rhythms by looking at notation. :-)
  • I'd would actually go the linguistic route. Using words.

    I am hungry.

    1, 2, 3, 4 = I am hun gry
    1, 2, 3 + 4 = I am hun + gry

    Sally went to the store = 1 + and, 2, 3 + and 4 (in beats)

    Sally went to the store = 1, 2, 3 (Sal-ly went); 1,2,3 (to the store) This would be in pulses! 6/8 = 2/8 (Six pulses = Two beats; eighth notes gets both)

    This is forever used when lyrics are put to music.

    w = whole note
    h = half note
    q = quarter note
    e = eighth note
    s = sixteenth note

    Mary had a little lamb. In Common Time (4/4 = four beats in a measure; crochet (quarter note) gets the beat)

    Sounds like seven syllables! (2 + 2 + 2 + 1)

    The possible ways to break this up using crochets/quavers and maybe semiquavers (quarter/eighth/sixteenths)

    1. q, q, q, q/ q, q, h
    2. e + e, e + e, e + e, q(tied)/w
    3. s + s + s + s, q, q, q(tied)/w

    There are many many more combinations, but I hope those three give you some sense on how to find rhythm using words and syllables.

    Note, you may not be writing lyrics; however, just sing or say something that matches the pattern you're writing.

    I certainly hopes this helps!

    (How would that look rhythmically?)
  • Well, imo, I think that the authenticity is the most important thing.  I did an exercise of transcribing old recordings of shepherd flute folk songs.  The rhythm was always performed stretched, pulled, and all other kinds of wacky ways, which in all honesty was totally beautiful and perfect.  Sometimes, notating things a little simpler and then adding expressive freedom will do the trick to some degree.  Notating overly complex rhythms is not always a great idea, especially if you want to get your piece performed, but if you write for the performer to play "Improvisingly" or something to that effect, it may help.

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