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I Suck at Reading and Writing Out Rhythms- Prescribe, please

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by ocripes, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. ocripes

    ocripes Supporting Member

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    You know, I just do. Not looking to be a greeat sight reader, either. Just wish I could read better.

    When it get syncopated I get agitated.
     
  2. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    Same way you "get to Carnigie Hall"...practice, etc...
    If I do not maintain reading and writing music skills, they go away.
     
  3. rnm14

    rnm14 Member

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    learn to say/sing the "one beat groups" with syllables (i.e. one eighth and two sixteenth = ta daba) really good. Then move on to the connected "one beat groups" etc. In the end you will instantly recognise the practiced patterns. Hope this makes sense...
     
  4. Mandoboy

    Mandoboy Member

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    It helps to have a guru- anyone who can already do it- help you out, because while I believe in self-teaching, in the case of rhythmic reading (and some others), you have no real way of knowing when you are making a mistake.

    It's finite, especially in 4/4 there are only so many combinations of rhythms you are likely to see. Start with the big ones (whole, half and quarters), notes AND rests, then 8ths, then 16ths. If you get that far you'll be fine, it's rare to see 32nd and above values (and they are usually against a very slow pulse).

    Robert Starer's "Rhythmic Training" is a good one and less than $10 to get you rolling. Drum books are good too- if you eliminate worrying about pitches you can focus on the rhythms; then when you go back to reading melodic stuff, you won't freak out on the rhythmic aspect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  5. todd richman

    todd richman Senior Member

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    I am also in need of work in reading rhythms. This thread will get me refreshed.
     
  6. carbz

    carbz Supporting Member

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    Forget about rhymes I get brain strain if its more then a few lines.
     
  7. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I have a buddy I play with who has a vocal performance degree, grew up playing drums in the school band, and plays guitar. We have been doing vocal training for the ear part for me.

    I recently asked him this question, and he suggested getting some elementary drum books. He talked about being able to look past the notes and see the rhythm pattern of the notes played. So, by just playing a drone note and working thru these primers, you internalize and can recognize the rhythms quickly.

    That's the idea anyway. I have just started working on it, so I dunno yet.
     
  8. 7StringJazz

    7StringJazz Member

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    This is an easy one. Get Modern Reading Text in 4/4 by Louis Bellson. Go through the book daily. You can do this anywhere and does not require an instrument. By the end of the week you will be cured and comfortable reading syncopations. By the end of the month you will be well on the way to mastering sight reading and writing. Remember notes don't change but rhythms change constantly. Mastering rhythms is the most critical element to sight reading. See also Bellson's odd-time reading text for an extra jolt of rhythm mastery.

    After these books. Take a Bird solo (any bebop solo will do but Bird's rhythms are fun) and just read the rhythms. After Bellson you should be able to do this fairly easily. You will never have this problem again. Good luck!
     
  9. ocripes

    ocripes Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I just ordered used on Amazon for cheap. Funny you should mention Bird, because I have a rotten time reading bop heads, let alone the solos. I wonder: how many people pick up these things and play them well w/o having heard them (that is, purely via reading).

    Thanks to all for suggestions!
     
  10. 7StringJazz

    7StringJazz Member

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    Thats great. You will not regret it. I learned this from one of my teachers early on. We would spend several minutes of each lesson just clapping rhythms. Since your brain is the biggest obstacle to reading you have to be able to grock the rhythm without thinking. When you can see the rhythm pattern without thinking you just think notes. Its something I used to use in my own teaching. By the way I'm not saying you will be able to play it at speed, just that you will be able to read it. ;)
     

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