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WebRhythms Lesson 3C

WebRhythms is a series of short articles designed to teach rhythmic reading. Each article includes musical examples that help explain the concepts and an exercise that tests your new reading skills. Along with the written materials, WebRhythms allows you to download and print a copy of each exercise and provides a computer-perfect MIDI performance at a number of different tempi. With all these materials, it’s easy to be creative and challenge yourself while you learn or improve your reading ability.

If you’re a novice at reading music, these articles will start you off by building a solid foundation. Those of you with strong reading skills can use these lessons to brush up and polish what you already know. The later lessons may even show you some new rhythmic ideas and procedures. Monster readers can take the Pro Challenge. Do you have what it takes to keep up?

LESSON THREE, PART C:
SIXTEENTH / EIGHTH NOTE COMBINATIONS

Now the fun starts! Example A is a figure that doesn’t actually have a specific name, it’s just called two sixteenths and an eighth. This figure results when only the first eighth in a count is broken into two sixteenths. When you play this figure, don’t count the “a”, but be sure that you are leaving a space for it. Examples B and C show this figure’s relationship to a group of two eighths and to a group of four sixteenth notes.

webrhythms 03ex3

In order for you to get the feeling of this figure, I recommend that you begin by counting every single one of the sixteenth note syllables out loud. Remember not to play on the sixteenth’s syllable (“a”) if it follows an eighth note. Soon, as you feel more comfortable with the rhythms, begin leaving out the syllables that aren’t played. This way, you won’t have to say so many syllables when you are playing.

Listen to the “bronze level” audio file and try to count the rhythms out loud before attempting to perform this exercise:

  1. WebRhythms Lesson 3C - Bronze 3:17
  2. WebRhythms Lesson 3C - Silver 2:11
  3. WebRhythms Lesson 3C - Gold 1:39
  4. WebRhythms Lesson 3C - Platinum 1:06
  5. WebRhythms Lesson 3C - Diamond 0:51