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  1. #1

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    I can recognize intervals just fine but I’m pretty much crap with rhythms. Any tips / training methods?
    - Nova Comedy

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I found Ted Reed's Progressive Steps to Syncopation to be a really good book for me.
    When I got to Berklee, I got put into the fourth year Ear Training class and there was a weekly rhythmic component in the course book and I found it to be really well thought out. We'd be responsible for being able to not just read, but sing (vocalize) the exercises. Maybe I'll post some of the things from that.
    Listening to drummers, from Papa Jo Jones to Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey for starters, getting a feel for how to create weight and space, swing and accent by feel (and off book) would be a helpful step.

    That's a few things I can think of for starters. Good luck!
    David

  4. #3
    I guess reading a lots of rhythm exercises wouldn't hurt. There are free apps even just for that.

  5. #4

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    Yeah I think working really hard at executing rhythms accurately (for example, counting them out) and then reading them from a source like Bellson will help you hear rhythms.

    The analog is with sight singing and hearing pitches.

  6. #5

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    I got something out of Complete Rhythms by Colin and Bower (you can see pages for free on-line).

    Also a book by Lennie Nihaus (sp?). Both of these start each exercise by showing the rhythmic pattern it is based on.

    I think that a key to internalizing it is to figure out what the rhythm is by counting it, if necessary. And then sing it as if it were a drum lick. Not ONE e AND uh one E type thing but, rather, BA du BA du du BAH!

    All the great players I know seem to think of rhythms in terms of this type of scatting.

  7. #6
    Thanks for the tips, everybody! I’ll see what I can do.
    - Nova Comedy

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  8. #7
    Rhythmic ear training will make you more musical. Just don't forget to internalize the sound on your play. As the goal is to train your ears to hear and feel every beat, feel free to be creative.

  9. #8

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    First thing I do do when trying to learn a new melody, improvisation or chords by ear - is to tap the rhythm of the melody, etc. with one hand and tap a steady quarter- or half note pulse with the other hand. Let´s you feel the syncopation and makes finding the corresponding pitches easier.
    Dirk

  10. #9
    I've done the same with more difficult things but one hand tapping 2&4 while the other tries to get the rhythm right. Not exactly ear training but helped a lot with stuff that don't want to settle in easily. When this started to working, something strange happened with the inner clock, it became almost "physical". It felt that way. But this is a thread-derailing already

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by generalduke View Post
    First thing I do do when trying to learn a new melody, improvisation or chords by ear - is to tap the rhythm of the melody, etc. with one hand and tap a steady quarter- or half note pulse with the other hand. Let´s you feel the syncopation and makes finding the corresponding pitches easier.
    Dirk
    That's a great idea, and great thread in general.

    I've been thinking recently about how rhythm seems to be a bit underemphasized in music education by pretty much all instrumentalists except percussionists.

    And then there's some drummers who are the opposite way, and have dug deep in to rhythm, but don't know about harmony etc.

    With that being said, threads like this are awesome, because at the end of the day, there aren't really that many different notes you can play, and a major factor that really sets players apart from each other is our sense of rhythm.

    Not just what rhythms we play, but how we play them (behind the beat, on the beat, accenting) and there are many details that can be explored, probably even more than exploring combinations of harmony..


    As for some rhythmic exercises, a good one is just counting the metronome on different parts of the beat (treating the metronome as the last partial of 16th notes, the upbeats, anything except for downbeats) It's very challenging to not revert back to treating the clicks as downbeats, since you're essentially phasing with the metronome.

    I definitely need more exercises having to do with rhythm, and the exercise tapping the melody while tapping quarter notes in the left hand is also great for independence, which I'm realizing is a huge factor in your ability to play time as well!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post

    Also a book by Lennie Nihaus (sp?). Both of these start each exercise by showing the rhythmic pattern it is based on.
    I think this is the book you're referring to.
    Amazon.com: Basic Jazz Conception for Saxophone, Vol. 1: 12 Jazz Exercises; 10 Jazz Tunes (w/CD) (9781934638002): Lennie Niehaus: Books
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12

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    I got a practice pad and sticks and sometimes work on basic drumming exercises. It's lots of fun and (I think) helps with time and rhythms. Drummers often cite "Stick Control" and "Progressive Steps to Syncopation" as foundational texts.
    Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer: George Lawrence Stone: 0038081356433: Amazon.com: Books
    Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer (Ted Reed Publications): Ted Reed: 0038081151816: Amazon.com: Books

  14. #13

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    I have a private lesson with Frank Vignola via TrueFire. I sent him a video, gave him some background, and told him what I wanted to work on. I said jazz rhythms / phrasing (for single line playing, not comping.) I'll holler back here if he passes along something I think might prove generally useful.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  15. #14

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    Two really fantastic resources:

    Louis Bellsons Modern Reading Text in 4/4 - just a big book of nothing but reading rhythms.

    the App "sight reading factory" which will just generate more or less infinite sight reading examples, and you could just clap the rhythms rather than the pitches (and then also use the app for your sight reading practice)

    I'm sure there are many apps that just produce rhythms as well.

    I know you weren't asking about reading, but being able to read the rhythm and reproduce it means that can hear it, play it, and intellectually understand the beat breakdown.

    I'd also recommend being able to clap on
    - any 8th note subdivision
    - any 16th note subdvision
    - any 8th note triplet subdivision
    of a measure at the fastest tempos you can hear and always trying to increase that. you improve the ability to finely divide time in your head

    lastly, transcribing rhythms and writing them down (even if not the pitches) is terrific, and has been super useful for me. You really have to learn and think about the difference between things that are pretty subtle.
    Oh, hi - if interested, I post a lot of playing/practice clips at www.instagram.com/JakeEstner

  16. #15
    I found the Dante agostini books on the subject to be a great study . Volumes 1 and 4 (the ones that are not drum related).

  17. #16

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    An article on jazz rhythm by David Liebman

    Jazz Rhythm | David Liebman
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova_Comedy View Post
    I can recognize intervals just fine but I’m pretty much crap with rhythms. Any tips / training methods?
    it really depends on what you mean by "I'm crap with rhythms"? Do you mean you can recognize rhythms but can't notate them accurately? or do you mean you can't sightread rhythms accurately?

    there's a lot of great suggestions in this thread for general rhythmic acumen, but "stick control" isn't going to help you sightread rhythms at all.

  19. #18
    I'll put in another vote for Louis Bellson and Ted Reed type drum books. They're progressive, so you're starting from really basic stuff that anyone could hear/read and gradually getting more difficult. If you're new to rhythm , like if you didn't do it in school or something, the Reed book is probably more gradually progressive and accessible.

    It'd be pretty difficult to hear rhythms you've never played or conceived of in some way. Especially so at smaller subdivisions . Once you start getting into polyrhythmic patterns on eighth note triplets or sixteenths notes , like you find in jazz , it's difficult to actually count these in a concrete way. You'd basically need to have played similar using something like one of the above method books etc to recognize them by ear.

    For actually transcribing difficult syncopations on small subdivisions, subdividing with fingers, as takadimi (Indian rhythmic solfeggio) practitioners do, is pretty helpful.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 03-27-2018 at 08:56 AM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    For actually transcribing difficult syncopations on small subdivisions, subdividing with fingers, as takadimi (Indian rhythmic solfeggio) practitioners do, is pretty helpful.
    I do a poor (or ignorant) man's version of this. When I'm trying to figure out a rhythm, I tap out the quarter notes using four fingers (for 4/4 stuff) to keep track of beats.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by dingusmingus View Post
    I do a poor (or ignorant) man's version of this. When I'm trying to figure out a rhythm, I tap out the quarter notes using four fingers (for 4/4 stuff) to keep track of beats.
    Nope. Me too, and that's exactly what they do. But you can just take it to the next level and make it scalable to other subdivisions . So, do the same thing with four sixteenths notes four the hard parts. Really helps make syncopations concrete.

    I mean, most of us get the doo ba doo nonsense syllable version almost immediately. We know what it is but just don't know what to call it. This kind of thing makes it immediately more concrete. It can be the bridge between the nonsense syllable AURAL understanding and then basically being able to notate it etc.

  22. #21

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    Start with simple ryhthms and a metronome (or drum tracks... drumgenuis app has great reviews). You should get to where playing with a metronome is just as easy as playing without one. That is the first step and if you aren't there don't move forward to more difficult rhythms.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)