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The Rs Of Reading

These are the factors that enable reading skills:

1. Recognition = Recognize each of the Rhythmic Pictures.

2. Recollection = Remembering each of the Rhythmic Sounds.

3. Reaction = Responding correctly to the Rhythmic Sound Pictures.

4. Repetition = Rehearse and repeat rhythms correctly.

5. Retention = Retain and commit rhythms to memory.

6. Reinforcement = Review to stay sharp.

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The Mechanics Of Music
The Music Staff
The music staff is used to place all of the notes in position to read.

What Is A Measure?
It is a measurement in music that is equally divided by using bar lines.

Subdividing A Measure
The measure is then divided into subdivisions called beats.
Within a measure, there can be various amounts of beats.
The below example shows four equal beats in the measure:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

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What Is A Time Signature?
A time signature is shown as a 2-part fraction that tells you
how many beats are in a measure, and the basic subdivision.

4 = How many beats per measure


-
4 = What is the subdivision that receives one count.
In this case, it is the quarter note.

In the below example, the time signature is placed


at the beginning of the measure.

44 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

4/4 is also known as Common Time. It can also be marked with a C.

c 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

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Staff Endings

Section Bars
Section bars are double lines that signify the end of a music section.

Double Bars
A double bar is bold and placed at the end of a line of music
to signify the end of a song.

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Section Repeat Signs

Repeat Bars

Double bars with two dots next to them, in the 2nd and 3rd spaces of the staff
are called repeat signs. The section between these signs is to be repeated.

Repeating Sections Multiple Times


If a section is to be played more than twice, the number of times
it is to be played is followed by the letter X.
In this example the four bar phrase is to be played four times.

4x

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The Essential Rhythm Tree Of Subdivisions
Based 4 beat counting, here is how basic rhythms are subdivided and notated:

Whole
Note
1-2-3-4

1-2 3-4
Half
Note
1 2 3 4
Quarter
Note
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

Eighth
Note
1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a

Sixteenth
Note
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Placing Quarter Notes On The Staff With A Time Signature
4 = 4 beats per measure
In this example there are: -
4 = The quarter note receives one count

count 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

Changing The Amount Of Beats Per Measure

By changing the top number, we create new time signatures of varying lengths.

count 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

count 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3

count 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

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Placing The Rhythm Tree In The Measure

Now put the rhythm tree in the measures with a time signature of 4/4.

44
1-2-3-4 1-2 3-4 1 2 3 4 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a 1-2-3-4

This concludes the basic mechanics of music notation.

Now lets move on to the reading examples.

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Example #1
Whole Notes, Half Notes, and Quarter Notes

44

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Example #2
Quarter Notes and Eighth Notes

44

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Example #3
Whole Notes, Half Notes, Quarter Notes, and Eighth Notes

44

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Example #4
Quarter Notes and Sixteenth Notes

44

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Example #5
Using Eighth and Sixteenth Notes

44

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Example #6
Using Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Notes, With Repeats

44 ..

..

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Example #7
Reading in 2/4 Time Signature

42

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Example #8
Reading in 3/4 Time Signature

43

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Introducing Rests

Lets start with the Whole, Half, and Quarter note rests.

Here is what each rest looks like as well as its duration:

A Whole Note Rest= 4 Beats

B Half Note Rest= 2 Beats

C Quarter Note Rest= 1 Beat

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Rest Practice

Lets put all three rests into musical context

A c ..

B c ..

C c ..

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Example #9
Using Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Notes With Half and Quarter Rests

44

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How to Read Eighth & Sixteenth Rhythm Combinations

There are 9 different eighth and sixteenth rhythmic combinations.

Once we learn them, we will use the concepts of the Sound Pictures
to memorize how each rhythm sounds and looks.

Sound Picture Rhythms 1 & 2

1 e & a 1 e & a

.. .. .. ..
1 & a 1 e &

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Example #10
Sound Picture Rhythm 1 Practice

44

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Example #11
Sound Picture Rhythm 1 Combination

44

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Example #12
Sound Picture Rhythm 2 Practice

44

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Example #13
Sound Picture Rhythm 2 Combination

44

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Reading Tips For Eighth & Sixteenth Note Combinations

Now would be a good time to discuss where to look while youre reading.

Q: Where should my eyes focus when reading sixteenth notes?

A: Focus on the top of the bar, not on the note head itself.

The stems of the notes are where the subdivisions are located.

Here is an example using just the top stems of the rhythm.

Practice this exercise to help the eyes


Recognize and Respond to the rhythm.

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Example #14
Sound Picture Rhythms 1 and 2 Combination
4
4

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Example #15
Combining All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far
4
4

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Introducing Eighth Note Rests

Here is how an eighth note rest looks. It receives the value of one eighth note.

(1) & (2)

A single eighth note has one flag.

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Example #16
Quarter Notes and Eighth Notes Using Eighth Note Rests

j j j j
4
4


j j j j j j

j j j j j j j j j j j


j j j j j j j


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Example #17
Using Half, Quarter, and Eighth Notes With Rests
j j j j j
4
4

j j j j j j j



j j j

j j j j j

j j j j j j j

j j j j j j j

j j j j j

j j j j j j

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Combining Eighth Rests With Sixteenths

Replace an Eighth Note With an Eighth Note Rest

1 & a (2) 1 e & (2)

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Example #18
Using Eighth Rest With Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Notes

44

j j j

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Example #19
Using All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far
j j
4
4

j j


j j j

j j

j j j j j j

j j

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Example #20
Sixteenth Reading in 3/4 Time
j j
3
4

j j j j

j j j j j

j j j

j j

j j j j j

j j

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Introducing Dotted Half And Dotted Quarter Notes

Adding a dot just after a note makes it last longer by one extra subdivision.

If a half note equals 2 quarter notes,


then a dotted half note equals 3 quarter notes.

If a quarter note equals 2 eighth notes,


then a dotted quarter note equals 3 eighth notes.

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Example #21
Dotted Half Note Combination

44 . .

j j
. . .

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Example #22
Dotted Quarter Note Combination

j j j j j
44
. . . .

j j j j j
. . . .

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Example #23
Using All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far

j j j j
44 . . . . .

j j j j j

.

j
. . . .

j j j j j j
. . . .

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Introducing Sixteenth Note Rests

Here is how a sixteenth note rest looks.

It receives the value of one sixteenth note, and has a double flag.

(1) e & a (2)

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Example #24
Focusing On Sixteenth Note Rests
4
4

j j

j j


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Example #25
Using All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far, With Repeats
j j
4 .. . .
4

j j j
.
. .

j j
.

j j

.

j
.

j j j
.

..

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How to Read Dotted Eighth & Sixteenth Rhythms

Sound Picture Rhythms 3, 4, & 5

1st & last 16th Just the last 16th Just the 2nd 16th
1 e & a 1 e & a 1 e & a

r j
.. . .. .. . .. .. . ..
1 a (1) a (1) e

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Example #26
Sound Picture Rhythm 3 Practice

44 . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . .

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Example #27
Sound Picture Rhythm 4 Practice

r r r r r r r r
4
4 . . . . . . . .

r r r r r r r r j
. . . . . . . .

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Example #28
Sound Picture Rhythm 5 Practice

j j j j j j j j
4
4 .
. . .
.

. .

j j j j j j j j j j
. . . . . . . . .

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Example #29
Sound Picture Rhythms 3, 4, and 5 Combination #1

r r j j j j
44 . . . . .
. .

r j r j j
. . . . . .

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Example #30
Sound Picture Rhythms 3, 4, and 5 Combination #2
j j r j r j
4 . . . . . .
4

r r j j j j r j
. . .
.
. .

j j r j j j
. . .
. . . .

j j r j r r j
. . . . . .

j j j j r j
. . . . . . . .

j j j j j j r j j
. . . . . . .

r j j r j j j j j
. . . . . . .

r j j j r r r j j
. .
. .
. .
. .

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Example #31
Sound Picture Rhythms 3, 4, and 5 Combination #3
j j r j j j j j r j r j
4 . . . . . . . . .
4

j j r r r j
.

. . . . . . . . . .

j r j j j j r r j
. .
. . . . . . . . .

j j j r j r r r j r
. . . . . . . . . . .

r r j j j r j j j
. . . . . . . . . .

j j r j j j r j j j r
. . . . . . . . .

j j r j j r j j j r
. . . . . . . . .

j r j r j j r r j j r
. . .
. . .
. .
. . . .

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Example #32
Using All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far
j r r r j j r
4 . . . . . . . .
4

r j j j j r j j j
. . .
.
. . .
.

r j r j j r
. . . . .

. . .
.

j r r j
. . . . . . . .

j r j j j j j j
. . .

. . .
.

j r r j j
. . .

. . . .

j j j j j j
. . . . . .

j r j j j
. . . . . . .

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How to Read Eighth & Sixteenth Rhythms

Sound Picture Rhythms 6 & 7

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Example #33
Sound Picture Rhythm 6 Practice

44

j
.

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Example #34
Sound Picture Rhythm 6 Combination
j j j j
4 . . .
4

j j r j

.
.
.

j j r j

. . .
.

j r j r j r r r j
. .

. . .

. .
.
.

r j r
. . . . .

r j
. .

r r r j j
. . . . . . . .

j j r j r j
.
.
. . .

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Example #35
Sound Picture Rhythm 7 Practice

j
44

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Example #36
Sound Picture Rhythm 7 Combination
j j j j
4 . . .
4

j r r j j j

. . . . .

j r j j
. . . .

j j j r j
. . . . .

r j r
. . . .

r j r j j j
. . . .

r r r r r
. . . . . .

j r j
. . .
. .

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Example #37
Sound Picture Rhythms 5, 6, and 7 Combination
r j
4 . .
4

j j r j r r
.

.

.
. .

j j j r

. .

j r j
. .
. .

r r j j r
. . . . .

r
. . .

r j j j r
. . . . . . . .

r j j j
.
.

.
. .

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Example #38
Sound Picture Rhythm 8 Practice

j j j
44 . . . . . . . .

j j
. . . . . . . .

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How to Read Dotted Eighth & Sixteenth Rhythms

Sound Picture Rhythms 8 & 9

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Example #39
Sound Picture Rhythm 8 Combination
j j j j
4 . . . . . . .
4

r j j j j j
.
.
. . . . .

j j j j
. .
. . . . . .

j r r
. . . . . . .

r r j
. . . . . . .

j j j
. . . . .

r
. . . .

j r j j

. . . .
. .

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Example #40
Sound Picture Rhythm 9 Practice

j
44

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Example #41
Sound Picture Rhythm 9 Combination
j
4 .
4

j j j j

. . . . .

j j j r j j

.
. . .

j j
. . . .

j j r
. . .

j j r j
. .

j j r
. . .

r
. .

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Example #42
Using All Sound Picture Rhythms
j j j
4 . . . . . .
4

j r r j
. . . . .

j j
. . . . .

r j
. . . . .

r j j j j r
. . . . . .

. . .

r j r
. . . . .

j j r
. . .
. .

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The Sixteenth Note Sound Pictures Review Sheet

Use this sheet to drill each rhythmic sound picture, repeating randomly
around the sheet. This will improve Reaction, Response, and Retention!

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Example #43
A Busier Sixteenth Note Sound Picture Rhythm Example

j r
4
4 . . . .

r
. . .

j r j

. . . . .

r
.
. .

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Example #44
Final Exam
Using All Rhythms and Rests Learned So Far
r j j r j
4 . . . . .
4

r j r j j
.
. . .
. .

j j r
. . .
.

j j j
. . .
. . .

. . .

r j j r j r
. . . . . .

j j
. . . .

j j j
. . . .
. . .

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Example #45
Applying Rhythm Reading To Improve Drumset Groove and Coordination
Try playing this combination with the bass drum while playing 8th notes on the hi hat and
"2 & 4" on the snare drum. This approach is a common method of drumset practice.

r j j r r j
4
4 .. . . . . .

r r j
.
. .

j r r r r r
. . . . . .

r j r j r
. . . . . . . ..

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Introducing 32nd Notes
The next subdivisions to be learned are 32nd notes.

These notes are next in the progression following 16th notes.

They are an exact doubling of the sixteenth note,


and can be played with double or single stroke sticking.

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Example #46
16th and 32nd Note Practice Exercise

44

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Example #47
Using Quarter, 8th, 16th, and 32nd Notes
j
4
4

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Syncopation Notation

Syncopation notation is a way of writing various quarter and eighth note


rhythms so that they create syncopated phrases that stress
long and short note values, with minimal use of the eighth note rest.

The method, in general terms, substitutes a quarter note in place of


two eighth note values, thus creating the longer sound.

Emphasizing phrasing on the off beat, this style of writing is used


mainly in big band and Broadway charts, played with a
swing interpretation, but we will read straight to start.

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Syncopation Creation
Taking standard notation using quarters and eighths,
and converting to syncopation notation.

=
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Syncopation Creation 2

j j j j
1 & (2) & (3) & 4 1 & (2) & (3) & 4


6
=
j j j
1 2 & (3) & 4 1 2 & (3) & 4

7
=

j
(1) & (2) 3 4 (1) & (2) (&) 3 4

.
8
=

j
1 (2) & (3) 4 1 (&) (2) & (3) (&) 4

. .
9
=

j j
1 & (2) 3 & (4) 1 & (2) (&) 3 & (4) (&)

. .
10
=

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Example #48
Practicing Syncopation Reading Style
Each rhythm is played for two measures
j j j j
4
4
1

j j j j
4
4
2

j j j j j j j j
4
3 4
j j j j j j
4
4
4

j j j j
4
4 . . . .
5

j j j j j j j j
4
4
6
j j
4
4 . . . .
7

j j j j j j
4 . . . .
8 4
j j j j j j
9 4
4 . . .

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Example #49
Syncopation Exercise A
j j j j j j
4
4

j j j j j j

j j j
. . . . . . .

j
. . .

j j j j j

j j j j
. .

j j j j j j j j
. .

j j j j j j
.

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Example #50
Syncopation Exercise B
j j j j j
c . . .

j j j j j j j
. .

j j j j j
. .

j j j j j j
. . . . .

j j j j

. .

j j j j j
. .

j j j
. . . .

j j j j j j j
.

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Example #51
Syncopation Reading In 3/4 Time
j j j j j
3
4 . .

j j j j
. . .

j j j j j
. . .

j j j j j j
. . .

j j j j j
.

j j j
. . . .

j j j j
. . .

j j j j
. .

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Syncopation Using Ties
A tie makes a note longer by connecting it to another.
In a tied rhythm, the first note is played, but the second is not.
The value, however, remains the same.
Here are five common examples of tie placements:

j j
(1) & (2) 3 4

j j
1 2 (3) & (4) &

1 & (2) & (3) & 4

j j
1 2 3 & 4 & (1) & 2 & 3 4

j j j j
1 & 2 & (3) & 4 & 1 & 2 & (3) & 4 &

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Example #52
Using Ties With Syncopation
j j j j
4 . .
4

j j j j j

.

j j j j j
. .

j j j j j j j

. .

j j j j j
. .

j j j j j
. . .

j j j j j j
. . .

j j j
. . .

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Example #53
More Syncopation With Ties
j j j j j
4 . .
4

j j j j j
.

j j j j j
. .

j j j j
.

j j j j j j j
. .

j j j
. . .

j j j j
. .

j j j j
. .

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Example #54
Final Exam
Syncopation Combination Solo
j j j j
4 .
4

j j j j j j j
. . .

j j j j j
. .

j j j j j j j
. .

j j j j j j j j
.

j j j j
. . . .

j j j j j
. . .

j j j j j
. . .

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Sixteenth Notes Using Ties
Now let's begin to apply ties to 16th note rhythmic figures.
The concept is the same, playing the first note,
and not playing the next note that is tied.
Here are some examples:

Example #55
Sixteenth Note Tie Practice

1 2 3 4
j r
.. . .. .. . .. .. . .. .. ..

5 6 7 8
j
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. . ..

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Example #56
Using Ties With Mixed Rhythms
j r j j j
4 . . . . .
4

j r
. .

j j j r j j
. . . . . . .

j j j
. . . . . . .

j j j
. . . .

j j r r
. . . .
.

j j j j j

.

j r j j r
.
.

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Introducing Triplets
Unlike the "Essential Rhythm Tree Of Subdivisions" which uses a "build up" approach to
subdividing largest to smallest, the "Triplet Rhythm Tree" is presented in a "break down"
approach from smallest to largest. It is easier to identify the triplets that are to follow by
hearing how they fit into the previous triplet.

The Triplet Rhythm Tree

Quarter
Notes
6 6 6 6
16th Note
Triplets
3 3 3 3
8th Note
Triplets
3 3
1/4 Note
Triplets
3
1/2 Note
Triplets
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Example #57
Focusing On Eighth Note Triplets With Eighth and Sixteenth Notes

44
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3

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Example #58
Using Eighth Note Triplets With Eighth Rests

44
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3
j3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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Example #59
Combining Quarter Note Triplets With Eighth Note Triplets

44
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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Example #60
Combining Half Note Triplets With Quarter Note Triplets

44
3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3

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Example #61
Focusing On Half Note, Quarter Note, and Eighth Note Triplets

44
3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3
j 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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Example #62
Sixteenth Note Triplets
4
6 6 6 6

6 6 6 6 6 6

3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 6 3 3

3 3 3 3 6 3 3


3 3 3 6 3

3 3 3 3 6


3 3 3 6 3 3

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Example #63
Mixed Triplet Combination

44
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 6 3 3 6 3 3 3 6 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

6 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

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Reading New Time Signatures
You can also change the bottom number, or the subdivision that receives 1 count.

6 = 6 beats per measure


In this example there are: -
8 = The eighth note receives one count

count 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Here are some other time signatures using the eighth note as the basic pulse:

count 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

count 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

count 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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Example #64
Intro To Reading In 6/8 Time Signature
6 .
8

j j j
. .

j
. .

j j

j j j
.

j j j
. . .

j j
.

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Example #65
Advanced Reading In 6/8 Time Signature
j
6
8

j j

j j j j
. .

. . .

j j
. .

j j j
. .

. .

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Example #66
Intro To Reading In 5/8 Time Signature

j
85 .

j
.

j j
.

j
.

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Example #67
Advanced Reading In 5/8 Time Signature
j
5
8

j j

j j
. . .

j j j r
. .

j
. . .

j j
.

j j

. . .

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Example #68
Intro To Reading In 7/8 Time Signature

j j
7
8 .

j j

.

j j

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Example #69
Advanced Reading In 7/8 Time Signature

j
7
8 . . .
.

j
. . . . . .

j j r j j

. . . .

j
. . . .

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Example #70
Changing Time Signatures In One Piece
When changing time signatures within the same piece of music, the constant eighth note
pulse must be maintained in order to smoothly transition from one measure to another.

j j j j
4 3 4 . 2
4 4 4 4

j j j
6
8 4 38 .
4 3
4

6 2 6
8 .
3

4 8

j
4 5 . 98 .
3

4 8

j j
7 4
8 . 4 .
7
8 .

12 4 3 4 j
8 4 8 4

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What is a BPM?

The tempo, or the speed of the song is shown in BPMs or beats per minute.

This is how the tempo of the piece is determined.

As we know, there are 60 seconds in one minute so a tempo of 60 BPM is


equivalent to one beat per second.

Although none of the examples in this DVD show an actual BPM, most pieces
of music will show the BPM at the beginning of the piece.

If the piece is in a quarter note pulse, the BPM will look like this:

If the piece is in an eighth note pulse, the BPM will be notated like this:

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Cut Time

Often times when a piece is played at a faster speed,


it will be written in Cut Time.

Cut Time is essentially called a fast four and is felt in 2.


It is used in marches as well as the Broadway 2-beat,
or in big band jazz charts.

All of the subdivision relationships are the same,


however, they are played at faster tempos.

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Example #71
Cut Time

Heres the same rhythm written in cut time.


As you can see, it does not look different from the above example,
except for the cut time symbol.
In 2

Cut time is also commonly used for syncopation notation at faster tempos.
Heres the same rhythm from above using syncopation notation in common time:

Here is the same example as performed in cut time:


In 2

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Measure Repeat Signs

Single Measure Repeats

The repeat symbol in the measure tells you to repeat the last written measure.

Double Measure Repeats

The number 2 above the multiple measure repeat sign tells you
to repeat the previous two measures.

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Endings

Endings are used to change the end of a phrase on a repeated section.


In this example there are three endings, each with a different rhythm.

Play bars 1-4, then repeat back to bar 1.


Play bars 1-2, skip the first ending and go to the second ending.
Repeat back to bar 1 and 2 again, skip the first and second ending,
and play to the end.

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Song Form Notation
The following pages contain two of the most commonly used methods of notating
song form within a chart. These are commonly called Road Maps.

D.C. al Fine Road Map


D.C. is short for Da Capo or back to the top.
The al Fine means to the end.
So, D.C. al Fine means back to the top, and play to the end.

D.S. al Coda Road Map

D.S. is short for Del Segno, which means go to the spot of the sign.
A Coda is a tag, or additional ending section marked by this symbol:
At the coda sign, immediately skip to the coda section,
usually found at the end of the piece.
So, D.S. al coda means go to the spot of the sign,
then jump to the section where marked.

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Example #72
Sample Road Map Using the D.C. al Fine

4 yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy
4

.
.
y y y y y y y y

y y y y .
1

y . y y y y y y y y

Fine

. . . D.C. al Fine
(Take all repeats)

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Example #73
Sample Road Map Using the D.S. al Coda

4 y y y y y y y y
4
% 2
.
.
y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y


fi
2
1

y y y y y y y y ..

2 3

y y y y y y y y . y y y y y y y y
.

y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y 2

2 2 D.S. al Coda

fi
y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y
Coda
Fine

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