Music Rhythm Exercises PDF
Internalize Rhythmic Patterns Through Practice
The Music Rhythm Training Exercise helps you internalize all major rhythmic patterns through reading practices. Being able to read rhythm notation and to internalize rhythmic patterns is essential for every composer, musician and even for electronic music producers and here is why:
Working through these rhythm exercises you will learn to read rhythmic music notation by which you will internalise rhythmic patterns
- Once internalized, patterns can be utilized in your music creation more freely and consciously
- You will develop a better feel for rhythm, which is extremely valuable when it comes to composing and improvisation
See these exercises as learning rhythmic vocabularies
The more rhythmic vocabularies you learn the better can you express yourself musically
These exercises are also a valuable resource for music school preparation
Back in 2009 when I prepared for my music school admission I practiced reading rhythm notation on a regular basis. What I found, was that my rhythmic guitar playing improved significantly as I became more aware of rhythmic structure in general.
The Basics of Rhythmic Notation
Let’s ram through the basic as I assume that you know most of it or, intelligent as you are, can logically deduce it from the context.
Here are the note lengths in comparison:
- A whole note equals two half notes
- A half note equals two quarter notes
- A quarter note equals two eighth notes
- An eighth note equals two sixteenth notes
- A sixteenth note equals two thirty-second notes
- A half note equals a quarter note triplet
- A quarter note equals a eights note triplet
What it all means is simply that the duration of for e.g. whole note is twice as long as the duration of a half note. How long the duration of a whole note is depend on the tempo.
Beat and Metronome
The beat or pulse defines tempo by dividing time into pieces with equal duration. In most popular and modern-day music the beat represents quarter notes as most popular pieces are in either 4/4 or sometimes 3/4 which stands for “four quarters per bar” or “three-quarters per bar”.
A metronome functions as an auditive signal that communicates the pace of the beat. For the Music Rhythm Training Exercises it is important that you use a metronome because it forces you to read music notation under real circumstances rather than you following your imaginary beat that is just as fast or slow as you need it to be 😉
The Secrets to Reading Rhytmic Music Notation
When reading rhythmic music notation there are some tricks that will help you get going.
1. Count the quarters:
Start out the “easy” exercise by counting the quarter notes in unison with your metronome like this, “1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4″. In the medium exercise as eighth notes are introduced count “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and … ” or just the quarter notes. Experiment with what helps you best. You shouldn’t always be counting but in the beginning it makes you aware of where you are in the bar and where the quarter notes lie.
2. Read notes in chunks instead of notes in isolation:
This is probably the most valuable tip when it comes to reading rhythmic music notation. When you read a text you don’t read every l-e-t-t-e-r s-e-p-a-r-a-t-l-y but you recognize words as a whole because you have seen them before. Same holds true for rhythmic patterns. Learn to recognize them and hear them in your head before clapping, playing or singing them. Let me illustrate.
- Rather than reading every single note recognize the bar as a whole so that you hear “da da da da” in your head even before you start clapping
- A common pattern that appears everywhere in music internalize it as “da dada”
- The same pattern with a different duration relative to the beat “da dada”
Look out for other patterns that reoccur and save ’em up!
3. Always hear the grid
In situations where you don’t use a metronome and don’t count try to hear the beat or rhythmical grid in your head or just feel it.
Music Rhythm Training Course Index
- Rhythm Exercise Easy 4/4 – whole, half and quarter notes
- Rhythm Exercise Easy 3/4 – whole, half and quarter notes
- Rhythm Exercise Medium 4/4 – whole, half, quarter and eighth notes
- Rhythm Exercise Medium 3/4 – whole, half, quarter and eighth notes
- Rhythm Exercise Difficult 4/4 – whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes
- Rhythm Exercise Difficult 3/4 – whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes