This time, we will talk about rhythm. We will learn to recognise several note values. So we can play these values, either with chords or with notes. And we will see some exercises in order to practice different rhythm patterns or to be able to recognise and read rhythm patters that we might see on a pdf or an e-book or anything. And of course, in order to become better players and be able to play any song exactly like the original. As we have already discussed about 4/4 time. We wil start with the value that has the biggest duration, which is the whole note (semibreve). Even though I said that this value has the biggest duration. There are some values with bigger duration there is one note that lasts twice as much and a note that lasts three, four or six times more. These note values are not used any more. These values were used mainly during the Middle ages and the Renaissance. But, you will not come up against it in popular and modern music. So, let’s start with the whole note value. This means that we strike only once and lasts for all four beats of the bar.
So, we play only one chord (or one note) and we count 4 beats (pulses) Supposing that we have a C major chord, we play a whole note value and count: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 etc If we come up against 4 bars with 2 C chords, 1 F chord and 1 Am chord (whole notes) We would play something like this: The next smaller value is the half note (minim). So, as we are in 4/4 time, we have to strike in 1st beat and in 3rd beat. We have: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. We should pause between the counting I sometimes pause when counting, but it’s only for comprehension reasons and in order for you to see the exact beat I strike. So, if we have a C chord and an Am chord and both bars have half note values, we have: The third value we will see today is the quarter note (crotchet) value As you can imagine, it divides the bar into 4 parts. Let’s play a C chord in 4/4 time 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. A common question I have asked in the past not only once, but by several guitar and ukulele students is “So, the whole note value lasts approximately that long?” No, there aren’t any “approximate” durations. The duration is determined by the TEMPO the “speed” of the piece.
If a song, or a music piece is very slow, like a ballad for example we count 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Then the whole note value lasts that long On the other hand, if we play a very fast piece, like rock ‘n’ roll or speed metal or whatever. We count 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. The whole note value lasts only that long In order practice in different tempos and in order to understand the difference we have to use a metronome. This is an example of a metronome. Obviously you don’t need to have the exact same one But this one is very handy for me. There are plenty of free metronomes for your comuter you can download free metronomes for your smartphone there are several free metronomes, but there are also plenty of cheap metronome applications for iPhone or Android for example. Sometimes they can cost 2 or 3 € and despite that, they can have great capabilities. Metronome is one of the essential tools for a musician. As you have already learnt the values, you have to learn how to play in time, how to groove, etc I do not recommend you to buy a metronome from the very first lessons.
Just because, if we start your first lesson with a metronome we are most certainly going to boogle and feel weird. So, I suggest you to introduce the metronome to your practice little by little. The usage of a metronome. This is in 60 bpm. Which is a slow tempo. As you might notice, there is a different click sound for the 1st beat and a different click sound for the remaining beats this will help us to know when the bar changes. So, at this tempo, the whole note value would be. The same metronome is set to 140 bpm. You notice that we do exactly the same thing, with the only difference that this is a very fast track. So if we play whole note values we would have. That was it. We learnt the three most basic note values. The whole note, the half note and the quarter note and now, you have to practice that, like I did. Use the chords that we’ve already learnt and try to play them with only one specific note value. For example, use 3 different chords, and try to play only whole note values with them. For now, do not try to combine different values. Just try to play only with one value each time. Try to play 20 bars of whole notes after that, try to play 20 bars of half notes and 20 bars of quarter notes. It is very important, because we need to learn how to play continuously. So, after the 20 bars, the values should not start either stressing or shrinking. We have to learn to play on time.