Friday, June 18, 2010

How I Like To Read & Play A Notated Drum Circle Rhythm

Most of the rhythms at the drum circle are in 4/4 time, or in 6/8 time. Using the rhythm below in 4/4 time, that means there is 4 counts in each measure. A quarter note gets one beat.

One way to get the rhythm is to tap your foot 4 times, starting on the "1". Tap on the 1, 2, 3, 4, and play it. Start out with a very slow tempo, you can always speed it up later.

Another way is tapping your foot steadily 8 times during the measure, (twice for each count) So it's like this: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, tap once for each one, 8 times as you play the rhythm. I can't get it to format quite correctly on here, but at least it gives you an idea.

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
D-TkTkT-D-TkT-Tk, D-TkTkT-D-TkT-Tk, D-TkTkT-D-TkT-Tk, And away it flows.

Or try it this way, there is 16 counts in one 4/4 measure. I like to tap on just the number, and the & (+). Some people like to count them all out loud, some tap to all of them etc. It looks like this for 2 measures:


Written out it looks, and sounds like this:

Try saying this out loud, and then play along.
1 E & A, 2 E & A, 3 E & A, 4 E & A

The "D" in the rhythm notation is a bass note or Doum. The "T" and "K" are tone notes, right and left hand. The letters in Caps are accented, or louder. I like to play the "T" or "Tek" with my dominant hand. The t and k are softer notes. I hope some of this helps you to play some of the notated drum rhythms in my older blog posts below.


Here's another rhythm example written slightly differently with the rhythm Beledi: Timing is in 4/4, 1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a
Try it out, the rhythm phrase below is 2 measures.
I like to count on just the 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4

Rhythm Notation: D D tkT, D tkT - 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4
(The last 4 is a pause, or rest, then the phrase begins again) Sounds like: Doum Doum tekka-tek, Doum tekka-Tek(pause)Doum Doum tekka-tek, Doum tekka-Tek


An example of a 6/8 rhythm is if you play to the saying: "Fol-low-the-yel-low-brick-road-go-do-pa-ta-pa" or say, "cab-bage-and-broc-o-li, cab-bage-and-broc-o-li". It flows like the rhythm of a shuffle in 6.

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