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SIGHT READING RHYTHM: Introducing Quarter Note, Quarter Rests & Eighth Notes
The most important element in becoming a proficient reader is to develop an ability to count precisely while maintaining a steady tempo. In order to develop this counting method, you should set the metronome at a slow tempo and proceed to count aloud quarter notes (or crotchets) then eighth notes (or quavers). It is important to develop each one separately, making sure that each division is accurate before incorporating the practice of going from one to the other.

The counting method should be practiced three ways:
a) counting
b) counting and clapping
c) counting and tapping — alternating hands 'drumming style': right, left, right, left


1. Quarter Notes (Count= One, Two, Three, Four)

quarter notes


2. Eighth Notes (Count= One-And,  Two-And,  Three-And,  Four-and)

eighth notes


The next important step is to learn the equivalent rest for every note. Example 3 features quarter rests.
3. Quarter Rests (Count= One, Two, Three, Four)

quarter rests


After practising the individual exercises spend some time on the following two eight bar studies. These studies will help you not only develop reading, but also develop rhythm. Make sure to count aloud and to spend some time practising the studies at different tempi. Study One incorporates quarter notes and quarter rests, while Study Two incorporates eighth notes and quarter notes.


Study One









Study Two









If you are interested in further material of this nature please refer to my book 'Sight Reading: The Rhythm Book' distributed internationally by Mel Bay Publications Inc.





Click the following link to vist the book's website therhythmbook.com





© Alex Pertout. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission from the author. This article was first published in Drumscene magazine.

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