BassWork

IAN STEPHENSON on Rhythm: Lesson #3


LESSON POINT:
rests

We've now looked at all the rhythms that you will meet using quavers. However things start to get interesting when rather than playing all the notes you DON'T play the notes, ie rests. Rests can be of any length, and are written as

                   xxxx
Semibreve rest	-----------  (block above the line) (whole rest)

minim read	   -----------  (block below the line)	(half rest)	 
                   xxxx
	    
crotchet rest	-----{-----  (quarter rest)

quaver		   -----7-----  (eighth rest) 
The best way to deal with rests is to consider what the pattern would be if rest was replaced by a note, so lets start off with a crotchet pattern
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
      |
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
      |
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
And then replace each of the notes in turn with a rest:
              |       |       |        |               | 
     |
              |       |       |        |               | 
     |
|----{-------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|------{-------@|------@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |


      |       |               |        |       |       | 
      
      |       |               |        |       |       | 
      
|----@|------@|------{-------@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------{-------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

And now pairs of notes:

              |               |                        | 
     |
              |               |                        | 
     |
|----{-------@|------{-------@|-----|-{-------{-------@|------@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |


      |       |                                |       | 
      
      |       |                                |       | 
      
|----@|------@|------{-------{------|-{-------@|------@|------{-------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |


      |                       |        |               | 
      
      |                       |        |               | 
      
|----@|------{-------{-------@|-----|-@|------{-------@|------{-------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
Remember where the beat is - especially when you don't play on the first of the bar (or the first of a group of notes), as once you loose this reference things will fall apart.

It's important that you distinguish between:

   |               | 
     |
   |               | 
     |
|-@|------{-------@|------@|------|
| 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

and 

   |               | 
     |
   |               | 
     |
|-O|--------------@|------@|------|
| 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
To do this you must pay attention to when the note ENDS as well as when it begins. Make sure that with the first version there is a clear gap of the appropriate length. You can check that you're playing the right length of note by playing the rest, at first physically, and then in your head.
      |       |       |       |      
      |       |       |       |
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  |

becomes

      |       |       |       |      
      |       |       |       |
|----@|------x|------@|------@|-----|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  |

becomes
              |
      |       |       |       |      
      |      x|       |       |
|----@|------{-------@|------@|-----|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  |

becomes
      |               |       |      
      |               |       |
|----@|------{-------@|------@|-----|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  |
You may find it usefull to tap out the notes with one hand, and the rests with your other hand, as a means of seperating the two parts, and then just stop tapping with you "rest" hand.

We can now try that with quavers:

First consider the full 8 quaver pattern

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|4/4-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--||
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   ||

then start dropping notes from it
      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |       |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |       |   |   |   |   | 
      |       |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |       |   |   |   |   |
|----@|--7---@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--@|--7---@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

      _________       _____________    _____________       _________
      |   |   |       |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |       |   |   | 
      |   |   |       |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |       |   |   |
|----@|--@|--@|--7---@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--@|--7---@|--@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |       |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |       | 
      |   |   |   |   |       |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |       |
|----@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--7---@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--7---@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

      _____________   _________            _________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |            |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |            |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|----@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--7--|-7---@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--||
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   ||
If you have problems with these, go back to the original version, where all the notes are played, and identify the rhythm that you want WITH all the notes in, then drop out the notes that are marked as rests.

The following exercise is an extension of that found in the previous lesson, but this time with notes missing. If you run into problems, play the bar a few times with the missing note(s), and then mentally remove that note to hear the new rhythm.

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |       |   |   |   |       | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |       |   |   |   |       |
|4/4-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--7---@|--@|--@|--@|--7---@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
              _____   _____________    _____               _________
      |       |   |   |       |   |    |   |   |           |   |   | 
      |       |   |   |       |   |    |   |   |           |   |   |
|----@|------@|--@|--@|--7---@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|------7---@|--@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
                              _____    _________       _____
      |\          |\  |       |   |    |   |   |       |   |   |  
      |           |   |       |   |    |   |   |       |   |   | 
|----@|--7---7---@|--@|------@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--7---@|--@|--@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
                      _____________            _____           _____
      |               |   |       |    |       |   |           |   | 
      |               |   |       |    |       |   |           |   |
|----@|------{-------@|--@|--7---@|-|-@|------@|--@|--{-------@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
                      _____                                    _____
      |           |\  |   |   |            |\  |       |       |   | 
      |           |   |   |   |            |   |       |       |   |
|----@|------7---@|--@|--@|--@|-----|-7---@|--@|------@|------@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
      _____           _____       
      |   |           |   |   |            |\      |\  |       | 
      |   |           |   |   |            |       |   |       |
|----@|--@|--{-------@|--@|--@|-----|-7---@|--7---@|--@|------@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
      _____                                    _____
      |   |   |               |                |   |   |       | 
      |   |   |               |                |   |   |       |
|----@|--@|--@|------{-------@|-----|-{-------@|--@|--@|------@|------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
      _____________   _____            _____                   _____ 
      |   |   |   |   |   |            |   |           |       |   | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |            |   |           |       |   |
|----@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--{------|-@|--@|--{-------@|------@|--@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
      _____           _____                    _____   _____
      |   |           |   |                    |   |   |   |         
      |   |           |   |                    |   |   |   |     
|----@|--@|--{-------@|--@|--{------|-{-------@|--@|--@|--@|--{-------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |

      |       |           |\  |        |       |       |           |\
      |       |           |   |        |       |       |           |
|----@|------@|------7---@|--@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------7---@|--|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
                                       _____
      |       |       |       |        |   |       |\  | 
      |       |       |       |        |   |       |   | 
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|--@|--7---@|--O|--------------|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
The above patterns are DIFFICULT. Chances are that even experienced sight reader would trip up at least once trying to sight read the above. Take it a bar at a time, and play it first with all the notes in, then drop out the notes marked as rests.

The patterns are largely a random cross section, and you're unlikely to come across anything as crazy as the exercise. Usually one bar is pretty much like the next, rather than a completly new random rhythm.

Remember to think in groups - pair a quaver rest with its partner note, and then build that as a crotchet block into the larger scheme of things, rather than trying to read each bar at the single note level.

When you can play all the patterns in this week's exercise you're well on the way do dealing with just about any rhythm you're likely to encounter.


End of Lesson #3. [Ian Stephenson on Rhythm: Lesson#4 Ian Stephenson on Rhythm: Lesson#2] [BassWork Index]