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IAN STEPHENSON on Rhythm: Lesson #4


LESSON POINT:
ties The final thing you can do to the quaver patterns looked at in lesson 2 is to join pairs of them together. Of course if you join together (say) two quavers from the same parent crotchet together you end up back where you started before you split the crotchet, but things get interesting when you join notes that have different parents. This is the basis of syncopation, and will generally make your music far more interesting.

The simplest tie is to join together two crotchets:

      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------@|------|
|            \_______/              |         \_______/               |
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
The way do deal with ties is (much as we did with rests) to pretend that they're not there, and mentally play ALL the notes, but only physically realise the first of each tie.

The second way of tieing crotchets is across the bar:

      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------@|------|
|____/                       \______|__/                      \_______|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
Ties like this produce a sort of anticipation because the previously strong beats have been removed. This is particularly noticable in the following example where both sets of crotchets are tied:
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
      |       |       |       |        |       |       | 
     |
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|------@|------@|------@|------|
|____/       \_______/       \______|__/      \_______/       \_______|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
It is particularly important to keep track of the bar lines when playing this sort of pattern. Thougbh you aren't physically playing the strong beats, they must remain clear in your head, otherwise your timing will drift.

We can now try that with quavers:

First consider the full 8 quaver pattern

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

We'll try joining each of the relevant pairs up in turn:

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

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

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

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|4/4-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--|
|   _/                           \__|_/                           \___|
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
You should find that each of these creates a different amount of unbalance within the bar: the first and third examples have little effect on the bar as a whole, while example two creates larger scale movement. Example four shifts the rhythm of the entire bar. You should be able to relate these shifts to the size of unit the ties are bridging between (bridging between crotchets creates little disturbance, while bridging between semibreves is more significant).

As you should have done with the rests in the previous lesson: 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 join up the notes with ties.

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|4/4-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|-|-@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--@|--|
|                                   |                                 |
|    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   &  | 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   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &   |
                                       _____________
      |       |       |       |        |   |   |   |   | 
      |       |       |       |        |   |   |   |   | 
|----@|------@|------@|------@|-----|-@|--@|--@|--@|--O|-------------||
|                            \______|_/           \___/              ||
|    1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  | 1   &   2   &   3   &   4   &  ||
This exercise is deliberatly convoluted, and you are VERY inlikly to ever encounter anything as irregular as the above (or if you are then you're working at the sort of level where there's very little I can teach you anyway!).

For completeness here's another exercise with both rests and ties in!

      _____________   _____________    _____________   _____________
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |       |   |   |   |       | 
      |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    |       |   |   |   |       |
|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   &   |

As I'm writing this out I'm repeatedly thinking "Ouch! Thats Nasty". The above is some scary rhythmic playing, but if you've handled the previous exercises you should have the techiques to handle it. Remember to break things down into their constituent parts, removing the ties and the rests, and getting the basic notes, then adding in the rests/ties once you've got all the other notes in the right places.
End of Rhythm Lessons. [Ian Stephenson on Rhythm: Lesson#3] [BassWork Index]