Part 10 Mix­ing notes, ties and rests

This month Char­lie Griffiths com­bines all the el­e­ments he’s looked at in pre­vi­ous lessons into four co­he­sive mu­si­cal pieces for you to study.

Guitar Techniques - - LEARNING ZONE -

chal­lenge. th­ese are not in­tended to be par­tic­u­larly great pieces of mu­sic, but are sim­ply de­signed to con­tain all of the prac­tise el­e­ments you will re­quire to hone your read­ing skills ef­fi­ciently.

Our first ex­am­ple com­bines notes and rests di­vis­i­ble by two; half, quar­ter and eighth­notes. If you pre­fer the Bri­tish ter­mi­nol­ogy, th­ese same be­come ‘min­ims’, ‘crotch­ets’ and ‘qua­vers’. as the name sug­gests, half-notes are worth ex­actly half a bar of 4/4. Di­vid­ing those into two pro­duces ‘quar­ter-notes’ which are equiv­a­lent to our usual per­cep­tion of the tempo of a piece and the rate at which we count ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ along with a piece of mu­sic.

Brought to you by... By di­vid­ing th­ese in two, we get eighth-notes. eighth-notes take up ex­actly half the time as quar­ter-notes and they can be counted as ‘1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &’.

the sec­ond ex­er­cise fea­tures eighth-note and quar­ter-note triplets which are in­di­cated by a bracket across three notes, with the num­ber ‘3’ placed in the mid­dle. this bracket es­sen­tially means that you need to squeeze three equal notes into the space where there are usu­ally two. three eighth-note triplets take up the same time as two non-brack­eted eighth-note triplets. eighth-note triplets are counted: 1 & a, 2 & a, 3 & a, 4 & a.

the third ex­am­ple is based on 16th-notes, which are also known as semi-qua­vers. this sub­di­vi­sion is di­vis­i­ble by two, and last for half the time as eighth-notes to pro­vide six­teen even notes per bar. th­ese 16 notes can be counted pho­net­i­cally: ‘1 e & a, 2 e & a, 3 e & a, 4 e & a’. Count­ing like this is es­sen­tial when read­ing syn­co­pated rhythms with notes that land on the off-beats.

ex­am­ple four com­bines all of th­ese note val­ues within eight bars, mak­ing for a lot of count­ing in a short space of time. In ad­di­tion to the ac­tual notes, there are two com­mon or­na­men­ta­tions; trills and ac­ciac­cat­uras. a trill is a fast al­ter­na­tion be­tween the writ­ten note and the next di­a­tonic note in the key; usu­ally played with ham­mer-ons and pull-offs. ac­ciac­catura is the term for grace note and is es­sen­tially a note of al­most no value, placed be­fore the note to be played.

all four of the ex­er­cises con­tain dots and ties which are both meth­ods for ex­tend­ing the length of a note. Notes can be ‘tied’ to­gether with a curved line to ei­ther sus­tain a note cross the bar-line, or to cross the cen­tre of the bar. a small dot placed af­ter a note extends its value value by an ad­di­tional 50%; for ex­am­ple a dot­ted quar­ter-note is equiv­a­lent to a quar­ter-note, plus an eighth-note.

have a go at prac­tis­ing th­ese ex­am­ples along with the back­ing tracks we have sup­plied. If the 80bpm tempo is too fast at first, feel free to use a metronome or drum ma­chine at a slower tempo.

Ac­ciac­catura, or ‘grace note’, is a note of al­most no value, placed be­fore the note to be played.

Mu­sic read­ing is one of the most im­por­tant skills we can ac­quire

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