Learn rhythm first!!

by Mike B.
(Nikiski, Alaska)

When learning to read music don't try to manipulate the pitches and the rhythm at the same time. Learn the rhythm first. Single line rhythm is EASY to learn. Build the complexity until you can clap your hands to anything thrown at you. You will be surprised at how fast you can pick it up. Now reading will just require practicing the dexterity necessary to produce the pitch(es) and techniques particular to your instrument. Much less frustration.

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Feb 11, 2018
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great advice NEW
by: stringsandtings.com

Great point. It's much better to play something slowly and cleanly than try to run before you can walk. Using a metronome can sometimes be a humbling experience though.. haha.

Apr 21, 2015
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Great Idea
by: John

Thank Mike! I do this as an exercise with some of my private students sometimes, I just take a whiteboard and write out different rhythms and have them clap them out until they can clap anything I "throw" at them.

I haven't thought about learning this before pitches though. If someone has the patience to spend a little bit of time learning rhythms before you play melodies, it would probably help things progress much more quickly!

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