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Reading rhythm is as simple as looking at sticks.   The rhythm of a song is determined by the stems of the notes.   Each type of stem has both a real name and a nick-name.   We use the nick-name to help us recite the rhythm pattern.  The basic elements of rhythm are:

Figure Nick-Name Real Name
Tah Quarter Note
Tee-Tee Eighth Notes
Ti-ri-ti-ri Sixteenth Notes

 

In addition to the rhythms above, there are two examples that use the note head to determine the rhythm.  These are:

Figure

Nick-Name

Real Name
Tah-ah Half Note
Tum Whole Note

 

Now that you know the basic elements of rhythm,  we can combine them to make patterns.  To hear some common patterns, press the play button.  If you experience any problems playing the audio clip, you may need to check your audio settings.  Some of the most common rhythm patterns are:

Rhythm Pattern  

Pronunciation

Tah Tah Tah Tah
Tee-tee Tee-tee Tee-tee Tee-tee
Ti-ri-ti-ri Ti-ri-ti-ri Ti-ri-ti-ri Ti-ri-ti-ri
 Tee-tee Tee-tee Tah Tah
Tah Tah Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah
Tah Tah Tee-tee Tah
Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah-ah Tee-tee
Tah Tah Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah
Tee-tee Tah Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah
Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah Ti-ri-ti-ri Tah
Tee-tee Tah-ah Tah

 

All rhythm elements relate to each other.  Here is a chart which shows how each rhythm element is apart of another.

A "Tum" is the longest note on this chart It takes two "Tah-ah" notes to equal one "Tum" It takes two "Tah-ah" notes to equal one "Tum" It takes two "Tah" notes to equal one "Tah-ah" It takes two "Tah" notes to equal one "Tah-ah" It takes one "Tee-tee" set to equal one "Tah" It takes one "Tee-tee" set to equal one "Tah". It takes one "Ti-ri-ti-ri" to equal one "Tee-tee" It takes one "Ti-ri-ti-ri" to equal one "Tee-tee"

 

   2005-2009 Nancy Philbeck