Basic Rhythmic Concepts: Book, Video, Lesson Suggestion

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by HungryGuitarStudent, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Bring self taught, I have gaps in my musical theory knowledge. I’m looking for a systematic exposition of basic rhythmic concepts (time signatures, how to read rhythm, etc.) to make sure I missed nothing, to count music more efficiently and to broaden my horizons. It can be a video, a book or a course, as long as it is efficient in its exposition (i.e. not a 800 page book).

    Any suggestions would be super appreciated. Thanks !
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    377
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    HungryGuitarStudent likes this.
  3. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    It looks super interesting, but I’m looking for a quicker route :)

    I’m considering taking lessons with Jon Bjork on the topic. He uses Konnakol, which I know little about. What are the pros and cons of counting rhythm this way ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    Given To Fly likes this.
  4. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    377
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    It's a great way of thinking of rhythm and working with it but it won't tell you anything about western notions of rhythm. Konnakol is useful for understanding rhythm at a micro level, but western approaches are more macro, to some extent.

    At the most fundamental level, groups of 2 can be counted as ta-ka; groups of 3 can be counted as ta-ka-di; groups of 4 can be counted as ta-ka-di-mi. Combine these in many and various ways to make different groupings and imply accents where you need them with "ta" as the emphasis or the strong beat.

    The rhythmic chapters in my book are a pretty quick crash course in the fundamentals of Western approaches to rhythm, and your awareness and control of when you're playing and for how long.
     
    Given To Fly likes this.
  5. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks for the very clear and useful summary. Does Konnakol help with reading rythms of western music or is it more useful only when composing ? Does it have a longer learning curve than the western way of treating rhythm?
     
  6. Solodini

    Solodini MORE RESTS!

    Messages:
    3,528
    Likes Received:
    377
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Konnakol is useful for breaking down phrasing which isn't binary and locked to the bar lines, i.e. rhythms which cross between bars or use odd numbers/lengths of notes. It's very useful for composing, too, as it's quite a natural way to create interesting rhythms without getting lost on what's going on, or coming up with a concept with no idea how it sounds. In my experience, it undergoes some translation between thinking in konnakol and fitting to Western rhythmic frameworks, though. Unless you're just doing takadimi takadimi taka taka takadimi.
     
    HungryGuitarStudent likes this.
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    30,587
    Likes Received:
    6,855
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I'd say the major con is that I know literally no other musicians I've ever played with who approach rhythm or rhythmic notation this way, so it will do nothing to facilitate communicating with other musicians in your day to day life.

    I'd just grab any decent, well-reviewed "intro to theory and composition" text off Amazon. I haven't taken a theory class in eons, but I can see what the text was from my intro class in college, as I remember it being decent.

    Edit - as far as basic time signature stuff, though, it's actually bone simple. If you have a time signature like 3/8, then the top number is how many beats per measure, and the bottom note is what note is equal to one beat. So, 3/8 means there are three 8th notes per measure. That can be any permutation of actual notes, so long as it sums up to three eighth notes - a dotted quarter note (dotted notes are half again as long as the note itself usually is, so a dotted quarter is one and a half quarters or, you guessed it, three 8ths), three 8th notes, two 8ths and two 16ths, six 16ths, etc. If you count out two measures of 3/8 as "one, two, three, one, two, three," then every number you say is an 8th.
     
  8. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Good point, I did not consider that.

    That's probably what I'll do since it seems like a waste to spend a lot of money on lessons for basic concepts

    Thanks for the clear explanation. From a broader perspective, I know a bit of theory: time signatures and basic rhythm counting (including what you explained above), intervals and basic chord construction, modes of the major scale, Caged system, Nashville numbering system, harmonic minor scale. My rhythmic reading skills are not that great, so I was functioning under the assumption that besides practicing that skill more, something in my theoretical knowledge was missing in order to be more efficient at reading rhythmic patterns.

    From a more general perspective, I am aiming to:

    1. broaden my spectrum of theoretical knowledge to increase my composition vocabulary;
    2. improve my timing when performing and improve the speed at which I can read rhythmic patterns.

    I guess I'll start by getting a basic theory book (as you suggested) and go through it to make sure I don't have knowledge gaps.

    Thanks for all the suggestions (keep 'em coming :)).
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  9. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

    Messages:
    3,432
    Likes Received:
    3,111
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    Looks interesting. I'll bookmark it and come back later.


    Here' you go:
    It's got what you want plus some, plus it's not totally bland. It's beginner stuff for the most part and focuses on basic nuts and bolts, but it's not to in depth. Also

    The Musician's Guide to Reading & Writing Music by Dave Stewart.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0879305703/?tag=sevenstringorg-20


    Here's another nut's and bolts one.

    Essential dictionary of music notation.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0882847309/?tag=sevenstringorg-20


    Here's one that they give out in some college courses. If you buy it used it's well worth the money. It has some more examples and advanced stuff and assumes a bit of prerequisite knowledge that the other books will give you for the most part.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0073401358/?tag=sevenstringorg-20

    Most of these books aren't geared towards guitarists and have dot/staff notation, but the concepts are really best when looked at this way ,imo. It's not difficult. Give it a chance. With these 3 books you can get a lot of knowledge (more than just rhythm even) fairly quick at a low price. That last book is like $140 but if you just go back a few editions like the link I gave you for it, then it's like $12.00 ! and has almost all the same exact info in it.






     
    HungryGuitarStudent likes this.
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    30,587
    Likes Received:
    6,855
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Not really - it's just a matter of practice. Honestly, aside from a good text, something that might go a long way is grabbing a few classical scores (I have a copy of Bach's Two and Three Part Inventions that are kind of good for this) and working on playing one of the two/three voices, or maybe better yet a jazz fake book (the "The Real Book" series is the standard here), and sitting down with that and practicing sight-reading melody lines. Or, the printed tablature/notation book for an album you like, I have a couple Satriani scores that are also good practice, though he tends to do more with odd note groupings. It's just a matter of doing it, to get better at it. Disclaimer; my sight reading is so rusty as to be nearly nonexistant these days. :lol:
     
    HungryGuitarStudent and Solodini like this.
  11. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    Thanks for the tips. I guess my laziness stems from using guitar pro to learn solos/riffs and simply playing over the GP midi guitar while following the metronome click. I’ll revert back to sight reading as you suggested cause I’ve severely atrophied that skill.
     
  12. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,070
    Likes Received:
    268
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    I was introduced to Konnakol by a Belgian flutist. :holy: Rhythm (or time) was simply not a problem for him. It was incredible. If you have the opportunity to take a lesson with someone proficient at Konnakol I would take advantage of that opportunity. You may decide it is something you do not want to invest the time into or it may be exactly what you are looking for. :2c:
     
    skmanga and HungryGuitarStudent like this.
  13. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal
    I would like to try it someday. To me the key factor is the time investment required in order to see difference in my ability to read complex rhythm patterns rapidly.
     
    Given To Fly and Solodini like this.
  14. Tsathoggua

    Tsathoggua SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2019
    Turning off the tab in Guitar Pro makes for some nice sight-reading exercises. That's actually how I taught myself to read notation/started to sight read way back when. Do note that a lot of the tabs out there aren't optimized for sheet music view though... So you sometimes get strange stuff like alternating Db/D in D minor (for example).

    If you'd like to get into Konnakol, John McLaughlin did an instructional DVD on it a while back, with Selvaganesh Vinayakram, called "Gateway to Rhythm". A system derived from that is basically what I always use for anything involving rhythm (except for swing).
     
    Solodini likes this.
  15. Forest of October

    Forest of October SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2019
    Location:
    Illinois
    Unlike soloing/shredding, there are very few books written specifically for rhythm guitar. My favorite is Rhythm by David Mead:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1860741983/?tag=sevenstringorg-20
    It is very systematic, but may be too simple, depending on your level.

    Not specifically a guitar book (written by a drummer), "Modern reading text in 4/4" by Bellson-Breines is arguably the best sight-reading book I've ever came across. He also has "Odd time reading" with mode advanced stuff.
    https://www.amazon.com/Modern-Reading-Text-All-Instruments/dp/0769233775/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Modern+reading+text+in+4/4
     
    Tsathoggua likes this.

Share This Page