Understanding rhythm is one of the most fundamental building blocks for any musician. When sight reading, there are a million things to think about. What are the left hand notes, what are the right hand notes, and how do you coordinate them to work together?!
When you are processing all of that information, the last thing you want to have to do is struggle to understand the rhythm you need to play it in. This is why having a firm grasp on rhythm before hand is so important. Once you can see notation and immediately get a sense for how the rhythm will feel, you are ready to sight read.
One of my favorite ways to practice developing a sense for rhythm in notation is by writing the notes out with a pencil and paper. We’ve got an awesome cheat sheet for you to download above to use as a guide! You can review it and then see how many notes you can remember on your own. Draw the note symbol and then it’s name and value.
Once you’ve got a good sense for each note and its value, write them out in random order and try clapping or tapping the rhythm you’ve just created! This will help you to internalize how it all works together. Don’t be afraid to count out loud as you clap or tap.
For a complete break down on the most common note values you will need as a beginner piano player, enjoy the video!
* FREE VIDEO SERIES *
Learning chords is a great way to improve your piano skills without any music theory. And Lisa Witt’s “Chord Hacks” series will show you how to play the most popular chords, so you can play many of your favorite songs on the piano!
Lisa Witt /
Basic Time Signatures
Learn how to read and play in the most common time signatures.
Cassi Falk /
Understanding Cut Time
You don't need scissors. Here's your intro to "Cut Time" and how it's used.
Cassi Falk /
Counting Complicated Rhythms On Piano
How to get past that tricky section and master complicated rhythms.
Cassi Falk /
Music Theory For The Dropouts #1 – Rhythm
Rhythm is one of those elements that a lot of musicians take for granted. You might get caught up in thinking about all the notes, sharps/flats and other stuff and forget about how crappy it would all sound without rhythmic variation to make things interesting. Luckily with some dedication and focus, rhythms are pretty easy […]
By signing up you’ll also receive our ongoing free lessons and special offers. Don’t worry, we value your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.