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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this is the spot for this, but i guess it could go alot of places...

When im reading music i have supreme difficulty reading rhythms, even simple ones. Usually i just play what i think it should be until i figure out how it sounds, then i imitate that, not the actual rhythm.

I just cant seem to get a 1+2+3+4+ type beat in my head, and i have an even harder time actually doing something with it

Any tips or suggestions would be wonderful

(btw, im an intermediate player, so please dont suggest cheesy beginner "learn to play music!" books"

Thanks
 

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Those books are designed to help learn all aspects of being a musician. If you aren't prepared to learn, what do you expect us to do for you?
 

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Try Technique of the Saxophone Volume 3: Rhythm Studies by Joseph Viola. Definitely not a beginner book.

A lot the the rhythms are written in a somewhat unorthodox manner. It really forces you to read the rhythm instead of guessing at it. The first part of the book has exercises are labeled A and B. The A exercise is usually in 4/4 while the B exercise is exactly the same but written in cut time. They sound the same but are written differently. Very effective. Very good book as are all the books in the series.

Generally speaking, experience is the key. Sooner or later, you learn to recognize rhythms to the point where you don't have to think about it. This book is challenging because it will write a familiar rhythm in an unfamiliar way which forces you to actually pay attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Carl...

I'm sorry if that part of the post seemed a bit stuck up to you, thats not at all what i meant, i am prepared to learn
I was referring to books that explain what say, a quarter note is, the very basic stuff. As I already know that, im looking for books/methods that force you to use those ideas in a way that would be challenging, not an instructional guide.
I already know the stuff, i want to learn to use it
 

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This might sound dumb, but try to get your band director to give you snare drum lessons - or find a real percussion instructor and get some snare drum lessons. It is all about the rhythm and internalizing it and putting it in to play.

The most useful time I had in college - for music - was a semester of snare only percussion lessons. Half of the time we never touched a drum in the lessons. It felt really dumb (to be polite) but was incredibly valuable as a musician.
 

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I am an intermediate player (3 years) and have just gone back to a "cheesy" beginner book to help with my timing and rythm.
Sure they a basic but what I do is increase the tempo (A lot) and alter the phrasing. play them syncopated. you can do a lot with the very simple tunes they have in those books if you're creative enough.
there is no point in trying to work on your timing in complicated songs until you have the basics down.
If you can't play simple rythms in good time how can you expect to with more complex stuff:?
 

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I'll add that I was in no way a beginner, but very advanced when I did this BASIC rhythm work on snare drum. There is nothing wrong with starting out at the very beginning and doing the necessary work to get it right every time.
 

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IMO, internalizing the beat, whether it's 1-2-3-4,. 1-2-3, et al, is fundemental to playing. Whatever you have to do to develop that you should do. Carl's suggestion is excellent. I'd also recommend dancing lessons (and I'm not joking)---along similar lines, have you any experience in marching, band or otherwise? Listening carefully to any and all kinds of music and trying consciously to identify whether the piece is in 4/4, 2/4, 6/8, 3/4 (waltz) etc. is helpful, as is simply tapping along with the beat as you listen to music, or reading relatively easy music with metronome. And of course, (and I can't believe nobody's asked/recommended this), do you have a teacher!
Regards and keep playing,
Ruth
 

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I agree with drum lessons. I received drum lessons for a few years (for leisure mainly, I didn't realise at the time that drumming would help my rhythm dramatically) and my rhythm reading is much better than it was before. Before the drumming I could BARELY sightread. You could also try just get a song you want to play and clap the rhythm.
 

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The Fish said:
I'm not sure if this is the spot for this, but i guess it could go alot of places...

When im reading music i have supreme difficulty reading rhythms, even simple ones. Usually i just play what i think it should be until i figure out how it sounds, then i imitate that, not the actual rhythm.

I just cant seem to get a 1+2+3+4+ type beat in my head, and i have an even harder time actually doing something with it

Any tips or suggestions would be wonderful

(btw, im an intermediate player, so please dont suggest cheesy beginner "learn to play music!" books"

Thanks
I understand your problem. It's very common among intermediate players.

Reading this might help:

Improve your timing – how to develop a mental clock
http://www.saxmusicplus.com/?p=61

Basic advice. Self dicipline needed, of course. Cheesy? Depends on your point of view.
 

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One of the many things I learned at North Texas (known for generating musicians that can read anything) is to break up each measure into halves. Focus on the notes on beats one and two, then on three and four. Don't look at each note individually... after all, you don't read one letter at a time do you? ;-)

If you break the measure down into smaller pieces it becomes more easy to understand.
 
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