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Ritmo   You are logged in as Guest
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Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3532
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ


Look, I'm a guitarist, I can admit that rhythm is probably my weakest area. Besides stage moves, I never got that down! I recently bought a book called "Modern REading text in 4/4", subtitled Syncopation Studies Designed to Develop Accuracy and Speed in Sight Reading.

This book is aimed at the speed reader, presumably the jazz or orchestral player who needs to be able to play things through right, the first time. It basically takes all the tricky little parts you might find once in awhile and compiles pages of them!

Now... I have been working through this stuff, a littlle here and little there, with the metronome, tapping with a pencil or hitting the bongo, or playign various things on the guitar, along with these syncopation studies, to great effect. Not only have I gotten better at playing through the studies, but I have found myself recognizing and identifying the patterns in music I hear, both from Cds and in my head. The benefits of this hardly have to be mentioned.

When I took a workshop from Maria Temo from DC, she wrote some numbers on the board. 12 3 6 8 10 was one, 12 2 4 6 8 10, was another, 12 3 6 9, and 1-2 4-5 7-8 10-11 the last. She said that almost all 12-count falsetas are based on these accents.

Hmmm, now how do these disparate events relate? Well, I'm not sure. But flamenco and all music is made up of a vocabulary of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic "words". By studying these "words" individually and mastering them, you will have set the foundation for learning phrases and in the idiom. Maybe this all sounds commonsensical, but it is often ignored. A student will try to learn a whole falseta and play it through dozens of times in his quest to learn it. A better way would be to examine it beat by beat and make sure he understands the rhythmic implications of each beat.

This sounds daunting, but if you slow it down, it can be done. Try it with easier pieces at first--I'm working on a didactic falseta by Manuel Granados, and one compas has beats with 3, 6, 8, and 7 notes in them! A (eight note, two sixteenth note), a (6 sextuplets arpeggio), a (8 32nd note run), a (6 sextuplets run), and a (7 septulets [is that a word?]) run. To try to play this compas through without making sure you have each beat mastered would be an exercise in futility. of course this is a somewhat extreme case, a slow, expressive soleares.

I suggest to everyone, get an elementary book on percussion/drums and practice your beats and your syncopations. Think how much easier learning a falseta would be, when if you hear a run or an arpeggio, you instantly realize how many notes is in each beat. This is very possible and in fact quite easy with a little bit of practice. And break down your falsetas, don't rely on the 'Inner Diety of Guitar' to magically guide your fingers.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 27 2004 22:24:34

[Deleted] (in reply to Miguel de Maria

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2004 12:19:26
Jon Boyes

Posts: 1377
Joined: Jul. 10 2003

RE: Ritmo (in reply to Guest


I still can't do contra-palmas for crap, but maybe once I can, that will open the door to more advanced guitar rhythms.

Hi Andy here's a quick solution for contras:

-Get yourself any software audio sequencer, record first palmas track as you describe, clapping along with the metronome.

-record 2nd palmas track same way.

Move the second track slightly along the time axis so that all the beats fall in between the first. Hey presto, instant contra-palmas

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2004 12:33:08

[Deleted] (in reply to Jon Boyes

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2004 15:29:58
Jim Opfer

Posts: 1876
Joined: Jul. 19 2003
From: Glasgow, Scotland.

RE: Ritmo (in reply to Guest


I don't know if this small tip will help you with contra but it helps me a lot.

When I play guitar I normally tap my foot just to keep time. I'm always aware that the 'up' beat (foot up) helps me regulate contra in my playing.

If you become tuned into the 'toe up' beat, you won't go wrong.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2004 15:47:01

[Deleted] (in reply to Jim Opfer

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 28 2004 16:54:32
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