The Secrets to Reading Rhytmic Music Notation
When reading rhythmic music notation there are some tricks that will help you get going.
1. Count the quarters:
Start out the “easy” course by counting the quarter notes in unison with your metronome like this, “1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4″. In the medium course as eighth notes are introduced count “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and … ” or just the quarter notes. Experiment with what helps you best. You shouldn’t always be counting but in the beginning it makes you aware of where you are in the bar and where the quarter notes lie.
2. Read notes in chunks instead of notes in isolation:
This is probably the most valuable tip when it comes to reading rhythmic music notation. When you read a text you don’t read every l-e-t-t-e-r s-e-p-a-r-a-t-l-y but you recognize words as a whole because you have seen them before. Same holds true for rhythmic patterns. Learn to recognize them and hear them in your head before clapping, playing or singing them. Let me illustrate.