Tea, Coffee, Sangria, Zombie...Whiskey?

Heres the thing, I'm doing As Level Music right now and I've never as a contemporary Musician/guitarist had to pay much notable attention to a variety rhythm in Music, due to reading tablature and always having strong audio MP3s as a reference to what I'm playing, I've never felt the need to know that I'm holding a note for 2 and a half beats etc etc.

My teacher presented to us that we'd need to be able to dictate certain note lengths when he played them at two different pitches on a piano, in the first few exercises he played only single crotchets and two quavers together giving examples like "Tea" and "Coffee" as references to remember it, easy enough. However, it soon got more difficult, we progressed onto harder note lengths/couples like a dotted crotchet with a quaver on the end or two quavers and a dotted crotchet, many more trickier rhythms.

When it came to finding these rhythms, I found it extremely hard, I had a variety of choices to make out of a lot of note lengths, and I felt almost "rhythm deaf" as I could almost adapt any one of the sayings to reference the note lengths, to suit what was playing on the piano, it was pretty upsetting that through my experience so far as a Musician, I'd found something that I was really quite genuinely poor at, and I took each rhythm test we had through these past few days with my heart beating 3 times it's normal rate.

Basically, heres my question, is there something out there that you Musicians here on UG know of that could get over my problems with rhythm dictation, something I could use to practice rhythm and note lengths? - I also have trouble dictating time signatures and tempos, any help would be appreciated.

If any of you have personal knowledge you would willingly take the time out to share with me it would be very appreciated, thanks UG!

Don't think of your sister naked.

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Doesn't 'counting' work?

When you're sight-reading beats, when it comes to complex note lengths, divide them into smaller parts as you need. As an example, if you were given a dotted quarter note(dotted crotchet) and you're in common time(4-4), you can divide it as one-and-two-and. So if you're clapping the beat, this helps you to identify where a certain length ends.; in this example, you know a dotted crotchet gets a length value of one and a half. So the note ends at one-and-two(assuming the note is at the beginning of the measure) and the "and" part that belongs to two is not included into the length of that note.

Likewise, break the lengths into smaller part. If you're in 4-4 time four crotchets(in this case a measure) are counted as one-two-three-four, and 2 quavers(=one crotchet) counted as one-and, and four semi quavers(=one crotchet) one-e-and-a.

I hope I got your question and this helps.

BTW - If your teacher doesn't use this method and trying to make you remember lengths by ear, then something's wrong with the teacher.
Last edited by YA89 at Oct 17, 2009,