#1
Notating a rhythm as its played back to me; there is no getting around the fact that I absolutely suck at it for some reason. I've been practising it for about 4 weeks and this was a completely new thing to me before I started, however I've seen no improvement at all. My teacher tested me on it and I couldn't even notate 4 bars of 4/4, whereas on our chord, scale and interval recognition tests I got full marks..

Are there any useful techniques or tips that people were given when they first started doing this? Seriously, anyone who can give me some pointers at how to improve at this, thank you very much lol.

inb4 "op is a lazy ass go practice" I already do practice but I haven't seen any improvement.
#2
There are lots of tricks ranging from things you can practice, to things that will help you with the actual process of writing out the rhythm.

How is your test structured?

What I mean is, the typical rhythmic dictation test will be around four bars in length, the time signature will be given, a bar's count in to set the pulse etc. You will be played it four times.
This is the standard type of less advanced rhythmic dictation test.

Is this how yours are done?
Describe your test to me and I will help.
#3
Quote by Matt.Guitar


What I mean is, the typical rhythmic dictation test will be around four bars in length, the time signature will be given, a bar's count in to set the pulse etc. You will be played it four times.
This is the standard type of less advanced rhythmic dictation test.



That is exactly how my test is, with variation in number of bars and that is all.
#4
well...practice. try listening to music and figuring out the rhythm. that's all you can do. your ear isn't used to hearing the pulse, and needs to get force-fed.
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#5
Trying using Guitar Pro to tab music. I started using Guitar Pro knowing absolutely nothing about notation or time signatures or note durations, and not to much time later I was able to write down any rhythm accurately that I could think of.
#6
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Trying using Guitar Pro to tab music. I started using Guitar Pro knowing absolutely nothing about notation or time signatures or note durations, and not to much time later I was able to write down any rhythm accurately that I could think of.

This helped me get better, although I knew most of it already. Use TuxGuitar if you don't have Guitar Pro and don't want to spend the money.
#7
Ok.
Obviously you can develop your rhythmic awareness by transcribing music by ear, and by practicing sight reading rhythms. There are lots of other things you can do to develop rhythm.

So first things first you need to be familiar with the time signatures you are to be tested in.
Most commonly you will get 4/4 or 6/8.

Do you understand the difference between the pulse and feel of the two?

Learn how to count all the different note values likely to be tested, and how they are treated in both simple and compound time (4/4 and 6/8):

Minims, crotchets, quavers, semi quavers. Crotchet triplets, quaver triplets. Dotted minim, crotchet and quaver. (this is normally the extent of these kinds of tests)

Become familiar with common rhythmic motifs, such as the 'scotch snap' and the 'Amsterdam' (in 6/8) [just say the word and you should know what I mean!]

Ok so when you have the ground work done there are things you can do to get points without doing much:

Before the test begins write the barlines and time signature.
Then faintly draw lines for the stems that mark each beat of the bar.
You now have the pulse notated and any note falling on the beat is now technically a point in the bag!
When the excerpt is played to you you have a choice:

1. Listen to the whole thing and try to absorb as much as you can.
2. Listen to the first bar only and attempt to notate it.

Whichever one you do, try to develop a short hand system of adorning your feint 'pulse marks' with the correct rhythm information.
For example if the first beat was a group of 4 semiquavers, quickly add three more feint little lines to the one that's there.

You can go back at the end of the test and neaten it all up at the end.

What I recommend is listening to one bar at a time, notating it and then moving on to the next bar with each successive playback.
If you get 5 plays to do 4 bars you can use the fifth play to check your work.
By the fifth play you will likely have the rhythm memorised.

This is a pretty concise explanation, any more questions - ask.
#8
Quote by Matt.Guitar
This is a pretty concise explanation, any more questions - ask.


+1 Thank you man, awesome post
#10
Quote by anonimau5
Notating a rhythm as its played back to me; there is no getting around the fact that I absolutely suck at it for some reason. I've been practising it for about 4 weeks and this was a completely new thing to me before I started, however I've seen no improvement at all. My teacher tested me on it and I couldn't even notate 4 bars of 4/4, whereas on our chord, scale and interval recognition tests I got full marks..

Are there any useful techniques or tips that people were given when they first started doing this? Seriously, anyone who can give me some pointers at how to improve at this, thank you very much lol.

inb4 "op is a lazy ass go practice" I already do practice but I haven't seen any improvement.

You can try transcribing and learning how to notate drums, even if you don't play. Just simple patterns that use the hi-hat, snare and bass.

If you can do that, which is essentially 3 parts, everything else will become much easier.