Year 7: Rhythm and Beat

Lesson 3

In the past two lessons, we have been learning how to construct rhythms by using grids.  In some of the boxes in the grids, we had one dot, in others we had two dots, while some boxes were completely empty.

In this lesson you will learn :

Look carefully at this diagram.  Part 1 is the beat and part 2 is how we write the 'double' notes which in the last lesson appeared as two dots in a box.  This example has 4 beats in it.  4 beats = 1 bar

When you are counting part 2, count it like this :

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   etc.

Activity 1
With a partner, one of you play part 1 and the other play part 2.  Make sure you are together all the way through.
When you can play in time with your partner, play your part for 2 bars then swap over quickly (without a break) to the other part.  Written down, it looks like this :

Activity 2
In pairs, try playing this rhythm piece.  Be careful, because the rhythm changes quite often!  Notice also that this piece is a PALINDROME (see last lesson).  Can you spot where the mirror image starts?

Activity 3
You can combine 'singles' and 'doubles' in lots of different ways.  Don't forget though that there are 4 beats in the bar.  Here is an example.  Click on the button to hear it.

With a partner, try making up a rhythm piece using 4 bars.  Make it a palindrome.
Perform your piece to some friends, your family or your class.

If you feel confident, you can make up another piece using 8 bars.

Activity 4 - Listening tests

All these tests are two bars long
In these tests, you have to write down the rhythm you hear using 'singles' and 'doubles'.  Play each one THREE times

Test 1       Test 2       Test 3        Test 4 

When you have finished, check your answers here

Rhythm is very important in the music of Latin America and the Caribbean.  A typical latin American instrument is the Conga.  Congas are often played in pairs, and the player uses lots of different ways to strike the drum skin - slapping with the fingers, pressing with the palm of the hand for a dull thud, and hitting the rim of the conga to get a ringing sound.

One of the many different rhythms that is used on the conga is the tumbao (pronounced toom baw).  Click on the music to hear the tumbao rhythm.
The letters above the notes indicate whether the player should play right or left hand, and what kind of hit it should be.