The Rhythm Pyramid

Aim of the exercise: Learn to switch between whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, etc.
Exercise type: Alternate Picking
Starting tempo: 60 beats per minute
Duration: 10 minutes

Increasing the speed on the same tempo

In this exercise you will play everything from whole notes to 16th note triplets. You'll get there gradually but using the same metronome tempo. You'll be speeding up but the beat will stay the same. Here are all the rhythms you'll play and count:

The whole note. It lasts four beats in regular time. So after you strike it, you and the metronome will count to four. Try to tap your foot along with the metronome. One whole note equals four taps.

whole notes

The half note lasts half as long as a whole note - that is two beats in regular time. Every two foot-taps you'll strike a half note.

half notes

Quarter notes are play once each beat. This is an easy one, you will play simultaneously with your foot and the metronome.

4th notes

The quarter note triplets are played so that three triplets take up two beats. In four beats you will play a total of six notes, the first starting on the first beat and the fourth note (the second triplet) on the third beat.

4th note triplets

Eight notes are played twice as fast as quarter notes. Two eight notes per beat - that's 8 notes per measure (4 beats).

8th notes

Eight note triplets are played so that one triplet (three notes) equal one beat. That's a total of twelve notes per measure (4 triplets).

8th note triplets

Sixteenth notes are very fast, you'll play four notes each beat so that it adds up to 16 notes per measure.

16th notes

The sixteenth note quintuplet is pretty hard to count since each beat is divided into an odd amount of notes. An easy trick is to try to pronounce a 5 syllable word when you play. My word is u-ni-ver-si-ty. You can use it as well if you like.

16th note quintuplets

And this is the final step of our rhythm pyramid. The sixteenth note triplet (if you count three and three together) or the sixteenth note sextuplet. Here you have to play a total of six notes per beat, that's a whole of 24 notes per measure.

16th note triplets


C - Ionian D - Dorian E - Phrygian F - Lydian G - Mixolydian A - Aeolian B - Locrian

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