RHYTHM: ON THE BEAT OFF THE BEAT
So this is simple practice, but time well
spent. I've just written in two notes, you can pick any two, or make
chords, change the notes, make little riffs, whatever you want. But
count the rhythm evenly and play it, listen to it, take the tempo
up as soon as you have it, memorize it, ETC. Feel free to play these
modules with your hands away from the piano, too. Remember, you are
working on your musicality in general.
that really helps all of this reading and playing is to make the 1/8th
note your constant unit of measure, and NOT 1/4 notes. Drummers, when
learning on a drum set, play a constant even stream of 1/8th notes
on the hi-hat (that's that cymbal sandwich on their left). They will
keep that steady all the time while practicing changing up the kick
and snare on and off the beats. You will benefit from working on that
some, too. That way, the notes between the beats aren't mysterious.
Mystery in music comes from somewhere else.
This page gets your two hands alternating who is on the beat, and
who is playing the off-beats. Many of the beginner and intermediate
pieces here at WackoWorld Music build off of this principle, so
here is your chance to woodshed on it (woodshedding meaning you
go off somewhere where no one can hear you and keep doing it until
you get it right. In our modern environment, that probably means
headphones, or putting felt in front of the hammers on the piano).
Be patient with yourself, settle down into the counting, sensing
pulse, clearing your mind of the jagged racing thoughts that mess
with sense of time. Don't think about anything other than those
little pulses, where the dots fit in the peg board of the music,
and the physical nature of making the notes go up and down. Listen
to the rhythm. If you want to use a metronome, or a drum machine,
that is fine. They help. I've tossed a couple on the wall in my
day. Hey, IT was off, not me.
Further Study: Louis Bellson's Syncopation ; and Drum
Method Syncopation book. These are just rhythm books. No tunes.
Bellson rhythms are great.