Rhythm Class 8
Ties within a Bar

  1. Ties and Slurs

  2. Long notes

  3. Ties within one Rhythm Segment

  4. Ties across two Rhythm Segments

  5. Rhythm Patterns 145 - 192

  6. Practice Material

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RC 8.1 - Ties and Slurs

A tie is a curved line connecting two or more notes of the same pitch.
The tie combines both notes into one, its length being the combined total of the two.
In example A below the tied notes form a continuous sound of 1.5 beat.


A slur is a curved line connecting two, or covering more than two, notes of different pitches, as in example B.
The notes under the slur are played legato (smoothly). Wind instruments only tongue the first note of the slurred group.

A tie can only connect two notes together.
If more notes need to be tied together individual ties are used from one note to the next as shown below.
The three notes tied together shown below form a continuous sound of 3.5 beats.


Many notes can be covered just under one slur.
When within a group of slurred notes two notes of the same pitch occur next to each other (as notes 6 and 7 below), the second note is articulated (tongued on wind instruments) very lightly.


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RC 8.2 - Long Notes

So far we have not yet considered notes of more then 2 beats duration. Obviously they do not fit in any of the 2-beat rhythm segments dealt with so far.

To form long notes we combine two rhythm segments and then tie two adjacent shorter notes together.

  • In Example A below, two minims tied together form one semibreve.

  • In Example B one minim and one crotchet tied together form one dotted minim.

  • In Example C two crotchets tied together form one minim on beats 2 and 3, across the centre of the bar.


To make reading music as easy as possible music notation is very visual oriented.
In general (as explained in Lesson 3) individual notes with black note heads do not span across the middle point (downbeat 3) of the bar.

Notes with white note heads may (and dotted minims and semibreves of course must) span across the middle point of the bar, but only when they start on a downbeat.


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RC 8.3 - Ties within one rhythm Segment

Ties within one individual 2-beat rhythm segment are generally used to show the beats more clearly.
Four of the basic 2-beat Rhythm Segments introduced in Lesson 3 contain notes which span across a beat.

The minim of Rhythm Segment 1 is quite straight forward, but rhythm segments 3 and 4 are quite commonly written as 3a and 4a below. This places a note on each downbeat which in turn makes for easier reading.

(Press on each bar to hear its Audio.     Audios are in Swing style)

Rhythm segment 7 is sometimes written as 7a, but not all that often.

Rhythm Segments with rests, like for example 4b below can also be written with a tie.


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RC 8.4 - Ties across two Rhythm Segments

The natural musical accents in 4/4 time (as explained in Lesson 3) fall on the 1st and 3rd downbeat of each bar.
When two 2-bar rhythm segments are joined together by a tie the starting point of the original note (and accent) on downbeat 3 is shifted (to 2 or 2+) forming a syncopation.
Not surprisingly therefore ties across the middle of the bar are very common in Jazz rhythms.

Shown below the simplest example of this. The tied crotchets are commonly of course written as one minim.


Here are the 8 basic 2-beat Rhythm Segments, doubled up and tied together to form a complete bar.
The two minims of Rhythm Segment 1 are combined into one semibreve (4-beat note), and the two crotchets of Rhythm Segment 2 are combined into one minim.

Press on any Rhythm Segment to hear its Audio.
The tied segments are in swing style.


The note shifts from the downbeat of 3 to the upbeat of 2 (2+) shown in Segments 3, 5, 7, and 8 are especially very common in Jazz. They are so-called anticipations. The natural accent which is expected on the downbeat of 3 arrives half a beat earlier than anticipated. This produces great forward motion in the musical flow.

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RC 8.5 : Rhythm Patterns 145 - 192

Rhythm Patterns 145 - 192 are recorded in swing style.

Clap and play Rhythm Patterns 145 - 192 first at a comfortable tempo (about 60 bpm) until you can play them confidently without any mistakes.
Then :

  1. Increase the tempo to improve your reading and playing skills

  2. Slow down the tempo to improve your timing accuracy.

The downbeats 1 and 3 are shown below each bar. If you have trouble reading a particular pattern write the additional beat positions (numbers and plus signs) underneath it in pencil, but rub them out as soon as you can play the pattern with some confidence correctly.

Use the Circle of Fifths play-a-long tracks in swing style.

Quavers are usually beamed together in groups of 2 or 4, with the beam starting on a down beat position.
However in Jazz (and in Popular music) 3 quavers are usually also beamed together, even when the first quaver is positioned on an up beat, like shown for Rhythm Pattern 188 below.


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RC 8.6 - Practice Material

Metronome   Play-a-Long tracks
Circle of 5ths   Dominant 7th chords
Rhythm Patterns 145-156 - Demo (swing)
Rhythm Patterns 157-168 - Demo (swing)
Rhythm Patterns 169-180 - Demo (swing)
Rhythm Patterns 181-192 - Demo (swing)

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