Elements of Music

  • Basics

    Basic elements of music notation with worksheets.

Blank Staff Paper

Keep one handy for lessons. There are two flavors: 8-staff and 9-staff. The difference is in the staff size. I recommend the larger version (8 per page) to start with.

About Pitch & Scales

  • Scales & Modes

    Important concepts related to scales and scale patterns. These will be explored in the Natural Scale Etudes (see below).

𝄞 These are appropriate for female voice and treble clef instruments (e.g., trumpet).

𝄢 These are appropriate for male voices and lower brass (e.g., trombone).

  • Pitch & Frequency

    These are advanced concepts about pitch and frequency and their relationship to what we hear.

About Rhythm & Meter

  • Count in Duple Meter

    It is recommended to use the duration of the time signature (lower number) as the beat and speak the rhythm as indicated against a metronome. Never go faster than you can do it perfectly. Work through difficult parts and gradually speed up the tempo.

  • Count in Triple Meter

    It is recommended to use the upper number line for the beat and the lower to speak the rhythm.

This section is all about rhythm and counting.

Rhythm Counting Basics 1 Rhythm Counting Basics
Rhythm Counting Basics 2 Rhythm Counting Basics in 4/4
Rhythm Counting Basics 3 Rhythm Counting Basics in 3/4
Rhythm Worksheet 6/4 Rhythm Worksheet 6/8
Rhythm Examples A variety of rhythm examples and exercises.

Rhythm for Voice Etudes explores duration and end-points. Each attack starts with a consonant and is held with a vowel and rhythmically terminated with a plosive consonant, usually on a rest. Placement of the terminating consonant is the main point of these etudes.

Rhythm for Voice Etudes

The sections in Duple 2/8 and Triple 6/32 might be more challenging.

Four by 4
All Pronounced Tick Tock Too
Swing by 2
All Swing version of the 2/4 of 1st page
Duple Meters
meas 1-80 or 96 “ta” and “tok”
pronounced with “tah”
Triple Meters 6/4 and 6/8 “tu” pronounced “too”

Unless explicitly requested, it is not necessary to print these, as they are fairly extensive and we may not end up using them.

There are two PDF documents in this section.

The Rhythm Loops (Standard and Mixed varieties) are very systematic explorations of certain meters at relatively simple rhythmic unit levels. The second column of the table of contents has a recommendation for exploring these.

Rhythm Loops Standard

Basic 2/4 C  
Basics in 3 B, C, A  
Basics in 4 All  
Basics in 5/4 F, E, D  
Rudiments in 3/2 H – L Pattern for 1/4-notes [ 1 & 2 & 3 & ]
Rudiments in 3/4 H – L Pattern for 1/8-note is [ 1 & 2 & 3 & ]

Rhythm Loops x/8

Rudiments in 3/8 H – L Pattern for 3/8-note is [ 1 & d ]
or one-and-duh
Basics in (2+3)/8 H – L Another way of indicating 5/8
Basics in (3+2)/8 H – L Another way of indicating 5/8
Rudiments in 6/8 H – L  

The document for the Rhythm and Meter PDF is very large and should not be printed. It can be studied online or downloaded to be studied on a computer.

Rhythm and Meter (Review online. Do not print)

Skip page 1: it isn’t relevant. Pages 2-31 are essential except for Pages 11, 14, 18, and 20. The concept of rhythmic emphasis is important.

Pages 32-47 are relevant but if they are unfamiliar, they may need audio examples to help.

  • Repeat Puzzle

    What song does this puzzle represent? Can you follow it all the way from beginning to end?