If a curved line is used to link two notes of the same pitch directly, it is called a tie, and it has the effect of creating a single note as long as the two tied notes added together. You see two notes, but only play one. Here is an example with a recording of how it should sound (played four times).

Ties allow us to create any note-length simply by adding the 'basic' note-values together. In this case, we've made a three-beat note, but there are no limits to the lengths that we can create.

Tied Rhythms

Here are some rhythms to count and clap. There are some ties, and also a combination of quarter and half-notes (crotchets & minims) that you haven't seen before. Work on each line separately and then try to string them together.

  • Aim for 120bpm
  • Give yourself two bars in . . .

Here's how the rhythms should have sounded, each line with a different sound.

De Los Alamos Vengo

Here is a slightly extended version of a Spanish tune (De Los Alamos Vengo) with some of the 'new' rhythms. When you've cracked the rhythms, take the tempo up to at least 156bpm - beyond a certain speed, 4-in-a-bar starts to feel like 2 and that's what you want here.

  • Note the key signature
  • The tune starts on count 3 so take a bar and a half in . . .
  • Notice that the 'first-time bar' and the final bar are only two beats long. Beats 3 & 4 are back at the start.

Start with finger 3 and you won't need to move your hand at all. Once your hand is in place, you don't even need to look . . .

Here's how the tune should have sounded on C, Bb, Eb instruments. The metronome drops out after 3 and a half bars in . . .