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Date Created: 11/13/2010

Last Updated: 11/14/2010

Asas Rentak (Rhythm)

 

Bila sebut pasal rhythm, dalam dunia gitar ni, ade at least dua maksud. Satu maksud dia macam main backup. Like, "you play the lead, I play rhythm". Satu lagi erti rhythm ni, erti yang applies to music in general ialah "time value" satu note tu. Yang ni aku nak bincangkan kat sini.

First skali, cuba dengar sample ni. Dalam sample ni ade dua part.

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So, which one sounds better? First part ke second part? Kalau jawapan ko first part, well, I'm sorry to say, I think your taste is a little bad. Maybe pada ko first part tu lagi bagus sebab lagi laju, siap ade tapping lagi. But kalau dengar part lead tu berbanding dengan drum beat, you can tell that first part ni berterabur gak. Timing tah ape-ape. The second part pulak lebih teratur. (I know it's still not perfect, but better than the first part).

Itu yang patut kita aim bila main muzik. Tak kira lah main lagu yang dah sedia ada, atau improvise something. You should always follow the beat. I notice that some people don't pay enough attention to the beat, some tend to focus on playing their favorite licks as fast as they can, to show off their chops perhaps. They don't always think about what they're playing in the context of the beat. But music shouldn't be about how fast you can play. You have to play the right notes, and follow the beat. And kalau ikut instructor aku, dia kata kalau screw up, lebih baik main salah note daripada screw up the rhythm. Itu pentingnya rhythm ni dari pandangan dia. Kalau pikir balik pon betul gak. Bile orang dengar ko main, orang nak layan, they move their body, or bang their heads, what are they following? Your scales? Your arpeggios? Your sweap picking? No. They follow the beat. And they expect what you play to follow the beat too.

Yang aku maksudkan dengan follow the beat tu bukan lah kalau satu bar (or measure) ade empat beat ko main empat note jek. No. Maksud aku, ape yg ko main tu cuba pikir dalam konteks beat tu. Maybe ko nak bahagikan satu beat kepada dua note yang sama panjang. Maybe ko nak main 3 note dalam satu beat. Or setengah beat ko nak main dua note, lagi setengah beat main satu note. Apa-apa pon, beat tu panduan kita.

I've been playing music for a long time. And aku mengaku la aku punya rhythm pon tak tight lagi. Honestly, one of the reasons why aku rasa aku ni masih suck dalam main gitar ni ialah sebab rhythm aku tak tight lagi. That's actually the major reason for it. And aku memang plan nak improve on that. I think it's more important to play tight rhythm than to work on my picking techniques. You know, bile aku record, sometimes I made so many takes. And for the most part, aku terpaksa record ulang-ulang kali sebab aku reject takes yang rhythm aku agak kantoi. Even the take that made it to the final mix aren't perfect enough when it comes to rhythm sometimes. :(

Aku tulis artikel ni actually sebab aku nak cuba explain macam mana nak main TAB terbaru aku. TAB goreng lagu Nurnilam Sari. But the usefulness of this knowledge goes beyond playing that solo. It's helpful in pretty much everything else you play.

This might seem boring a little, but trust me, it's such a valuable knowledge.

 

Parts of a Guitar Score

 

Dalam gambar kat atas, yang section belah atas tu dipanggil Standard Notation. Yang belah bawah tu, which I think most of you care about the most, dipanggil TAB, short for tablature. Aku rasa aku tak payah nak cover TAB, since you probably know how to read it.

Standard notation ni menunjukkan pitch yang patut dimain, and panjang note tu. Lokasi kepala "taugeh" tu in the vertical direction menunjukkan pitch dia. So kalau kepala taugeh tu tinggi kat atas, pitch yang dimainkan tinggi la. Well, most of the time, kalau aku baca, aku tak baca pitch dia, unless kalau aku main classical, since classical tak (sepatutnya) pakai TAB. Untuk pitch aku just tengok TAB punya line jek. But untuk rhythm, I read the standard notation. It's important. That's why la aku malas nak baca ASCII tabs out there, since it won't tell you a whole lot about the rhythm. So when I read, I read both the pitch from the TAB, and the rhythm from the standard notation.

Clef tu pulak menunjukkan macam mana nak baca pitch dari standard notation tu. So I won't cover that. Just know that kalau gitar, it's gonna be on Treble Clef (G Clef), as shown above. Bass pulak pakai Bass Clef (F Clef).

Key signature aku dah cover sebelum ni a little bit dalam video pasal program yang aku share tu.

Time signature ni penting dalam rhythm.

 

Time Signature, Note Value etc.

Dalam TAB kat atas, Time Signature (sometimes called "meter signature") dia 4/4. Bukan empat per empat ye, since ni bukan pecahan. It's just "four-four". This is an extremely common time, sometimes orang tak tulis 4/4, dia just tulis "C" jek, which stands for Common. Kebanyakan lagu rock dalam this time.

Apa maksud 4/4 ni? Angka yang belah atas menunjukkan bilangan beat dalam satu bar (measure).

Angka yang belah bawah menunjukkan jenis note yang menerima satu beat. So kalau angka bawah tu 2, maknanya half note (1/2 note) menerima satu beat. Dalam contoh kat atas, quarter note (1/4 note) adalah note yang menerima satu beat. You'll also see 8 or even 16 at the bottom. Apa maksud half, quarter, eighth or sixteenth note ni? Keep reading.

 

 

Yang ni dipanggil Whole Note. Yang belah kiri tu whole note yang mesti dimainkan, yang belah kanan tu "rest symbol" for one whole note. Rest ni maknanya ko kena senyap for the duration shown. Note-note lain yang akan ditunjukkan semuanya relative kepada note ni.

Whole note ni dalam system US. Dalam system British whole note ni dipanggil Semibreve. But since aku US educated, aku akan refer by the American standard. And I think it makes more sense. You'll see.

 

 

Yang ni pulak dipanggil Half Note (1/2 note). Yang paling kiri tu rupa half note bile "stem" dia kat atas. Yang tengah bila stem dia kat bawah. Direction stem tu tak penting. Yang belah kanan skali rest symbol dia (half note punya rest dekat line ke 3 dari atas, whole note punya rest dekat line ke 2 dari atas). Nilai panjang half note ni ialah setengah dari nilai panjang whole note.

Dalam British system half note ni dipanggil Minim. So, like I said, half note ni panjang dia setengah dari panjang whole note. Mana lagi senang nak ingat? "Half note" ke "minim"? I think it's easier to remember "half note".

 

 

Yang ni dipanggil Quarter Note (1/4 note). By now korang dah boleh agak yang mana satu note, yang mana satu rest. And korang mesti dah boleh agak, nilai panjang note ni berbanding dengan whole note, right? So, quarter note ni panjang dia sama dengan satu per empat (suku) panjang whole note. Jadi, quarter note ni panjang dia setengah dari panjang half note.

Dalam British system note ni dipanggil Crotchet.

 

 

Yang ni dipanggil Eighth Note (1/8 note). Likewise, panjang dia satu per lapan panjang whole note, satu per empat panjang half note, dan satu per dua panjang quarter note. The first three symbols aku rasa korang dah boleh faham. But the last symbols ni menunjukkan dua half notes yang di"beam" kan together. So gambar kat atas ni menunjukkan dua note yang patut dimainkan, satu rest, pastu dua note yang sama yang perlu dimainkan.

Dalam British system note ni dipanggil Quaver.

Make sure sebut betul-betul. Eighth note, bukan eight note. Eighth maksudnya "satu per lapan", eight pulak "lapan" jek.

And in blues yang in 4/4 time, sometimes kita "swing" the eighth notes. So kalau lagu tu kena swing, it means that the eighth note that happens on the down beat is longer than the one on the up beat. I won't go there now, I don't wanna confuse you.

 

 

Yang ni pulak dipanggil Sixteenth Note (1/16 note). Lebih kurang macam eighth note, tapi ade dua "flags". Jumlah panjang dia korang wajib dah boleh agak.

Dalam British system note ni dipanggil Semiquaver.

 

 

Yang ni dipanggil Thirty-Second Note (1/32 note). Dalam lesson ni, ni note yang paling pendek aku akan ajar. By now I trust that you can guess what the value is. Kalau tak boleh, baca balik.

Dalam British system note ni dipanggil Demisemiquaver.

 

 

Gambar kat bawah ni menunjukkan relative note values yang kita dah belajar so far.

So, satu whole note = dua half note. Satu eighth note = dua 16th note etc.

 

 

Lagi satu aku nak cover kat sini ialah Dotted Note. Tengok gambar kat bawah ni.

Tu contoh dotted note. In this case, that's the Dotted Half Note. Panjang dia 1.5 panjang half note. So dot ni tambah panjang note yang didotkan sebanyak setengah pajang asal dia. So kalau nampak dotted quarter note pulak, panjang dia ialah 1.5 kepanjangan regular quarter note.

 

 

Simbol yang melengkung kat atas yang sambungkan dua note ni pulak dipanggil Tie. Tie ni gabungkan dua note yang sama pitch dia. So dalam gamba kat atas ni, nilai panjang dia sama dengan Dotted Half note yang aku tunjuk kat atas. So, you might be wondering, kenapa tie sedangkan boleh dot jek kan? The answer is, sometimes kita tak boleh dot jek. Contohnya kalau ko nak gabungkan half note dengan eighth note. Lagi satu, bile kita transcribe sometimes kita kena asingkan note tu dan gabungkan pakai tie for proper notation style. I won't go into that.

Be careful, tie ni rupa dia macam Slur kat bawah ni.

Slur ni legato, or in guitar-speak, it means either hammer-on atau pull-off. Slur ni untuk pitch yang berbeza. Tengok gamba tu, kepala taugeh dia kat tempat lain.

 

 

Kat bawah ni pulak is what we call Triplets.

Dalam contoh ni, first measure ade lapan eighth notes biasa. Second measure pulak ade eighth note triplets. In 4/4 time, satu eighth note ni panjang dia setengah beat. Eighth note punya triplet pulak panjang dia satu per tiga beat in 4/4 time. So kalau main triplets kat atas ni, setiap beat ko bahagikan kepada 3 bahagian.

That is the relatively easy triplet to learn. Well, triplets sounds a little odd. Janggal sebab pembahagian dia tak genap. But if you put it at the right place, it'll sound interesting. There are other triplets, and other n-tuplets that I won't cover here. I don't wanna confuse you.

 

 

So, at this point aku dah explain panjang satu-satu note tu berbanding dengan whole note. And memula tadi aku dah kasi tau ape maksud angka-angka dalam time signature. Put the knowledge together.

Macam aku cakap tadi, 4/4 time ni ade empat beat dalam setiap measure (angka atas). Setiap beat sama dengan quarter note (angka bawah). Dalam gambar ni semua measure lengkap. Tengok 3rd measure, ade empat quarter notes. Tengok 6th measure, ade 32 thirty-second notes. Last two measures pulak ade whole note rests.

Apakah kelajuan piece ni? Tengok Speed indicator kat atas. Dia tulis Quarter note = 60. Maksud dia, dalam satu minit, ade enam puluh quarter note. And time signature cakap satu quarter note ialah satu beat. So, speed lagu ni ialah satu beat per saat. (FYI, dalam classical music tak tulis exact speed lagu tu).

Now tengok video kat bawah ni, aku demonstrate macam mana bunyi dia. Also aku tunjuk different time, macam mana nak kira and all.

 

Lagi satu aku lupa nak mention dalam video tu ialah Pickup Measure, ataupon technical name dia Anacrusis. Anacruisis ni berlaku dekat the beginning of the song. Contohnya macam dalam gambar kat bawah ni.

 

So kalau ko kira rhythm dekat first bar tu, jumlah dia 3 beat jek kan? That's fine in this case. It just means that lagu ni start on the weak beat, the second beat.

 

Another thing that may confuse you is the Grace Note.

You may think that somehow the total of that bar is 4.5 beats. But no, yang eighth note kecik tu dipanggil Grace note. Grace Note ni tak kira dalam kiraan jumlah beat dalam satu bar. It just means that whole note tu actually kita tak main in full, that particular grace note takes a little bit of the whole note.

 

Practical Training

Ok, tadi tu sume theory. But you're probably not a nerd like me, you wanna know how to apply it right? A good way of practicing would be with a metronome. Set metronome tu kepada beat yang tak laju sangat. Pastu try main Half notes with it. And then try main quarter notes. And then eighth notes. And then 16th notes. Increase the speed after you're comfortable with that speed. But sebelum naikkan speed, make sure korang boleh main semua tu dengan consistent. Try la main each one of those for a minute or so until you are confident that you can be consistent.

Dalam video ni aku kasi suggestion cammana nak practice dengan metronome.

 

Counting Visualization

So aku dah ajar cammana nak count verbally, macam mana nak hentak kaki. In 4/4 time, the common time, this is how you'd visualize it, for each measure. Yang red dot ni bila ko start main note tu (the last red dot is the beginning of the next measure). Yang garisan melengkung ni visualization motion kaki kau (but you don't have to move sideways, your foot should just tap at the same spot of the floor), and it also indicates the length of the note.

Yang atas ni untuk Whole Note. I think it's still a good idea to count it like One and Two and.. Macam kira eighth note, it's just that ko cuma main note tu dekat "One" jek and hold it until the end of 4th "and". That way you'll be playing the full value of the whole note.

 

 

Yang ni Half Note pulak. Just like what I said about counting whole note, kira jek dengan "and".

 

 

Yang ni pulak Quarter Notes.

 

 

Yang ni pulak Eighth Notes.

 

 

Sixteenth Notes.

 

 

Thirty-second Notes. Ha, tu pasal la susah nak kira.

 

 

Yang ni pulak Eighth Note Triplets. Notice that panjang satu note dia lagi panjang dari 16th notes, but lagi pendek dari 8th notes.

 

Closing

So ape guna belajar sume ni? That way korang boleh faham macam mana standard way of organizing rhythm. Bile orang karang lagu, they don't just write random stuff that nobody can transcribe. It's organized in terms of beat.

Sometimes ade lagu yang takde beat. Or at least part of it. Contohnya macam intro lagu Another You tu. In that case, you're free of the beat. You can do whatever you want as long as it sounds good. But bile ade beat, you should follow it. You should play in the context of the beat. Kalau main bantai jek goreng selaju yang mungkin, it'll sound disorganized.

Maksud aku bukan la kalo korang karang lagu, korang kena pikir eighth notes bla bla bla all the time. It all comes down to what sounds good right? But kalau dah paham benda ni, hopefully you'll have better rhythm, and whatever you play will sound more organized.

Aku bukan nak kate jangan main laju. If you can keep up with the beat, do it whenever appropriate. It's just that pada aku beginners usually are too obsessed with speed, that they don't pay attention to other important aspects of music.

Dalam sample audio yang aku tunjuk memula kat atas, the way aku record it is like this. First part tu, aku record takde beat, takde drum. Aku just main laju-laju. Pastu baru aku letak drum. So the drum and the guitar lines were created independantly. That's why it sounds a little disorganized.

Yang second part pulak aku dah tau beat dia. And aku play along, aku decided yang the first few notes aku nak jadikan 16th notes, etc. The result is this (in 4/4 meter).

So, when I think about it in the context of the beat, the result is better.

 

Lagi satu, kalau nak buat TAB Guitar Pro cam aku ni, memang kena tau rhythm notation. It's the most important prerequisite.

And kalau reti baca rhythm ni, nak main ikut TAB (TAB yang ade standard notation la) pon jadi lagi senang. Kalau baca fast phrases contohnya, you can see on which beat you should finish certain part of the phrase. Dalam video lagu Nurnilam Sari (Solo) yang aku akan post soon, aku tunjukkan kepentingan pengetahuan pasal rhythm notation ni.

Instructor aku aritu ade tanye kat class. If you're performing with a band, siapa yang responsible for keeping the beat and rhythm tight? Immediate response aku drummer la kan. He said no. EVERYBODY is responsible for that. He's right. Kalau sorang bercelaru satu band sounds bad. So, you need to learn rhythm.

If you're still not convinced why you should know this, just know that it helps in your effort to be a better musician. Why the hell won't you wanna learn it? And honestly, yang aku tunjuk kat atas ni are the most basic. I didn't even cover half of what I know about rhythm. Kalau aku ajar semua yang aku tau pasal subject ni, you might get discouraged. So, I give you the basics, you go from there.

Somebody brought it to my attention and aku lupa nak address kat sini in the previous revision of this article. When I say practice with metronome, develop tight rhythm, yang aku maksudkan bukan la wajib boleh main sampai 1 microsecond accurate. No. We're not learning to be robots. We're humans, with certain degree of imperfection. It's ok to be slightly off, but yang kena avoid ialah being too off that it sounds bad. Or main ikut suka hati as if the song has no beat, like you're in the world of your own. Aku analyze many songs thoroughly and I can say that takde record yang extremely perfect in terms of rhythm. Mesti ade part yang contohnya gitar just a tiny bit lambat dari cymbal hit at some point. It's fine, it's only human. But if it's too noticeably off, that can be bad. So bile practice dengan metronome, don't be ultra obsessed with accuracy (but if you wanna be a shredder, I think shredding requires a higher degree of accuracy in rhythm and technique). And when you're playing in a band, there's no way anybody can maintain the tempo like a machine. You can't practice with a metronome enough to prepare you to play with your bandmates. You have to practice with each other, get used to each other's tendencies and imperfections. Use the metronome as a practice tool wisely.

Sebagai penutup, aku nak share a verse of 70's classic, You Make Me Feel Brand New, by the Stylistics.

Without you,

Life has no meaning or rhyme,

Like notes to a song out of time,

How can I repay you for having faith in me

That's how bad poor timing is, it's like losing somebody you love. :P

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

Kalau nak baca lagi, I'd suggest this one.

 

 

 

 

p/s: Here's a good example of someone who knows rhythm extremely well. This is percussionist Assaf Seewi. Dengar betul-betul. Dia bukan sekadar main laju jek. He's playing in tight beat. And he's not only playing in 4/4 meter. Sometimes dia main dalam meter yang pelik-pelik gak, yet still sounds really good.

Aku Punye ®