Daniel Laberge

Rhythm exercise 2-4

Single syncopation with ending

Featured figures
Name Symbols Duration

Two eighth notes
tied to
two eighth notes


½ beat,
one beat,
½ beat

One eighth note,
one quarter note,
one eighth note


½ beat,
one beat,
½ beat

two eighth notes,
one eighth note rest,
one eighth note


½ beat,
½ beat,
½ beat,
½ beat 




This figure includes a syncopation.
Syncopations are related to rhythmical weights.
To understand them, let's first make the distinction between upbeats and syncopations.
Perform the following rhythm which contains only notes on the upbeats.


Now, lengthen each note so that the sound is sustained up to the next one.


As you can see, the second part of each note is marked by the fall of the following beat, especially since your foot hits at the same moment.
You experience a syncopation when, having started a sound on a weak rhythmic position, you feel the following strong position accentuating it.




Two ways

The syncopated note can be represented in two manners:
•As two separate portions, tied together.
•As a single grouped value.

Separated syncopated note

Grouped syncopated note

Since rhythm is supposed to be written beat by beat, the grouped notation violates this rule.
In addition, syncopated notes necessarily have to be separated in order to cross the barline.


Syncopation is a very recent event in human evolution.
Even if some can be found in medieval music and before, it is in the twentieth century that syncopation has known its phenomenal development.




How to

A: Start by doing this rhythm, using the syllable "Ta".

B: Remove the "T" from the third "Ta".

C: Hold the second "Ta".


Press the "Play" button on any of the three players below to hear this exercise performed:
At medium speed


Stereo field

Stereo disposition

This exercise is written three different ways.
The first two give identical results. Some notes are shorter in the third.
Note: there are no syncopations in the third version.
Tempo 70 bpm  
Tempo 100 bpm  
Tempo 130 bpm  

Count 1, 2, 3, 4, before you start


Choose another exercise

Try this exercise in swing feel
Daniel Laberge


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