Basic Rudiments

Welcome to the basic rudiments portal! All your homework is listed here.

If you need more staff paper, you can print some from here: http://www.musictheory.net/tools/paper/blank

  • Week 6

    1. Rhythm drills: do simple rhythms 1.55 and 1.56, and compound rhythms 4.62 and 4.65.
      • write in the counting
      • practise counting out loud and clapping each line
    2. Week 6 online exercises: click here. Do the interval ear training regularly (for example, before you practise) – it is critical if you are doing an RCM exam.
      • practise singing the major scale starting from the lowest note of the interval
      • sing to the 5th note of the scale (for now)
      • use the solfege syllables (“do”, “re”, “mi”, “fa”, “so”) to guide your singing
      • you can also identify intervals by singing the first few notes of the following songs:
      • M2 “Happy Birthday”
      • M3 “Oh When the Saints”
      • P4 “Here Comes the Bride”
      • P5 “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
  • Week 5

    1. Terms: I’ll be reviewing what these mean next week. If you forget, try to find a definition online.
      • interval size versus quality
      • major, minor, and perfect intervals (which sizes can be perfect? Which do you find in a major key?)
    2. Rhythm drills (same as last week): do sections 4.2 to 4.6 of the compound rhythms handout. Download and print the handout here: Rhythms – Compound.
      • Write in the counting using “1 + a 2 + a”.
      • Practise counting out loud and clapping each line
    3. Interval quality: some notes if you missed it in class
      • to find the size of an interval, count letters ONLY (D to F is D-E-F, or a 3rd)
      • to find the quality of an interval, first memorize the pattern of intervals found in a major scale, starting on the first note (the tonic). All of these intervals are either major (2, 3, 6, 7) or perfect (1, 4, 5, 8)
      • for example: in C major, C to same C is P1, C-D is M2, C-E is M3, C-F is P4, C-G is P5, C-A is M6, C-B is M7, C to higher C is P8
      • minor intervals are one semitone SMALLER than a major interval
      • to make an interval smaller, LOWER the TOP note or RAISE the BOTTOM note
      • for example: C-D is a major 2nd (M2), C to Db is a minor 2nd (m2), and C# to D is also m2
      • to identify an interval, identify the bottom note. Identify the major scale that starts on this note. If the top note is in the scale, then the interval is either major (for sizes 2, 3, 6, 7), or perfect (sizes 1, 4, 5, 8). If the top note doesn’t belong to the scale, check if it has been lowered by 1 semitone from the notes in the scale. If it is lower by 1 semitone, then the interval is minor.
    4. Intervals: List all of the intervals found between all of the natural notes (white keys on piano)
      • Start by listing all intervals from P1 to P8 with C as the lowest note (
      • Repeat by listing all intervals starting with D as the lowest note. Compare these intervals to those found in D major to find the quality. (Example: the key signature of D major is F# and C#. D to E is in the key of D major, so it is a major 2nd. D to F is NOT in the key of D major, so it is not a major 3rd. It is 1 semitone smaller than the major 3rd of D to F#, so therefore D to F is a minor 3rd.)
      • Repeat for all intervals with E, F, G, A, and B as the lowest note.
      • Ignore any interval between F and C or C and F. This is an interval we haven’t discussed (the tritone) and is neither major, minor, or perfect.
    5. Week 5 online exercises: click here. Do each exercise until you are confident with the process. Don’t forget to submit your time to the leaderboard.
  • Week 4

    1. Terms: I’ll be reviewing what these mean next week. If you forget, try to find a definition online.
      • compound and simple time (how do you count compound time?)
      • key signature (what are the major scales with 0 to 4 sharps or flats?)
      • order of sharps and flats
      • articulations: legato, slur, staccato, tenuto, accent, marcato
    2. Rhythm drills (compound meter): do sections 4.2 to 4.6 of the compound rhythms handout. Download and print the handout here: Rhythms – Compound.
      • Write in the counting using “1 + a 2 + a”.
      • Practise counting out loud and clapping each line
    3. Circle of fifths: Using the template from week 3, fill in all the key signatures for the major keys.
    4. Scale writing: write out the following scales:
      • Ab and D in treble clef with key signature
      • E and Bb in treble clef with key signature
      • A and Eb in treble clef with accidentals (write down the key signature and cross off the sharps/flats as you use them so you don’t forget any)
      • G and F in bass clef with accidentals (write down the key signature and cross off the sharps/flats as you use them so you don’t forget any)
    5. Week 4 online exercises: click here. Do each exercise until you are confident with the process. Don’t forget to submit your time to the leaderboard.
  • Week 3

    1. Terms: I’ll be reviewing what these mean next week. If you forget, try to find a definition online.
      • key signature (what are the major scales with 0 to 4 sharps or flats?)
      • order of sharps and flats
      • circle of fifths (what is the relationship between adjacent keys?)
      • dynamics: pianissimo (pp), piano (p), mezzo piano (mp), mezzo forte (mf), forte (f), fortissimo (ff), crescendo (cresc.), decrescendo (diminuendo, dim.)
    2. Rhythm 2-part drills: If you didn’t get the newer page, download it here: Rhythm – Simple (part 2). Do sections 1.271.49, 1.50, 1.51
      • Write in the counting using “1 + 2 +”.
      • Practise counting out loud and clapping each line. Although they are called “2-part” drills, count and clap each line as its own part.
      • Count and clap 1.25 with both hands at the same time – left hand on the lower part, right hand on the upper part.
    3. Circle of fifths: Download this circle of 5ths template. On the front side, fill in the names of all major scales.
      • start on C major at the top (no sharps or flats)
      • find the 5th note in the scale ABOVE the tonic (above C)
      • This is the scale with one more sharp. Use “Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle” to find the new accidental.
      • write down the key signature
      • repeat for the other sharp scales
      • to go to a scale with one less sharp (one more flat), go to the 5th note in the scale BELOW the tonic (which is the 4th note ABOVE)
      • Use “Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles’s Father” (opposite of the sharps) to find the flat key signature
    4. Week 3 online exercises: click here. Do each exercise until you are confident with the process. Don’t forget to submit your time to the leaderboard.
  • Week 2

    1. Terms: I’ll be reviewing what these mean next week. If you forget, try to find a definition online.
      • simple time
      • measure and bar line
      • pickup measure
      • dotted notes
      • tie
      • scale and major scale (what is the pattern of semitones and tones?)
    2. Rhythm 2-part drills: section 1.26, 1.30
      • Write in the counting using “1 + 2 +”.
      • Practise counting out loud and clapping each line. Although they are called “2-part” drills, count and clap each line as its own part… for now.
      • We will count and clap these sections in class next week.
    3. Scale construction: construct the following scales by following the pattern of whole tones (T) and semitones (S). Write down each scale using a different letter for each note.
      • starting on a D, follow the pattern S-T-T-T-S-T-T
      • starting on a F#, follow the pattern T-S-T-T-T-T-S
      • starting on a C, follow the pattern T-T-T-S-T-S-T
    4. Week 2 online exercises: click here. Do each exercise until you are confident with the process. Don’t forget to submit your time to the leaderboard.
  • Week 1

    1. Terms: I’ll be reviewing what these mean next week. If you forget, try to find a definition online.
      • semitone and tone (whole tone)
      • enharmonic (“same-sound”)
      • accidentals: sharp and flat
      • staff and ledger line
      • interval (what is its size?)
      • treble and bass clef (can you draw them?)
      • whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second notes and rests (can you draw them?)
      • time signature (what are the top and bottom numbers?)
    2. Rhythm 2-part drills: section 1.25
      • Write in the counting using “1 + 2 +”.
      • Practise counting out loud and clapping each line. Although they are called “2-part” drills, count and clap each line as its own part… for now.
      • We will count and clap 1.25 in class next week.
    3. Relative intervals: on a sheet of staff paper, write out this mystery melody in whole notes. Each interval measures the note’s distance from the previous note. Bonus points if you can name the tune!
      • start on G
      • write a note that is a 4th UP from the previous note
      • keep writing notes using the following intervals: 4th UP, 2nd down, 3rd down, 3rd down, 4th UP, 4th UP, unison, 3rd UP
    4. Absolute intervals: again,  write out this mystery melody in whole notes. This time, we will call the F above middle C our tonic, or “home note”. Each interval measures the note’s distance from the tonic. Bonus points if you can name the tune!
      • write a note that is a unison with the tonic (F)
      • write a note that is a 3rd ABOVE the tonic (F)
      • keep writing notes using the following intervals: 4th ABOVE, 6th ABOVE, 5th ABOVE, 3rd ABOVE, unison, 3rd below, 5th below, 4th below
    5. Week 1 online exercises: click here. Do each exercise until you are confident with the process. Don’t forget to submit your time to the leaderboard.

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