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Here's a nice little exercise that you can practice for playing phrases over the barline. I know the last lesson we sort of touched upon this. This lesson let's take a closer look!!!

Playing phrases over the barline isn't as complicated as you might think. It can be as simple as a two bar phrase that doesn't land on the one of the second bar. This is demonstrated by the following examples.

Example 1 shows a simple 4/4 measure broken down into eighth notes. Pretty easy right?!?!?

Example 2 shows the same measure only with the downbeat or first eighth note as a rest.

Try clapping this example while you keep time with your foot. Also be sure to count 1 + 2 + 3 etc...

Example 3 shows a combination of both examples 1 and 2 to be played as a two bar phrase. Go ahead and try clapping this out. Be sure to count. Congratulations, you just played your first “over the barline phrase”!!!!

Example 4 is a little more tricky because I've now taken the straight eighths and grouped them into groups of three except for beat 4. You really have to count this exercise out to make it work. Once you've got the “feel” down, then move on to Example 5.

Example 5 is just a variation of Ex 4. played over a C major scale with the down beat of beat 4 taken out to spice it up a bit. You can use any scale you happen to be working on for that matter though.

Be sure to practice through these slowly at first and then as you get comfortable with them, start to feel your way through them.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at



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