Funktastic Rhythm Play Along – Level 1 (1 Player)



The video contains pausable pages about the rhythms, genre, accompaniment, controls etc and can be used on its own. However below are a number of related resources, information, additional details and support material that you may find useful in making the most of the video. I hope you find them useful. Please let me know what works and what could be improved.

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Notation Notes

Notation Summary

This play along covers crotchets / quarter notes, equivalent rests and quaver / eighth note pairs.

The play along is organised as a rondo, in the sequence Intro-A-B-A-C-A-D-A with a three part bonus section before the end extending the rhythm patterns.

Here are the rhythms used:


Note Practice

Regular sight reading, discussion and practice of rhythms is a core pillar to helping students develop confidence reading notation.

You can practice identifying, naming and reordering the note lengths in the video by downloading and print or using on screen the rhythm cards set.

Naming and Explaining Notation

You can explain the way to both name and count of the rhythm patterns in a number of ways. All are acceptable, but your school, trust or district may have a preference or agreed method. It is worth checking this, as above everything continuity is key to learner success. Here are several of the ways

Naming Notation

In the UK we refer to these notes as crotchets and quavers.

In the US they are referred to as quarter and eighth notes. This is easier to explain as they are quarters and eighths of a whole note (US) / semibreve (UK).

Recognising Notes

Crotchets / Quarter notes – Students often describe these as looking like a hook, golf clubs or hockey sticks. Key vocabulary to give over time is the note head which is a circle and a stem, which is a vertical line coming out of the (right) side of the note head. It can also be shown upside down.

Quavers / Eighth notes – students often describe the pair of these as looking like ‘old school headphones’. Key vocabulary to give over time is


In a bar long pattern the most common way to count would be 1 2 3 4. Some may suggest 1 1 1 1 but that is only really a useful way to consider the pattern when focusing on the length of each note in isolation, which is generally considered less useful. So for quarter notes / crotchets the count would most likely be

1 2 3 4


Where you are then using eighth notes / quavers you would then count

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

At this level the patterns use eighth notes / quavers in pairs only, so that they equate to a single beat in a bar.

Rhythm Patterns

Notation Set

You can download a free set of notation images to use in class. Go to the notation page to access this resource.

Genre and History Notes

Genre: Funk

Key details to share with learners about funk music are:

  • Influenced and created from a combination of soul, jazz and gospel music
  • Began in the 1960s and still going strong
  • First beat (1) is the strong beat
  • Music is based on riffs more than melody
  • The focus is on rhythmic groove
  • Instrumentation utilises electric bass, drums and often organ
  • Electric guitar riffs
  • Strong horn section
  • Sometimes there are no vocals

History of Funk

Funk music began in the 1960s and continues today in many forms.

You can use the infographic on the history of music page to demonstrate how this fits into the evolution of music.

Related Activities

Activity 1:

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