Rhythm is everywhere – breathing, walking or typing into your keyboard – these are mundane and repetitive tasks that all feature their unique pulse. Rhythm practice for beginners is all about understanding that rhythm is innate, it comes easier to others, but with practice, the ability can improve.
Using a metronome like the Soundbrenner Pulse is important but the initial step is to train your inner pulse.
Here are different ways to practice using only your voice and hands. When you feel more confident, change to using a staccato percussion instrument.
1. Take the Metronome App and set it to the common time of 4/4 at 80 BPM. Listen to the beat and try to memorize it, then turn off the metronome and try imagining the beats in your head. Turn it back on to check if you are synchronized with the metronome’s beat.
2. Play the beat according to your memory and then play the App, check if it is in sync.
3. Try these out with different BPMs.
Rest four beats and play for the next four beats.
Rest three beats and play for the next four beats.
Rest two beats and play for the next two beats and alternate beat.
You can also practice rhythm with both of your hands
Slowly play slightly after the metronome’s beat until you are playing halfway between two metronome’s beat, also known as off-beat. Keep doing it until you feel relaxed.
The ability to shift rhythmic phrases across and between bars opens up opportunities for you to explore different fills and groove.
Traditional way to count rhythmic subdivisions is by counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4”. In this exercise each beat will be represented as a quarter note under the common time signature 4/4.
Dividing a beat in two – means you get two eighth notes. Eight notes, “1 -and – 2 – and – 3 – and – 4 – and.”
16th notes, “1 – e – and – a – 2 – e – and – a – 3 – e – and – a – 4 – e – and – a”
Another common way to divide the beat is into three evenly spaced notes in the space of 2. These are called eighth note triplets.
To count “One – Trip – Let, Two – Trip – Let, …”
Open your senses through relaxation – channel into what is going on around you. Rhythm practice for beginners doesn’t mean practicing non-stop. Take breaks during long rehearsals to keep your body and muscles loose.
Tip: Spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing. Count slowly to 10 while inhaling, hold for 2-3, then exhale for another ten counts.
If your thoughts and emotions are affecting your concentration, focus your energy on breathing. Control your emotional states that affect your focus to keep a continuous pulse.
Count out loud and make it part of your music – the stronger you count, the stronger your rhythm.
Clap, snap, & tap your rhythm to accompany your counting. Research shows that the human motor system and its actions can reciprocally influence the perception of music. In layman’s terms, you become physically united with the music when you clap or tap along with the beat of the metronome.
A metronome is the secret to not playing early or late! Play loudly on top of the metronome beat. If the sound of your beat covers the rhythm of the metronome, then you are doing it correctly.
If your notes start and end in precisely the right place then your music will have a dramatically stronger effect on your audience than if they don’t.
Soundbrenner is a company dedicated to help musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, we hope to assist musicians.
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