When it comes to music, rhythm is one of the most important things to perfect. Without any sense of rhythm, music would be all over the place and would not resonate with listeners. It would almost feel uncomfortable to listen to. Here are some tips for practicing rhythm.
What is rhythm?
First off, what is rhythm? It can be a hard concept to define or describe. To put it simply, rhythm is the timing and repetition of notes in music. Notes in music determine how long an instrument is played or a singer holds a tune. Rhythm is what helps singers and musicians play well together. Everyone in a band or a choir must understand the rhythm for things to work and sound great. Using these tips for practicing rhythm can help you become a better singer or musician.
Tips to help
Limit the metronome – Metronomes are great when first learning how to play music or even a new song. You can set the timing and they will tick away for you to follow while you play . However, you will eventually want to ditch the metronome. They can cause your music to sound too uniform and monotonous. Once you have the basic timing down, use your senses to find the rhythm and let yourself play or sing naturally.
Record yourself – One way to see how your rhythm is doing is to record yourself. Sometimes the way you sound in your head is different than the way you actually sound to others. Listening to a recording of yourself is the best way to find out.
Learn rhythm before melody – Another way to get the rhythm down is to learn it before you even attempt the melody of a song. Once you learn the melody, your timing may be hard to change if you have practiced the song enough. This is because melodies are the catchiest part of a song and the easiest to memorize. Learning the rhythm first, however, will make it difficult to mess up the melody. This method can apply to just about any instrument and singers as well. For more information on why singers should know how to read music, read our article here.
Rhythm app – Some singers and musicians even use apps to help them practice rhythm. These apps play a variety of fun beats for you to follow along with. It works kind of like a metronome. However, it allows you to have more fun with it and play more naturally. One musician recommended the app Drum Beats.
Divide the beat – If you have taken any type of music lesson you have probably used this technique. Dividing the beat is simply counting out the notes. You can do this by clapping to the beat and repeating, “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and…”, or whatever works for each specific song. The video below is a great example of diving the beat to help you understand how it is done.