Sunday, July 30, 2017

Musical Monday - Some Ideas for Building Rhythmic Confidence

Sometimes, we feel uncomfortable with some rhythms.  There are songs that come along and are very challenging.  Here are a few ideas to help you develop that sense of rhythm and build your confidence.

Image result for clip art child dancingYou have seen children dancing away to music in the middle of a store or even church.  They have complete confidence and until someone tells them differently, they will enjoy the rhythm with abandon.
As in many things, we should approach learning like a child would.  Put on some music and move to it.  Oh all right, you don't have to dance but try conducting it as if the singers were in front of you.
If that seems a bit daunting, just tap your fingers in time to the music.  You can tap or snap the rhythm (that is the same as the speed of the words).  Use slower music and faster music.  Tap your knee in the car.  Every time you hear music, let your body react to it.  Soon, it will become second nature and rhythm will start to make sense.

Image result for clip art conducting2. START COUNTING THE BEATHave you ever been to a party and somebody wants you to sing Happy Birthday?  That person will just expect everyone to start singing.  The caterwauling that ensues is not pleasant.  People singing at all different speeds and in varying keys.  Ouch. 
They don't realize that you need to give a starting note (tone) and that you need to be counted in so that everyone sings at the same time.  
You can learn to do that simply by again listening to lots of kinds of music.  Instead of following the speed of the words called the rhythm, you tap the beat.  That is the steady feeling of speed in a song.  The beat is what people clap when they like a song someone is singing.  Keeping the beat is part of what the conductor does so that all instruments or voices are playing or singing in the same time.  Tap your foot, finger or hand as you listen.  Most rock music is in 4/4 time which means that you count 1,2,3,4 over and over.  Just start trying to feel that beat (like a heart beat) which keeps your music moving. 

3. FEEL THE ACCENTAs you tap a beat to a rock song like the Beatles, All You Need Is Love.  Feel the 1,2,3,4 as the songs plays.  You will notice that the word "love" falls on what we call an accent or a beat that is harder or more important than the others.  Put more strength on the first count, gives interest to the music.  If every count had the same amount of stress, it would soon be rather uninteresting. 
Image result for clip art conducting 4/4 timeYou can see in this conducting diagram, the FIRST beat is the one the conductor moves down on.  That shows a heavier accent.  try waving your hands in this pattern while counting 1,2,3,4.  This will help you feel where the stress falls.  It is also kind of fun to pretend you are the conductor. 

RHYTHM IS A LEARNED SKILLRhythm of which the beat is a part, is a learned skill.  Some people come by it more naturally than others but EVERYONE can learn. Tap your toes, fingers and head to the music whenever you hear it.  It will become second nature.  Enjoy the music & have FUN!!!

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