Learning Music Theory Effectively

Music Theory Rhythm Lessons

 Focusing on music theory rhythm lessons is small but important part of learning to play music. However, it is an important part.

There are two parts on how to learn rhythm.

The first is in understanding the theory of rhythm or the academic part of it. The second is in practice and feeling the continuum of rhythm

What Is Rhythm?

As quoted from Music Notation and Terminology, by Karl W. Gehrkens:

“Rhythm is the regular recurrence of accent in a series of beats (or pulses), while measure is the grouping of these beats according to some specified system.”

“In listening to a piece of music, two hearers A and B may feel the rhythm equally strongly, but A may subjectively group the beats into—one, two | one, two |—etc., while B feels the groups as—one, two, three, four | one, two, three, four |—etc. “

“Rhythm is thus seen to be a fundamental thing, inherent in the music itself, while measure is to a certain extent at least an arbitrary grouping which musicians have adopted for practical purposes.

So we can surmise that rhythm is the sequential pattern of beats in a timed environment.

Rhythm Learning

Learning rhythm in music is not only feeling the beat or meter of music, but understanding the divisions of beats.

We’ve all been able to clap our hands or tap on something to experience the basic beat. We then often try to add more. That’s where the understanding of subdividing beats is necessary. A series of notes can express that as rhythmic figures which form the actual musical concept.

Samples of Rhythm Notation

Samples of Rhythm Notation

To learn music rhythm and read it you will need to learn notation, rhythmic patterns, and physical application or practice of these patterns.

Rhythmic Patterns via Notation

Back to the first notion of what you must learn. It is communication of rhythm through understanding notation.

Notation is the use of notes with the various dots or unfilled circles, stems and flags. The power of the notation system is in that it is some function of 2.

The notes represent a whole, a half, a quarter, an eight, a sixteenth, and so forth. Each part of the note symbol allows us to quickly and visually see what time value a note will represent.

These notations when used within a time signature provide the framework for conveying your rhythmic pattern.

By using this system you can take a basic rhythm of music and divide it up into parts. Thus you end up with mini rhythmic patterns within the larger basic beat pattern.

Rhythm Exercises

Once you have taken the time to learn the notation system you will need to move on to rhythm exercises. 

You start out with the basic beats and learn to tap consistently and evenly through the time signatures. This involves a three part process of learning the pattern, gaining endurance, and then having control and stamina to groove or own the pattern.

Moving on from there you learn and work on rhythmic exercises that start to subdivide the basic beat. The process is as above with the three steps.

The process continues with more lessons of rhythm in mixing note time. You then further the process by subdividing more and applying played and non played beats and parts of beats.

How To Learn Rhythm Easily

Drummers usually go through a full rhythm course and their focus is on the practice of rhythm patterns. For most other instruments rhythm is taught as part of playing notes. The problem with that is that the student usually struggles for a very long time to master rhythm.

In order to make learning rhythm easy, you need to often times move away from your instrument and focus on rhythm only. This focus makes it easier to learn and improve your rhythm skills.

Music Theory Rhythm Lessons

We’ve developed a rhythm workshop that is fully focused on rhythm no matter what instrument you play. The Rhythm Workshop is designed to quickly get you through the notation rules where you can get the big picture right off the bat.

You then explore many of the basic and intermediate rhythms using the 3 prong approached previously mentioned.

In the full music course it is one of the workshops that you can go full force into or use the specific rhythm lessons as part of your ongoing lesson plan.

In the monthly subscription music course the lessons are incorporate as part of your monthly lessons. You focus on theory and then you focus on rhythm practice.

Our individual lessons are available in individual sets if you only need to work on a little at a time. We recommend both the Rhythm Basics Mastery and basic practice set as a minimum to starting to fully understand rhythm.

To learn more about notes see Music Theory Notes Lessons

Top of Music Theory Rhythm Lessons

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