Want to IMPROVE your RHYTHM? Are you rushing? Are you dragging?

Announcing an 8-week Rhythm Mastery Class Oct 10 – Nov 28, 2020, and new Rhythm Mastery Book!

(working with Calgary Chinese Orchestra under Artistic Director, Jiajia Li, June 28, 2020)

I will be offering an 8-week rhythm course on Zoom open to all instrumentalists and singers, Oct 10 – Nov 28, Saturdays at 10:00 am – 11:00 am and 11:10 am to 12:10 pm. Two levels are available. Please click here to register. We will touch on concepts introduced in my new book: Rhythm Mastery – A Manual for Improving Rhythm Book 1 (129 pages, $40.00 + GST CAN).

Register for the 8-week course get a free PDF download of the book!

This book is the result of many years of rhythmic exploration and teaching. In my humble opinion the exercises will help to address some of the deficiencies in rhythmic training found in many Western conservatories. Topics covered are S. Indian vocalizations, stepping exercises, metronome games, rhythm traps, odd meters, polyrhythms, and time feel.

What is a “Rhythm Trap?”

In a previous post, we looked at some introductory exercises that strengthen beat and subdivision using stepping and S. Indian vocalizations. Now I’d like to touch on “rhythm traps”. Rhythm traps are any transitions which can cause a musician to speed up or slow down unintentionally. My two favourites are changes in density and volume. When we have to play or sing a higher density of notes, say transitioning from 8th notes to 16th notes, our bodies want to rush; when we transition from higher to lower densities, our bodies want to drag. Also, when we have to play or sing louder, our bodies want to rush; when we play or sing softer, our bodies want to drag. I think it has to do with overcompensating for the shifts: we see many notes for example and believe we can’t fit it all in without forcing, so we rush. My suggestion is for all of us to incorporate rhythm traps in our regular scale or arpeggio warm ups; conscious and consistent training will help us negotiate these nasty “traps”.

Click here for some examples of density and dynamic “rhythm traps”.

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