(continued)

    Each numbered module is its own rhythm. Practice each module while COUNTING the rhythm out loud. Look at the repeat signs in the music, those double dots at the barlines. They are the borders of each module. The recording plays each one a few times, and I pause between. Count the ANDS if you would, as them eighth notes are what drummers keep track of while moving everything else around. There are 8 eighth notes in every measure of 4/4. 1x2x3x4x=8 (ya say that like “one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and) . Get very used to it.
    These rhythms are simple and easy. Only once do the two hands play at the same time. These are not intended as end-all be-all rhythms! Rather, they are a beginning with seeing a written rhythm, getting the hang of seeing notes in the bass and in the treble (left and right), and getting a feel for keeping, and hearing your musical time. They may not sound super exciting, but they are all right for playing and are important building blocks to more sophisticated travel. Must walk before run. Or else join a thrashin’ punk band and just not worry about it anymore.

 

 

 



IMPROVISE ALREADY
By all means, goof around with these. GOOF AROUND.
  1. Try changing chords while keeping one rhythm going. The chords I use are just a SUGGESTION.
  2. Try changing from one rhythm to another without stopping. Maybe play one beat 4 times, then change. Maybe 2 times, then change. CONTRAST is what makes rhythm, and music itself, interesting and fun and inviting.
  3. Combine two modules to create a two measure rhythm, or longer. Most Funk/Hip Hop rhythms are at least 2 meaures (8 beats) long. A lot of rock rhythms are just one measure as the brain wattage can be lower. Did I say that? What I mean is, in ROCK the forward momentum is more important than the side to side nature of funky syncopations. Think Ramones or Green Day versus Marvin Gaye or Snoop.
  4. Bad Joke: what do you call the guy who hangs out with some musicians? The Drummer. The real answer to that, if it is a true drummer, is: the person who knows exactly how all the songs go, the beats, their forms, and what happens in each section. When the drummer is on top of it, confidence goes way up in the band. If you have good rhythm, you can rely on yourself, and be an asset to the rhythm section, instead of somebody noodling around the beat and making the bass player and the drummer have to concentrate just to ignore you.