Introduction to Rhythm

Rhythm is an excellent starting point because most of us have an innate sense of rhythm. Most of us can tell the difference between a fast song and a slow song. I remember in school, to get our attention, the teacher would sometimes clap a simple rhythm. The students knew this meant we were supposed to clap the rhythm back to her, and so we did, and this was how she got us to stop talking and pay attention. Everyone in my class knew how to copy the rhythm, even though this wasn’t a particularly musical group of students. I believe almost everyone has this natural sense of rhythm and is capable of developing and understanding it.

Rhythm Exercise: Play!

In learning how to express yourself using rhythm, it is important to start with what you already know. Expressing yourself with whatever fluency you have, no matter how little you think you have, will make it easier to express yourself later on as you learn more complex rhythms. Use whatever noise-making tools you can think of, it could just be your hands tapping a surface, and play with any rhythms that come to mind. It doesn’t matter how good it sounds, as long as the sounds are coming from you. Do this for a few minutes without stopping.