Thanks in advance to all those that will share their thoughts about this question. Now, I just hope this won’t sound too silly, but if it does, please try to be indulgent as you would be with a child who’s learning to speak and while trying to make sense of this world talks a bit of funny non-sense. Teacher says: “It"s all about Rhythm!”, and as I’ve been struggling all my life with Rhythm I thought it a good idea to ask myself “What is it I’m struggling with? What is Rhythm?” And the first definition I was able to find out, a pretty simple one from a non-professional as I am, was “Rhythm is not something else from Melody, Rhythm is part of Melody”…I mean would Melody exist at all without Rhythm? No, it would only be a poor thing! And eventough I of course practice Rhythm on its own on muted strings, I need to say that this definition helped me a lot in my progress. But now as I’m once more stuck with my strumming practice I feel this is only one definition (and maybe arguable too) and I thought a few more definitions would be really helpful for me to make sense and set a new practice routine that includes my neglected strumming. Of one thing I’m sure. I’m getting back to Justin’s Rhythm Book as it had already been sooo beneficial last year. I’m restarting from the beginning, strumming instead of tapping as I used to do. It’s not actually about understanding Rhythm, but more about being more able to feel it.
Rhythm is a specific repetition (in time or space, for example) by means of accents, which show a certain pattern or regularity…does this wiki text help you?..for me it says it all,…good luck with your quest…
I’d define rhythm as the flow of the music. Ever sat beside a bubbling brook and noticed the calm repetitive flow of the water or stood beside a waterfall and listened to the crash of the water as it falls over the rocks. To me music has these same flows and we respond to them accordingly.
When first learning rhythm we tend to be very machanical and stiff but the flow will come the more comfortable we get with playing.
I like your last sentence especially SIlvia about being able to feel it.
I’ve not really thought about it I have to be honest, but my instant definition would be a repeated consistency in it’s broadest sense. I’m going to be really interested in other’s interpretation.
Ok, this is a very “tecnical approach” to what is rhythm
I’m more on @brianlarsen ’ s definition…
Take a good song, let’s say something as a 70’ies disco hit, close your eyes, don’t care about melody or words, just FEEL the beats. See what your body is doing. Let the groove get into your soul. The most basic approach for me is feeling.
Watch kids, when they hear music.They pick up the rhythm intuitively and start dancing. Maybe dancing or moving to some music might be a basic approach.
But you can learn rhythm at any age,but not at once … or sharpen it later in your life, but for that you have to practice,and it starts with theory, someone who shows you it or dry reading material / video and practice etc … from my bare head I say the best and fastest learn rhythm children up to 5 years … But I can’t find it anymore… …and to feel it and learn to dance you will just have to practice it…everything that seems to go naturally with rhythm and music is always a lot of dry practice time unfortunately…so first rational look at it and then continue with it … I think…
I agree, for most of us it’s hard work by the end, but we shouldn’t loose our intention and inner feeling for rhythm while learning the theoretical aspects. I think, as an accompagying part, it’s useful to awaken our inner sense for rhythm. Feeling, dancing, trying out some percussion instruments.
The problem is quite often that many don’t have a good sense of rhythm yet, and have yet to learn it from almost scratch… giving the impression that it is a feeling that is automatically in all of us gives some a feeling of hopelessness and that it’s not their ‘thing’…my wife was one of those, who learned at home that it’s in you or not…and until fairly recently she could absolutely not dance or even with tapping a simple song with her hands or feet … and she saw me as a kind of god that I used to dance well to everything even though I had never heard the song before, and tapping with my hands she always looked full of wonder …You understand that because of my talk in the past… I fell from my throne,…I infected her almost 3 years ago by learning an instrument…piano,with all the attendant consequences…
Other than that I totally agree with you…
So people don’t be discouraged…rhythm you can learn…as definition look it up in a minute ,and in practice it’s hard work/play if you didn’t grow up with it,
I think of rhythm as the pulse or heart beat of a song. You should be able to feel it. At first we play with the pulse, that’s the easiest rhythm to get. Eventually though you might get to guitar parts where you’re playing against the rhythm so it’s especially important to be able to “feel” the pulse. After all, how can play against it if you can’t feel it’s presence?
The further I get into playing the more I feel like rhythm is the single most important aspect of playing guitar. You can put all of your fingers in the right place but it just will not sound good unless you’re playing it at the right time.
That’s not what I wanted to say . It’s not the aspect that somebody thinks he doesn’t have it inside, while others do. It’s just about trying to find it. I think, some have a direct connection to rhythm aspects, others have to work more on it. I know what I’m talking about . In school, when we had to learn dances, I was one of the worst.
But I think, we can do a lot for understanding, developping and feeling rhythm.
I didn’t mean that you typed that…just that the still rhythmless among us people sometimes (I’ve heard and read it more than once) often read it like this…there was a time i did ballroomdancing and always had to dance with the girls who didn`t …welll…my poor feet and i accompany them (but also was a little proud …and shy)…so we used to dance together
Thanks god, all of my dancing partners survived…
I tend to think of rhythm as the horizontal / temporal aspect of music (i.e. the duration of notes and the spaces between them) and melody as the vertical one, like different pitches are lower/higher relative to each other. So in my “musical mind” rhythm + melody are sort of a coordinate plane where rhythm is the x axis and melody is the y axis.
Rhythm is the beat, it’s what makes you tap your foot or move your hips.
Rhythm can TOTALLY be learned. I still remember the first time I sat at a drum kit, around 12 or 13 years old. I had no rhythm at all. Practicing rhythm is a lot of repetition, and doing simple stuff accurately for long periods of time. As a drummer this was hours on a practice pad. I think where people can go wrong is they try to get straight into complex syncopated beats quickly instead of doing the basics.
Rhythm is timing, consistency, and then adding syncopation/offbeats.
Justin talks a lot about just strumming along to songs with the strings muted. Sounds a lot like practicing rudiments on a drum practice pad to me. Just feel the beat and keep it simple. You could use a metronome but that would be more boring.
Count the beats. 4:4 time:
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and (eighth notes)
1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a (sixteenth notes)
Once your timing is consistent you can drop beats or look at triplets etc which is where it really starts to feel great.
(This post feels like a rambling brain dump but whatever)
Makes sense to me, and also explains why it can prove tricky for those of us who play on the z-axis
Isn’t the z-axis harmony?
Oh, right. That isn’t me then.
I must be talking about another dimension