How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

does anyone have any views on this, regarding teaching rhythm?

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

This might help, CFlood:

https://thesession.org/discussions/9012

Simple rhythmic mnemonics like saying “rashers and sausages” over and over to get a 6/8 jig rhythm might help. It’s an amazing thing, people with no rhythm – it’s like being tone deaf or color blind I imagine. Except I really believe it can be taught, it’s so mathematic. Swing and lift are more elusive. Or so I’ve found 😉
Good luck

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Begin with some basics?
… before expecting them to understand the nuances.
Give us a few clues.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

…with a baseball bat

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

We had someone like that who came to one of our sessions for a few weeks, each time bringing several different unusual instruments with him. He had acquired a tremendous amount of information about everything he played, which blinded him to the fact that his notes would pour out in an incoherent jumble that no-one could play along with. I would think the best thing one could do with someone that unrhythmic would be first to get them out on the dance-floor. Get them to dance a hornpipe, a jig, a polka, a rant, and gradually the idea that there is a structure and a pulse to the music might begin to get through.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Hey, Skip, didn’t know you were a Ramones fan………
“Beat on a brat
Beat on a brat
Beat on a brat with a baseball bat, uh-huh.”

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I’m not, I just like hitting people.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Hello Skip.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

You have to get them up dancing, moving their feet to the music and generally feeling the beat in the body.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I haven’t a clue about rhythm, seriously.

Unless there is music, I am useless. I couldn’t do a 4/5 beat or whatever even if you tried to show me, it means nothing.

Unfortunately a lot of bodhran players are learning rhythms nowadays, which turns the instrument into a drum, if you know what I mean.

You don’t?

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

“Unfortunately a lot of bodhran players are learning rhythms nowadays, which turns the instrument into a drum, if you know what I mean.”
You mean a drum like an instrument? Does that mean that the bodhran now takes talent to play? 😛

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

You’re right clogstepping. Rhythm is felt. It is not in the head or hands.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

If someone is tone deaf, there would would be no point whatsover in trying to teach them a song.

Correspondingly, is someone hasn’t got a clue about rhythm, whatever you do don’t let them anywhere near any kind of percussion instrument.

My listening enjoyment at concerts as been ruined on many occasions when someone in the audience thinks that its a great idea to clap “in time” with the music. And as soon as someone starts doing this, others follow like sheep. Accept that most of them are out of time. if the band need percussion, they’ll have their own player!

Ironically, the ones who don’t join in with this clapping are musicians.

So next time that you are at a concert and your enjoyment is ruined in this way, complain to the management and demand your money back ….

… maybe we can eradicate this anti-social habit if enough people complain …

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

We’ve had a few rhythmless people try to clap along or stomp or beat out the time with thier pint glasses. It gets really annoying.
I usually tell them to watch Phil’s foot. (our box player). If people watch someone who has rhythm tapping their foot and tap along with them, they will eventually get it.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasn’t a clue?

Unfortunately, I don’t think, if someone doesn’t have any obvious natural understanding of rhythm, I think you’d be wasting your time trying to teach them.. Sorry to be so negative, but I think I’m being realistic.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

But I am the best bodhran player in the world, and do not understand rhythm.

maybe because I play it as an instrument, rather than a drum.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Just watched Jeremy Irons playing the fiddle on TG4 (not bad at all)and was struck by his excellent phrasing when he speaks. It’s some thing that all great actors have , they can read a passage from a book or tell a story in such a way that is so much better than the ordinary joe soap. Musicians do the same with music and we can call it rhythm

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

That is interesting because I think anyone can learn simple rhythm. & just as quickly forget what they learned.
But phrasing, as well as pulse, makes the rhythm interesting.
There is mechanics & then there is art.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I take back what I said.
Throw ’em in the deep end. Begin w/strathspeys.
Swim or sink!

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

…“first to get them out on the dance-floor. Get them to dance a hornpipe, a jig, a polka, a rant”…

“You have to get them up dancing, moving their feet to the music”…

BUT, BUT, BUT-

https://thesession.org/discussions/19895

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Get them p*ssed on a plane to Tirana or Sofia or somewhere else round there, push them into a trad dance shindig and leave them there.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Do you mean understanding rhythm as in understanding what 6/8 or 12/8 or whatever means? Or do you mean teaching people to hear the beat and play to it?

I really do not understand the numbers much, but I can tell when something sounds like a jig. Do you have to understand the numbers to understand the rhythm? I don’t mean that rhetorically. I would like to know.

?

Seems like we cannot count on CFlood

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Dear Bodhran Bliss.
Quite right- there’s no such time signature as 4/5 so it does mean nothing. However your lack of understanding of the sort of time signatures involved in all sorts of music is not something to be proud of.
Go and find out and then join in this typet of discusion with a thirst for information or add something constructive.Oh and by the way, to state the obvious, the bodhran IS a drum.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Yes, I had been wondering about that too sbhikes. Have several times thought about starting a discussion “Do you count”. I have recently been teaching my self to internalise the counting (on long drives, listening to tunes, forcing myself count in my head). It has made it easier to know consciously what is going on.

It was bugging me that I could follow a fiddler accenting a non-obvious pattern of beats but not know which beats they were, and that I could tap out the rythm of tunes on a CD and be half way through a tune before it registered that this was a jig in a set of slip jigs. It has helped in transcribing versions of tunes I have learned by ear. I guess it will have helped in playing from music. And I am getting better at distinguishing slides from jigs - if I flip into ‘counting mode’ they tend to come out in groups of four not two.

But the thought of having to have a time signature in my head, like the one on the score, before starting to play a jig has never occured to me.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I thought BB’s comments were constructive. Though maybe a trifle obscure if one has not read similar things from him in the past.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

People who don’t understand rhythm have no belief in their own sense of rhythm. The best way to show them they have a sense of rhythm is to use language. Tell them to say “panda bear panda bear panda bear panda bear” over and over again, and point out to them that they’re saying it in exactly the same rhythm each time, with each syllable having a particular length and accent. Then tell them that that’s the rhythm of a jig and get them to sing a jig back to you using those words. Then try a reel using “cantilever cantilever cantilever cantilever” and get them to experiment by stressing different parts of the word, e.g. “PANda bear PANda bear panda BEAR PANda bear” or “CANtilever cantiLEVer CANtilever CANtilever” etc. Then provide them with some good musicians playing good tunes, and get them to give them a close listen, keeping what you’ve said about rhythm in mind. Whenever you hear them lapse back into crap rhythm, point it out and make them correct it on the spot. They’ll hate you but realise it was worth it in the end, because they’ll have trained themselves to listen more carefully. You’ll find they improve in a few weeks or even days if they bother to listen to what you’ve said.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Pedant mode on.
Beat On The Brat not Beat On A Brat.

Hey Ho Lt’s Go…

The KKK took my baby away…
What if the Ramones had been Irish?…

By the way, in answer to thr orig question…you can’t!
Tell ’em to phukk orfe, start knitting or doing some chav brained shallow scheit like sport…

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Some people just do not have rhythm - the rhythm cells, or whatever,
in their brain are missing. When I was in basic training in the US Army
30-odd years ago there was a drill sergeant with no rhythm trying to
lead our platoon with one of those call-and-response chants and we
would fall into disarray as soon as he started trying to do it. It’s easy to
march together in rhythm, but his rhythm was bad enough to shatter it
in two seconds.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Having said that, I have to struggle mightily to play fiddle with good
rhythm - it’s a coordination problem and gradually getting better. It’s
easier to play rhythmically on most other instruments.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I totally disagree with what you say there. I think everyone has rhythm - it’s just that some people haven’t trained themselves to be able to transfer their sense of rhythm through their fingers/bow/whatever onto their instrument. The “panda bear” thing is proof. If you get any native English speaker to repeat those words, they’ll say it in a consistent rhythm each time, regardless of how quickly they say it. If you get them to speed up, the tempo increases but their rhythm stays the same. If they try and say it too fast, it comes out as “pana-beh pana-beh pana-beh” and they lose the sense of what they’re saying. This also happens with Irish musicians who try and play too fast for their own fingers to cope with - the rhythm loses its “sense”. That’s why rhythm is more important than tempo in the music, because whatever speed you play at, the tune still has to make sense… it still has to say the right “words” to you, otherwise it’s not the tune. That’s why people who’ve grown up playing the music find it so odd to hear beginners play out of rhythm. They don’t understand why you’re breathlessly playing “pana-beh pana-beh pana-beh”, not realising that you sound crap and you’re not making the tune make sense. So they tell you, “no, it goes like this: panda bear panda bear” and you repeat back to them “pana-beh pana-beh”, so they shrug and go “they haven’t got rhythm”. Well it’s not cause you haven’t got rhythm, it’s cause you’re not using your ears.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Teaching rhythm won’t work. No matter
what you do they’ll just blame you for
not teaching them right.

Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

I remember learning this as a 20-something person with a shiny new tin whistle and no clue about the beat. It took some practice with nonsense syllables and finger drumming to internalize enough rhythm for it all to make sense.

What Dow says above seems exactly right, based on what I’ve seen in students. But it’s hard to get them to take this away and practice it, which is what they need.

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Re: How do you explain rhythm to someone that hasnt a clue?

Same as when you say “1…2…3…4”.
Most people will naturally say the numbers with even phrasing.
That was usually my first point when teaching.

Everyone’s got some sense of rhythm; some more than others.