Solving a Rhythmical Problem

rhythmical problem

Have you ever been playing through a piece and then all of a sudden there is this one rhythm you just can’t seem to get down? As players advance and repertoire becomes more difficult, rhythmic patterns also tend to increase in difficulty. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make those seemingly difficult rhythmic patterns easier. Graham Fitch of shares his thoughts on the matter in his article, “Solving a Rhythmical Problem.

Rhythmical mistakes can often be fixed by counting a steady beat out loud and clapping or tapping the rhythm of the passage in question. You could do it the other way around if you prefer, and clap or snap a steady beat while you vocalise the rhythmic pattern on the page using words or syllables…

This is a great exercise for any instrumentalist or vocalist. Training your brain to hear both the beat and the rhythm at the same time will help to develop a strong sense of time and let you know where the beat lies within the rhythm you are playing. Try both ways Graham suggests: first say the beat pattern allowed while tapping the rhythm, then try saying the rhythm aloud while tapping the beat. The stronger sense of time you have for the piece, the easier it will be to work out that tough rhythmic pattern.

Graham Fitch is a pianist, teacher, adjudicator, examiner, lecturer, writer and commentator. He blogs regularly at his site, has produced a multimedia eBook series on piano playing and is the main contributor to the Practising the Piano Online Academy, an online resource for pianists and teachers.

Learn more about overcoming difficult rhythmic patterns here:

Cassidy is the Digital Marketing Manager at Making Music and has recently begun her career in the music industry. In May 2017, she graduated from the Crane School of Music with a double degree in Music Business and Music Theory. Upon graduating college, Cassidy did an internship with DANSR, Inc. in Illinois before moving to Southern California where she was the NAMM intern for six months. Her favorite instrument is the clarinet, but she also enjoys dabbling with guitar, piano, ukulele, saxophone, and flute.

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