If you’ve heard me talk about rhythm, you might know that I used to be TERRIBLE with rhythm. I didn’t fully understand how to count out loud until college. That’s right, you heard correctly. I started playing the piano when I was almost 5 and had NO IDEA how to count out loud until college. I was lucky enough to have a piano professor in college that was very dedicated to rhythm, and who believed that rhythm was a huge priority in music. I know believe the same thing. However, it took me a long time to get there.
She had me do rhythm exercises EVERY SINGLE WEEK for my entire freshman year. I would come to my lessons and in addition to the advanced competition repertoire I was working on, I would clap, tap, and count out loud very simple rhythm exercises. I did this for the whole year until I finally worked up to clapping complicated cadenzas from Liszt and Chopin pieces and then finally even more complicated rhythmic patterns from contemporary music. I had to use the metronome for EVERYTHING. During my clapping exercises, during my piano practice, and I even clapped along to different tempos while I was doing other things like dishes, watching TV commercials, or other mindless tasks.
I’m happy to report that my rhythm improved A LOT. I have now become very like-minded with my college professor about the importance of rhythm. It is the skeleton that provides structure for all of the other things in our music. I highly recommend making rhythm practice a part of your daily routine -- whether you’re a teacher, advanced student, total beginner, or anything in between. Your rhythm will improve, and you’ll be a better musician for it.
I’m happy to have created this video, with a FREE PRINTABLE PDF to go along with it! In the video, I will take you through 10 rhythm exercises, which you can then print as a PDF and practice as a part of your daily routine. Once you are done with the video and this PDF (meaning, once all the examples from this video and PDF are EASY for you), I highly recommend that you incorporate rhythm into your daily practice using either rhythm flashcards, or this rhythm book. Enjoy the rhythm exercises!
As part of my goal to educate and motivate as many people as possible, I’m now accepting donations via patreon. This will give me more time to focus on making videos and producing more high quality content.