While there are people who are supposedly tone deaf and have difficulty trying to match pitch, there are people who have an innate problem with even keeping a beat and clapping along with a song. So, is there any way to develop this? Or is it something you are born with?
There is a certain amount of talent that is simply “born” into some people and they are able to keep a beat well on their own, but it’s not a skill that can’t be learned. If you find yourself rhythmically challenged, here are a few exercises that can help you develop a sense of beat.
Traditional methods include clapping along with a beat or a metronome but sometimes these methods simply don’t work. You might encounter students that even with this type of practice still can’t keep a beat. Don’t give up on them, there is hope!
Simply listening to music will help develop a sense of beat a great deal. All sorts of music, rhythmic music, jazz, classical, rock, anything you can listen to will help develop a sense of beat. Beyond listening you should try moving with the music.
Dance is a natural way to learn to keep a beat by following the beat of the music but something as simple as even walking around a room and singing to your music or even walking around the room and timing your steps with the beat can help you develop a better sense of rhythm. Incorporating movement into your music will greatly improve your ability to keep a beat; there is actually a whole discipline called Dalcroze Eurhythmics that explores the relationship between motion and the beat of music. When you walk down the street you will most likely be keeping a steady step. Try adding in some music and you will probably find yourself naturally stepping with the beat of the music.
If you find yourself unable to keep a beat don’t give up. Anyone can learn this skill but like many other things in life, some people will naturally be better. Don’t get discouraged and keep trying. If you have any more questions about this or any other topic please contact me directly Robert Estrin Robert@LivingPianos.com (949) 244-3729