Repeat after me. 1-2-3-4.
Excuse me. Aloud this time please. 1-2-3-4.
Good. Now think of your heart beat. It’s beating fairly steadily, right? If not, come back after you visit your doctor. Now. 1-2-3-4 (steady like your heart beat).
Wonderful. You have just learned the number one difficulty of basic musicianship. Pat yourself on the back.
So why aren’t more people making music if it’s that easy? The culprit would be our seemingly ubiquitous dearth of discipline and focus. True, there are complexities to rhythmic structure such as compound meter and subdivision and syncopation (sign up for lessons and we’ll get into all of this and much more), but when we get right down to it, all the complexities of rhythm are only understood when a musician FEELS the regularity of the beat. Thankfully, in most situations the beat only comes in sets of 2s, 3s, and 4s.
So here’s the one most important concept of rhythm every musician must have to be a master of the notes. Discipline your mind to feel the dominance of the beat. The beat is king. The regular, steady sense of pulse is the heart and soul of technical mastery of music. The beat is dominant.
Sounds too simple to be true, but most of the process of learning music is just that simple. Get after it! Count those beats!
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