When to work on your “Rhythm”?

When learning a new piece of music, when should a musician work on getting right the rhythm and feel of the piece?

We have long believed it has to be the very first thing to get right and there’s little point playing notes at all unless they are in the desired rhythm (feel and groove).   Tempo, however, is a whole other subject – there’s a lot to be said for precision and even playing tunes at markedly different tempos to internalize the piece better.
Timing is the bedrock of all music:  “When a note is struck at the wrong time, it’s the wrong note”.
Getting playing in the right rhythm as soon as possible is why we have always sought out structured and inspiring rhythmic backing.  This ultimately lead to  “Song Rhythm Tracks.

Rhythm and Tim

More Audio Samples now available on HearThis.At

Alive Drumming hosts some sample Song Rhythm Tracks and a user-contributed mixes group at HearThisAt, the audio hosting service providing great user and social facilities.  Please contribute your own mixes to the Song Rhythm Tracks User Group at HearThisAt. Hear this set of sample Jazz and Blues Song Rhythm Tracks at HearThisAt [hearthis]https://hearthis.at/matt-hargreaves/set/jazz-and-blues/[/hearthis] <span style="font-famil

How to practice, then how to jam?

Here are my views on how to go about practicing and jamming.

This is such an important part of the journey of becoming a musician. I wrote this down for the benefit of a musician just setting out on his journey, wanting to know what the key things were that would determine their success.  I know I certainly did not go about it the right way for many years.  I had not had any musical education as a child, but as an adult when learning music for the first time, had the benefit of a private teacher but never really addressed this important issue.

Learning Melodies in Private Practice

If you are learning a new, perhaps challenging, melody for the first time, in private practice, then sure, do count out the meter and use a metronome /

Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so great?

Hands on drums
Hands-on drums
They do, don't they! And for a number of reasons:
  1. Great Recordings of Great Drummers - Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers.  They are not constructed from midi files fitting together "samples" from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more.  The rhythmi

When to work on your “Rhythm”?

When learning a new piece of music, when should a musician work on getting right the rhythm and feel of the piece?

We have long believed it has to be the very first thing to get right and there’s little point playing notes at all unless they are in the desired rhythm (feel and groove).   Tempo, however, is a whole other subject – there’s a lot to be said for precision and even playing tunes at markedly different tempos to internalize the piece better.
Timing is the bedrock of all music:  “When a note is struck at the wrong time, it’s the wrong note”.
Getting playing in the right rhythm as soon as possible is why we have always sought out structured and inspiring rhythmic backing.  This ultimately lead to  “Song Rhythm Tracks.

Rhythm and Tim

When to work on your “Rhythm”?

When learning a new piece of music, when should a musician work on getting right the rhythm and feel of the piece?

We have long believed it has to be the very first thing to get right and there’s little point playing notes at all unless they are in the desired rhythm (feel and groove).   Tempo, however, is a whole other subject – there’s a lot to be said for precision and even playing tunes at markedly different tempos to internalize the piece better.
Timing is the bedrock of all music:  “When a note is struck at the wrong time, it’s the wrong note”.
Getting playing in the right rhythm as soon as possible is why we have always sought out structured and inspiring rhythmic backing.  This ultimately lead to  “Song Rhythm Tracks.

Rhythm and Tim

How to practice, then how to jam?

Here are my views on how to go about practicing and jamming.

This is such an important part of the journey of becoming a musician. I wrote this down for the benefit of a musician just setting out on his journey, wanting to know what the key things were that would determine their success.  I know I certainly did not go about it the right way for many years.  I had not had any musical education as a child, but as an adult when learning music for the first time, had the benefit of a private teacher but never really addressed this important issue.

Learning Melodies in Private Practice

If you are learning a new, perhaps challenging, melody for the first time, in private practice, then sure, do count out the meter and use a metronome /

Could you give me some examples of Song Forms?

writing on a score
writing on a score
Song Forms for a number of songs are here Musicianship, Song Rhythm Tracks, SongForm, Website

What song forms does Alive Drumming support?

We support all the popular, essential song forms by name - 12 bar blues, 16 bar tunes, 32-bar A1A2 and 32-bar AABA, and about 30 other less common also by name.    The list is increasing!  We also support identifying these same song forms using stick notation.  This simply specifies section lengths in bars, for example, '8|8/8|8', where 'bridge' sections are preceded by a '/' instead of '|'. Additionally, we support user-defined song forms using stick notation, repeats, and concatenation of up to four (4) parts</

How can I get these Song Rhythm Tracks? Are they available on Amazon or iTunes?

illustration LouisArmstrong
illustration Louis Armstrong
The tracks are available via Apple iOS mobile App and will later be available via an Android mobile app. The huge permutations of song forms and rhythms available means the traditional audio file distribution channels of iTunes and Amazon do not fit this new medium of Song Rhythm Tracks. In particular, Amazon and iTunes do not accommodate the additional assistance that is required for musician's to select the appropriate track. <a href="