When you first practice your music, you need to know how the rhythm sounds before you do anything else. In music, everything meets the rhythm. This means that everything you must do to play music on an instrument you must learn to do in rhythm at a steady tempo. The first step is to figure out how the rhythm goes.
Try saying the rhythm out loud on Tah, Too, or Toh; whichever you use. Keep the tempo steady and say the rhythm just like you would play it. If you have trouble in some places, see how the rhythms add up to the beats in each measure. What rhythm uses up beat 1? Beat 2…3…4… etc.
Learn to say the rhythm out loud very well so you really know how it goes. Use this as a game or test to see how well you can say the rhythm before you do anything else with the music. Some music will be easy, some music will not be so easy. You may be surprised that you need to work on the rhythm as much you find that you do.
Remember: Everything else you do to play your music on your instrument must be in rhythm. It is important that you can say the rhythm out loud correctly first. If you can say it in rhythm, then you can stay in rhythm as you learn to play because you already know how the rhythm goes. If you play out of rhythm, you will be able to tell the difference so you can correct yourself and play in rhythm as you practice.
Copyright Norlan Bewley 1999
Learn To Practice – Step 1: Say In Rhythm, Stay In Rhythm
Learn To Practice – Step 2: Identify The Notes
Learn To Practice – Step 3: Rhythm Positions
Learn To Practice – Step 4: Practice In Bite-Size Pieces
Learn To Practice – Step 5: Intelligent Repetition
Learn To Practice – Step 6: Keep Going!
Learn To Practice – Step 7: Learn At Your Own Pace