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Side / Snare Pipe Bands or Solo - if it relates to Drumming...

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Old 12-04-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Drew McPheeters
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Default Help teaching rhythm.

OK I have a new student, adult.

I was having him do simple R..L..R..L..R..L.. to the metronome to work on grip and technique. But he could never stay with the metronome.

I told him to drop the stick and just try to tap his right hand with the metronome. Still wasn't able to stay with the metronome.

I told hime to count 1..2..3..4..1..2..3..4.. along with the metronome.Still wasn't able to stay with the metronome.

I added the 8 notes and tried 1.&.2.&.3.&.4.&. Still wasn't able to stay with the metronome.

The guy cannot grasp the concept of a beat. Is this something you either have or you don't? Can this be taught? What else can I try?
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
dsb0628
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

I was like that but possibly not as bad. I started to tap my foot or finger while driving and listening to the beat of the music. Instructor suggested to walk and count 1, 2 and practice, practice walking and counting. Practice the skill at the lesson, demonstrate, have student demonstrate and that is the homework.

This is like telling someone how to ride a bicycle. Doing it is superior to talking about it.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

I'm not a drummer, but I think it's an interesting problem. Perhaps it would help to have a metronome with a visible pendulum, so he could see when the beat was going to happen before the sound was made, like one of those old "De Maelzel" pyramid metronomes. (Search on eBay for "vintage metronome".) Some people get information better visually. Watching the metronome beat the time might be a stepping stone to following the beat by ear. Just a thought.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
Drew McPheeters
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

I should have mentioned the metronome did have both visual and audio indications.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
Tom MacKenzie
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

I agree with dsb0628 have the student walk back and forth in time with the metronome.

Then walk back and forth and clap their hands in time with their feet.

Then walk back and forth, clap and count to four over and over again.

Then have them stand still, stamp their feet, clap and count to four.

Then have them sit, stamp their feet, clap, and count to four.

Then have them sit, stamp their feet, and hit the table alternately with each hand and count to four.

I always try to back up, start with something obvious that they can do, and add one thing, then another thing until you get the result you are looking for.

Also figuring out whether they are an audio, visual, or physical learner helps you to tailor the teaching approach.

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

The Awkward Squad was those soldiers who had great difficulty learning to march, so they were separated from the others and given extra time for drill, in a day when armies depended upon their drill in battle.

There are some people who have co-ordination issues, and the army's solution was to drill them until they got it right.

I know a piper who had the same issue for a while, but he eventually got there.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #7
Paul the Drummer
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

Just tell the guy that he is not cut out to be a drummer...and give him a practice chanter. Seriously you might see if he can sing with a tune. Something with a heavy beat that goes with the words...(Marie's Wedding?) and then clap along with. Come at it from the backdoor so he is not thinkng as much about it.
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help teaching rhythm.

I've found metronomes can be scary things to learners, so instead of asking them to play in time with the click I play some music at various tempos and time signatures. Everyone has a natural rhythm so instead of focusing on timing I concentrate on technique to begin with. Once a learner can hold the sticks and bounce them of the pad properly, I go through the basic rudiments at their own speed and timing seems to improve as their confidence does. Then I'll introduce a metronome to play through sticking exercises.
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