Learn about Rhythm
Beat is the foundation of rhythm. It is the steady, repeating pulse in music. When you tap your foot to music at a steady pace, you are tapping the beat. In Lesson 1, you will have the opportunity to learn, read, and perform rhythms that all include notes on the beat.
Listen to the example below to hear the beat in music. It begins with four click sounds that establish the beat, followed by RhythmBot’s Happy Little Melody. The click sound continues through the entire example, demonstrating the beat.
Tempo is the speed of the beat. It indicates how fast or slow the beat is. Musicians use metronomes to practice rhythms and keep a steady beat. A metronome is a device that produces a consistent beat at a specific tempo. It is a very important tool that helps our development as musicians. If you do not have a metronome, visit www.MetronomeBot.com for free online metronomes.
Every metronome will have a series of numbers on it that indicates the Beats Per Minute, often abbreviated with the letters BPM. The higher the BPM number, the faster the tempo. For example, 60 BPM is one beat for every second, and 120 BPM is two beats for every second. To learn the rhythms in The Fundamentals of Rhythm, it is essential to use a metronome to ensure that you are keeping a steady beat and performing the rhythms accurately.
The audio examples above represent three basic tempos: slow, medium, and fast. The music is exactly the same, except for one change: each example is played at a different tempo. Notice that simply changing the tempo creates a very different feeling and mood for the piece.