Learn about Rhythm


Rhythm Practice Tips and Suggestions on How to Use this Website

There are many different ways to practice the patterns in this website. However, regardless of your level of musicianship, it is a good idea to keep the following things in mind:

Use a metronome! Never take the metronome for granted, even as you develop your skills. The metronome is the best tool we have to make sure that we keep a steady beat and perform rhythms accurately. For more reasons on how and why to use a metronome visit my blog.

Your rhythmic development depend on two factors: your intellectual understanding of rhythm, and your physical coordination.

To develop the intellectual side of the process, make sure that you have accurate information. Read each lesson intro carefully and make sure that you understand it before beginning the patterns. Listen to the audio examples to make sure that you are playing the rhythms correctly. Use a metronome to ensure that you are keeping a steady beat and playing the notes the correct length.

To develop the physical side of the process, practice slowly so that you can perform the rhythms effortlessly and accurately. Use accurate repetition to create good habits. Use your metronome and feel the beat.



Follow these steps to learn the rhythm patterns and make them effortless and accurate:

1. Turn on your metronome at a slow, comfortable tempo (if you are using your computer, try using MetronomeBot). Depending on the difficulty of the rhythm, consider using one of the talking metronomes or subdividing metronomes. Keep the metronome clicking for each of the following steps.

2. Count the beat (and subdivisions of the beat if there are any) while watching the rhythms on the screen or the printed page.

3. Clap and count the rhythm pattern. Count every beat, and every subdivision of the beat when it includes subdivisions (like eighth notes, sixteenth notes).

4. Clap and count the rhythm pattern while listening to the recording of it, to make sure that you are accurate.

5. Play the rhythms on your instrument (with the metronome still clicking). Make sure to sustain each note for it’s proper length.

More practice ideas for beginners, advanced students, and everyone in between, including suggestions on how to improve your sight reading.

Get the Book

The Fundamentals of Rhythm, book by Kyle Coughlin

Fundamentals of Rhythm book

If you would like all of this information in book format so that you can put it on your music stand and practice it wherever you go, get The Fundamentals of Rhythm, by Kyle Coughlin. The book includes all of the lesson information and practice exercises found on the website.


Use MetronomeBot for a fun online metronome!

MetronomeBot, the talking online metronome

The online metronome that counts the beat, subdivides, and offers encouraging practice tips.

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