Learn about Rhythm

Home - Fundamentals


Wherever you are right now, there are probably sounds in the air. You may not notice them, but if you listen closely, you will probably hear many things: sounds created by a car driving down the street, a dog barking, a bird chirping, footsteps in a hallway, the squeak of your chair, people talking, the wind blowing through the trees. The list can go on forever.

What is music?

What makes these sounds different from music? What is music? We all know what music is when we hear it, but how do we define it? Everyone has their own personal understanding of music, but to put it in the simplest possible terms:

Music is the creative organization of sound.

What Is Rhythm?

The beginning of that organization is rhythm. Rhythm is the arrangement of sounds as they move through time. You can take any of the sounds listed above and arrange them rhythmically to create music. The term rhythm is also used to describe a specific pattern of sounds. In a very simple form, music can be created by clapping your hands to a specific rhythm. There are many aspects of rhythm and several terms related to it that help us to better understand music.

This site is dedicated to explaining the fundamentals of rhythm, as well as providing many practice patterns to help you improve your rhythm skills. Read through this introduction and play and practice the patterns in the lessons of The Fundamentals of Rhythm, to clarify your understanding of rhythm. The introduction includes definitions and descriptions of basic rhythm terminology as well as explanations of all the different rhythms and note values.

Continue on to the next step of the introduction to learn about beat and tempo, view the rhythm introduction table of contents, or begin practicing rhythm patterns.


Back to the Table of Contents

Introduction to rhythmIntroduction to Rhythm

Practice Pattern Table of ContentsPractice Pattern Table of Contents

Practice with MetronomeBotPlay along with MetronomeBot

The Fundamentals of Rhythm Buy the book, The Fundamentals of Rhythm.


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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