In this video, we discuss a critical element of effective viola and violin study: rhythm!

• Rhythm needs to be felt in the body, starting with pulse. The most basic pulse is our heartbeat. A musical pulse is a regular beat pattern that is present no matter the rhythm or tempo of the music.

• The pulse is further grouped into patterns of weak and strong beats. For instance, a march usually has two pulses, a strong pulse followed by a weak one, while a waltz typically has three, one strong pulse followed by two weak ones.

• After you’ve found the pulse, there are lots of ways to work on the rhythmic patterns, either with or without your instrument.

• You can clap or stomp the pulse while speaking the rhythm.

• When you get good at that, you can try stomping or speaking the pulse while playing the rhythm. The possibilities are endless! If you get frustrated, work slowly on small chunks, then build it up as you gain comfort. Just stay connected to the pulse!

• Remember that pulse is not like a machine, or a metronome. Just like your heartbeat speeds up and slows down, the pulse can speed up and slow down. The more grounded the pulse is in your body, the smoother and more coordinated these changes will be.

Posted on April 3, 2017 .