Do you want to get people up on the floor and dancing as soon as you start playing?
Then Bruce Arnold’s Rhythm Primer and the complete rhythm series is your ticket to getting that kind of visceral reaction from your audience when you play.
Is your rhythmic ability holding you back?
Rhythm is the backbone of music but it’s a commonly overlooked aspect of great musicianship. But that’s exactly what Rhythm Primer, the first book in our Rhythm Series is all about. Each installment of our Rhythm Series gets you hearing and feeling rhythms because you play along with our midi files. Added value: these kinds of audio files allow YOU to choose the tempo of the exercise so you are always in control of the level of difficulty.
Most students of music don’t realize that:
- Weak rhythm skills will greatly affect your ability to play music and put many songs beyond your reach.
- Working on your rhythm skills a few minutes a day will make a major difference.
- Hearing a rhythm via the available audio files will make learning rhythm much easier.
The Rhythm Primer provides all the basic tools needed to get even the most basic beginner starting in the right direction.
- Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel my rhythm is weak when playing chords or trying to groove with other musicians?
- When I have to read music are many of the mistakes I make related to rhythm?
- Do I have a tendency to speed up or slow down when I play or read music?
- Do I lack rhythmic diversity when I’m soloing or writing music?
- When I’m transcribing music do I find it hard to figure out rhythms?
- If someone shows me a rhythm do I have a hard time duplicating the sound?
- Is it hard for me to translate the rhythms I hear into rhythmic notation?
- Do I have a hard time getting a musical flow happening when I’m playing or improvising?
- Do I know in a general way what rhythm level is being played when I’m listening to or playing music?
All of these problems can be symptoms of poor rhythmic skills. This can cause you not to perform well, get lost when playing music and not be connected in a meaningful way to the music you are listening to or playing. Using the Rhythm Primer is one of the best ways to help you improve your rhythm, because you will be learning to play a variety of rhythms in many contexts. This will help you to:
- Improve Accuracy.
- Develop a larger vocabulary of rhythms so that your aren’t always playing the same few rhythms over and over.
- Naturally hear a variety of rhythms when you are composing.
- Write out the rhythms if you are a composer wishing to publish your music, or need to communicate precisely to other musicians.
- Develop a better interaction with your band members because you are able to react to their rhythmic phrasing.
- Find the rhythms that cause you problems so that you can practice and master them before they spring up in a public situation.
Please Note: If you are a guitarist we also highly recommend that you also work with the Guitar Technique and Physiology Course so that you learn Right Hand picking with the proper technique. This course gives you a comprehensive approach to playing guitar. Rhythm Primer is included in the Guitar Technique and Physiology Course.
Pitch and Rhythm: The two crucial aspects of modern music:
If you are performing for others the two most noticeable aspects of your playing will be your intonation (are you in tune) and your rhythm. People tend to recognize rhythmic problems much more quickly than they recognize intonation problems. So it’s imperative that you raise this particular skill level so that it doesn’t become an issue.
Are you just getting started and really need a lot of information to start tackling reading rhythms?
Then Rhythm Primer is the perfect book for you. It will give you:
- An entire section of the book that shows you how to read and understand all basic rhythms.
- Tricks to help you play harder rhythms like triplets.
- A “Quick Start” page which will give you targeted advice on how to proceed through the book based on your current level.
- A graduated method that starts you with extremely easy rhythms and then slowly makes them more complex.
- Exercises using only one pitch. This means you can really concentrate on learning just the rhythms
- Downloadable free audio examples of each exercise in the form of midi files. Midi file format allows you to control the tempo of the exercise making it the perfect kind of file to use with these exercises.
Develop your rhythmic skills in a logical way.
Rhythm is commonly organized on four metric levels. It is crucial that you understand these levels and the rhythms that are commonly used. Rhythm Primer helps you develop this sense by giving you targeted exercises which grow in difficulty so that you can master these rhythms gradually and understand the various metric levels.
Develop an overall understanding of how rhythm is organized.
Rhythm Primer and the whole Rhythm Series of Books (16 books in all) develop your rhythmic skills to a high level. The contents of this book are flexible enough to be used by a complete beginner or by an advanced musician because the speed of the exercises will determine the difficulty. You will develop the following attributes by working through this book:
- The ability to recognize rhythms when you hear them or see them written on a page.
- A much more robust vocabulary of rhythms that you naturally play when you are performing music.
- A more consistent tempo as you play music when playing these time signatures.
- An understanding of how music is put together rhythmically.
- Enhanced speed and accuracy in your playing
- More meaningful interactions with other musicians.
- Ability to learn new music faster.
- Rhythmic accuracy that will have people moving along with you when you play.
Develop an overall understanding of how rhythm is organized.
Each section of Rhythm Primer contains rhythms that are commonly found in contemporary music. You can practice these exercises a number of ways:
- Play along with the midi files at various tempos to check accuracy.
- Play along with a metronome™. Recommended metronome patterns are found in the book for each section.
- Use MetroDrone® audio files to develop a “Long Line Rhythm” sense with each exercise.
- Play MetroDrone® audio file which forms a key center. Play the #5 of the key center through the entire file.
- Play along with popular tunes that use the same metric level.
Direct application of exercises into real music makes practicing rhythm fun!
Below is a list of some popular tunes that would work with each section of Rhythm Primer:
- Eighth Note Exercises found on pages: 7-18 and 37-45:
- “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
- “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson
- “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
- “Go your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
- “Day Tripper” by The Beatles
- “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
- “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
- “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
- “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
- “Friday Night Fever” by George Strait
- “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
- “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd
- “Beat it” by Michael Jackson
- “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis
- “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer
- “Country Road” by James Taylor
- “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross
- “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynyrd
- “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith
- “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
- “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top
- “Cause we ended as lovers” by Jeff Beck
- “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson
- “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
- “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen
- “21 Guns” by Green Day
- “Little Red Corvette” by Prince
- “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder
- “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross
- Sixteenth Note Exercises found on pages: 19-27 and 46-61:
- “Let it Be” by The Beatles
- “Say” by John Mayer
- “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift
- “Down to the Nightclub” by Tower of Power
- “Two Princes” by Spin Doctors
- “Hell or Hallelujah” by Kiss
- “Funny the Way it is” by Dave Matthews
- “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones
- “Bad” by Michael Jackson
- “What is Hip” by Tower of Power
- “Dance for You” by Beyonce
- “Sex Machine” by James Brown
- “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
- “If Only for One Night” by Luther Vandross
- “Legs” by ZZ Top
- “Wannabe” by Spice Girls
- “Chameleon” by Herbie Hancock
- “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
- “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin
- “Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang
- “Get the Funk Out of Ma Face” by Brothers Johnson
- “Right Place, Wrong Time” by Dr. John
- “Serpentine Fire” by Earth, Wind & Fire
- “Birdland” by Weather Report
- “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate
- “Never to Much” by Luther Vandross
- “2 Become 1” by Spice Girls
Exploring the tunes listed above via the rhythm exercises will teach you VOLUMES about contemporary music –and makes it hard to stop practicing!!
Remember, rhythmic accuracy is the key to having your listeners up and dancing and being totally engrossed in your music.
Our bodies respond to rhythmic accuracy and feel uncomfortable when it’s not there. Rhythm Primer and the whole Rhythm series develops this accuracy through targeted exercises. Just a few minutes a day can develop these skills so don’t put it off. Add a 10 minute exercise each day and have people rocking to your music in no time.
- Additional Information:
- Digital Edition 978-1-59489-948-5
- Physical IBSN: 978-1-890944-03-2
- 61 pages with additional free midi files available in our member’s area.
- What people are saying:
- I had sent Bruce Arnold an mp3 of my playing and he immediately identified a rhythm problem. I knew things just didn’t sound right but couldn’t quite put my finger on the problem. It was great that I could contact Bruce this way, and he had me do some unusual exercises with Rhythm Primer, but they worked! I’d memorize just two or 3 measures of an exercise and then as I walked around I would tap these rhythms with my hand against my leg as I walked. It was like my feet became the metronome, and tapping on my leg became the rhythm I was studying. I was amazed how this simple method helped me and within days I felt my rhythm getting stronger and I started to hear when I wasn’t playing rhythms accurately. Rhythm Primer is the best book I’ve ever seen for a beginner. The midi files were great because I could always hear the rhythm and I felt like I could never lose track. It’s great that if you have problems getting started with Rhythm Primer you can contact Bruce. He really helped me tailor this book to my level and how many authors do that? E. Myers
- These books did the trick for me. I’m an advanced guitarist working on my jazz chops and contacted Bruce about developing my sight reading skills. He recommended I start with the following books: 1. Rhythm Primer. 2. Rhythms Volume One. 3. Rhythms Volume Two. 4. Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume One. 5. Sight Reading Solved Intermediate Level. Reading out of these books took me about 30 to 45 minutes a day. Over 3 months of practice I made incredible improvement. His “Beat Reading” method for reading ahead of the music which can be found in Rhythm Primer was a total game changer. I’m reading so far ahead of the music at this point that I actually had to slow it down! If you want to get your reading skills together I highly recommend Bruce Arnold’s Rhythm Series as a way to master rhythms in a very logical and well organized system. H. Grun
- As a conductor, I wanted to perfect my rhythm reading for the modern classical repertoire. That repertoire has become increasingly challenging, and nowadays along with works by “New Complexity” composers like Brian Ferneyhough, I am also called upon to read Frank Zappa scores, much of which are notated in 32nd note rhythms. I initially emailed Mr. Arnold about which level I should enter at and he pointed out that any of the books in his rhythmic series could be challenging depending on the tempo I chose to work with. He recommended that I work with Rhythm Primer,Rhythms Volume 3, and Odd Meters Although these books didn’t cover layered rhythms, they were exceptionally helpful for mastering 32nd note rhythms and odd meter combinations. Using the midi files through the Garage Band application I was able to synchronize my visual comprehension with my physical ability to play the rhythms. Bruce Arnold’s highly methodical approach was key to my achieving my goals. G. Andrews.
- I’m a drummer and I studied out of Rhythm Primer in college. Rhythm Primer is a very thorough look at basic rhythms on four different metric levels so it’s a great study. I found the thirty second note studies to be really useful because it’s hard to find books that cover those rhythms. I’ve also worked through Rhythms Volume One, Rhythms Volume Two, Rhythms Volume Three and Odd Meters.
These books, along with the usual drummer repertoire i.e. Louie Bellson etc… gave me a strong foundation of basic rhythmic skill. If you want to hone your skills, get stronger and smarter about rhythm AND improve your sight reading, give these books a try. T. Gimple
Get started with Rhythm Primer today and start expressing those rhythms that beat in your heart!
Recommended books to use with Rhythm Primer