The longer I teach, the more I recognize the essential importance of teaching and working toward rhythmic understanding and precision in my teaching. Some students, of course, have an intrinsic sense of pulse; others, well, not so much. The Musicians Way has an excellent article about how to instill a better sense of rhythmic precision in your playing. I love this quote from Gerald Klickstein,
“Rhythmic exactness involves, among other things, how we place, articulate, color, and emphasize pitches and phrases.”
He then goes on to elaborate on four tips for establishing rhythmic precision without sacrificing musical expression:
- Vocalize and Move
- Toy With Your Timing
- Vary Your Emphasis
- Bull’s Eye the Downbeat
Read the whole article for some great, practical suggestions!