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Thread: People who have a severe lack of rythmic sence.

  1. #1
    Registered User ragasaraswati's Avatar
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    People who have a severe lack of rythmic sence.

    I have met many people that are like that and I always wondered why so, what went wrong and they couldn't even tap their foot on the first beat of a 4/4 song? The worst part is that they don't realize this and need another person to tell them.

    Is this a side-effect of an unbalanced lifestyle with a furious pace, anxiety, responsibilities and lack of relaxation? What can be done so that they can have rythmic sensitivity?
    Last edited by ragasaraswati; 02-16-2008 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you are talking about the average person with no musical training who has never really danced or listened to music beyond it being background noise (and I think the majority of the public falls into this category) then I don't think there is anything wrong with them. It's just a matter of never having done it before.
    If you have never studied a language beyond hearing a couple people speak it once in a while and suddenly you get thrown in a foreign country, you aren't going to be able to say a single word. Don't expect people with no musical ambitions to be able to do much better.

    now if you are talking about an aspiring musician...well then that's a different story.

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    I realized I only answered half the question. What can be done? Well like anything you have to start at the very begining. Put a metronome on at a medium tempo and get them to clap every beat out. Then every other beat, then two claps per beat, then triplets and vary the tempos etc etc. If it's a child they wont think twice about doing something so basic and will probably pick it up real quick, but adults may get frustrated or embarrased rather quickly because they can't pick up something so basic. It takes longer to learn a new skill once you reach a certain age. Again, it's like learning a new language. If you do it before you're 8 your in really good shape, but once you hit 20 or so, it becomes a lot more difficult to learn something so different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silent-storm
    It takes longer to learn a new skill once you reach a certain age. Again, it's like learning a new language. If you do it before you're 8 your in really good shape, but once you hit 20 or so, it becomes a lot more difficult to learn something so different.
    Speak for yourself man!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timestorm
    Speak for yourself man!
    huh?

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    So..... It takes longer to learn a new skill once you reach a 'certain' age does it. Thats just ageist. What is this 'certain' age you speak of.

    Once you hit 20 or so it becomes a lot more difficult to learn something so different....Really? I hadn't noticed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timestorm
    So..... It takes longer to learn a new skill once you reach a 'certain' age does it. Thats just ageist. What is this 'certain' age you speak of.

    Once you hit 20 or so it becomes a lot more difficult to learn something so different....Really? I hadn't noticed.
    ok, there are no "certain" ages where you can put an exact number on things. But children have an incredible ability to absorb knowledge of abstract concepts (ie, rhythm) that just doesn't exist in most adults. I'm not saying adults can't learn these skills just as well as anyone, but often they have preconcieved ideas about their own abilities and limitations that children simply don't have and therefore it often takes longer. Children live in a fantasy world where anything is possible. They don't realize that picking up a second language, or instrument, or whatever is actually a pretty difficult task. Whereas adults have to put in the long hours and generally work a lot harder.

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    Adults having preconcieved ideas about their own abilities - now this i agree with. Embarrassment about getting things wrong doesn't help either.
    Young children generally havn't yet learnt the concept of 'cant' and so dont limit themselves by it. Also when they learn a new language as you mentioned, they try and try speaking out loud and to others till they get it right. Adults seem to think they must wait till they are 'perfect' before they utter a single word. I think willingness to learn plays a big part as well.
    As for the OP's question, i dont think i've met anyone quite so bad as that, i thought general rythym was taught in schools at a young age - clapping along and the like - and was natuarally picked up like talking/reading/writing etc. Perhaps some people missed out on this.
    Last edited by Timestorm; 02-17-2008 at 09:46 AM.

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    I taught one individual who was like this. I don't think it was a case of missing out on anything, it was more of a case of being about 30 years removed from ever using that skill. It's like anything, if you don't use it you lose it. You are very right about adults thinking they have to be perfect before they even start. I would put a metronome on at a medium tempo that the piece was suppose to be at and as soon as this person didn't get the first and second claps right they would just stop and say "I can't do it." So we kind of had to work up to just "going for it." I had to tell this person to tap their toes to get a sense of the time, then clap it, so I wouldn't see them screwing up. It was quite like the time when I met someone who had made it all the way through school without knowing how to read. They got so good at hiding it that it's extemely difficult for them to face not being able to do something they think comes so easily to everyone else.

  10. #10
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    I don;t have time to go into details now - I'll pop in later in the week if I remember.

    Wanted to say that no one has problems with rhythm. Humans can all keep the beat. Any acceptions and that person wouldn;t be able to walk. Bi-ped locomotion only exists in concert with rhythm.

    What you're describing isn;t a problem keeping a beat (a form of amusia), and that's why the solution evades all of us who attempt to teach music or dance to folks who can;t seem to stay in time. What you're describing is a problem of the person synching their internal clock to an extenal clock.

    The solution is similar - start slowly with a metronome. But it also involves utilizing gross motor skills to teach them to synchronize.

    More later....
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    "...embrace your fear..."

  11. #11
    Artistically Bankrupt
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    If someone claims to not "have rhythm," Have them put one finger on their neck, and then tap out their heartbeat on the table. Even if they deliberately go off-beat, they will have to overdo the lie so much that you'll know they're full of it. For that matter, go next door with them, and let them knock on the door. $50 says that the knock is evenly metered, and well-practiced.

    People spend their entire lives buried in rhythm. Having said that, feeling a pulse is rather easier than finding the beat in some music. Just start with a metronome after the neck pulse, or some blues stomp. Baby steps, and all that.
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

  12. #12
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    Who lives next door?

    Clearly the only sensible way forward for non rhythmic people is to have them shot at dawn.

    Remove "No jiggy" types ( as i like to call them) from the gene pool.

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