|Speaking Of Rhythm
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How does Speaking of Rhythm work?
Speaking of Rhythm is an aural/oral system of teaching and learning music and is simply the best way to learn. It is the same way children learn language: listen, repeat, correct, repeat, listen. Learning becomes effortless, you retain what you speak and sing, enabling you to express these patterns on any instrument.
Each drum syllable is connected with a drum stroke and hand position, you learn the movements associated with each drum part. Speaking of Rhythm does not require reading or watching, only listen, repeat, listen, repeat, listen, repeat. You develop your ability to listen deeply, to make an accurate inner copy, and express with your voice and body.
First you hear a brief performance of the complete rhythm, then I break down each part and teach it to you through syllables. Then you speak the pattern while clapping the main beat ("pulse"). Next we learn to sing each part while clapping the clave rhythm. This is the key to turning the spoken sounds into music: singing rhythmelodies in clave. The clave pattern may or may not be played litterally as one of the parts of the ensemble, however the clave feeling is the guiding principle in all of the rhythms I present as part of Speaking of Rhythm.
At each stage of leaning I play the part on the instrument so you can hear how the syllables relate to the actual drum part. After I teach you three key parts, I play them for you in a groove for you to play or sing along with. Then I teach any additional parts and play them in a groove. You can play the first parts you learned with this groove or play the new parts with the first groove. Then I play all the parts together with a changing mix to highlight each combination. Finally I show some solo ideas for the lead part and play some of them in a performance. Each lesson includes a vocal percussion ensemble where I sing all the parts together.
After many years of teaching and leaning, I know this process to be the one most aligned with music and the best way to get the music into your body. Speaking of Rhythm is the most effortless learning process I know. You can learn from these CDs while cooking, driving, sewing, even napping. Just put it on and repeat, repeat repeat.
All 6 CDs plus
Clave Consciousness Vol 1
Where does the material come from?
I have collected the material presented here over more than 25 years of study, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area. This collection forms a basic repertoire for the beginning and intermediate student of African, Caribbean and Brazilian music. These rhythms have become part of mainstream American culture via the music of such artists as Santana, Paul Simon and David Byrne as well as hundreds of others.
This collection of lessons and performances is presented as a tool for developing musicianship and understanding of exotic rhythms. As in any aural/oral tradition, regional, stylistic and personal differences will cause these same rhythms to be played differently by different people. I encourage you to go beyond media learning and ask other knowledgeable people about these rhythms and the cultures where they originate.
DEDICATION: The entire Speaking of Rhythm project is dedicated with great respect to the spirit of our late teacher and friend of drumming, dancing, singing and unity, Babatunde Olatunji. I thank him for the gift of his Gun Go Pa method of teaching and hope it inspires you to learn to speak rhythm. Disk 3, Djesse Muloumbo, is dedicated to the the spirit of Malonga Casquelourd
I deeply and humbly acknowledge CK Ladzekpo of Ghana for first introducing me to spoken rhythm, foot falls and hand claps as a way of anchoring rhythm in the body. His masterful teaching and high standards of musical integrity are the basis of how I work.
Written and produced by Kim Atkinson © copyright PulseWave Percussion 2003
All instruments and voices performed by Kim Atkinson.
Engineered at www.GrooveFarm.com
Special Thanks to www.Robinsilver.com for all his help on this project.
free online lesson notes