Notice how working with your voice as well as clapping helps the rhythm.
Many people around the world, from North Indian tabla players to Ghanaian
drummers, learn rhythms by vocalizing them. Vocalizing rhythms as well as
tapping them seems to gel them in the mind, just as singing melodies as well as
playing them helps you to learn to pitch—your voice is your instrument and the
most direct means of learning to make sounds.
The syllables suggested are conventional to jazz educators and worth learning
in themselves. They have been chosen because they are easy to say ("an" not
"and"), because they differentiate rhythms of different types ("one trip-let"
versus "one-an, two-an") and because they work well if repeated round and
round. Once you get good at saying the syllables, using pitched voice (singing) is
also less of a problem.
To get swing feel into your head, some people find it helps to sing the
subdivisions using two pitches, something like this:
In both jazz and rock music there is often a stress on beats 2 and 4, and this
stress or emphasis is known as the backbeat. It creates an up and down motion
within four beats, which you can feel in your body or when you click your
fingers, like this:
1 Try the above exercises again, this time slightly emphasizing 2 and 4, for
08 p. 8 Subdividing the pulse.mp3
09 p. 8 Subdividing the pulse.mp3