Improve your songwriting process by factoring for rhythm and building rhythm. Explore note values, time signatures, feel, timing, dynamics, syncopation, and more.
- Hi, I'm David Franz. I'm a music producer, record label owner, touring musician, and a content manager for audio and music at LinkedIn Learning. I'm here to talk to all the songwriters out there about rhythm. In this course I'm going to share with you the practical applications of music theory, specifically in the realm of rhythm to help you better communicate your songwriting ideas to others, and hopefully write better songs. I want to discuss the language used to communicate rhythmic ideas, to really understand what it means when someone says, "Play this behind the beat," or when terms like swing, syncopation, and polyrhythm are used.
I'll be explaining these concepts by playing rhythmic examples, mainly on drums and percussion. (drum music) but also on bass, guitar, keys, and vocals. So this course is applicable to anyone, and the examples are meant for you to play along so keep your instrument of choice handy while watching. I'll be showing music notation throughout the course to help demonstrate the concepts, but don't worry, you don't need to be able to read music in this course. I'll start by discussing the basics, counting, measures, tempo, notes, rests, rhythm and drum set notation as well as time signatures.
Then I'll move into the more esoteric realms of feel and timing (drum music) by digging into dynamics, accents, tempo changes, swing, and syncopation, (bass guitar music) and what it means to be ahead of, on, or behind the beat. (upbeat music) I'm glad you decided to join me for this course. By the end I hope it helps you understand rhythm better and improve your songwriting. Let's get started.
Music producer and record label owner David Franz starts the course with the building blocks of rhythm: counting, notes, measures, rests, rhythm notation, subdivisions, and tempo. He then explains time signatures, discussing common, compound, and asymmetrical time signatures, as well as double time and half time, and how to choose the time signature for a song. Next, he discusses the concepts of feel and timing, including dynamics, accents, articulations, tempo changes, swing, syncopation, polyrhythms, and playing ahead of, on, and behind the beat. Along the way, David demonstrates all of these concepts by playing musical examples on drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, and vocals.
- Notes, measures, and counting
- Rhythm and drum set notation
- Tempo, note lengths, and subdivisions
- Building rhythms
- Rests, triplets, duplets, dots, and ties
- Common time and 3/4 time
- Simple, compound, and odd time signatures
- Choosing a time signature
- Double time and half time
- Dynamics, accents, and articulations
- Tempo and tempo changes
- Choosing to be ahead of, on, or behind the beat
- Swing, syncopation, and off beats
- Polyrhythms (two rhythms at once)