Beats & Rhythm
(Affect the emotions of your audience)
Learn what rhythm is in simple terms. See why it's the very heartbeat of your song. Understand how different rhythms can affect the emotions of your audience.
What Is Rhythm?
Check out the gif above. Study it for a few seconds. That's a hospital monitor measuring the heartbeat of a person, beating at 81 beats per minute. This is one of the best examples of what rhythm is.
Rhythm is life. It's a pattern of moving at a certain rate in time for literally anything. And just like with your heartbeat, most of the time that movement also creates sound.
So almost ANYTHING can create rhythm: from a person walking, to your breathing, to the humming of a car engine. So when you think of rhythm think of it as the "pulse" (i.e. heartbeat) or frequency of your song.
2 Parts Of A Song's Rhythm
There are two parts of a song's rhythm:
- Rhythm of the Beat, expressed by the song's music through your beat pattern
- Lyrical Flow (or lyrical delivery), expressed through singing or rapping
Both parts work together to create the unique heartbeat of every song. And when the rhythm is good it becomes "infectious", causing you to move with the rhythm as you sync your body and emotions with it.
This is why a faster rhythm excites a person while a slower rhythm makes them more mellow. Because of this, rhythm is a very powerful part of your song.
Part 1: Rhythm Of The Beat
There are 3 pieces that create the rhythm of the beat:
- Beat Pattern - The pattern of upbeats & downbeats. You don't need a
drum to create a beat.
- Tempo - Speed of that pattern measured in "beats per minute" (see image
- Timing (or Time Signature) - For now, think of it as "the # of beats in the pattern before it repeats"
Depending on your song style and music genre these pieces will be combined in a certain way to create your unique rhythm.
Part 2: Lyrical Flow (or Lyrical Delivery)
Lyrical flow is singing or reciting your words at a pace thatís in sync with the rhythm of your beat. While the words of your song lyric are important, they're less important than how they're delivered with your music.
We can breakdown lyrical flow into three styles:
- Simple Pace - Higher Energy (feeds emotion).
- Broken Pace - Balanced Energy (keeps emotion steady)
- Loose Pace - Lower Energy (draws emotion)
This is the most basic rhythm style that increases energy, compelling your audience to move their body. This pace typically delivers the syllables of your song lyric at a steady spit-fire pattern. Typically the pace for rapping but singers use it too.
Think of it as a ďsimple pace with breathing room" or "normal singing pace". This delivery spaces out the spit-fire flow with pauses throughout your beat.
This rhythm style is more connected to deep emotions, best for love songs and ballads, stream-of-thought and vocal improvising with many long pauses between syllables throughout your beat.
Learn The Steps To Create Your Own Rhythm
The explanation above is only the beginning. Let's shortcut your learning curve. Join my free training group to learn everything about songwriting.
Learn to write great songs like your favorite hits from the radio and train to become a great songwriter in four steps:
Download my free exercises (like my 6-step exercise manual) to prepare your
song lyric. Having your song lyric fully fleshed-out before piecing it
together with rhythm, melody, and structure is important.
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Updated: February 18, 2020
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