Posted in Music

Catching the Rhythm…

It was yet another interesting day in the “Basic” Guitar class with Sahil Jagtiani. We were learning the strumming pattern. You need to hold the left hand fingers position tightly, and right hand has to gently strum all the strings. The strings can be strum from one end to another, and since you hold the guitar vertical, its either an up strum or a down strum.

DOWN,DOWN,UP,_; UP,DOWN,UP,_; 

was the pattern to be played. Blank space is a pause. One strum per beat. Sahil sang it for us also! But then, many were not getting it. Then he said, if you think and play, you will not get it, just get the rhythm. Let the hand move, don’t analyze. Slowly slowly, we got sorted out with tempo and phase lag between each other, and suddenly all of us were in sync! It was a wonderful play. Like Madhuri commented on my previous post, it was simply awesome experience.

Rhythm is beyond intellect. Its in your blood so to say. An intellect can understand or analyze a rhythm, but to get the rhythm you need to internalize it. Just like driving a cycle can be described with dozen mathematical equations, saying that you need to put your weight this way, bend that way, etc… but to get the skill of cycling, you just have to do it… 

And once you get it, your teeth will chew the food in that rhythm, your feet will tap in that rhythm and your hand will move without you having to “think” about it.

By the way this thinking is a very problematic thing. Recently Rashmin delivered another gem:- You cannot think about something which you don’t already know. And what you know, you don’t need to think about. So all this thinking business is totally useless!! 🙂

The whole education of dance and music, only now I recognize this, is to transcend the intellect with help of rhythms:- even in dance you have to step in sync with a beat of the music. This ancient tradition of learning dance, musical instrument, and singing, is so very essential apart from just developing an intellectual machinery in an individual.

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