People with no rhythm

There are all kinds of students. And, from the novice to the pro, I seem to get the whole catalog. But, the ones that are truly fascinating, are the ones who claim to have no rhythm. These are the special cases.

What is a drum teacher to do with someone who says: “Look, I have no rhythm! There has been a curse on my family made way back by the witches of Norland, and, since then, we have no idea what to shake, swing or boogie when we hear a rhythm.”

Time to bear dance.  I put on a song, something with a beat as obvious as a military march, the kind you can play with a bulldozer.

I then ask the student to stand up.  Then to wobble one foot after the other on the beat that he hears.  So far, nobody hasn’t been able to do that.  I let them get into it for awhile,  get some confidence in their abilities.  If I feel they’re getting good at it,  I ask them to clap the “2” and “4”. That’s where we’ll place the snare drum later on.  That emphasizes a landmark in the music.

I only met once someone who couldn’t bear dance. He wasn’t a student of mine.  I was still young,  at the time I didn’t have the time to do the work with him.  I’m sure he would have gotten it though.  Given enough time and patience. Good old bear dance.