Rhythm Ear Training

Rhythm ear training

Along with melody and harmony, rhythm is part of the core foundation of all music. Whatever the genre, era, instrument, player or context of music - it's the rhythm that provides the driving force to keep our ears tuned in and satisfy our deep instinctive appreciation of music more than anything else.

Because rhythm is such a fundamental aspect of music, ear training for rhythm is relevant and can be hugely beneficial to musicians and music fans from all corners of the musical universe. From the bass player providing that funky bassline in a band and the drummer keeping a rock-steady beat, to the composer looking for a catchy riff to perk up a section of his score, or the passionate dancer who wants their performance to be so tightly attuned to the backing music the audience can't help but sit up and take notice, rhythm ear training is key.


Bass Tone

The bass guitar and other bass instruments are often classed as part of the 'rhythm section' in a band or ensemble, and players of bass instruments are relied on to provide the rhythmic bed on which the rest of the music depends. Our Bass Tone series helps bass players find the optimal sounds for their instrument in different situations, and helps other musicians and music fans to appreciate the variety of ways the bass contributes to music.

Rhythm Ear Training Resources

Ear Expansion Ear Training Course

Ear Expansion: Rhythm

Learn how ear training can improve your natural rhythm with the Rhythm module of the Ear Expansion course.

Recommended Metronome Apps

Rhythm Music Theory

Watch a short video introducing the music theory behind rhythm:

Topics Related to Rhythm Ear Training

tempo ear training

The overall pace of the rhythm of music is called the tempo and no study of rhythmic ear training would be complete without also developing a reliable and accurate sense of tempo.

bass ear training

Along with percussion instruments, bass instruments are probably those most commonly associated with rhythm. While most instruments contribute primarily in terms of melody and/or harmony, bass instruments straddle the pitch and the rhythm camps, contributing as much through when they play notes as by which notes they play. Whether you're a bassist yourself or not, ear training for bass will improve your understanding of its essential contribution to most music.

Percussion ear training

The percussion family of instruments features all the most purely rhythmic of instruments. If you're interested in developing your sense of rhythm, stripping away the pitch and harmony aspects of music can make devoted ear training easier - and focusing your attention on percussion instruments is a great way to do that. You can delve into percussion ear training with a look at the rock drum kit, the orchestra percussion section, simple hand-held instruments - or even just the clapping of your hands!

Interactive rhythm ear training

Here's a fun game from Theta Music Trainer which tests your ability to connect notated rhythms with the sounds you hear: Flash Rhythms

Sorry, this game requires the Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Get Flash

For a more advanced challenge try Rhythm Puzzles. If you've enjoyed these games, we recommend the full Theta Music Trainer.

Theta Music Trainer

Questions about Rhythm Ear Training

Articles about Rhythm Ear Training:

Common Rhythm Problem Spots: Getting Lost

Common Rhythm Problem Spots: Getting Lost

Every musician has been there, from the seasoned pro to the beginner band kid playing her first concert. You are playing your heart out and you find out that you are lost, just lost, lost, lost. What can you do? In this article I’ll share some ways you can make...
Common Rhythm Problem Spots: Transitions

Common Rhythm Problem Spots: Transitions

So far in Rhythm Bootcamp we’ve covered practicing rhythmic accuracy and playing on the beat. In addition to these skills it is important to master transitions in music. Why? Transitions from one musical section to another are one of the most common places that...
Rhythm Bootcamp: Rhythmic Accuracy

Rhythm Bootcamp: Rhythmic Accuracy

In Rhythm Boot Camp: Got No Rhythm? you worked on basic techniques like audiation and counting to develop your musical skills. In this article you will practice your rhythmic accuracy. Many musicians may have general good rhythm, able to play most rhythmic figures...

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