The “Secret” to Improving Your Rhythm and Time [Video]

Excerpted from a series of Q&As filmed for Chick’s musician friends. Don't miss the next one. Click here →

Chick Corea teaches some simple exercises to improve your rhythm and time. Whether you play the piano or not, these tips can help improve your skill on any instrument.

Step 1: Use Your Own Judgment

First, Chick delves into how important it is that you check your own judgment and see how you can improve it. His first suggestion is an easy way to apprentice. You find a recording of a song or an artist that has the kind of time and rhythm that you like, and the first step is to practice and try to duplicate it.

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Step 2: Record Yourself

The second tip is to record yourself. Use a recorder or a camera, your phone, etc. Play something that you feel you need to improve on and then play it back (this could be the recording of a song that you practiced before, as well!) Then you can see what you need to work on. Work on that specific point until you feel good about it.

Step 3: Apprenticeship

The third exercise, and what Chick describes as the “ultimate exercise,” is not only about improving time, but developing anything that you’d like to become better at as a musician. It is called an apprenticeship system. Find a “master,” to work with. It could be anyone who’s got an ability that you think you would like to have too. Jam with them and pick up any skills you can. Chick says, “This is how anyone learns a trade, or anyone learns the piano, or how anyone learns an instrument.” Make sure to have the idea that you want to learn something from them.

And that is the ultimate, “secret” of improving your time and your rhythm.

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