The Math Behind The Beats

A fun little post for you today, folks, on rhythm 🙂 As regular readers of the blog will know, I bang on from time to time about the importance of counting and subdividing your beats. Check these posts out for a recap:

Here’s something you can count on


Pulse – the heartbeat of music

Understanding the rhythm or rhythms of the piece of music is so important. The rhythm and even more fundamentally the basic beat or pulse of the piece of music you’re playing is the lifeblood of the music. Without the rhythm you’re essentially playing a random collection of notes!

So, yes, learning how to subdivide those main beats is really important. Why? At it’s most basic level you could say that it’s because most music is not all crotchets/ quarter notes! And not all crotchets/ quarter notes that are played on the beat or main pulses. It’s in the subdivisions that things get interesting. Learning how to decipher, count and eventually feel these subdivisions is a skill that you can, with a little direction and practice, pick up.

How to do this can sometimes be a little tricky, but I found this fun little 5 minute video on TED this week from drummer Clayton Cameron that explains it in fun and simple terms. I thought it may help some so take a look and check it out:


Happy Easter!



6 thoughts on “The Math Behind The Beats

  1. Love the video. Kind of debunks the old joke about drummers being “people who hang out with musicians”. This guy is the best kind of musician because he doesn’t just play music, he UNDERSTANDS it.

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