No ‘ear’ for rhythm?

Hello Buddy,

“Do you think that rhythm can be taught to someone with virtually no ‘ear’ for it? I come from a musical family so I just got lucky that way, and can help if that’s what it takes, but while i can teach salsa steps all day, I don’t know how to teach such a basic idea as ‘listen and move to the beat’.

There’s no hurry on this, but I have immense respect for you as a gentle and effective teacher, and I know you have run into this sort of thing. How much potential for improvement is there in someone with no natural ear, and how, if at all, can I help him?
thank you, both for your time, and for being you.


The distractions that interfere with a person trying to feel their own sense of rhythm are a result of trauma – usually. The steady gentle slow downbeat in the middle of the drumhead is the safest way for them to recalibrate their sense of rhythm that has been dislocated. Set up two drums, hit just the low middle downbeat tone at a medium tempo, with a soft high note at the edge, repeat steady for fifteen minutes or more slow it down until your friend starts to FEEL the concept of a steady pulse. This is something I deal with a lot. There is psychological processing that accompanies this miraculous event. Be gentle and non judgemental. Let me know. I have CDs.

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