Syncopation as an antidote to depression
Modern society has been programmed to march on the downbeat. Stay in step, do what you’re told. This is reinforced with march music. Marching is flatfooted. It’s on the downbeat. There is no syncopation. It is a way to keep everyone’s mind focused on the mission of the culture. This is inherited from the dark ages where it was a sin to feel syncopation and to dance. When we feel syncopation – Just one upbeat – Our body wakes up and starts to move. When our bodies move in rhythm we heal. We throw off stress and the restrictive inhibitions of mass culture. Our survival thinking is based on fear. Our inability to feel syncopation-the upbeat- is based in fear and shame. So get in the groove, feel the upbeat and share it.
Here is a simple exercise to discover an upbeat syncopation for the people who do not feel the upbeat very clearly. First of all, play five notes on the drum and feel the downbeat on the “one” and the “five” and keep the downbeat steady and repeating so that the critical mind feels safe and sure of it’s ability to perform this simple task. Then take away the last note, but keep the same groove going. You will feel a pulling where that last note should be. You are now feeling an upbeat, a syncopation. It starts to swing. Notice that you might even begin to smile. This is the quickest antidote to anxiety and depression I have found.