The Internal Metronome
For Mountain Dulcimer Players by Guest Instructor Butch Ross

Video 1

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VideoAbout the Lessons

1. Part 1: The Internal Metronome Butch believes that Rhythm is a skill that everyone can learn and which will improve our timing and performance.
2. Part 2: Developing the Technique Butch uses your dominant strum always on the DownBeat of the tune to strengthen your sense of timing.
3. Part 3a: Feeling the Internal Metronome Using the familiar “Boil’em Cabbage” and the bum-diddy strum we explore our sense of internal timing. Then we flip it backwards and use the diddy-bum strum.
4. Part 3b: Switching the Strums By alternating the use of both strums from Lesson 3 Butch helps us keep the internal rhythm going.
5. Part 4: Feeling the Different Grooves from Different Strums Butch describes how his body feels with the different strums.
6. Part 5: Using African Drumming (Djembe) Techniques to Hone Rhythm Using vocal counting, hand clapping and a simple but important 1-2-3-4 rhythm Butch helps establish a strong sense of the internal metronome’s beat.
7. Part 6: Reversing the Clapping Rhythm Like the Bum-Diddy and Diddy-Bum strums from the earlier lessons, Butch reverses the beats on which we clap, while continuing the vocal counting.
8. Part 7: Switching the Clapping Now Butch switches which of the 1-2-3-4 beats are emphasized with clapping.
9. Part 8: Using Victor Wooten’s Bass Technique and an External Metronome Victor Wooten, the bass player in Bela Fleck’s “Flecktone” band, uses this technique with a fast metronome setting, which keeps getting cut in half while playing the tune at the same tempo. Soldier’s Joy is the demonstrated tune.
10. Part 9: Continuing with Victor’s Metronome Technique Butch still counts 1-2-3-4, but each clap alternates to the following beat to uncover and reinforce the expectation of the beat.
11. Part 10: Practicing the Internal Metronome Butch leads us through a clapping and counting exercise that helps us experience the Internal Metronome, AND reinforce how we can learn to trust it.
12. Part 11: Conclusion Butch uses his experience of an Art School class that seemed NOT to apply ended up affecting everything he did. Like using these exercises can help your playing!

Music GlobeExtras

  • Here is Butch's intro video, where he tells about himself.

  • Butch also teaches two videos on Right Hand Techniques.

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