Bowing Exercises – Tempo and Rhythm

Now, I am moving on to bowing exercises in tempos and rhythms. Hmmm, what does that mean? With virtually only a minute amount of musical experience from when I was a teenager, I am unsure of their definitions, so I had to look them up. I learned Tempo is the speed or pace of a piece of music, how slowly or fast it is played. The Tempo is measured in Beats per Minute (BPM). Rhythm is the arrangement of the sounds, in a regular and repeated pattern, in a given piece of music. Ah, so I am going to be bowing an arrangement of notes (a rhythm) at a specified speed or BPM (tempo).

Fiddlehed has a number of bowing lessons with a lot of exercises in different tempos and simple rhythms. He provides an MP3 for each that starts at 60 BPM and gradually progresses to 120 BPM. These allow me to play along, and they have been very helpful. They start with playing on one string with a progressive tempo, to moving between strings with a progressive tempo. Some are with quarter notes, some with eighth notes, and some with a combination of quarter and eighth notes.

I decided it might not be a bad idea to get a metronome for myself. I want to make up some other rhythms for myself and play them at various tempos. While there are metronome apps for smart phones, computer software downloads, and actual metronomes I could buy, I was unable to find one that would increase the tempo at intervals like the ones in Fiddlehed’s lessons.

I emailed Jason, that’s Fiddlehed, and asked him if he knew such a beast. He wrote back within a couple of hours and attached a customized MP3 for me he created with just beats in a progressive tempo that I can practice my own rhythms to. How cool was that?

So, now I not only have bowing exercises to help me play one string at a time and practice tempos and rhythms, I can make up some of my own. Some of each will be part of my daily practice as I begin the next step: finally putting my left hand fingers on the strings and beginning scales. Do Re Mi … 🙂

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