What is upbeat?

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If you want to be able to get the rhythm in the upbeat, I will explain about the upbeat, the reference example of the rhythm in the upbeat, the difference with the downbeat, the reason it is said that Japanese are not good at taking the rhythm in the upbeat, the reason why you should get it, and the merits of being able to get the rhythm in the upbeat at this time. Finally, I will introduce how to get the rhythm in the upbeat.

■ What is upbeat?

In music, upbeat is a musical term that is also used to mean the second half of the first and second half of the beat. For example, when the rhythm of “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 …” is taken with a quarter beat song, the part of “and” is upbeat. It is important to be aware of the upbeats when taking rhythm in Western songs and playing musical instruments.

◆ Reference example of rhythm with upbeat

Rock, Jazz, Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop, etc. are typical for the music that needs to take rhythm in the upbeat. Here, I would like to introduce a song that can be easily understood by beginners, what upbeats are. I recommend the song called “One Love”, a Jamaican reggae musician named Bob Marley. This song was sung by Bob Marley in 1977. “One Love” is one of reggae music’s representative songs. When you listen to the song, the rhythm of “Zun Cha” is the upbeat of the “cha” part. It is a song that is sung by various people, but it is a song that is sung by the chorus corps, beginning with gospel choir. Please listen by all means.

I also recommend listening to Jazz. The rhythm of Jazz swing is based on an accent on the upbeat. A swing is a form of performance as a feature of Jazz. Because the rhythm that emphasizes the upbeat is taken, you can understand the unique rhythm and paste.

◆ The difference with the downbeat

Unlike upbeats, in music, the downbeat is a musical term used to mean the first half of the first and second halves of the beat. For example, the part of the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 when the rhythm of “1, 2, 3, 4” is taken with a quarter beat song becomes the downbeat.

◆ The reason why Japanese people are not good at taking rhythm in upbeat

It is generally said that Japanese people are not good at taking rhythm in the upbeat. One of the reasons is considered to be the cultural background of Japan. For example, in concerts and live performances, the listeners in the venue may have a situation where they are not beaten by the rhythm, such as clapping with their face beats, despite the music that feels backbeats. There is no doubt that in the concert halls such as Enka and folk songs where there are a lot of elderly spectators, there is a tendency to take the hands clapping on the face. In this way, Japanese “not renown in rhythm” is considered to be one of the factors that “the rhythm can not be taken in the upbeat”, that is, it is said that the Japanese are not good at taking the rhythm in the upbeat.

◆ The merit of taking rhythm by upbeat

As an advantage to take the rhythm in the upbeat, it becomes possible to take a finer rhythm, and the musicality is enhanced. A sense of rhythm is trained, and it becomes possible to correspond to various melodies. When playing improvisational music such as Jazz (playing while the performer composes on the fly regardless of the determined score), it is a necessary technique to catch the rhythm and capture the rhythm (backbeat) instantly. By taking the rhythm in the upbeat, you will also find the musical goodness that you did not notice before. That is because the listening power is improved and the sensitivity is sharper than before. As a listener, if you can make your way of taking rhythm with upbeat, you will be able to take advantage of that experience and also have the opportunity to sing songs in public and play instruments.

■ Practice to take upbeat rhythm

To train the sense of rhythm, it is often thought that it is necessary to go to the music classroom. Here are some simple exercises that you can do at home.

◆ Practice using a metronome

The practice of using a metronome is basic. Let’s do it as a basic training at the beginning of practice. The metronome picks up the downbeat, so it takes upbeat in line with the rhythm. Prepare a metronome, repeat practice from a tempo that is not very fast, but if you increase the speed little by little, learning becomes faster. It is a classical way to practice with different rhythms. Also, without a metronome, you may not get the right sense of rhythm. I think that you understand.

◆ Practice how to take rhythm with your body

There is a practice that uses the body to take rhythm. For example, beat the front beat with your left hand with your thigh and your upbeat with your right hand. If you practice with your favorite music, you will have less trouble. To cultivate a sense of rhythm, it is recommended to instill the rhythm into your body. However, even if it is important to take the rhythm in the upbeat, it does not make sense if the rhythm can not be matched to the song. First of all, listen to the song you want to take the rhythm and find one sound that sounds like a certain sense. For example, sounds like “Don” and “Don” that are said to be four strokes such as dance music may be easy to understand. Use your body to get the rhythm according to the song you choose. First of all, it is important to infiltrate the body on how to get the rhythm over and over again. If you are not familiar with rhythm practice, please refer to it.

◆ Practice method to listen to western music habitually conscious of backbeat

Traditional Japanese music is a culture based on the surface. The movements of traditional arts such as Kabuki and Noh and Japanese dance and the movement of martial arts are based on face beats. Especially in Japanese dance and Bon dance, hand-clapping is beaten with emphasis on the surface beat. In our daily lives, we need to increase the opportunity to listen to western music such as Rock, Jazz, Reggae, Ska, Hip Hop. Music in these genres consists of music with an emphasis on upbeats. Regularly listening to Western music conscious of upbeats will nourish the sense of rhythm and musical sense, and it will be good training. Music is a time art, so it is important to understand the rhythm. An understanding of Western music that emphasizes upbeat is also essential to one factor that produces a lively rhythm. Be interested in other music genres besides your favorite music.

Prepare your training environment. By practicing, you can enhance your musicality. Please try by all means.

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