Archive for

Make Boring Cardio Fun Again With A Hip Hop Music Dance Workout

Get those extra pounds moving and exercise your heart too, with a hip hop music workout. Look forward to exercising rather than dreading it. The addition of fast paced music to a fitness routine makes it more fun. It may also mean you exercise more regularly. Dancing for cardio fitness may even become one of your favorite parts of the day. If you’ve ever seen dance shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” you are well aware of the fact that dancing sheds fat and is an excellent source of cardio exercise.

A varied exercise routine is one of the keys to a lifetime of fitness. Do strength training to keep your bones and muscles in shape. Do cardio work to keep your heart, arteries and veins healthy. You need to engage in some sort of cardio multiple times each week for heart health. The best cardio program is able to get your heart beating fast for an extended period of time. Songs are a good way to measure both the intensity and the length of your heart exercise.

Figure out the number at which you heart is being pushed to perform. The older you are the lower the number will be. Age is not a barrier to cardio workouts. In fact, as you age cardio exercise becomes more important. Ask your health care provider if it is all right for you to get involved in a cardio program before beginning any exercise.

Hip hop music and cardio go well together because the beat of the songs is generally fast and consistent. Moving at a rapid clip is one of the best ways to push up your circulation. A musical hook repeated several times throughout a song makes during a repetitive exercise easier, too.

Find songs that energize you and make the job of exercising more fun. You can fill up your iPod or other mp3 player with songs that make you want to dance. There are also several DVDs and mix tapes available with songs chosen especially for working out. If hip hop music is not your main preference in dance music there’s also several programs that offer the same type of exercise using rock music and other genres.

The health benefits of dancing for cardio fitness will start to show up quickly. Just thirty minutes several times a week can show weight loss improvements in a short time. Add a hip hop music workout to your exercise program today to start seeing immediate results. The improvements in your cardio health will be evident in all of your fitness regimen.

How to Keep to Time Playing Piano and Other Music Instruments

The problem with not keeping to time in music is that you sow bad habits, which results in music with no rhythm, sounding all over the place. When you play along with your teacher, friends, family or to a CD/tape, the risk is always that you run ahead of the music you play to. This creates chaos and ensures everything sounds off-kilter. In these cases, what needs to be exercised are CDSC – Concentration, Discipline and Self Control.

Now if you’re put off by these last four words, don’t be! These are great qualities which can be integrated into your learning to help you play music in time.

Time, speed and rhythm are essential in playing any instrument. These are all important because what would seem like a bunch of notes to the listener, now becomes an understandable and identifiable tune. Time speed and rhythm act as the framework, the ‘skeleton’ if you like.

To get a sense of time and rhythm when playing a piece of music, you need to have/develop good hearing and a feel for beats and pulse. Some people say ‘I have no rhythm’ (mainly referring to dance) however, nearly everyone has the ability to nod their head to the beat of their favourite tune.

As an example, if you were to play your favourite song now and had to sing to it, you’d probably make a good go of copying the rhythm of the words so they fell on the right beats.

This same approach should be adopted for when playing an instrument. In the case of piano, it means transferring how you’d sing your song into how you’d play it on the keyboard.

The simple way to develop your rhythm is with simple clapping exercises.

First, get someone (friend, family, music teacher/tutor etc) to clap anything to begin with. Your aim is simply to copy the clapping. The more accurate you are, the more you’ll be able to copy rhythms you hear. Make sure they make their clapping progressively more advanced so you know at what stage you can still copy what you hear.

Get someone to play a rhythmic melody (piano or any other instrument will do) sand see if you can copy the rhythm played with clapping. Then respond but this time with playing your instrument instead.

Listen to your favourite piece of music and nod your head. This can be done by listening for the bass line (the lowest-sounding part of the music) which can be bass guitar, drums, or any other deep electronic beats/sounds underpinning the music. Start clapping or clicking your fingers. This is when you feel and ‘get’ the beat.

Get a metronome and listen to the particular ‘beeps’ (if electronic like the Qwik Time QT7, Boss DB60 Dr Beat or any Clip-On Digital metronome that will help you play in perfect time) or ‘click’/'chimes’ (if a traditional pendulum-style one like a Wittner Classic). To begin with when listening, see if you can clap on those beeps/chimes only. After a while, test yourself by increasing the speed and see if you can still clap exactly at the time these sounds occur.

Develop ear training and aural skills. Aural test CDs can help with this. Again, when playing the CD, you will have exercises for singing back a melody which will be sung in a certain rhythm. Sing it back exactly the same way, including the rhythm. For example, if I were to sing “Twiiii-nkle, Twiiii-nkle, Liiiii-tle Star”, then you would aim to sing it back the same way, e.g. slowly. An understanding of basic music theory helps as when playing, you can see if you’re holding notes for longer or shorter than necessary according to the time signature given at the start of the music.

When learning to play in time, start slowly so you can understand the concept of falling on the beat. If you have a metronome and set it at too fast a speed, you’ll simply learn bad habits, so make sure you can nod to the beep/chime/click etc as well as play to it.

Record yourself. You need to hear when you’re going out of time with the music you’r e playing to. It could be a basic guitar riff or baseline or some simple chords played with your left hand. If you have lessons, get your teacher to record you while you play the music together. Make sure he/she doesn’t tell you if you’re out of time. After playing back you’ll soon know if you were in time with your teacher’s playing or not.


When listening to your favourite music, try nodding to the beat, then clapping or clicking your fingers to time. Record yourself doing this then play back. What were the results? If you’re not sure, get someone with ‘better ears’ to comment and help out. Do regularly until you’ve developed an understanding of coming on time.