ARTIST FEATURE: From composing to playing with Bobby McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma, meet Badi Assad, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and vocal artist! We are so happy that she decided to share her wisdom with us!
1) How do you practice your rhythm and sense of time?
I practice it mainly with body percussion. A very complex material that helps the overall polyrhythm. The notion of time is developed with a metronome, there is no other way to keep up with our inconstancy. As the announcement of our lives begins with the beating of our hearts, it is understandable that our inner rhythm is not constant, since the heartbeat itself is varied. Something natural due to the aerobic and emotional variations that we suffer in the course of our daily lives and having the heart responding directly to it. So we got to practice to educate ourselves to play a steady beat. The practice with the metronome is essential.
2) What are your favorite rhythmic exercises?
Thinking of a 4/4, I mark the head of each beat with my feet hitting the floor alternately, while my hands make a rhythm by clapping, lasting 2 bars. After repeating this same rhythmic structure for 4 times, I transfer the mark of each time (that the feet were doing) to the hands… while the rhythm cell that my hands were doing is transferred to the feet. The game is to take turns between hands and feet until this becomes natural. Later I alternate the rhythms the palms were doing and challenge myself to the shift once again.
3) What exotic rhythms do you like and what can we learn from it?
One of my favorite rhythms is called maracatu and comes from the Northeast of Brazil. It has its origin in Africa and is made in such a way that it brings me back to mother earth and to our African ancestors, in a very intense way. When one plays the maracatu, it is impossible not to have the hips moving and the feet quiet, not attempting to punch the floor in an atavistic manner. Something that leads us to a giant grounding of energies. An act to celebrate life.
4) Can you name one thing that you like about the metronome on metronomeonline.com?
It helps me to keep the beat! in a very easy way 🙂
VIDEO: Check out Badi’s One Woman Band video and follow her Youtube channel