Are you Beat-Deaf?

That's pretty interesting. I have a friend who is awful at clapping in time (at gigs) and nodding his head in sync, even. I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying he has a condition though. I think there are lots of "beat-deaf" people out there, but I'm willing to bet that they'd be able to learn how to not be "beat-deaf" if they did something rhythmic on a regular basis (playing drums for example..)
 

chaymus

Senior Member
great article. I might be, music & dancing have always been extremely difficult for me and the idea of "feeling" anything only started to come about after over a decade of music and nearly 2 years of dancing. I got by with being methodical and using subdivisions, but there are many songs that I have no idea what they are, and am absolutely clueless at picking out odd time signature until it's given to me.
 

T.Underhill

Pioneer Member
First thought of The Jerk when reading the thread title.

I believe my wife is completely beat deaf. Can't tap a foot or finger to save her life, it's very bizzare.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
So...

If this beat-deafness is genetic, could the same be said for musical talent? What if there's a rhythmic form of perfect pitch? A human metronome would be interesting.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Nice find, GD. Usually in a population you'd expect beat awareness to conform to a bell curve, I suspect they might need to do more thorough research because I can guarantee that the timing of the other test subjects was not uniform. In statistical terms, it seems that this fellow is an "outlier" (in standard parlance, "weird").
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I thought that only happened to white people. I'M KIDDING I'M KIDDING I'M KIDDING....;)

Didn't mean to go there, but I just had to. That's a weird piece, but I would think that, like alot of things, if the desire is there to learn how to do it, you could. They talked about maybe not diggin' the music listened to, but then what of those Greek folks who don't play anything in 4? Maybe the guy in the article naturally feels his pulses on 3, 7, and 11, who knows? I suppose rather than create a class of people inflicted with this condition, you could sum it up as musicians since the dawn of time have been summing it up: you either got it, or you don't. And it shouldn't be considered a bad thing if you don't have it. Your strengths just lie somewhere else. Like I would never make a great neurosurgeon.
 

eamesuser

Silver Member
All right,that is enough trash talk from you,Miss Pollyanna, I think Bo's implant talents are probably limited to QC and inspection.Back to the original post,could it be some people are Beatarded?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
All right,that is enough trash talk from you,Miss Pollyanna, I think Bo's implant talents are probably limited to QC and inspection.Back to the original post,could it be some people are Beatarded?
Maybe a more politically correct term is needed, like "differently-beated."

Seriously, I think some people really do struggle with it. I've met a few of them. And I personally never found steady tempos easy or natural, though not to the degree they are talking about. I pretty much had to learn it. I wasn't a natural drummer at all (and I'm sure it shows!). So I can sure see Polly's idea of a bell curve.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ok, I can the trash talk ... can ... trash ... hohoho sorry ... Edmund Hillary syndrome again. Bo, as long as you're sure about the QC ...

But geez, Eames, your PC chops seem on a similar level to my decorum chops ... but ID, "Differently Beated" is commendably considerate but a grammatical disaster. "Differently Beatled"? "Differently Beaten" (say, with a cat o' eight tails?). Personally, I like the old terms like "unco", "klutz" and "has two left feet".

Bo Eder said:
... you could sum it up as musicians since the dawn of time have been summing it up: you either got it, or you don't.
It feels about right, but there's levels. You have those special few who have GOT IT. A smallish number who have got some of IT. A whole lot more who have got a bit of IT (I'm probably bottom-dwelling somewhere in that one). Heaps of people have got somewhere between a teensy bit of IT and bugger all of IT. And then you have poor old Mathieu :)
 

belairien

Silver Member
Some times im beat deaf lol. i got into drums easily, but my brother on the other hand, ive never seen him able to keep a consistent beat, even while listening to music. of course maybe its that dang "gangsta rap" he listens to, so the lack of consistent drums/bass/guitar/anything that keeps time, might just mean he can't learn it from what he listens too. (**kick...snare** pause for 20 seconds while vocals go in a monotone, seemingly beat-less, voice)

or maybe its just cause he doesn't know music... after all he did ask me what "BASS" is...*
*note he used the pronunciation of the fish "bass"
 

braincramp

Gold Member
This is a terrible story...My wife and I were at a new church a couple months ago and there was a band...piano, bass and guitar... in the audience there was a person playing tamborine occasionally that was so out of beat and time that it made it tough on the band to play the songs...after the service I said something to my wife about the horrible tamborine player..."how could someone be that bad" "I dont know why they even allow the person to play"...I went on and on with my "I'm a drummer rant" and my wife finally stopped me and said "I guess you didn't notice the girl playing the tamborine has down syndrome huh?" oops I felt rotten needless to say...
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Let's not forget that a good sense of time is a skill required by all musicians. You can be the tightest drummer in the world, but if the singer just doesn't get it, you're screwed.

I agree with Polly. All skills are apportioned by degrees. The fortunate and unfortunate few occupy the extremes of the spectrum. Myself & my wife are prime examples. She has zero independance skills. There's no way she can walk past a shoe or handbag shop without stopping, whereas I have no problem walking straight on by without so much as a glance, lol!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ouch Braincramp! I felt the pain over here in Oz.

Andy, how's your independence when passing by a shop with musical instruments in the window? Can you not stop? I sure as hell can't stop.

Pity dysrhythmia and arrhythmia are already taken, eh?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think Beat Challenged, or Rhythm Challenged would be proper, but since there is not yet a support group or charity, I think Beat Deaf is still OK.
 
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