August 10, 2011 life 2 min read

I’ve always struggled with rhythm.

As I was learning to play guitar I felt like I could master all the other aspects of music. I could learn the mechanics of forming chords and finger picking. I could easily grasp the theory behind scales and how chords are formed.

But I could never quite get the rhythm. Even if I would play with a metronome, I would be so distracted by trying to count the beats, that everything else would fall apart.

With enough practice, I have gotten to the point where I can usually keep a beat. I can sense if I am speeding up or slowing down the tempo. But I still can’t count the beats. I have a gut feeling of when I have played a measure and when it’s time to change chords, but occasionally I skip a beat or add an extra beat without noticing.

Looking back, I realized that my struggle with rhythm has distracted me from further pursuing the aspects of music that I am able to master. I learned the basics of theory and mechanics, but I never invested the time or energy into mastering them because I was so distraught over not being able to master rhythm.

As I’ve been working on building up discipline in other areas of my life, I have found that I still struggle with rhythm. I’m trying to learn to count the beats of every day life, but there are often days where I skip or add beats. I can’t keep a constant tempo from day to day.

But because I’m so focused on my struggle with rhythm, I find myself distracted from the mechanics of every day life. I overlook the things that I can master.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.