The button below will open the Rhythm Tutor in a new tab suitable for full screen viewing.
If the sound becomes unsynchronized, simply press stop and play again.
This is a known issue and we’re working to resolve it.
The Rhythm Tutor is an interactive tool for learning basic two-tone rhythmic patterns. While the default to learn the patterns with Boomwhackers, any other percussion instrument that allows you to create both high and low sounds, such as a djembe, bongos, tick-tock blocks or agogo bells will work. If instruments are not available, try tapping two different sized tin cans with pencils, or tapping a table with a 2 litre soda bottle in one hand and a 500 ml bottle with the other. Instruments are not even required — just tapping patterns out on your knees is a great way to learn.
The columns of the grid represent all possible 8th notes in two measures of music in common or 4/4 time. (The Beat Division button allows you to change this to 16th notes in one measure.) Circles in the grid represent notes. The bottom row shows when LOW NOTES should be played, the top row shows HIGH NOTES. Players simply have to follow along with their respective low and high sounds on the instrument of their choosing.
The text below the notes provides a mnemonic that can be learned to help with memorizing the rhythm. The words highlight as they are to be spoken along with the rhythmic pattern when the player is running.
The idea behind the Rhythm Tutor is to teach students how to play rhythmic patterns by striking their Boomwhackers, drums, or other instruments when the blue playhead highlights high and low notes. It adds another dimension to musical learning by including a visual interface to help follow along with the rhythm.
If using Boomwhackers, every player will need two instruments of different pitches. Depending on what settings you are using, it may or may not matter what pitches the player has. See Switching Sounds below.
Setting Boomwhackers to particular pitches is best for individual practice or small groups where everyone has the same matching pitches. Otherwise, play along with one of the drum sounds, which will be more distinct for those with various Boomwhackers to hear.
Choose a pattern – This drop down menu allows users to choose one of the pre-set rhythmic patterns.
Choose a Dum Loop – This drop down menu allows users to add a "backing beat" to the rhythmic pattern. Choose from 1 of 6 options.
Play/Pause Button – This will start or pause the pattern, allowing you to see the play head and hear the notes as they are highlighted. Note - sometimes the animation does not synch with the music. Simply stop and start over again if this happens.
Stop Button – This stops the player and removes the play head.
BPM slider – This controls the speed (or Tempo) of the rhythm. BPM stands for beats per minute. Keep in mind that there are four 16th notes per beat, so at 60 BPM, the player will loop every 4 seconds.
Beat Division – This button can change the division of the beat from to two measures of 1/8th notes to one measure of 16th notes. It is recommended to keep the setting on 1/8th notes for younger leaners. Switching the setting to 16th notes will halve the BPM, to reflect the change in how beats are counted.
Pattern Volume – This slider will control the volume of the main rhythmic pattern. Mute the pattern entirely by pressing the mute button.
Pattern Volume – This slider will control the volume of the main backing drum loop. Mute the pattern entirely by pressing the mute button.
To add a note to the composition, simply click on any empty point in the grid.
To remove a note, click on its circle.
The program allows users to switch the playback sound between drums or Boomwhackers. By choosing drums, a drop down menu will appear that allows users to choose from a variety of drum sounds from around the world. Choosing Boomwhackers will allow users to pick individual low and high notes to see and hear. This option is particularly useful if individuals or small groups are playing the pattern and can match their Boomwhacker colours/notes exactly.
Refresh the page in the browser to reset to default settings.
The nice thing about the Rhythmic Looper is that it doesn't really matter which instruments you use, as long as you can create a distinction between LOW and High sounds.
Typically, each player will have two different Boomwhackers, one in each hand.
One of the best ways to pair instruments is using equal intervals, which are the distances between notes in a musical scale. They are named like finishing places in a race after the winner (second, third, fourth, etc).
For example, one fifth above the low C would be G. Likewise, one fifth below the high C would be F.
The default setting of the Rhythmic Tutor has the notes set to the lowest possible pairing of a fifth. There are four possible pairings of a fifth with a standard one octave set of Boomwhackers. Try dividing players with pairings in fifths as follows:
Another common interval pairing is the interval of one fourth. Try one of these pairings if you have enough Boomwhackers to supply everyone
Omit either the top two notes of the standard one octave set for a more mellow, happy harmonic effect.
Omit the bottom two notes for something a bit crunchy sounding.
You'll find that certain combinations work best for some rhythms that don't use strict interval pairings. The important thing is to experiment, mix and match, and have fun.
We soon hope to include the ability for registered users to create rhythms with mnemonic phrases, and save these compositions as pre-sets.
Registered users will also have access to more rhythmic patterns, including sets that create polyrhythmic patterns that can be played in the Whacky Looper.
For now, see what you can create by adding or subtracting notes from existing patterns.
For comments or feature suggestions, please Contact Us!
We are experiencing some difficulties getting the Whacky Looper to work in all web browsers, on all platforms.
We’re working hard to resolve this, but in the meantime, the following steps may provide a solution.
This program seems to work best in Google Chrome, in both MacOS and Windows.
If experiencing troubles in Google Chrome you may have to specifically allow the site to play sound from www.whackywizards.com
Microsoft Edge seems to work nearly as well as Chrome.
Currently, the looper does not want to work in Safari. Hopefully the next Safari update will fix this.
In Firefox certain colours and buttons may not appear properly, and the sound seems to lag.
Internet Explorer will run portions of the program with some help. Choose the pattern you would like from the menu. DO NOT try to add a drum loop. Press play.
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