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Rhythm Without the Blues

Paul Babelay By Paul Babelay

2009-10, Paul Babelay. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission (Please do not reprint without asking permission!)

I love helping people get their music together.  For over 25 years I've been able to write, play, arrange and record music for all sorts  of projects.  Sometimes I liked the music.  In other situations, I might not have liked it at all - artistically or personally.  At times the music was outside my background of experience.  But something magical happens when you leave your ego outside and choose to help somebody.

I usually learn as much or more from my clients and fellow musicians as they do from me.   I make it a point to learn from everybody, from the young and inexperienced singer-songwriter to long time pros.  We're really all very similar - good at some things, not at others.  All in need of at least a little help, and all needed to help one another.  Not really all that complicated.

The things I'm good at will be offered here for you to grab and use as you need.  I try to help people find weak spots in how they handle the rhythmic aspects of music.  This isn't just because I'm a percussionist, but because of my background in writing and production.

Rhythm is the most basic and fundamental element of music. Try to use melody or harmony without it.  You can't.  (If you're not sure what I mean by that, check out "The Rhythm Section" on my website,  

My tips, articles and suggestions may emphasize rhythm, but always, the bottom line is the music,the vibe. A weak song or composition cannot be fixed with great production and rhythm tracks.  It will end up like many of today's Hollywood over-budget movies... great special effects - not much plot.

So stay away from that quantize button, create your own unique loops & parts, don't assume anything, and ask questions when you need help.  You'll grow in groove, song & heart.

Our world needs great music.  Your music.  Come on...Let's get your vibe on.

A short bio


  • Songwriting Techniques -- WMD'S: Weapons of Musical Destruction - Most songwriting tips let us know all the things we should be doing for success. But there are some things that we also should not be doing if we want success. This is written "tongue-in-cheek", all in fun. It will help you identify some of the major song killers.  Enjoy!
  • Free Songwriting Tips that Point You to Simplicity - You have probably heard before "keep it simple." But how do we do that? It's easier said than done sometimes. Let us point you to some keys of simplicity that will help you keep the main thing the main thing.
  • Rhythm Injuries -- Call in the Red Cross - As a producer/percussionist I have noticed specific problem areas that always seem to come up in songwriting.  "If I've heard these once I've heard them a hundred times".... Take a look at some of the most common problems and their solutions in the area of rhythm.
  • Music Rhythm is the Foundation - Understanding the importance of rhythm in songwriting is one key to great songwriting. Let's look closely at the role of rhythm as the foundation to any song, no matter the genre.

A short bio:
Vibraphonist, Paul Babelay is always amazed he makes a living doing what he loves. In addition, he considers Asheville, NC the coolest place on earth to raise a family. PB also performs as a drummer, percussionist and composer. With a Master of Music from the University of North Texas, he has accompanied artists ranging from comedians Don Rickles and Martin Short to Contemporary Christian singer, Darlene Zscheche. Over 25 years of playing, writing and recording have led to valuable tips for songwriters and musicians on his popular website, Check out his tunes and good vibes at

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