The Basics

                                                             The Basics


To review, phonemes combine to make syllables, and syllables combine in rhythmic sequences to create speech.  In Rhythmic Phonetic Training, you learn the rhythm and syllables separately, then practice them together to construct the actual speech.
The Flow of Spanish refers to the Rhythm and Syllables as “The Basics.”  The reason why we learn the Syllables and Rhythm separately is because it can be too much for your brain to handle all at once.  Remember, The Flow of Spanish is completely different from the Flow of English.
In other words, the syllable and rhythm patterns are completely different between the two languages, so you currently lack the Phonetic Infrastructure needed to process Spanish in its entirety.  
Separately Learning the Basics of Spanish speech is the first step in building this Phonetic Infrastructure.  Eventually, you will be able to process the basic elements automatically.

        The Syllables

For the rest of this primer, you will follow the process of Rhythmic Phonetic Training to learn two lines of an English song.  Since its English, you will have no trouble learning the lyrics, so you can focus more on understanding the actual process of Rhythmic Phonetic Training.

    • Listen closely to each syllable and read along with the phonetic notation.
    • Repeat each syllable out loud to yourself, mimicking the speaker exactly.

   Lines 1-2



Lines 3-4   




The Rhythm

To focus exclusively on the rhythm of a spoken phrase or song lyric, Rhythmic Phonetic Training uses a special language calledUniversal Rhythmic Binary (URB).  By repeatedly chanting the URB out loud to ourselves, we can internalize the rhythm of the song lyric without having to focus on all the individual phonemes.  In URB, each syllable is replaced by either a “DA” or a “di”.  “DA” represents a stressed syllable, and “di” represents an unstressed syllable. When chanting URB, it is critical that you emphasize the difference between the stressed and unstressed syllable, since…

…the stress pattern is THE most important feature of language Flow.   

Our brain relies heavily on stress pattern expectations when processing the 30 phonemes per second of average speech.  Learning the URB may seem unnecessary to you at first, especially if you already have developed rhythmic perception abilities.  As you learn Spanish lyrics and phrases with faster and more complex rhythmic structures, however, the URB will help you greatly.The audio files below below break down the rhythm for the two lines you are learning in this lesson.

  1. Press the “play” and listen to the entire track to familiarize yourself with the rhythm.
  2. Play the audio file again, this time practicing chanting along with the speaker, being sure to emphasize the volume difference be stressed “DA” and unstressed “di”.

Once you are comfortable with the rhythm, try chanting it out loud several times by yourself.

Lines 1-2

 Lines 3-4

                                        <<<Introduction                 Construction>>>


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