Ever have trouble with a rhythm?
Clapping takes the tiny, complicated movements involved in playing the guitar out of the equation. The big movements of clapping are easily accomplished, and it’s a great way to get the rhythm in your ear really quickly.
In fact, I’d say that we would all benefit from more rhythm studies with just clapping. One of the core parts of an undergraduate music program is an ear training course. In addition to all of the listening/transcribing stuff, these courses include a lot of singing and a lot of clapping. We had an entire book with just rhythms. Some were in two lines (one for each hand). Others were just single lines, and some were even three lines (two hands and a foot).
Accurate rhythmic reading is one of the most important parts of sight reading (and every day playing), so it’s worth spending some time on. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy a book. There’s a great website that automatically generates rhythms in various meters: Practice Sight Reading. Try spending some practice time just clapping (easily done for five minutes during a lunch break) and see what happens.
Anyone else clap rhythms?