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  1. #1

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    So I looked around the forum, and no one brought up this topic... so I will

    We're often taught, lock in with the rhythm section--especially when you are a rhythm section player.

    Now, this thread is as much about comping as it is about soloing or phrasing a melody.

    Sure, you can lock in with the hi hat and use it to mark your "two and four"

    Or you can listen to the ride.

    What about getting your time from the snare hits, or the bass bombs? Yes, they aren't as "regular" or "predictable", but I think there's more information in the snare hits and bass drum hits than in the hat or ride.

    There's sign posts that an experienced rhythm section will give to a soloist--these sign posts mark the form. But they don't have to be purely harmonic. I think the most effective sign posts for me are rhythmic--even fro the pianist or guitarist.

    I think this is a topic worth exploring--I'm revisited it from 6 years prior, in "new clothes" so to speak--so we can do it ourselves. Reg, where are you? He got into this conversation with me a while back when I discovered (for myself) that effective comping is all about phrasing (just like solo'ing).

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  3. #2

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    It’s a good topic. My first thought is that “locking in” doesn’t necessarily mean copying their rhythms, although of course it can. I think of locking in as sharing a sense of time, listening to their rhythms, and responding or complementing what they are doing. It could even mean leaving space at the right time. Doing the muted bongo thing in guitar in syncopation with the drum rhythm might be another example (as we’ve heard each other do recently!).

  4. #3
    Yupe, yupe--bongo, bongo

    I talked about your time feel with our bass player friend and we both agreed, you are a SOLID comper (and player, but I think accompaniment is more important).

    Glad you like the topic, I was thinking more about my comping when listening back to our local jam session. I'm still too busy in my comping, so it got me thinking. Where should I place my hits so that I both support and propel the soloist? It all comes from understanding the language of sign posts that the other rhythm section players communicate.

    Maybe it's a cross stick click on the 4th beat of every other measure (marking a two bar phrase).

    Maybe it's how a pianist plays successive eighth note hits at the end of a four bar phrase of comping.

    Sign posts are all about feeling larger sections of time--marcro time. I've found that recognizing these macro time sign posts have helped me solo and comp more "musically"

    Mulgrew Miller once said that your comping should make people wanna dance. I think there's a huge lesson in that!

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Yupe, yupe--bongo, bongo

    I talked about your time feel with our bass player friend and we both agreed, you are a SOLID comper (and player, but I think accompaniment is more important).

    Glad you like the topic, I was thinking more about my comping when listening back to our local jam session. I'm still too busy in my comping, so it got me thinking. Where should I place my hits so that I both support and propel the soloist? It all comes from understanding the language of sign posts that the other rhythm section players communicate.

    Maybe it's a cross stick click on the 4th beat of every other measure (marking a two bar phrase).

    Maybe it's how a pianist plays successive eighth note hits at the end of a four bar phrase of comping.

    Sign posts are all about feeling larger sections of time--marcro time. I've found that recognizing these macro time sign posts have helped me solo and comp more "musically"

    Mulgrew Miller once said that your comping should make people wanna dance. I think there's a huge lesson in that!
    There’s a lot to be said for working on getting the Charleston really good.

    And Charleston variant on beat 3. Wes did a lot of this.

    You’ve already commented on my clave video, and the 2 3 clave is so common in Basie, the ultimate jazz for dancing.... two bar version of the same thing.

    Also the opanije phrase (2 3 clave compatible) is really common in Miles’s music. That comping figure Red uses when the music is in cut time, the riff from new milestones, and so on.

    Also pushes on 1 and 3, which is a distillation of the jump jive upbeat thing.

    That used to be people’s meal ticket. Now we think comping is about playing wanky chords.

    Reg is a guy to listen to when he comps. You know that.

  6. #5
    yupe, you found me on Youtube, you snide snoshsage

    Yep, I know Reg is the guy to get those funky rhythms.

    But Chris, we never get each other on these here interwebs...

    I wasn't talking about building rhythmic vocabulary for comping--that's extremely important...

    But, what I was talking about was communicating rhythms between members of the rhythm section (bass--to--drums, drums--to--piano/guitar, bass--to-piano/guitar)

    the communication between rhythm section and soloist

    And how members of the rhythm section mark larger sections of time. I'm thinking a marker for a two measures, or a marker for four measures.

    This gets into rhythmic phrasing--ie, how do you connect your rhythmic vocabulary in such a way that you can build a phrase that makes sense to the soloist and still be tied into the fabric that the rhythm section is weaving--we are a team in the rhythm section, right?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    yupe, you found me on Youtube, you snide snoshsage

    Yep, I know Reg is the guy to get those funky rhythms.

    But Chris, we never get each other on these here interwebs...

    I wasn't talking about building rhythmic vocabulary for comping--that's extremely important...

    But, what I was talking about was communicating rhythms between members of the rhythm section (bass--to--drums, drums--to--piano/guitar, bass--to-piano/guitar)

    the communication between rhythm section and soloist

    And how members of the rhythm section mark larger sections of time. I'm thinking a marker for a two measures, or a marker for four measures.

    This gets into rhythmic phrasing--ie, how do you connect your rhythmic vocabulary in such a way that you can build a phrase that makes sense to the soloist and still be tied into the fabric that the rhythm section is weaving--we are a team in the rhythm section, right?
    Oh OK.

    I think you (or one) should play dance gigs.... basic stuff, but dancers dance to structures as well as tempos. They are improvising too.

    You can’t just play a non functional harmony 11 bar tune at the right tempo. It’s funny though because the language they use is totally different.

    Solos have to have clear structure too. That’s probably one of the main reasons why swing dancers don’t like bebop.

    It’s basics, but I think as a section player it’s a great grounding from which to go out and do more complicated stuff. And your meat and potatoes modern jazz isn’t that different actually.

    It’s not anything I’ve intellectualised. Most of this stuff I’ve picked up on the gig, and listening.

    Plus when I’m playing with a rhythm sections, the intuitive communication always surprises me on playback. Partly because I try to play lots with the same sections.

    Jazz isn’t about the individual as much as people think.

  8. #7
    Chris'77, I think you got a lot closer to my OP.

    I should play with dancers, but man... why do they always feel the need to step on everyone else's step--I mean literally. Whenever we went to swing gigs, the dancers would also step on my wife's feet. She HATED that.

    Jazz is definitely about the collective--that's why understanding as many non verbal cues as possible is so important. Bringing dancers into the mix and responding to THEIR sense of tempo instead of the band's--that's a cool idea.

    It's like the other night. I was playing a jam with a bunch of guitarists. They were pretty good... but they kept their noses in the iPads--so much so that they missed any cue to share accompaniment or melody duties. The interaction, on their end--was lost... So I got right next to the bassist and interacted with him instead.

    I've been really getting into the idea of macro time as a way to mark phrases. Sure, some soloists might take 8 bar phrases--but if they are supported with 2 bar or 4 bar markers--I think it makes life easier and more organic than if we compers are always thinking of language that operates within a single measure.


    Here's an example:



    Listen to what Billy Cob does behind Wynton Kelly's playing at around 1:30. You hear that cross stick on every second quarter note of the bar? That's an example of a Macro marker of a measure. Billy doesn't set his hit on the downbeat, it's a click on 2. Notice what it does to Wynton's accents and overall phrase.

    When I **try** to play drums, I try to set rhythmic markers when I'm behind the set. Every two bars, I might do some sort of snare hit that is different than everything else I played--or I might place a syncopated bass bomb (or try my darndest) to mark every 4 bars.

    Pianists do this as well. Let's go back to your man in red, Mr. Garland:



    at around 22:50, Red is playing behind Miles on "Airegin". Since the tune is more up, placing the hits is crucial. An inexperienced comper will clutter with too many hits. But notice where Red places his chords to punctuate Miles' solo. Sometimes the hits occur every 2 measures. Sometimes he'll save his hits for the end of the bar--that's where I'm hearing Red mark the end of a rhythmic phrase.

    So--Charleston, yes--"Who Parked the Car" is another great rhythmic device (just say the words and you'll have the rhythm--I learned that from Jeb Patton)--but this is about organizing that rhythmic material into a larger phrase. However, like you said, we're not playing alone. You gotta hear how the rest of the rhythm section plays as well. If I was playing with Billy Cobb (how COOL would that be--I think I'd faint) and he was doing those cross sticking figures at every second quarter of the measure--I'd find a way to incorporate that into a larger phrase. Maybe a phrase at the end of every fourth measure that goes 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and (bold for the hits)
    Last edited by Irez87; 07-13-2019 at 12:08 PM.

  9. #8

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    The accented Beat could be done with the Bass also. I have heard it done with the horn section or the Rythm guitar. In a Orchestra the conductor using the baton gives the accented beat as well as tempo and time signature.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JaxJaxon View Post
    The accented Beat could be done with the Bass also. I have heard it done with the horn section or the Rythm guitar. In a Orchestra the conductor using the baton gives the accented beat as well as tempo and time signature.
    You're speakin my language here, my friend

    Keep it going!

  11. #10

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    I agree that listening to Reg is an excellent idea. His rhythmic feel while comping is verrry strong. I think there's much to be gained by trying to lift some of his approach.

    That said, the Reg videos I've seen have not been in a live group. Creating that sort of feel within a live group requires an overlapping skill set, but it isn't the same thing. You can mimic snare hits, for example, but if there's a drummer, he's playing actual snare hits and you have to lock together. And, if there's a busy piano and a "creative" bassist, the guitarist may be challenged to find a part that contributes to the band's sound.

  12. #11


  13. #12
    Chris'77 gets me, FINALLY

    I think it's because I finally decided that there is no "beer", only LAGER!

    Yey, we get to see Reg's head again

    I just wanna be clear. I'm not talking about comping rhythms in isolation. And I'm not talking about using comping rhythms on the bandstand.

    I'm talking about the communication that goes on in the rhythm section to mark the phrase...and ultimately, the form.

    I think if we listened to Reg's comping on that video--thanks, Matt!--we could find what I'm talking about.

    Reg understood this... Erg, this is when Reg and I were thinking on the same wavelength--before I started leaning in with all my ear training talk.

    Okay, so can we all agree that great soloists understand phrasing? Like, 2 bar phrases, 4 bar phrases, 8 bar and so on?

    Now let's add another layer. Great compers understand phrasing because comping and soloing occupy the same space... ask Bruce Foreman

    OH WAIT, I can... but, I'm a chicken I finally got his digits, Mike McCoy would've been so proud (I'm referring to a really old conversation)

    Dang it, this is why I need a cap. At least y'all can read this and get a laugh or be really annoyed.

    So, great compers think in phrases. That means, either with subtlety or bluntness, they are also marking the phrase--and the form for the soloist.

    Each "comper" has a language to communicate how they mark the time. We're not talking 2 and 4 or Charleston here. We're talking 2 bar, 4 bar, 8 bar. The drummer might place a series of bass bombs to offset the next phrase, the bass player might accent or double notes in a line (not double stops, but the same note in succession), the pianist/ guitarist--here's the rub. Here's where we get interesting. The pianist or guitarist might place more hits at the end of the rhythmic phrase to offset the next phrase (not measure, phrase). Or, the pianist/ guitarist might create a series of syncopated hits to offset the next phrase (maybe with hemiolas)--Bill Evans does this A LOT, especially on ballads. I'll find an example for my next post.

    I'll put it bluntly. If you all get my train of thought (If I had the time, I'd organize this into a succinct short essay...but I already spend too much time here at JGF ) than you'll see that this is a crucial conversation to be had. Too bad I'm only able to type in "train of thought" mode at the moment. If you have time, read, reread, and reread this post again. If you can find it in my posts here, this is some interesting stuff.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Chris'77 gets me, FINALLY
    Eh?

  15. #14
    oh brother...

    I guess I'll sit in my corner and think about all this interesting rhythm section stuff on my own...

    Meh...

    If I had you all in the same room, I could show you this all in person--I promise it'd make more sense.

    Till, then--back to normal programming?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    oh brother...

    I guess I'll sit in my corner and think about all this interesting rhythm section stuff on my own...

    Meh...

    If I had you all in the same room, I could show you this all in person--I promise it'd make more sense.

    Till, then--back to normal programming?
    Well it's just I didn't say anything between post #7 and #12.

  17. #16
    Cosmic, what, exactly, was there to like about Chris'77's last response?

    I meant that you liked my post about Miles Davis, that you took an interest...

    That's enough for me

    I appreciate that more than when people take jabs at me when they don't agree with my ideas.

    Chris'77, I've mistaken it before--but I get your humor more than I did before.

    I can tell when a slight is actually a slight.

  18. #17

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    I am actually genuinely confused as to what you were reacting to. My working model is you confused me with someone else who posted something of relevance.

    I’d like to know because that person gets what you mean better than I do. I can then check out what they posted.

  19. #18

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    If you don’t get what I mean, scroll back to the thread between posts #7 and #12. You appear to react positively to something I posted between those two posts but I didn’t post anything.

    It’s not really a big deal.

  20. #19
    that you took the time to read my post (comment #7) and decided to "like" it.

    That's it, nothing more. I was kidding around because we always seem to speak around each other, but we seem(?) to have a genuine respect for each other's comments and meanderings.

    That's it, no harm, no foul.

    The slighting was about other people on the forum, not you--no worries.

  21. #20
    should I try to steer this ship back on route, or should we abandon the thread?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    should I try to steer this ship back on route, or should we abandon the thread?
    Maybe the billy hart interview I posted has relevance?

    Interview with Billy Hart | DO THE M@TH

    Here it is again.

  23. #22
    Not exactly what I was talking about here, more about my Youtube comment on your clave video:

    Okay, well, see, going back to the undulation factor – the upbeats and whatever – that’s a system passed down for maybe millions of years. I tell my students, “It was around when we got here, and it’ll be here when we go.” The clavé is another word for God, as far as I’m concerned – it’s always been here, and it’ll always be here.
    So that system of that upbeat, which causes this mood and change of textures and all of that, is referred to in Spanish as clavé. Clavé means “key.” Now – what other reason would you call a pattern, the “key?” In other words, we call it clavé, but that’s a Spanish word; if we were saying clave in English, we would be playing the key. The key to what?

  24. #23
    "So, okay now, getting back to Stan Getz, undulation’s just one word. The others are clarity, projection, and placement. Some of that I got from him, some from other people"

    Hmm, that sounds eerily similar to what I've been saying. It's not the notes, it's where you PLACE the notes. What BH says here is exactly what I MEANT to say--it's about clarity, projection, and placement.

  25. #24

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    Jens Larsen has an interesting video on using a metronome exercises to practice locking in without leaning on the metronome. Start around 6:30 for the more advanced exercises.


    I think it relates to this topic as he sets the metronome to increasingly less obvious positions as you proceed through the video, which simulates some of what you need to be able to do on the bandstand. I’ve experimented with unusual metronome settings to challenge myself and it’s kind of fun. It feels much more musical than setting the metronome to quarter notes or even the 2 & 4. For example, I might set the metronome for one beat per measure, but treat that at the swing beat anticipating the 1. The options are limitless.

  26. #25

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    No one ever talks about playing along with records.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    No one ever talks about playing along with records.
    I’ve done that since I was a teenager. It might be playing one tune or one portion of a recording over & over, but I also like to turn on the radio or set my digital collection on random. The latter seems like a great exercise to prepare for the bandstand, trying to lock in and play something interesting when I have no idea what’s coming up next. It doesn’t always go well, and sometimes I’ll skip tunes that are over my head or repeat tunes that I didn’t quite get the first time.
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-18-2019 at 08:13 PM.

  28. #27
    I love trying to play along to concerts on youtube

    For a while, I tried practicing comping that way--on tunes I didn't know.

    I got a little better, but my "improvised triadic comping in a story telling vein" is still a long work in progress.

    Nothing gets you going like listening to Larry Goldings live or McCoy Tyner.

    I stole some basic voicings from Barry Harris and played them at his piano class back when I lived in NYC. He didn't pay attention to me at all, but it was still a rush.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    No one ever talks about playing along with records.
    I'm willing to talk about it. I've had this advice from several Brazilian masters in response to the question, "how can I sound less gringo?"

    I do practice that way, although more of the time I use backing tracks so I can practice lots of tunes with key changes at the speed I need. Practicing with records would probably be better. My experience with backing tracks has been quite positive.

    I don't know if practicing in unusual ways with the metronome generalizes to performance or not. I think it would probably be better to play along with recordings where the musicians go away from the time (except internally) and come back perfectly.

  30. #29

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    I practice more with a metronome than tracks. I sometimes wonder if this is a mistake.

    There's a lot you pick up when playing along with tracks... perhaps intuitively, little cues, call and response things, and so on. Also human feel, time in subtle flux, the undulations and so on. Not the pedantic, dead time of a machine.

    When it comes to doing fancy shit with the metronome I always recall Brecker saying - “I have at times used a metronome on 2 and 4. I get depressed when I do it because I rush. It [playing with a metronome on 2 and 4] does help.” – Michael Brecker

    That feeling of being depressed, I'm not sure if its helpful. I'm sure most of use would love to rush like Brecker, if that's what rushing is haha. Perhaps Brecker is right, maybe it did help... But perhaps also playing with the best musicians in the world may have had some impact as well.

    I know when I do stupid nerdy metronome stuff like in Jen's video, I nail when I'm relaxed and in touch with my instrument, not preoccupied with the mechanics of playing it. If the metronome has taught me anything it's that provided you understand how what you are playing is meant to lie with respect to the beat (a lot of people don't understand this with respect to swing, but that's another thing) then whether you play it in time or not is largely down to your state of mind.

    Timing is cruel because you might think you are improving, doing valuable work, but in fact you might just be focussing on the wrong thing, getting more tense, more on top, and not focussing on the deeper issues that are affecting your time. Meditation or yoga might be a better way to work on it, for instance, than shedding an hour with a click on 10 bpm, say. But if you are in the right space, an hour with a click on 10bpm is itself a form of meditation.

    The metronome can only tell you you got it wrong. It can't teach you this stuff...

    Wish I'd known that 15 years ago!

    EDIT: the other thing is that players that work a lot professionally with a click tend to sit back on the click, because that's the feeling you want to have so that you are right on the beat and not ahead. This is completely different to other situations when you want to define the time more, and negotiate with other players. In fact players that work a lot with a click can tend to drag, so Jens's ideas for using the metronome more imaginatively make you take more responsibility for your time.

  31. #30

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    Victor Wooten has a few videos with advanced metronome exercises. For the first five minutes of this one he keeps it on the downbeat, but then he progresses to some non-obvious click placements, such as on pickup notes (e.g., 1/16th ahead of the one).


    I think I tend to stress pickup beats in my comping and soloing—not necessarily consciously, but because it feels good. I once had a jam partner complain that my coming in ahead of the beat was making them rush. It might make me tend to rush too! I like the feel though. Advanced metronome exercises might help me keep that ahead of the beat feel in the groove.

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I think I tend to stress pickup beats in my comping and soloing—not necessarily consciously, but because it feels good. I once had a jam partner complain that my coming in ahead of the beat was making them rush. It might make me tend to rush too! I like the feel though.
    I dunno about before, but you don't rush when you comp. I've played with people who knew how to comp and those that didn't--in LA and NYC. For instance, Hep knows how to comp--his time feel is rock solid. You've got a solid time feel as well, Kirk. I can access more ideas when I solo because you are rock solid when you comp.

    A lot of guitarists focus too much on voicings when they comp--ME INCLUDED! Though, I have to say, since I started this "pick only" challenge--I am focusing on rhythm a lot more. I can see what Peter Bernstein meant about comping with a pick--though there are some great guys that comp with fingers...ahem... ED BICKERT (he does both, if I'm not mistaken)

    I think I rush when I comp. I like pushing the time when I solo, because it's my time to play how I feel my time. That said, I don't want to push someone else's time--that defeats the role of an accompanist IMO.

  33. #32
    I don't think we need an excuse to post more drum videos on a jazz guitar site, so here it goes:



    I'd be remiss not to post some more 80/20, especially because I almost took lessons with Nate back in NYC (I think I'm more ready to study with him now than where I was back in NYC)



    I still say that Peter Bernstein treats his strum/attack with his right hand--when comping--in the same way that master drummers treat their stick hits. There's a bounce, a physical bounce that Pete B does that few other guitarists do... it's not a Gypsy Jazz thing, it's different. I want that!

    These drummers here in the videos above are also master teachers. This isn't exactly what I was talking about in the OP, but it's worth a listen.

  34. #33
    All of this rhythm talk has got me thinking...

    I'm gonna challenge myself to use drummers as inspiration for my comping.

    Rhythms, yes... but much more. The way that that you strike the snare has a different sound depending on how you hit it. The bass drum has a certain sound.

    I tried imitating the bass drum and snare on my guitar while comping through some chromatic harmony... and I LIKE IT.

    I think that Peter Berstein (he's one of my modern favorites) thinks similarly about accompaniment--there is much to learn from the jazz drummer.

    Plus, this concept works great with my fascination with partial harmony, triads, dyads, and such.

    The bass drum sounds like a major 6th played off the low E and D strings...

    The snare hits sound great as triads built off the b and high E string. I'm practicing getting the sound of the bounce off the snare off the guitar. As Quincy said in the aforementioned drum video--it's all about the accents.

    Drums can sustain notes as well, but the concept is a little different.

    I'm not the first guitarist to explore the drums as an inspiration--look at Tal Farlow or all of these new finger style acoustic players. That said, this could be another interesting challenge for my playing.

    This could bring me closing to the rhythmic phrasing I'm talking about in the OP.

  35. #34

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    I think Mimi Fox started out on drums, and said that it really helped her playing.

    Milo Peterson performs in the Seattle area both as a drummer and guitarist. Here he’s on drums:

    ...and here on guitar:

    I wonder how many other jazz guitarists also play drums or percussion.

  36. #35

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    Just back from playing a gig to 50 or so dancers, no drums.

    Guitar is percussion. We just forgot because we got distracted by the piano.

    This is actually the first time I've done it. Bass, guitar and sax. It's the first time I've done one of these without drums, and I'm glad it went well and dancers seemed to be happy, responding to the music and so on. It requires, basic, clear playing.

    Chord solos in the guitar. Actually the bass player - who is also an early jazz guitar specialist, actually much more so than me, pointed out that my chord soloing doesn't use much syncopation - he said like I only syncopate every 4th chord in 3, which sounds about right. He said he thought this was good for the dancers. Sometimes I play 8th note chord things ala Alan Reuss, but it just feels that I have to do that for the dancers, and build solos and dynamics in such a way that it makes sense.

    It's taking that rhythmic force you need in the very basic, clear dance music and putting it into the more complex instrumental listening jazz... That's the secret, no?

  37. #36

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    I sometimes think of a guitar as a drum with stings—especially, when played in a percussive style. I too have performed in trio with bass and sax or clarinet, often in noisy venues, but never a room full of dancers. In that situation “less is more” definitely applies. If you’re tempted to add any hip accents, you can’t lose the pocket. Even more so when playing duet with sax or clarinet.
    Last edited by KirkP; 07-22-2019 at 12:48 PM.

  38. #37

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    There may be a fundamental problem with the idea of seeking "sign posts"...

    Imagine placing a metronome 11 feet away and picking a single note to synchronize the click and the note.

    The click takes 10ms (0.01 seconds) to reach your ear.
    It takes 150ms of processing to result in perceiving the click.
    It takes another 150ms of processing to respond and play the note.

    All that is just in one direction (from metronome to you) and totals 310ms - almost a third of a second.

    Now replace the metronome with a drummer listening to you.

    The drummer's tap on the hi-hat takes 10ms (0.01 seconds) to reach your ear.
    It takes 150ms of processing for you to result in perceiving the tap.
    It takes another 150ms of processing for you to respond and play the note.
    It takes another 10ms for your played note to reach the drummer.
    It takes 150ms of processing for for the drummer to result in perceiving your note.
    It takes another 150ms of processing for the drummer to respond to play his taps.

    What you and the drummer hear cannot be synchronous; however, we know that musicians do play synchronous.

    We do so not by attempting to lock into individual things we hear, but by locking into the rate or pace of the whole stream... everyone involved is actually locking into the same rate, but none of whom are actually placed together in phase lock within that rate. Everyone is slightly adjusted so the result is coherent.

    This is what's behind the recommendation to relax the frequency of "time check" events, letting them be further apart; you are only checking that your take on the shared rate is correct and holding, and doing this across longer spans of time naturally shifts attention away from beat artifacts to the feel of rate and pace.

    Your local "instantaneous" sense of time is something else... consider that despite your perception being delayed, thing are changing in the music fast enough that some of what is being "decided" and physically played by you is actually initiated and executed prior to your perception of it (including some aspects of ideas, choices, and judgement)... even at moderate levels of notes per second.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    This is what's behind the recommendation to relax the frequency of "time check" events, letting them be further apart; you are only checking that your take on the shared rate is correct and holding, and doing this across longer spans of time naturally shifts attention away from beat artifacts to the feel of rate and pace.

    Your local "instantaneous" sense of time is something else... consider that despite your perception being delayed, thing are changing in the music fast enough that some of what is being "decided" and physically played by you is actually initiated and executed prior to your perception of it (including some aspects of ideas, choices, and judgement)... even at moderate levels of notes per second
    The math was interesting, did you calculate that in a DAW?

    All good points.

    But my initial OP wasn't about syncing up to a ride pattern or a hihat. Rhythmic sign posts, at least the way I see them, have more to do with marking the phrase and marking the form. Rhythmic sign posts also influence the way that we accent certain notes or lines (such as a rim click placed on the 4th quarter of every other measure)

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    "So, okay now, getting back to Stan Getz, undulation’s just one word. The others are clarity, projection, and placement. Some of that I got from him, some from other people"

    Hmm, that sounds eerily similar to what I've been saying. It's not the notes, it's where you PLACE the notes. What BH says here is exactly what I MEANT to say--it's about clarity, projection, and placement.
    What video and comment are you referring to (link please)? I mean if Christian thinks he's confused about this conversation, consider the rest of us ...

    To your OP, I guess for time, as in literally tempo, the speed we're playing at, I try to focus on the bass. I listen to the drummer more for cues about the form, and dynamics, but also try to sync some of my comping with the bombs. The caveat to all of the above is that I like space, and if there's a piano, I mostly lay out because it gets mighty crowded. Soloing, I focus a lot on the drums, and will often build to a climax with some sort of repeated phrase/lick/hit that the drummer can echo.

    John
    PS, what is Reg's actual name? I've been trying to figure that out from breadcrumbs here, without succeeding.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    There may be a fundamental problem with the idea of seeking "sign posts"...

    Imagine placing a metronome 11 feet away and picking a single note to synchronize the click and the note.

    The click takes 10ms (0.01 seconds) to reach your ear.
    It takes 150ms of processing to result in perceiving the click.
    It takes another 150ms of processing to respond and play the note.

    All that is just in one direction (from metronome to you) and totals 310ms - almost a third of a second.

    Now replace the metronome with a drummer listening to you.

    The drummer's tap on the hi-hat takes 10ms (0.01 seconds) to reach your ear.
    It takes 150ms of processing for you to result in perceiving the tap.
    It takes another 150ms of processing for you to respond and play the note.
    It takes another 10ms for your played note to reach the drummer.
    It takes 150ms of processing for for the drummer to result in perceiving your note.
    It takes another 150ms of processing for the drummer to respond to play his taps.

    What you and the drummer hear cannot be synchronous; however, we know that musicians do play synchronous.

    We do so not by attempting to lock into individual things we hear, but by locking into the rate or pace of the whole stream... everyone involved is actually locking into the same rate, but none of whom are actually placed together in phase lock within that rate. Everyone is slightly adjusted so the result is coherent.

    This is what's behind the recommendation to relax the frequency of "time check" events, letting them be further apart; you are only checking that your take on the shared rate is correct and holding, and doing this across longer spans of time naturally shifts attention away from beat artifacts to the feel of rate and pace.

    Your local "instantaneous" sense of time is something else... consider that despite your perception being delayed, thing are changing in the music fast enough that some of what is being "decided" and physically played by you is actually initiated and executed prior to your perception of it (including some aspects of ideas, choices, and judgement)... even at moderate levels of notes per second.
    You fail to acknowledge the power of the Force. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    In seriousness I don’t think experienced musicians react so much as anticipate. There’s shared rhythmic language on one hand, experience on the other, be it of a particularly musician or the idiom in general.

    (We’ve also talked about ‘using the Force’ in bands, I’m sure others have had similar interactions.)

    Rhythms in jazz are not random, but organised according to latent but pervasive principles that can be intuited from contact with the music.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    What video and comment are you referring to (link please)? I mean if Christian thinks he's confused about this conversation, consider the rest of us ...

    To your OP, I guess for time, as in literally tempo, the speed we're playing at, I try to focus on the bass. I listen to the drummer more for cues about the form, and dynamics, but also try to sync some of my comping with the bombs. The caveat to all of the above is that I like space, and if there's a piano, I mostly lay out because it gets mighty crowded. Soloing, I focus a lot on the drums, and will often build to a climax with some sort of repeated phrase/lick/hit that the drummer can echo.

    John
    PS, what is Reg's actual name? I've been trying to figure that out from breadcrumbs here, without succeeding.
    Reginald Arthur Effington-Smythe MBE, of course

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    You fail to acknowledge the power of the Force. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

    In seriousness I don’t think experienced musicians react so much as anticipate. There’s shared rhythmic language on one hand, experience on the other, be it of a particularly musician or the idiom in general.

    (We’ve also talked about ‘using the Force’ in bands, I’m sure others have had similar interactions.)

    Rhythms in jazz are not random, but organised according to latent but pervasive principles that can be intuited from contact with the music.
    Yes; when musicians share anticipatory intuition informed by experience the result can certainly sound and feel like magic.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Reginald Arthur Effington-Smythe MBE, of course
    Fool me once ...

    John

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    What you and the drummer hear cannot be synchronous; however, we know that musicians do play synchronous.

    We do so not by attempting to lock into individual things we hear, but by locking into the rate or pace of the whole stream... everyone involved is actually locking into the same rate, but none of whom are actually placed together in phase lock within that rate. Everyone is slightly adjusted so the result is coherent.
    You’ve made good points. You could make the same points about athletics as well. For any action involving timing you are responding not to what his happened at that exact moment, but at some previous time. You also must initiate an action at a non-negligible time before you want it to occur. To accomplish this, your neural networks need to continuously predict the future and initiate action at the right time such that the bat ends up contacting the ball at the exact time and place to achieve the desired result.

    Another timing issue to consider is the delay between when you strike a note (or chord) and when the note develops full volume. If you time your strokes to synchronize with what you hear from the drummer or bassist, the guitar will always seem a little late. You’ve got to listen to how the sound develops and decays from your own instrument and adjust the timing of your strokes such that the volume from the instrument peaks in the right place. Of course, most of that involves unconscious processes, but it’s good to be aware of it and listen for it.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Reginald Arthur Effington-Smythe MBE, of course
    Did you mean Reginald Dixon MBE?


  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    What video and comment are you referring to (link please)? I mean if Christian thinks he's confused about this conversation, consider the rest of us ...

    To your OP, I guess for time, as in literally tempo, the speed we're playing at, I try to focus on the bass. I listen to the drummer more for cues about the form, and dynamics, but also try to sync some of my comping with the bombs. The caveat to all of the above is that I like space, and if there's a piano, I mostly lay out because it gets mighty crowded. Soloing, I focus a lot on the drums, and will often build to a climax with some sort of repeated phrase/lick/hit that the drummer can echo.

    John
    PS, what is Reg's actual name? I've been trying to figure that out from breadcrumbs here, without succeeding.
    John A., you mean you didn't see the interview with Billy Hart that Chris'77 posted? It's the bestest interview I'd ever red.

    Seriously, it's a great interview. A lot of my questions about rhythm and time are addressed in said interview.

    I've already brought that interview up with three house drummers at the jams I frequent. The older cats know exactly what interview I'm talking about.

    Here it is again, sorry for stealing ya thunder, Chris'77:

    Interview with Billy Hart | DO THE M@TH

  48. #47
    Oh, and Chris'77, and others...

    I posted a solo I took on Stablemates last week... It's on the Performance Ear Training Thread (the last post)

    It's far from great, but I would appreciate feedback.

    My mentor said, "we gotta take that one back to the drawing board"

    Before I share his thoughts, I'd like to hear what you have to say

    What worked and what didn't? (I know that A LOT didn't--but I am curious to hear if your notes on my playing match my own )

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    John A., you mean you didn't see the interview with Billy Hart that Chris'77 posted? It's the bestest interview I'd ever red.

    Seriously, it's a great interview. A lot of my questions about rhythm and time are addressed in said interview.

    I've already brought that interview up with three house drummers at the jams I frequent. The older cats know exactly what interview I'm talking about.

    Here it is again, sorry for stealing ya thunder, Chris'77:

    Interview with Billy Hart | DO THE M@TH
    I saw the interview, but did not see your comment on Christian's video (or the video you commented on)

    John

  50. #49
    John A., I'll give ya a pass cause ya from Nuu Yaaakh

    I miss the pizza, and the baaahgils...

    My home... but the PNW is quite spectacular, I gotta say!

    However, people out west don't understand the common courtesies that us New Yorkers were raise on...

    such as, when you get cut off on the Major Degan, you scream "F@%K You, D@UCHE BAG!" and fly the badass finger...

    I miss that too

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    John A., I'll give ya a pass cause ya from Nuu Yaaakh

    I miss the pizza, and the baaahgils...

    My home... but the PNW is quite spectacular, I gotta say!

    However, people out west don't understand the common courtesies that us New Yorkers were raise on...

    such as, when you get cut off on the Major Degan, you scream "F@%K You, D@UCHE BAG!" and fly the badass finger...

    I miss that too
    Real NY'ers don't get cut off on the Deegan.

    John