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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I feel like the more I play strict 4 to the bar rhythm, the more creative my syncopations and accents are when I break out of it. I think it forces you to use your ear to be more deliberate about the syncopations rather than just throwing in the cool rhythmic patterns you know just because they’re there. It’s like a form of editing. If you want interesting phrases in your solos, try playing less rather than more. Same goes for comping. Give yourself time to hear before you throw some notes out there.
    Thank you for saying the thing I was trying to say, but clearer and in fewer words.

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  3. #52

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    Outside lots of listening (like everyone else, I believe that the answers are all on the records), I'd suggest the OP work initially with simple rhythmic units and displace them in different ways until they fall naturally under the fingers and in the ear.

    For instance, using a basic 12-bar blues as a framework, take a rhythmic figure of two consecutive eight notes ("on" & "off") and shift them by a quarter note in each bar:
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-1-jpeg
    This exercise should help develop the ability to accent on any downbeat of the bar at will. Next up, employ a similar procedure to the "Charleston" figure only this time, shift the unit by an eight note. We've now introduced the concept of starting a rhythmic phrase on an upbeat. I've inserted a couple of empty bars to give some space after the "3 & 4+" hits:
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-2-jpeg
    Once you feel comfortable with these, start shifting the units around. Ex. 3 represents a common Basie-style horn section figure that results when the rhythms of bars 1 & 2 in Ex. 2 are switched. Another approach might be to set the two rhythmic types alongside each other (Ex. 4 combines bars 1 & 2 of Ex. 2 and bars 1 & 3 of Ex. 1):
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-3-4-jpeg
    There are countless possibilities here before entering the world of cross-rhythms (a feel for 'six against four' and the so-called 'who parked the car' figure - a more developed displacement of the Charleston - will be an essential second stage to attaining rhythmic flexibility in your comping).

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Outside lots of listening (like everyone else, I believe that the answers are all on the records), I'd suggest the OP work initially with simple rhythmic units and displace them in different ways until they fall naturally under the fingers and in the ear.

    For instance, using a basic 12-bar blues as a framework, take a rhythmic figure of two consecutive eight notes ("on" & "off") and shift them by a quarter note in each bar:
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-1-jpeg
    This exercise should help develop the ability to accent on any downbeat of the bar at will. Next up, employ a similar procedure to the "Charleston" figure only this time, shift the unit by an eight note. We've now introduced the concept of starting a rhythmic phrase on an upbeat. I've inserted a couple of empty bars to give some space after the "3 & 4+" hits:
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-2-jpeg
    Once you feel comfortable with these, start shifting the units around. Ex. 3 represents a common Basie-style horn section figure that results when the rhythms of bars 1 & 2 in Ex. 2 are switched. Another approach might be to set the two rhythmic types alongside each other (Ex. 4 combines bars 1 & 2 of Ex. 2 and bars 1 & 3 of Ex. 1):
    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-ex-3-4-jpeg
    There are countless possibilities here before entering the world of cross-rhythms (a feel for 'six against four' and the so-called 'who parked the car' figure - a more developed displacement of the Charleston - will be an essential second stage to attaining rhythmic flexibility in your comping).
    Great stuff PMB.

    I'd probably aim for a more groove based and less mathematical approach, but this is all quality info.

    Have you noticed that many of those two bar phrases line up with the clave? Those are the ones that sit right (but don't cross yer claves!).

    Ex 1 is 2-3 clave
    Ex 2 is 3-2 clave
    Ex 3 clave bar 1-2 is 2-3 clave, bar 2-3 is (I think) 3-2 clave

    Here's a video wot I did.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Great stuff PMB.

    I'd probably aim for a more groove based and less mathematical approach, but this is all quality info.

    Have you noticed that many of those two bar phrases line up with the clave? Those are the ones that sit right (but don't cross yer claves!).

    Ex 1 is 2-3 clave
    Ex 2 is 3-2 clave
    Ex 3 clave bar 1-2 is 2-3 clave, bar 2-3 is (I think) 3-2 clave

    Here's a video wot I did.
    Which type of clave?

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Which type of clave?
    Sorry, looking back I didn't look at it close enough, that post wasn't quite right. But the basic idea works like this.
    This relates to the concept of 'chirality' or handedness in music - not all rhythms will sit as well together... You have this is Samba, too, although obviously the concept of clave is not used. I mean obviously it's not used in US jazz either in general.

    On some of them the son clave, on others the 'Brazilian clave' with the 2 and 3+ 2 side bar is a better fit... It's not that important.

    Structurally, things to look out for are some of the notes in one side that relate to one of the clave forms. For instance that figure in Ex2, first two bars we have an accent on beat 1 and 2+ in bar one, and on beat 1+ and 3 in bar two. Now three of those notes are found in the 3-2 clave.

    Now obviously if the rhythm was the same it would be - the clave - but this rhythm locks into it, right? It would feel crossed the other way around. Try it.

    he next two bars, lock into the opposite clave actually (sorry got that wrong) as you have the 2 accented in bar 3, and the 2+ and 4 in bar 4, so this would feel a bit odd as a groove overall in combination with the first. This might fit some melodies, but it wouldn't fit for most Parker heads. You'd be fighting the rhythm as all the Parker heads I've looked at have a very strong sense of clave.

    (This is one reason I don't really like the 'mathematical displacement' approach to rhythm you often see in jazz edu. Rhythm is based on maths, yes, but it is also based on culture and traditions, many of which don't have a notational conception of rhythm. Mostly AFAIK in African Diaspora Musics (not always) there is a sense of the rhythm being one way or the other in a two bar phrase. Flipping it one phrase to the next can be an interesting effect, but it's not the default.)

    The classic New Milestones/Basie/King Porter Stomp pattern that Jim Hall also seems to base his Without a Song comping, and Red Garland uses on the head of I Could Write a Book with Miles (see below) has a 2-3 feeling down to the Charleston being in the second bar, and us having the 3 in the previous bar. Obviously both bars have the one. Many of the Ketu Candomble Andrew Scott Potter posted relate to some sort of clave. For instance, Opanije relates to the 2-3 clave. Here are these patterns compared:

    How to master jazz guitar comping rhythms?-opanije-jpg

    Probably sounds terribly complicated and intellectual, but people do this intuitively, without ever thinking about it. It's quite interesting. In Cuba, obviously, they have this theory of claves.

    But then if, as Hal Galper suggests, all jazz rhythm is derived from New Orleans second line rhythms, then that certainly has a sense of clave. New Orleans has sometimes been called the northernmost Carribean city.

    So on a nerd level, that's all fine, but is it worth knowing? Maybe, maybe not... It is intuitive..might help teach the difference (if the theory continues to stand up). One great practice tool is the fact that Drum Genius has lots of swing drum loops with claves that you can select, plus the Metrogenius tool which is like a clave metronome. Obviously the programmer of that app was thinking about this stuff.... I think drummers are always hipper to this stuff than us schmos... For instance the influence of cuban music on American pop...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-15-2019 at 06:55 AM.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Great stuff PMB.

    I'd probably aim for a more groove based and less mathematical approach, but this is all quality info.

    Have you noticed that many of those two bar phrases line up with the clave? Those are the ones that sit right (but don't cross yer claves!).

    Ex 1 is 2-3 clave
    Ex 2 is 3-2 clave
    Ex 3 clave bar 1-2 is 2-3 clave, bar 2-3 is (I think) 3-2 clave

    Here's a video wot I did.
    Thanks Christian. I'd also work on groove early in the piece but that's where lots of experimentation, listening, transcribing and regularly performing with others comes in. The OP was looking for some kind of roadmap for practising comping rhythms and I believe getting a grip on the fundamental units in a progressive and quasi-systematic fashion can't hurt. The sheet of rhythms he referenced (from Corey Christiansen's book?) offers a number of common rhythms but it helps to know that many of these are already composites of smaller rhythmic motifs. If the basic principles are understood and internalised, we can take those and come up with our own variants.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Thanks Christian. I'd also work on groove early in the piece but that's where lots of experimentation, listening, transcribing and regularly performing with others comes in. The OP was looking for some kind of roadmap for practising comping rhythms and I believe getting a grip on the fundamental units in a progressive and quasi-systematic fashion can't hurt. The sheet of rhythms he referenced (from Corey Christiansen's book?) offers a number of common rhythms but it helps to know that many of these are already composites of smaller rhythmic motifs. If the basic principles are understood and internalised, we can take those and come up with our own variants.
    I'd be interested to see what you think of my last post.

    I do think the teaching of jazz rhythm tends towards teaching mathematical cycles and groupings. These are interesting, but I think the basic nature of swing grooves is often left unexamined. Which is maybe why contemporary jazz sounds more intellectual until you hear someone from New Orleans, or somewhere do it. I think the Clave thing is handy, and also to explore how jazz rhythms relate to other rhythms from the Americas and Africa...

    Again, as with standards chord progressions, I think a 'stamp collector' mindset is best. Collect rhythms, look out for them on record, practice them on your instrument, see what rhythms work well together, maybe with a looper or DAW, have fun. And obviously play with others as much as possible. And then use them as the basis of an improvisation vocabulary. And then, if you like do clever M-Base mathsy shit...

    I think we should be able to dance to jazz even if it's in 11/8...
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-15-2019 at 07:17 AM.

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I'd be interested to see what you think of my last post.

    I do think the teaching of jazz rhythm tends towards teaching mathematical cycles and groupings. These are interesting, but I think the basic nature of swing grooves is often left unexamined. Which is maybe why contemporary jazz sounds more intellectual until you hear someone from New Orleans, or somewhere do it. I think the Clave thing is handy, and also to explore how jazz rhythms relate to other rhythms from the Americas and Africa...

    Again, as with standards chord progressions, I think a 'stamp collector' mindset is best. Collect rhythms, look out for them on record, practice them on your instrument, see what rhythms work well together, maybe with a looper or DAW, have fun. And then use them as the basis of an improvisation vocabulary. And then, if you like do clever M-Base mathsy shit...

    I think we should be able to dance to jazz even if it's in 11/8...
    Your posts and video highlight some really important stuff and if truth be told, it's actually how I learnt those rhythms and concepts myself. As a matter of fact, some of the best rhythm lessons I ever had came from a drummer friend who had me doing dance steps as I played different grooves! However, in practise mode, I'll often isolate particulars whether they be rhythmic, melodic or harmonic ideas and put them through the wringer just to make sure I'm covering as many bases as I can and not just relying upon default patterns.

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Again, as with standards chord progressions, I think a 'stamp collector' mindset is best. Collect rhythms, look out for them on record, practice them on your instrument, see what rhythms work well together, maybe with a looper or DAW, have fun. And obviously play with others as much as possible. And then use them as the basis of an improvisation vocabulary. And then, if you like do clever M-Base mathsy shit...
    I like the stamp collector analogy. I think that applies to other areas of jazz musicianship. Improvisation, chord voices, re-harmonization techniques, chord-melody devices. It's really all about collecting and inventing bags of tricks and getting good at applying them in fresh ways.

  11. #60

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    "Find the clave in everything."

    --me (I get credit because I forgot who I stole it from)

  12. #61

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  13. #62

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    I think the Randy Vincent book - beginning jazz guitar or whatever it’s called, is strong on this.

  14. #63

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    christianm77, you teach and play live a lot, right? When you accompany a soloist (including yourself when/if you sing), is it bad form to get a bit inventive with the rhythm after say the 2nd chorus? Is there a danger of making yourself so unpopular that they won't ask you anymore?

  15. #64

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    Yea... the OP is probable gone, but.

    Your a beginner. You need to actually learn genres, styles and feels. (classifications that fit into categories)

    "Form" or the spacial aspects of music needs to be understood. The big picture.

    Most jazz styles and feels of comping... all are either... straight or swing. (or both)

    Part of rhythms or rhythmic patterns.... is the space or rests. A fun one liner... Attacks or notes, create the sound and space or rests create the Feel.

    Just as that one liner is basically BS, so are most of the comments from pros, like myself.

    Most musicians don't comp that well because they don't have the skills. Not that complicated. So if your really trying to become skilled at comping. You need to develop the skills. And the big skill... is being able to understand, feel and perform.... Rhythm. (the harmonic aspects of rhythm comes next)

    -Understanding comes from how the rhythmic pattern works in context. (generally being able to subdivide rhythms into the smallest form and seeing how the attacks work within space to create the style and feel.)

    -Feel comes after you understand the rhythmic pattern. You become able to create within that Rhythmic pattern and still keep the implied style there. You can interact and react within the Performance of the music.

    -Performance... yea differemt set of skills that use all your technical skills to perform.

    So there are pretty standard guides, books for developing the rhythmic skills, I've always used Bellson books for Rhythmic studies.
    I like Rebecca's 101 montunos, Rebeca Mauleon-Santana.. her salsa books. Pretty simple.
    Antonio Adolfo and Nelson Faria are good for Brazilian

    Drummers Collective Series are fun... Kim Plainfiels or Duduka Da Fonseca, Bob Weiner..

    Berklee probable has Guitar Work Books with basic comping, from their ensemble classes.They're usually very simple and basic... but provide, styles and their breakdowns with verbal labels.

    Phrasing with rhythmic precision and expressive precision. You start with 1 bar, then 2, then 4, then 8, then sections of tunes, then complete Forms.

    You can't make a tune sound good if you can't make one bar sound good.

    Anyway, after and while your developing your rhythmic skills... you start to work on the chords, harmony.

    They're separate technical skills, rhythm and harmony.

    I could go on...

  16. #65

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    After many years of thinking about other aspects, I came back to time feel as the central issue.

    I'd suggest Reg's youtube videos. Everything he plays has great time feel.

    In trying to improve, I've started focusing lately on players and music with repetitive patterns. Freddie Green is one, but there are many who aren't doing it as a straight 4 to the bar - not that it's so easy to do it as well as Mr. Green. I found it frustrating to learn from players who seemed to use a "stick and jab" approach -- no matter how good they sounded, I couldn't extract much that I coiuld use.

    The idea is that a lot of music has an underlying pattern. I like the word "chop" which I got from a pianist who would look at a chart and say, "what's the chop?".

    So, a simple answer might be, "straight 3-2 son clave". And, then, he knows how to phrase his rhythm. Another answer might be "3-2 samba" (although that's not a universal terminology and might require a quick explanation). There are multiple ways to play this, so the pianist would probably start sparse, listen to the snare drum, find the chop and then edit it down. That is, not play every note of the chop, but pick out a couple of good ones. After he's established a good feel, he can think about variations so it doesn't get boring.

    Of course, this depends on the song and the rest of the band. I look to see if the audience is tapping feet and moving with the music. If you see that, you're doing okay and will probably get more work.

    If you were forced to choose between great feel or great voicings ... you know the answer, but it's easy to overlook feel in the pursuit of a different kind of sophistication.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 02-08-2020 at 07:05 AM.

  17. #66

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    The OP said it: start and end with floor on the floor. Use the metronome at various tempos, starting with ones you're not as comfortable with---then play without it, and notice if the tempo was maintained.

    Every day.

    Everything will spur and groove from that, including soloing.

    Some call this 'the circle' (as in circular motion)...

  18. #67

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    My suggestion would be to master each tune with all the possibilities.
    For instance check out voicings on all string groups etc..
    And, check out pan modality possibilities.

    Then for rhytms, check out big bands.


    To practice all these, find a record that has no chord instruments.

    I have spent a lot of time with Sonny Rollins's "A Night at the Village Vanguard" and Joe Henderson's "State of the Tenor" albums.

    Good Luck

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    christianm77, you teach and play live a lot, right? When you accompany a soloist (including yourself when/if you sing), is it bad form to get a bit inventive with the rhythm after say the 2nd chorus? Is there a danger of making yourself so unpopular that they won't ask you anymore?
    There’s no single right way to comp, but bad timing is never hip. Whatever you play, make sure it’s in time and locked into the overall pulse. Upbeats are a danger area particularly for most people.

    its easier to lock into a groove that an improvised rhythmic flow, so that’s probably the safest starting point. As I say the Vincent book has lots of solid basic patterns.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There’s no single right way to comp, but bad timing is never hip. Whatever you play, make sure it’s in time and locked into the overall pulse. Upbeats are a danger area particularly for most people.

    its easier to lock into a groove that an improvised rhythmic flow, so that’s probably the safest starting point. As I say the Vincent book has lots of solid basic patterns.
    Good points. I'd add this. You can play the basic patterns perfectly timed with the metronome and still not sound as good as a player like Reg. Time feel, IMO (and others disagree) goes beyond simple metronomic accuracy. And, if I'm wrong to the extent that you can sound great in the practice room by playing perfectly with the metronome, you still have to consider what happens when you're playing with live musicians. At that point, time stops being an objective reality and becomes, instead, a consensus. If your internal clock is perfect, that's a good ability, but you don't want to be the only one in the band who's right.

    Edit: I'd also add this. Every now and then I've had the opportunity to play with a musician, usually a pianist, whose time was perfect and, at the same time, infectious. I don't think these are quite the same thing. The experience is that the pianist hits a couple of chords and suddenly everybody in the band can feel the time in the same way. The players who can do this, do this reliably. First time I encountered it, years ago, was with Frank Mercurio, who had been a Cal Tjader sideman. More recently, with Amilton Godoy -- not a household name here, but widely known in Brazil. And, their playing was not busy, despite having the chops to do anything they wanted to do. I don't know if it's a skill or a gift. Based on my own difficulty, I'm leaning toward gift.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 02-08-2020 at 11:45 PM.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If your internal clock is perfect, that's a good ability, but you don't want to be the only one in the band who's right.
    Boom! So well said!

    "We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately."

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There’s no single right way to comp, but bad timing is never hip.
    Thanks for replying. I think I'm all right timing-wise, but catch myself putting in little rolls (don't use a plectrum) and simulating 'open hi-hat' things after a while, and then get a raised eyebrow from the soloist. Btw, what you said re. aiming for being the hi-hat rather than the snare is exactly what I do, and I'm happy with that; don't want to be a snare!

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Good points. I'd add this. You can play the basic patterns perfectly timed with the metronome and still not sound as good as a player like Reg. Time feel, IMO (and others disagree) goes beyond simple metronomic accuracy. And, if I'm wrong to the extent that you can sound great in the practice room by playing perfectly with the metronome, you still have to consider what happens when you're playing with live musicians. At that point, time stops being an objective reality and becomes, instead, a consensus. If your internal clock is perfect, that's a good ability, but you don't want to be the only one in the band who's right.

    Edit: I'd also add this. Every now and then I've had the opportunity to play with a musician, usually a pianist, whose time was perfect and, at the same time, infectious. I don't think these are quite the same thing. The experience is that the pianist hits a couple of chords and suddenly everybody in the band can feel the time in the same way. The players who can do this, do this reliably. First time I encountered it, years ago, was with Frank Mercurio, who had been a Cal Tjader sideman. More recently, with Amilton Godoy -- not a household name here, but widely known in Brazil. And, their playing was not busy, despite having the chops to do anything they wanted to do. I don't know if it's a skill or a gift. Based on my own difficulty, I'm leaning toward gift.
    What you have to go through to develop a good time feel is obviously not expressible in a post.

    you know one of the big problems with jazz is that it still sees pedagogy and learning as the exchange of information and a fundamentally individual internalisation of that learning, a very 19th century view.

    In fact real musicians learn to play within a community. They might work on their own stuff to get up to the point where they can participate - so they learn tunes, voicings and language from records, but things like comping and the development of time feel often occur in a much more organic way - and often in some cases earlier in life so that the outsider it seems that members of that community learned ‘naturally’ because there is very little observable pedagogy.

    reading Paul Berliner it’s clear how often people used to practice together. Also a percussionist told me that in Cuba everyone plays together all the time. The music is always social.

    in a more practical sense, and away from this social world, the way most people practice is to have it set to the beat, so they can get a good sense of the locking into the beat never practice anything between the beats. So their upbeats are all over the place.

    one way to address this is to set the metronome to the upbeat. The fact that most people will find this very difficult at first shows the extent to which we are unused to feeling the upbeat, but in African Diaspora music it’s basically as important as the beat. (obviously Brazilian and Jazz upbeats are not metronomic 16ths/8ths, but they are consistently placed for a given groove/tempo.) Also you got to start somewhere.)

    in general, I would not go to guitarists for advice on timing. Check out what good drummers have to say. Guitarists tend to say unhelpful stuff like ‘you just got to play with records’ and ‘play with great drummers’ etc. Which is only part of the truth. It works for some, but you might find that your perception isn’t good enough to tell when you are in time with that record, or that great drummer is adjusting to your time and making it feel good because they are, great.

    the metronome and educators who are able to hear this stuff (ie not all of them) are useful forms of corrective feedback. Recordings of yourself to, if you know what you are listening for.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-09-2020 at 09:25 AM.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    Thanks for replying. I think I'm all right timing-wise,
    so did I about 20 years ago. Timing is a matter of perception actually, and that has to be developed.

    but catch myself putting in little rolls (don't use a plectrum) and simulating 'open hi-hat' things after a while, and then get a raised eyebrow from the soloist. Btw, what you said re. aiming for being the hi-hat rather than the snare is exactly what I do, and I'm happy with that; don't want to be a snare!
    Yeah I don’t remember saying that stuff, but I don’t think there’s specific dos/donts. I get a lot of gigs being a ride cymbal or a snare drum even (no upbeats required lol), but not every style of music and every gig wants that. You have to be context sensitive as a good comper. That takes a lot of experience and listening. I can’t make rules about it I’m afraid, but if I could it would be boring.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-09-2020 at 09:25 AM.

  25. #74

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    So why don't most guitarist... most amateur, and many pros... just don't really comp that well. Don't really even know how to create and lock rhythmic patterns into grooves. With any style.

    Personally because they don't understand how to, or even know what the basic elements are.

    In my last post I said, If you can't make one bar sound good... how are you going to make a tune sound good.

    I really mean that...

    So just skipping the harmonic thing, chords etc... You need rhythmic skills, I've said this from the beginning. I've always pushed Percussion books and studies. I studied with Alan Dawson.... I put in the time becoming aware of the basic fundamentals of Rhythm... generally termed, Rudiments. Rudiments are small rhythmic patterns that form the foundations of more extended and complex patterns. That One Bar becomes a Tune thing.

    Alan Dawsons has a book... The Rudimental Ritual. Another free resource on line, Vicfirth's The 40 Essential Rudiments.

    Develop skills of making 4 and 8 bar phrases groove, or at least lock in. Your creating a perception of Motion that repeats. Start with just one note (or chord), then two etc... And you need to do this with a metronome or whatever you have that creates a pulse.

    Your going to see and understand Subdivision and become aware of rhythmic terms of what rhythmic elements are.

    Then...separately work on Harmony, Chords and different approaches for for how to use them with different styles.
    Learn... again 1, 2, and 4 bar chord patterns that imply... ONE CHORD.

    Learn how to play lead lines on top of those chords patterns that also imply that ONE CHORD.

    Your working on that ONE BAR thing. Eventually you'll become technically skilled enough to imply TWO CHORDS etc.. This is that trial and error approach, so it takes time.

    But this works, you need to have a organized schedule, and adjust as needed.

    Eventually you'll be ready to play tunes... and you'll have some skills, licks, all the BS tools you need to play JAZZ COMPING RHYTHMS.

    (generally this only takes 6 months of organized practice)

    There is a lot more technical material... but it's pretty useless until you have the basic technical Skills.

    The above is dealing with TECHNICAL SKILLS

    The other aspect is performance skills, which seems to be more of the conversation on thread, like RP and Christian, who are already great players... Anyway... I have the same approach with performance skills... I start with the basics and eventually get to performing tunes... then sets, etc... (After I have the technical skills together)

  26. #75

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    Yes. Technical skills, in terms of that, both rhythms and voicings you could do a lot worse than Randy Vincent’s Beginners jazz guitarists book.

    I’ll have to check Alan Dawson out.

    Where there’s a vibrant live music scene your basic command of the instrument and the fundamentals got you onto the bandstand, where the next stage of learning .... that’s actually how I learned really....

    but it’s not always so simple esp these days.

  27. #76

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    Miles Okazaki covers a ton of rythmic territory in Fundamentals of Guitar. Here he is with Dan Weiss explaining some basics -



    Will

  28. #77

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    One of the most valuable things I've done to improve time-feel (and I still feel like I'm sailing toward something beyond the horizon) is this ...

    Organizing rehearsal bands with the best musicians I can get to participate. There's some detail I can share about how to do that; ask if interested.

    The group occasionally hires teachers to come in and coach us. We've done this many times over the years. It turns out that some world class players (names you'd know) have been willing to do this. We've done different things in these sessions, but one we've come back to is simply asking the teacher to help us with time feel (bearing in mind, most of these sessions are for Brazilian music, but a different group did it years ago when we were trying to improve our playing of standards).

    A couple of times we've had world class drummers come in, just so we could feel what it's like to play with a drummer at that level. Once, we splurged and had both bass and drum teachers.

    The result of this, I think, at least for me, was a subtle improvement in my ability to discern what better time-feel sounds like. Maybe that opens the door a crack.

    A side benefit -- we serve lunch after the sessions, which is an opportunity to hear musician's stories. TBH, I like that almost as much as I like playing.

  29. #78

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    Yea Miles is cool and dig his compositions... But groove, come on. Working with percussion books is not complicated.

    If your looking for new or more modern material, Yea, But if your trying to get basic jazz comping skills no.

    Playing polyrhythms or polypulse studies works after one has the basics together.

    There are big differences between making time groove, or lock into a feel. Jazz isn't modern music.

    Yea Christian... Alan passed away back in the 90's. I studied with him in early 70's in Boston at his home. I was at the devils retreat, Berklee getting my arranging/ comp skills together. I learned how to lock in with subdividing and he always pushed melodies, changes and Form.
    It's funny to look back and see where different musicians had major influences personally. At the same time I was studying with James Williams on piano.

  30. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea Miles is cool and dig his compositions... But groove, come on. Working with percussion books is not complicated.

    If your looking for new or more modern material, Yea, But if your trying to get basic jazz comping skills no.

    Playing polyrhythms or polypulse studies works after one has the basics together.

    There are big differences between making time groove, or lock into a feel. Jazz isn't modern music.

    Yea Christian... Alan passed away back in the 90's. I studied with him in early 70's in Boston at his home. I was at the devils retreat, Berklee getting my arranging/ comp skills together. I learned how to lock in with subdividing and he always pushed melodies, changes and Form.
    It's funny to look back and see where different musicians had major influences personally. At the same time I was studying with James Williams on piano.
    Here's an important tip. Obviously, not everybody can study at Berklee. But, anybody can buy the T-shirt from the on-line store. It just might improve your time feel by helping to convince the other players that they should be phrasing to YOU.

  31. #80

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    As you prob know Ive been doing a fair bit of research into jazz education. Ethan Iverson is often an interesting thinker on the subject although I don’t always agree with his thoughts.

    when he talks about Lennie Tristano, he talks about the specificness of the approach.... I recognise the whole additive time thing, very intellectual application of odd time over straight time. I think M Base, where Miles is from, comes from that kind of tradition.

    He contrasts this with the dance roots of the music, which is less scientific but more experiential. I think in jazz education the tendency has generally been to teach what is easily teachable.

    In case I sound like I’m criticising Miles he gets all this, but I think it’s a reflection of the fact that it’s easiest to find information in today’s world, and mathematical rhythm ideas are very information rich.

    Being able to play a groove is very different.

  32. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5
    Miles Okazaki covers a ton of rythmic territory in Fundamentals of Guitar. Here he is with Dan Weiss explaining some basics -

    I know this video that joins a work I've been doing for years with the guitar. I also use the drums rudiments for the work of the right hand, independence, polyrhythms ... and chord/bass compings with the thumb and fingers, this first open strings, then applied to chord sequences. Also pattern of djembe or congas, with 2 or three sounds, the bases of African polyrhythms, claves, cascara, etc. There are hundreds of patterns that are actually rhythms that were played and mixed with the origins of jazz, in New Orleans. This is what I found most rewarding to acquire rhythmic freedom

  33. #82

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    yea... I don't have a t-shirt. But basically anyone can get most of berklee's teachings anywhere around the world, and for free. It's almost like a plague. In some crowds... might get stoned for having shirt. And I actually picked up my rhythmic skills from private teacher and gigging, the berklee name drop is just too push buttons...

    Pat, what's rhythmic freedom?

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Being able to play a groove is very different.
    So how does one define groove or practise it or develop it?

    Will

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Pat, what's rhythmic freedom?
    RHYTHMIC & POLYRHTHMIC FREEDOM
    you can probably hear a whole set of things, especially in a band, for example the Trio Jarret, great from this point of view, but what I am talking about is related to the guitar solo, which is more a polyryhmic freedom. The problem is quite comparable in a rhythmic section p/b/dms or g/b/dms, but you are alone to produce this collective groove

    three voices are assumed: bass, harmony and melody, or any other form of counterpoint, but from a rhythmic point of view, while we speak more willingly of harmony and melody. Think of a basic drum set (bass drum, snare drum, cymbal ride), djembe with its 3 basic sounds: bass, open, closed, or conga, bass, open and closed, slap. About West African music we talk about harmony of rhythms. It's as complex as a Mozart score, but the richness is elsewhere

    the 'rhythmic freedom' I try to acquire is to overlay on any pattern of bass any punctuation of chords. There are thousands of bass patterns corresponding to the different rhythms in the world. Just think of the richness of Motown bass grooves (James Jameson, etc.), the bass matching dance rhythms in the world, or only in the American world of North and South, Caribbean... It's infinitely richer than a walking bass at 4/4, although it can be varied (in two, syncopated notes, skips, etc.).

    I have whole notebooks of such rhythms, readings of courses and methods of bass, djembe and congas (I worked these 3 instruments, but in a group I played only bass and double bass). The best thing would be for me to give examples, I will make pictures of the main two-voice rhythmic pattern. I'm thinking of things like that

    in groups of 4 djembes with doundoun and bells, it was not easy to shoot together, when everyone felt like they were playing their thing correctly. In addition to being polyrhythmic, West African percussion is polymetric (I talked elsewhere about Steve Coleman and his friends, the most important contribution to jazz from the 90s), there is actually no beginning of bar, or even bars for them. The trio Sonny Rollins, Elvin Jones, Wilbur Ware at the Village Vanguard takes so many rhythmic liberties that at one point they get lost... before they get together


    as Christianm77 said, metronimic respect for comping and live groove in a group are two different things. If you take the pre-warII jazz recordings, the small bands of Lionel Hampton or Fats Waller, even the sextet of Count Basie, among others, the tempo is not fixed from the beginning to the end of songs that do not exceed 3 to 4 minutes, but they are together and the groove, the swing is incredible. Today some record with a click in the ears and it does not groove. So one thing is to have a constant tempo, another to have a good rhythmic setup as far as. On the given youtubes here, you can hear that this setup is sometimes bad even playing with an Aebersold disc

    *
    another aspect is that the music I want to make, as I've talked about elsewhere, is quite demanding harmonically, it has sounds and melodic lines that an audience is not used to, and if everything is too new to him, he is bored. On the other hand, if you offer music powered by a rhythmic groove, repetitive or not, he will want to dance. The best example is Bartok, with his Art Music revival of Romanian, Hungarian, bourrées, etc.

    PS: I add that some rhythmic patterns given by the methods are sometimes aberrant. I think of Barney Kessel's book, yet excellent or this one, by Jody Fisher: it does not indicate the bass, yet on the rhythms indicated by some Afro-Cuban or other dances, so you can play that, without it ever sounding like it is supposed to do!

  36. #85

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    RHYTHMIC & POLYRHYTHMIC FREEDOM
    independence thumb and fingers right hand for guitar comping and solo
    we replace the different sounds of percussion by bass and chords or bass chords melody
    I recall that changing instruments is advised by Kenny Werner, at the beginning of Effortless Mastery. Personally, my biggest weakness was the rhythm, and the ability to hear several at once, so the other musicians in the band. So I worked this kind of stuff, adapting them from percussions to the guitar

    a few pages of my notebooks, which I mentioned earlier

    2 first from

    we notice that we find at the bottom line bass of samba, bossa-nova, claves ...

    from drums rudiments. R and L can represent bass and alternating chords, or 2 im fingers, ia, ma, etc. excellent for speed work. The redoubled finger can then give the other in between, like the sticks of a drummer

    polyrhythms

    some dance rhythms adapted for djembé or african drums


    here as in the previous pages we can mark the "." or not, the rhythm does not change, but the flow is different. The djembe virtuosos uses ghost notes to simulate multiple simultaneous instruments
    personal (permutations concept...)

    here the drums rudiments concern Caribbean & Afro-Cuban rhythms. They can be used with bass and chords, or to work independence in the alternation of 2 fingers, or on two notes, like drums rudiments above

  37. #86

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    I had a wake up call this week. Since I love chords, I always figured I was good at comping. That despite the fact that soloists I"ve played with seemed to get confused a lot... I figured they were not keeping up.

    But then I made a recording of just bass and drums of "Donna Lee" and recorded my self comping over it. Then I tried to play the tune over my own comping. It was a disaster.

    I realize... I am not good at comping. So I'm going to make a much more serious effort at intentional work on my comping skills. Might go back to basic 4-to-the-bar and try to comp in a way that at least I am comfortable soloing over.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    But then I made a recording of just bass and drums of "Donna Lee" and recorded my self comping over it. Then I tried to play the tune over my own comping. It was a disaster.
    In which way? Too busy?

  39. #88

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    Hey Lawsen... have you, gone through the tune and actually analyzed the melody. If you haven't, it will make you at least play changes that work with head. There are basically two choices for how to organize... Harmony.

    Pat... yea all the material you posted is pretty standard, right. But it's nice to see someone else go through all the BS.
    I did it 40 years ago... it hasn't changes. It still comes down to playing, and personally, how harmony works with rhythm to create Jazz feels... jazz comping styles.

    Anyway... you could have said, be able to play whatever I want and also be able to play and recognize whatever someone else wants. (and the key is... someone else, the live thing, not rehearsed memorized performance), and would have worked for me. But thanks for details, I appreciate.

    I read through a lot of your personal notated examples, from another thread? Can't remember. Do you have playing examples. On paper they're traditional vanilla right... what makes rhythm, straight, swing, odd meter, compound, etc... is how they create a feel. The accent patterns lock in to create one rhythmic feel.

  40. #89

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    Well, it's one thing to comp for the head of a tune, and one for a soloist.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    In which way? Too busy?
    Here's the track, warts and all. I start off just... well, not in sync with the tempo. But I think basically I"m too much on the upbeats.

    While I don't wan't to be cruelly shredded, still, I would welcome some serious critique and advice on this. I think I could be a good comping player. I know a lot of good voicings, but I think I just get in the way somehow. I tried to play the head and solo over my own comping and kept getting lost and it never meshed at all the way good comping and soloing should.


  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I had a wake up call this week. Since I love chords, I always figured I was good at comping. That despite the fact that soloists I"ve played with seemed to get confused a lot... I figured they were not keeping up.

    But then I made a recording of just bass and drums of "Donna Lee" and recorded my self comping over it. Then I tried to play the tune over my own comping. It was a disaster.

    I realize... I am not good at comping. So I'm going to make a much more serious effort at intentional work on my comping skills. Might go back to basic 4-to-the-bar and try to comp in a way that at least I am comfortable soloing over.
    it sounds like the act of recording and listening to yourself has already sparked some self reflection.

    kolb cycle right? :-)

    good idea generally.

    Ditch the Aebersold and just record comping for yourself. See what happens.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-10-2020 at 01:48 PM.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Here's the track, warts and all. I start off just... well, not in sync with the tempo. But I think basically I"m too much on the upbeats.
    no. I don’t get that at all. Most of your chords are on the beat. Could probably do with some more pushes tbh.

    but really what I’m lacking here is a strong sense of direction and purpose to the comping. It could be rhythmic but also melodic - do the top notes of your chords create lead lines? Are you audiating strongly what you are comping?

    it sounds like you have all the raw materials, but you need to put it together.

  44. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Here's the track, warts and all. I start off just... well, not in sync with the tempo. But I think basically I"m too much on the upbeats.

    While I don't wan't to be cruelly shredded, still, I would welcome some serious critique and advice on this. I think I could be a good comping player. I know a lot of good voicings, but I think I just get in the way somehow. I tried to play the head and solo over my own comping and kept getting lost and it never meshed at all the way good comping and soloing should.

    I think what I'm hearing is that the guitar is phrased behind the beat. As if you hear 1-e, and you hit the chord on the e. The comp will probably sound more propulsive if the chord is hit just before beat 1 of a measure. That is, anticipated, or "pushed", usually by an eighth (maybe by the third note in an eighth note triplet on beat 4?).

    Changing this requires a few days of sustained mental focus on hearing the change anticipated. It might help to play along with a backing track, quite slowly, and focus on hitting your chords on and-of-4, until that starts sounding "right" to you.

    Voicings, touch and tone were all fine. Good luck with it and keep us posted!

  45. #94

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    I think if you’re aiming for a swing feel, the third triplet of beat 4 is the best starting point.

    in practice you lock up with the drummers ride skip note etc. You can only count triplets at slower speeds, but that’s a good idea until you internalise the placement for faster tempos.

  46. #95

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    Wow you all have offered some really good suggestions. I made another track today with the Aebersold just playing mainly on 1 of each measure and it seemed a bit better. I will try the pushing and maybe just use a drum track or metronome.

    Thanks again. This is great stuff really. Thank you all for the time and insight. Just think, because of you, someone here in Central Kentucky will actually suck a little less!

  47. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Wow you all have offered some really good suggestions. I made another track today with the Aebersold just playing mainly on 1 of each measure and it seemed a bit better. I will try the pushing and maybe just use a drum track or metronome.

    Thanks again. This is great stuff really. Thank you all for the time and insight. Just think, because of you, someone here in Central Kentucky will actually suck a little less!
    Yardbird Suite might be a good tune to practice this on. It has melody notes on the last eighth of the bar in a number of cases. So, if you sing the melody as you comp, the melody will get your chords in the right place.

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    it sounds like you have all the raw materials, but you need to put it together.
    Plus he has nice chords, I think.

    lawson-stone: that guitar is a beauty

  49. #98

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    Lawson, took a listen, then played along.

    Nothing particularly bothered me about your comping. Maybe a little low heavy? I took a chorus over it, seemed fine, maybe for playing the head, you think more about the space in it (not too much in Donna) but punctuate that?

    Busy head like Donna Lee, if I'm comping I'm not playing much.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Lawson, took a listen, then played along.

    Nothing particularly bothered me about your comping. Maybe a little low heavy? I took a chorus over it, seemed fine, maybe for playing the head, you think more about the space in it (not too much in Donna) but punctuate that?

    Busy head like Donna Lee, if I'm comping I'm not playing much.
    Yeah comping I tend to think "left hand on the piano" and have been burned a couple times by soloists complaining I'd comped over their line by playing in the same range. When the pianist did it, no complaints... not sure what to make of that!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have also found that working on comping is helping me sort out some of Parker's phrasing at the end of his first chorus when he just blows right into the second and you barely realize you are in the second chorus. I have a track where I mechanically put a chord on beat 1 of each measure and playing over that unmasked some sloppy phrasing by me at the end of the first improv. chorus.

    At any rate, I've got a wonderful list of things to work on and try out, and feel pretty encouraged. That's a good day on the forum!

  51. #100

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    I decided to try another stab at a comping track and playing with it. This works toward a minimal approach, basically a chord on 1 of each measure and a few other spots. I am actually impressed at how sometimes truly less is more.