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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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 View Post
    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)
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington