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  1. #1

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    Hi

    I am drawn to melodic , dynamic , spatially open playing one aspect of which I think is developed through the use of rhythmic variation rather than just note choice or volume variation. I see tons of words devoted to scales/arpeggios etc where do you turn to study rhythmic vocabulary on guitar or broadly in jazz?


    Exercises/how to develop/examples of ??

    cheers
    Will

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Jerry Bergonzi has a great book on it - melodic rhythms. Check it out!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    Hi

    I am drawn to melodic , dynamic , spatially open playing one aspect of which I think is developed through the use of rhythmic variation rather than just note choice or volume variation. I see tons of words devoted to scales/arpeggios etc where do you turn to study rhythmic vocabulary on guitar or broadly in jazz?


    Exercises/how to develop/examples of ??

    cheers
    Will
    I'm interested in this as well. Longo and bergonzi get mentioned a lot.

    As for the the reason why it's not discussed as much as melodic/harmonic, it's basically the unintentional result of not having as much "vocabulary" with which to discuss it.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 01-14-2018 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    I'm interested in this as well. Longo and bergonzi get mentioned a lot.

    As for the the reason why it's not discussed as much as melodic/harmonic, it's basically the unintentional result of not having as much "vocabulary" with which to discussing it.

    Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk
    I found some Bergonzi material. Ah! Mike Longo I will have to look there

    Will

  6. #5

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    There is also a book/CD on Rhythmic Lead Guitar, but it is not exclusive to jazz.

    After years of trying to learn to improvise, I have found that I agree with the premise of utilizing the rhythmic character of a solo as much as note choice, etc...

  7. #6

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    Coincidentally I have just got this Jerry Bergonzi DVD which covers this subject.


  8. #7

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    I have all books of J.Bergonzi-all are great staff for seroius players...:-)

  9. #8

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    There are players who have a very strong rhythmic sense of phrasing. Listen to them a lot. One huge generalization but true in some way is horn players tend to think in phrases that have an emphasis on spacial phrasing; they have to breathe where guitarists don't.
    Listen to things besides guitarists. Sonny Rollins. Dexter Gordon. Lee Morgan. Hank Mobley. Alan Dawson. Tony Williams. Good horn arrangements of big bands. I don't transcribe, but I listen to these guys a LOT and having their sound around me gets me away from the pitfalls of the guitaristic endless effortless linearity of the guitar (it's a trap-it really is). Books are rich material when you're on the path. Don't forget to develop your real time ear and spacial sense. That's done effectively by listening a lot.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the Bergonzi recommendations. I have the great fortune to be able to hear Jerry live. Every week. He's an amazing player to witness in a live situation, it's ear training and a constant reminder of what's possible. When the set is done, there're always players who've come from far and wide to see him and they will often ask "How can I begin to play jazz like this?". There are two recurring themes to his answers: 1) Listen to a LOT of jazz of all kinds and immerse yourself in the sound. It's like a language and you have to surround yourself with it all the time. and 2) Rhythm is everything. It comes before the notes, before the scales, before thinking. If you're rhythm isn't there, it's not going to happen. If you play good rhythmic ideas, you can get away with anything, but if your rhythm/feel isn't there, all the "correct" notes aren't going to mean anything. Radial thinking but his playing makes a convincing argument.

    On the other end of the spectrum, at one point, I was having problems with how to look at rhythms, what I could do, how to keep from falling into rhythmic cliches and habits. Then Mick Goodrick's Factorial Rhythms appeared in my life. It's an exhaustive catalogue of rhythmic variations (not for the casual or faint hearted: no examples of application but just pure variations) and I started to see all the possibilities, the ways of shifting the weight of notes in totally unexpected ways, playing with phrases that crossed the bar line and created motif just from unexpected rhythmic groupings. That book put me in touch with rhythmic concepts that are usually the realm of arrangers.

    Learn through listening to good people, and keep your idea of what's possible open.

    David

  10. #9

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    One thing that helped me a lot was to start and end on an offbeat.
    It keeps it light and swinging.

    Here is an example:
    You hear me playing very short frases starting and ending on an offbeat. Even a bunch of offbeats in a row.
    A bit exaggerated, but you 'll get the idea.



    0.00 - 2.22 with metronone
    2.27-end with backing rack

    Hans

  11. #10

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    Are the Bergonzi Vocabulary books sequential - so v3 builds on v2 builds on v1 ??

    Will

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    Are the Bergonzi Vocabulary books sequential - so v3 builds on v2 builds on v1 ??

    Will
    Not at all. At least I've never considered them to be. Each volume has an area of focus and that aspect is addressed in depth through examples, suggestions, formats for exercises and good vehicles for applying the ideas.
    I've found that even within a single volume, taking a few pages and really getting into that material so it's not an exercise but rather a re-framing of something I'd do, is quite time consuming.

    I'd dare say though, that the better a foundation you have on your own improvisational approach, the more you can get out of any particular volume. For me, at least, taking the detailed topics at face value before I had my own approach to melody, my own tendencies, might have been more of a challenge to apply. That is, to say, I found these books invaluable when I found myself against a wall with a big question of "Where do I go from here?" and then working with the books helped me to hear more from recordings, and that in turn helped me to want to get different things from my own tired playing. For example, he'd talk about stacked triads. Well I'd never even thought of harmony that way. Then I'd begin to hear these things in other players, often being things where I'd ask "How does he GET those sounds?" and it would in turn change the way I hear and practice, the way I appreciated recordings and live performances.

    And that might be from one volume of hexatonics.

    Other people might use them differently, that's just me.

    David

  13. #12

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    Ok !! here we go - sipping wine and watching Vol 3 - this is exactly what I was after !!!!!!- great explanations / clearly demonstrated . It is going to be a bit of a slog getting through the examples in the woodshed as my reading skills are rudimentary/slowly developing That said my ear and improv inclinations are all in

    So is there an approved "rhythm vocalization" language. I like " da diddely dooba do de doda dee doo" but I can see some folks gravitating to " ba biddely booba bo be boba bee boo" ????
    cheers

    Will

  14. #13

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    Just a couple of very simple things I have found helpful with regard to expanding my rhythmic palette.

    1. Sing the lines. When I sing lines, invariably I arrive at rhythms which are different from what I end up playing if I don't sing. I'm not sure why I don't end up doing it constantly -- I have to remind myself, but it works when I do it. It's easiest when I'm relaxed, meaning that I know the tune well and I'm comfortable in the room -- good sound from the amp, good musicians and I can hear everybody comfortably.

    2. Sing the words of a different tune in your mind. So, for example, while you're playing There Will Never Be Another You, you sing a fragment of Alone Together in your head. Then you play whatever notes you were going to play, but allow Alone Together to influence the timing. Or, vice versa.

  15. #14

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    All great info. I would add that you need to become aware of what your actually trying to do. I think your trying to develop organization of space.
    Take a four bar phrase.... most tunes and most live performance has repeating rhythmic patterns. And when you simplify that pattern... down to the basic attacks that define the pattern, the feel, the groove, the montuno... whatever you want to call it.... that's what you might want to become aware of first.

    So you have a big or macro space pattern. The organization of the rhythmic attacks. Most verbally talk about these in strong and weak terms. So an example could be.... using that 4 bar phrase.

    1st bar is strong. 2nd bar is weak, but sets up 3rd bar which is also strong, but weaker than bar1...and the 4th bar is weak but stronger than bar 2, and needs to imply or set up the repeating 4 bar pattern.

    Bar1 strong------------ Bar2 weak--------set up ---- Bar3....strong ---------- Bar4... weak, sets up repeat
    /.................................../..................................../............................../.............................//

    This basic approach can be short or long, one bar to entire tune.... but the point is your rhythmically organizing the space... which results in natural motion... Rhythmic movement, rhythmic Function. Function is generally used to imply how much harmony wants to move or not move.

    But you also can use the concept with rhythm. Example Bar one Tonic, bar 2 Subdominant, bar 3 Tonic, and bar 4 Dominant

    You can move things around... expand, etc.... whatever you want, but again the point is your creating Rhythmic Phrasing.

    Once you have the spatial shape organized... (Form) you add other musical elements... harmony, melodic , articulations .

    This is extremely simple.... and needs to be developed and mechanically organized... and then internalized.
    You can use existing tunes.... and learn from them. But it will work much faster if you understand why tunes work.

  16. #15

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    ThanksReg - yes I was thinking of rhythm as a means to organize spatial relationships but being very new to all of this hadn't thought beyond melodic applications . If I am reading you right the principle of seeing rhythmic organization as a foundation extends to form , harmony , melody and can be different for each within the same tune depending on how you want to express motion within each .


    Will

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Just a couple of very simple things I have found helpful with regard to expanding my rhythmic palette.

    1. Sing the lines.

    2. Sing the words
    I just started doing this - channeling my inner Keith Jarrett. What I am noticing beside the fact I can't sing very well is that I can work through ideas /variations/corrections much faster vocally without having to fumble on the fret board and get distracted by the mechanics and once I have it vocally solid it is easier to explain it to my fingers

    Will

  18. #17

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    Hey Will.... yes, Harmonic Rhythm is more than just where the chords are... the next step is how their organized rhythmically.

    When you start to... say..... transcribe melodic lines, or create melodic lines etc... how would you start. Most try and sing the line etc... eventually figure it out. Than is extremely slow and non functional. A better approach is to lay out the space, the form of whatever your trying to figure out or create... then locate the strong attacks, or pattern of strong attacks... that will usually fall into a rhythmic organization, a pattern... and then you fill in he rest logically using harmonic and melodic common practice.

    Rhythmic patterns and organization are more important than melodic and harmonic organization....not really, but it doesn't matter if you play the right note or chord... if it's not in the right location.

    You can make almost non melodic or lousy harmony work if the rhythmic pattern, feel or groove is right.

    Many players... guitarist have extreme skills at this.... not even being aware of rhythmic grooves and patterns of strong weak organization.

    It's not a good thing when beats or grooves get turned around or flipped etc...

    Melodic and harmonic development concepts are different aspects of performing and need to work within the rhythmic organization.

  19. #18

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    Thanks Reg I will sit down with a couple of tunes whose form I know well and and see if I can sort out the strong/weak patterns into an organizational framework . Overall feel , groove , pulse ......

    Will

  20. #19

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    I need help with this as well.