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  1. #1

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    Hello all,

    This is my first post so apologies for expecting advice without having contributed anything worthwhile myself!

    As part of my jazz guitar lessons I am practicing switching between comping and lead lines, from one bar to another. Since doing this, I've noticed that I always fall behind the beat when I switch to lead - literally from the first beat.

    I have played guitar for decades and whilst I have never been musical with it, I've always, always used a click. I've practiced comping with beats removed, set durations i have to keep in time for etc. Hours a day, for years.

    So aside from using a metronome, can anyone offer any advice? The individual parts of what I play are in time in a sense, in that they are evenly spaced - just behind the beat! I'm wondering whether the problem might be technique and I am just not adept at switching between rhythm and lead, which causes a delay ?The thing is I always seem to all behind precisely to the same extent.. which I just don't get.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Hello all,

    This is my first post so apologies for expecting advice without having contributed anything worthwhile myself!

    As part of my jazz guitar lessons I am practicing switching between comping and lead lines, from one bar to another. Since doing this, I've noticed that I always fall behind the beat when I switch to lead - literally from the first beat.

    I have played guitar for decades and whilst I have never been musical with it, I've always, always used a click. I've practiced comping with beats removed, set durations i have to keep in time for etc. Hours a day, for years.

    So aside from using a metronome, can anyone offer any advice? The individual parts of what I play are in time in a sense, in that they are evenly spaced - just behind the beat! I'm wondering whether the problem might be technique and I am just not adept at switching between rhythm and lead, which causes a delay ?The thing is I always seem to all behind precisely to the same extent.. which I just don't get.
    Could just be your style; several jazz guitarists play behind the beat, Kenny Burrell, for one. Try using a backing track of bass and drums and doing the same exercise, and record yourself, see what you think then. iReal Pro software will enable you to do that with hundreds of tunes.

  4. #3
    I'll second what Ron said about recording something with some kind of backing. You could post it here and ask the same question.

    There's a big differences between not really playing in time well versus playing well - but with a "behind feel". We'd probably have to hear it to say anything helpful about it in your case.

  5. #4

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    You might be instinctively expanding your beat width in order to make the Jazz sound of playing behind the beat, and maybe confused that you have noticed it's happening. Guitar is a relatively difficult instrument for playing with a fat beat width, and a lot of guitarists that come to Jazz after playing some other forms of music struggle with even grasping what it means, how it's done, and wonder why their best playing still lacks the sound of Jazz. You might should be glad that your new Jazz ears may be pushing toward that highly regarded sound.

    The concept "beat width" is the span from behind the beat to ahead of the beat within which a player sets his timing (playing behind, playing ahead). This is not slowing down or speeding up, the pace is the same but the placement of the note or phrase is shifted slightly in time.

    The real thing to look at is whether it sounds good. Some musicians like sax player Sonny Rollins and trumpet player Miles Davis have very fat beat widths, and others have very narrow ones (very close on directly on the beat). In Jazz in general, a fat beat width is highly desired (including drummers) but you have to be really excellent in lots of subtle ways to sound good - a lesser player with too wide a beat width will provoke a kind of seasick feeling in a short listening time.

    Instruments that produce sound with breath pressure tend to have a slight delay in their attack for which musicians naturally accommodate by leading the initiation of a note when learning to play and which they may continue doing in some music forms to "stay right on beat" with a minimally narrow beat width. For these kinds of instruments, the expansion of beat width behind the beat (very popular in Jazz) is passive if they stop leading the beat and just relax... the instrument itself will naturally tend to lag and play behind the beat, and the more relaxed, the more so until if they want to lag further back they need to deliberately do so.

    The nature of the guitar is that it has an almost instantaneous attack which allows for a high degree of precision in timing, which is a double-edged sword musically. For some types of music, that precision is exactly what is desired, the tighter the better. For other music it can be troublesome because it is easier to hear precise rhythmic flaws of smaller subdivisions (so some Jazz guitarists actually do things to damp their attack like using a soft touch, using a thick pick, adjusting for less high frequency, or even playing through electronics that directly limit or remove the initial attack of notes). Doing these things makes the perceived beat width fatter by "diffusing" the precise instant of initiation of notes, thereby producing a little uncertainty at the lowest level of sub rhythm.

    Now, if one maintains a steady lag behind the beat for a long time it may begin to sound as if more like the track of a recording got slipped behind in ProTools and less like the highly regarded sound of a fat beat width. Good players will move their "index" within their beat width as another expressive tool. This also is not a speeding up or slowing down, but an adjustment to the placement of notes and phrases within their beat width - used just like changes in volume, register, tone, etc... an additional (in this case, rhythmic) musical means of expression.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Hello all,

    This is my first post so apologies for expecting advice without having contributed anything worthwhile myself!

    As part of my jazz guitar lessons I am practicing switching between comping and lead lines, from one bar to another. Since doing this, I've noticed that I always fall behind the beat when I switch to lead - literally from the first beat.

    I have played guitar for decades and whilst I have never been musical with it, I've always, always used a click. I've practiced comping with beats removed, set durations i have to keep in time for etc. Hours a day, for years.

    So aside from using a metronome, can anyone offer any advice? The individual parts of what I play are in time in a sense, in that they are evenly spaced - just behind the beat! I'm wondering whether the problem might be technique and I am just not adept at switching between rhythm and lead, which causes a delay ?The thing is I always seem to all behind precisely to the same extent.. which I just don't get.
    That's switching every bar? Do you fall behind if you're playing an entire chorus before you switch? Does tempo matter?

    Hard to get a handle on the problem without more detail.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Hello all,

    This is my first post so apologies for expecting advice without having contributed anything worthwhile myself!

    As part of my jazz guitar lessons I am practicing switching between comping and lead lines, from one bar to another. Since doing this, I've noticed that I always fall behind the beat when I switch to lead - literally from the first beat.

    I have played guitar for decades and whilst I have never been musical with it, I've always, always used a click. I've practiced comping with beats removed, set durations i have to keep in time for etc. Hours a day, for years.

    So aside from using a metronome, can anyone offer any advice? The individual parts of what I play are in time in a sense, in that they are evenly spaced - just behind the beat! I'm wondering whether the problem might be technique and I am just not adept at switching between rhythm and lead, which causes a delay ?The thing is I always seem to all behind precisely to the same extent.. which I just don't get.
    Your lead lines should be a little behind the beat at medium tempo. You should be much more concerned about the accurate placement of the upbeats.

    Practice with the metronome on the ands of one and three for instance... should keep you consistent

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Your lead lines should be a little behind the beat at medium tempo. You should be much more concerned about the accurate placement of the upbeats.

    Practice with the metronome on the ands of one and three for instance... should keep you consistent
    Hi Christian!
    Interesting! Do you know of any example of someone practicing with metronome clicks on and of one and and of three?
    Or maybe you could post a short audio file or video yourself?
    /Hans

  9. #8

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    Yes, me at least and the fella who taught me to practice that, Hannes Riepler. His teacher was Jesse Van Ruller, don’t know if he got it from him.

    I’ll post a vid or audio when I get an opportunity. Probably not today.

    its very hard at first. You may have to work it out.

    from the perceptive of this it makes total sense:


  10. #9

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    When you do it don’t overdo the swing. Also triplets can be ... strange. Triplets lock into the beat exactly, as do isolated quarter note accents. Eighth notes don’t.

  11. #10

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    joshd
    try bringing your lead in , anticipating on the " (3) and 4 and one"

    you will have to think quicker , get the feel of coming in on top of the beat , and will be a great trick over all in your soloing to create tension and drive

    it will guarentee you wont be dragging on the one

  12. #11
    Thanks so much for the input.

    Practicing a bit yesterday, I found that I tend to fall behind the beat using iReal Pro, but not so much with just a metronome. I guess this supports what pauln and others have suggested. Maybe I am trying to do an 'impression' of jazz licks and subconsciously I'm not actually aiming for the beat but trying to emulate phrasing without haven't realising. To be honest, it's possible I am starting on the 'and' ?without knowing it.

    I've find it interesting what christianm77 (sorry I don't know how to do quotes on here). I found that I play triplets more or less on the beat, but when playing 8th notes it seems to be an effort to play them straight it feels way more natural to swing them. If I force myself to play them straight... they end up on the beat ?

    I think over all these years I have just assumed that playing with a metronome would take care of my timing without me needing to think about it. I'm going to put myself an intensive course on rhythm together - if anyone else can suggest any Youtube vids or resources, that'd be grand!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Thanks so much for the input.

    Practicing a bit yesterday, I found that I tend to fall behind the beat using iReal Pro, but not so much with just a metronome. I guess this supports what pauln and others have suggested. Maybe I am trying to do an 'impression' of jazz licks and subconsciously I'm not actually aiming for the beat but trying to emulate phrasing without haven't realising. To be honest, it's possible I am starting on the 'and' ?without knowing it.

    I've find it interesting what christianm77 (sorry I don't know how to do quotes on here). I found that I play triplets more or less on the beat, but when playing 8th notes it seems to be an effort to play them straight it feels way more natural to swing them. If I force myself to play them straight... they end up on the beat ?

    I think over all these years I have just assumed that playing with a metronome would take care of my timing without me needing to think about it. I'm going to put myself an intensive course on rhythm together - if anyone else can suggest any Youtube vids or resources, that'd be grand!
    The metronome is a powerful tool, but if you always put the metronome on the beat and synching with it you will end up playing perfect and even but locked in with the beat, or very jerky jerky and dotted. You won’t really swing either way.

    That’s a very European way to look at rhythm. African diaspora rhythms are also concerned with what happens between the beats....

    Many jazz musicians are aware jazz players do not dot the rhythm but in fact play straight. Others are aware that they may lag the beat a little. I’ve heard a few musicians - Peter Bernstein is one - talk about straight and laid back phrasing, soloists lagging the beat a little. You can hear this best in medium tempo phrasing.

    listen to the way Paul Chambers moves between playing the riff of So What behind the beat, and when he’s playing walking lines he is pushing as a good bass player should.

    the wide beat concept talked about above.

    However, the difference between lag and drag, between push and rush - is feeling the upbeats in the right place. This is not in fact always easy even in straight feels.

    For instance put the metronome on your DAW and play a bebop head. See where your upbeats line up; you’ll see right away how consistent - or not - you are.

    Now put the click on the upbeats and play the beat.

    You can do this straight or swing, but it’s about developing your ability to feel the upbeats independent of the beat. We tend to be ... weak at this. A good drummer can explain it you in their playing and lock you in if you are listening and able to feel it, but we can and should always become more sensitised to it and stronger at holding it.

    Groove itself is consistency. You might not be placing your upbeats on any grid, but you do want to be placing them in the same place. Do this and the groove will come. It’s not about metronomic exactness, but it is understanding how the upbeats and downbeats relate and making the negative spaces in rhythm just right.

    drummers understand this much better than guitar players obviously.

    Some people are going to talk rubbish about ‘intuition.’ If you are serious about your playing you don’t have time to indulge these fantasies. Ask a good drummer instead.
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-26-2020 at 11:23 AM.

  14. #13

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  15. #14

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    Had an interesting experience yesterday that relates at least peripherally to this discussion.

    I had a jam session with three players (p,b,d) I've played with a lot. The pianist is in my octet and we generally play gigs with bad sound quality and rehearsals in a cramped room. That cramped room has a small grand piano, which he mic's through a KB150.

    It's always hard to hear the piano over the din, or the reverse, he sometimes plays so loud that I can't hear the din.

    But, this time, it was a quartet. We were playing outside on a comfortable evening. I love playing outdoors because the sound tends to be better. No reflected sound.

    The balance of the instruments in volume was perfect. Without all the horns and reflected sound I finally could appreciate the pianist's playing.

    It turns out that his time feel on swing was terrific. As soon as I stopped playing, the other three guys sounded like a good jazz trio in a NYC club. And, it wasn't his harmony or melody (which are fine, but that isn't what impressed me so much). It was time feel. His note placement just grooved like mad.

    So, I'm going to work on this. Record next week's session and try to imitate his feel while I play along with the recording.

    Since I can't do it as well as I'd like, I shouldn't say this, but I can't believe that I'd ever get there with a metronome, a backing track or a theoretical treatise. I just have to imitate it until I can feel what he's feeling.

    Oddly enough, to put a bit of a punchline to this, this excellent swing musician cannot play any other feel as far as I can determine. Apparently, they are foreign to him and he can't feel them. I think he'd be the first to admit it.

  16. #15

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    Here’s something else it took me a long time to grasp.

    all the tempos are different and you have to work on them all.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Your lead lines should be a little behind the beat at medium tempo. You should be much more concerned about the accurate placement of the upbeats.

    Practice with the metronome on the ands of one and three for instance... should keep you consistent
    A bit off-top..

    Can you explain about English terminology ... I do not use it a lot so I am at a loss sometimes...

    Do I understand correctly that 'downbeat' is a stronger accent of the beat itself (a beginning of it) like in 4/4 it is first 8th of the beat and 'upbeat' is the second 8th of the beat?

    And On-beat / Off - beat concers strong/weal accents of the measure... in 4/4 -- 1 and 3 are On-beat and 2 and 4 are Off-beat?

    Thank you

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    A bit off-top..

    Can you explain about English terminology ... I do not use it a lot so I am at a loss sometimes...

    Do I understand correctly that 'downbeat' is a stronger accent of the beat itself (a beginning of it) like in 4/4 it is first 8th of the beat and 'upbeat' is the second 8th of the beat?

    And On-beat / Off - beat concers strong/weal accents of the measure... in 4/4 -- 1 and 3 are On-beat and 2 and 4 are Off-beat?

    Thank you
    I believe so

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Always worth a re-read. First-hand, extremely articulate accounts of the creative process. It helps that Iverson has such a thorough knowledge of the music unlike most interviewers. Deep shit from two great practitioners.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Always worth a re-read. First-hand, extremely articulate accounts of the creative process. It helps that Iverson has such a thorough knowledge of the music unlike most interviewers. Deep shit from two great practitioners.
    mcpherson gave a great workshop in holland in the 90s. him playing with jesse van ruller was a bonus.

  21. #20

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    So... Time is very relative. But you need to have time to play.

    To have Time or implied time...you need accents that repeat, or have the perception of repeat... at a repeating interval consistently enough to define or create a metric structure, a Form.

    Most Jazz styles, feels, grooves etc... Have Accent Patterns. Which usually starts with a rhythmic pattern of Accents that repeats. Or give the perception of repeating. With Jazz and most music... there is also a Harmonic Rhythm or harmony that works with that repeating Accent Pattern.

    Where I'm going is... there are many aspects of having and creating Time... that has a Pulse... with an Accent Pattern related to that Pulse. This needs to have a "Form" or physical shape of Space to work within.

    Generally you need to see and understand the Big Picture, (Form), to be able to see, understand and play with the Details of that Big Picture. Forrest and the trees etc... lots of analogies.

    Even when your playing changes and melodic lines back and forth between bars. (2 bar pattern) You generally also have larger space organization going on.... That 2 bars can be... 4 x 2 bar sections of an eight bar phrase.

    Which gives you more space to create...Have more layers of organization of an Accent or Harmonic Rhythm Pattern.

    Try having larger sections of time... like 8 bars phrases with organization. Like "A" "B" "A" "B" or "A" "B" "A" "C".

    I can go on forever, sorry. There are also many ways to Accent.... attack, durational, you can lengthen notes, slurs, contour etc... And once the pulse and accent pattern are established... you can use syncopation, play on and off the beat. Remember... there is a difference between playing off a beat and anticipating a beat. Playing 4+ as compared to +1. (big picture organization as well as in the moment).

  22. #21

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    People do not go on enough about rhythm IMO. I want to hear all your thoughts on the subject.

  23. #22

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    The absolute best way to develop a strong feel is playing along with others who have a great feel. Learn some solos by your favorite players, and play along with them. Over and over and over. Not loosely; exactly. I mean, EXACTLY. I can still play the first guitar solos I've ever learned, note for note, and I learned them nearly forty years ago. Those are your bible. Don't just learn the lines. Squeeze every bit of juicy goodness you can out of those gems. And their time is everything.

    It doesn't matter what genre of music we're talking about, it never ceases to impress me to hear really great players mimic their favorites. They're frighteningly good at that. I'd LOVE to hear Metheny do his Wes impression. Pat doesn't sound anything like Wes, but I guarantee when he learned that stuff, he grabbed every little nuance, every detail, and sounded scary close. I've heard Brecker do that with Coltrane, Eric Johnson imitate, well, just about anyone, and so on. Play those solos along wth the masters and match it up perfectly. And then do it some more. Do it until you just f'ing crush it. The internet is full of players playing their favorite solos, along with the original, and their time just isn't on it. Keep working on it.

    The other thing to do is slow it down. Halve the tempo. Go slow, go slow, go slow.

    I think for most players, time problems are largely technique problems. Try singing the piece, and record it and see how it feels. Then play it and record that.

    Play smaller chunks. Just play one two bar phrase, and do it over and over. Comp a measure, then a lead line. Stop. Start over. Repeat. Ad nauseum. Make that two bar phrase seamless.

    Record the following. Integrate your metronome and mix it up. Place the click on all 4 quarters. On all 1/8s. On 1 & 3. On 2 & 4. On the "and". On every other "and". Listen back and you'll see what you're doing well and what you're struggling with.

    Lastly, from another thread, I think it was Christian who suggested trying to count your quarters out loud while you play. Excellent practice (Thanks Christian!). So take a simple two bar thing, and slow it down and count your quarters while you play. Don't just do it you kinds get a little better, or til you "kinda got it. Do it til that sh** shines. Then do it some more.

    Music, like life itself, starts with a pulse. That's why we shake our ass when the groove is on. And why we sit that ass down when the groove ain't happening.

  24. #23

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    An aspect of this that I haven't seen discussed relates to focus.

    My time is different when I make a conscious effort to focus on swinging hard.

    But, too often, I'll shift focus to some other aspect of the music -- chord tones, scales, trying to find space for the guitar in the sound, trying to vary chord voicings, respond to some idea I hear in the band, trying to execute a melodic idea etc etc etc.

    So, for a too-short period of time, I can swing hard, but, somehow, it doesn't seem to be my natural state. When I hear players with great time-feel, it doesn't seem like there's any other way they could play if they tried.

    The obvious advice is to practice, focus, practice, focus, until it becomes the natural state. But, I haven't found that to help much.

    New topic:

    I know players with poor time who have spent massive amounts of time with the metronome. I have wondered if it becomes a crutch. Then, instead of creating the time, you let the metronome do it and you can get used to that. I know great players who swear by metronome practice and great players who don't.

  25. #24

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    I don't think trying to swing hard is the solution. Actually, it can often make things worse. You try to groove, your technique tightens up, you start to play more on top because you think you are adding 'rhythmic intensity' - but in fact you are not.

    I think the important thing is to hear clearly and execute in a relaxed way. That requires you to hear all the rhythmic details clearly.

    So if you can hear a phrase clearly, and execute it, that gives you a better chance.

    That's one reason why transcription is so important.

  26. #25

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    Some videos that talk about what I mean:





    Personal experience has taught me this as well.
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-27-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  27. #26

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    joshd , this is the absolutly best example ive ever heard of a guitar player using lead and comping, benson with jo jones. if you are searching for this concept, here is your model to shoot for. look for the tricks in here.

    you mention from one bar to the next. im not sure why you say one bar comp, one bar lead , for sure this could be a definite call responce concept . one bar goes by fast



    its got a kind of "moanin " thing going on then , right ?

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    The metronome is a powerful tool, but if you always put the metronome on the beat and synching with it you will end up playing perfect and even but locked in with the beat, or very jerky jerky and dotted. You won’t really swing either way.

    That’s a very European way to look at rhythm. African diaspora rhythms are also concerned with what happens between the beats....

    Many jazz musicians are aware jazz players do not dot the rhythm but in fact play straight. Others are aware that they may lag the beat a little. I’ve heard a few musicians - Peter Bernstein is one - talk about straight and laid back phrasing, soloists lagging the beat a little. You can hear this best in medium tempo phrasing.

    listen to the way Paul Chambers moves between playing the riff of So What behind the beat, and when he’s playing walking lines he is pushing as a good bass player should.

    the wide beat concept talked about above.

    However, the difference between lag and drag, between push and rush - is feeling the upbeats in the right place. This is not in fact always easy even in straight feels.

    For instance put the metronome on your DAW and play a bebop head. See where your upbeats line up; you’ll see right away how consistent - or not - you are.

    Now put the click on the upbeats and play the beat.

    You can do this straight or swing, but it’s about developing your ability to feel the upbeats independent of the beat. We tend to be ... weak at this. A good drummer can explain it you in their playing and lock you in if you are listening and able to feel it, but we can and should always become more sensitised to it and stronger at holding it.

    Groove itself is consistency. You might not be placing your upbeats on any grid, but you do want to be placing them in the same place. Do this and the groove will come. It’s not about metronomic exactness, but it is understanding how the upbeats and downbeats relate and making the negative spaces in rhythm just right.

    drummers understand this much better than guitar players obviously.

    Some people are going to talk rubbish about ‘intuition.’ If you are serious about your playing you don’t have time to indulge these fantasies. Ask a good drummer instead.
    Great info here, thanks so much. I guess being aware that I'm doing it was a step forward in a sense. Actually, I've found it to be reasonably easy to correct since my initial post. But I definitely have a tendency to fall behind the beat if I don't focus on being on it!

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by CarlD
    The absolute best way to develop a strong feel is playing along with others who have a great feel. Learn some solos by your favorite players, and play along with them. Over and over and over. Not loosely; exactly. I mean, EXACTLY. I can still play the first guitar solos I've ever learned, note for note, and I learned them nearly forty years ago. Those are your bible. Don't just learn the lines. Squeeze every bit of juicy goodness you can out of those gems. And their time is everything.

    It doesn't matter what genre of music we're talking about, it never ceases to impress me to hear really great players mimic their favorites. They're frighteningly good at that. I'd LOVE to hear Metheny do his Wes impression. Pat doesn't sound anything like Wes, but I guarantee when he learned that stuff, he grabbed every little nuance, every detail, and sounded scary close. I've heard Brecker do that with Coltrane, Eric Johnson imitate, well, just about anyone, and so on. Play those solos along wth the masters and match it up perfectly. And then do it some more. Do it until you just f'ing crush it. The internet is full of players playing their favorite solos, along with the original, and their time just isn't on it. Keep working on it.
    Yup. I am really hitting the transcribing hard. Tbh I am noticing it helps a lot with phrasing but I find it very hard to place beats - especially at high tempo.

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    An aspect of this that I haven't seen discussed relates to focus.

    My time is different when I make a conscious effort to focus on swinging hard.

    But, too often, I'll shift focus to some other aspect of the music -- chord tones, scales, trying to find space for the guitar in the sound, trying to vary chord voicings, respond to some idea I hear in the band, trying to execute a melodic idea etc etc etc.

    So, for a too-short period of time, I can swing hard, but, somehow, it doesn't seem to be my natural state. When I hear players with great time-feel, it doesn't seem like there's any other way they could play if they tried.

    The obvious advice is to practice, focus, practice, focus, until it becomes the natural state. But, I haven't found that to help much.

    New topic:

    I know players with poor time who have spent massive amounts of time with the metronome. I have wondered if it becomes a crutch. Then, instead of creating the time, you let the metronome do it and you can get used to that. I know great players who swear by metronome practice and great players who don't.

    Thanks for the input. Actually, I have found focus in general a little problematic and I think it relates to your 'new topic' - it's too easy to switch off when practicing with a metronome. Sure I might still be on time, but I'm not really picking anything up. I find it's similar when practicing arpeggios and stuff, it can become just a mechanical exercise and even though I think I am focusing, I'm not. It's kind of like when people expect to get in shape by going to the gym, but don't actually work out ?

  31. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos


    joshd , this is the absolutly best example ive ever heard of a guitar player using lead and comping, benson with jo jones. if you are searching for this concept, here is your model to shoot for. look for the tricks in here.

    you mention from one bar to the next. im not sure why you say one bar comp, one bar lead , for sure this could be a definite call responce concept . one bar goes by fast



    its got a kind of "moanin " thing going on then , right ?
    The bar for bar thing is really an exercise I was given. Tbh I am finding it quite useful as I have to think quicker and can mix in arpeggio/scale practice.

    Hahaha I love that Benson clip, not seen it before! I'm yet to go near any of his lines though!

  32. #31

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but, my time feel is best when I maintain consciousness of my time feel.

    So, the task isn't to learn to do it, it's to make it automatic. To make it the floor, not the ceiling.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos


    joshd , this is the absolutly best example ive ever heard of a guitar player using lead and comping, benson with jo jones. if you are searching for this concept, here is your model to shoot for. look for the tricks in here.
    I'm not about to argue with that.

  34. #33

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    But listen to the way jo jones plays guitar on the bass drum, makes it possible for George to solo at the start of his solo... He's probably do that anyway TBF as he was old school, but how many drummers do that now lol? George plays those little chord stabs nice and tight.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I can't speak for anyone else, but, my time feel is best when I maintain consciousness of my time feel.

    So, the task isn't to learn to do it, it's to make it automatic. To make it the floor, not the ceiling.
    Maybe it works better for you. You tend to play more relaxed than I do.

    So, I think this has three elements

    1) hearing rhythms clearly and accurately
    2) having your chops together to play accurately
    3) being able to relax into it

    You might have one of these qualities.

    I feel I know people who have 2) and 3) and not 1), so they often float. With a good rhythm section they can sound pretty damn good because the drummer will feed them the subdivisions etc, but it can be tiring to play with because they don't have a really strong sense of where the rhythms are at.

    Often they sound very good on recordings with a click etc. They can be very stylish and cool when they get a little more intention.

    On the other hand more fiery people might have 1) and 2) but not feel 3). So they can drive and push and speed up even when we aren't egregiously out of time. But they can be exciting players if we get it under control.

    And some players might have 1) and 3) but not quite have the articulation. So you have sloppy players with good feel... Who I respect a lot more than I used to haha.

    (And there are people with great time who lean one way or the other. Lots of people say Oscar Peterson drives the tempo for instance. On the other hand Wes tends to slow bands down.... different personalities... Anyway.)

    But record yourself and see what you think. My playing sounds both more in time and a lot more vibey surprisingly when I take my foot off the emotional gas in the way Hal and ... 80/20 dude? ... describe. Watch yourself playing.

    Trying to create groove doesn't help at all for me... I have to be still and know.
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-28-2020 at 06:30 PM.

  36. #35

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    for sure , christian, about jo jones , and the bass drum . its also like some walking bass sometimes ..

    the other huge factor that brings it all together is the the great dancer

    this music at its most grooviest , and in certain eras for sure, is for dancing . the beats were made for dances .

    just playing for dancers needs a really firm strong groove ( i love all my associations with dancers )

    that clip blows my mind , and i love if i can do duo with players who know how to be a contained rhythm section, or actualy , we are implying that together, best grooved when served up with a great dancer ( a great samba guitar player who knows , just with drums or percusion even, can hook up with a samba dancer really well )

  37. #36

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    joshd

    everything you are saying about this aproach, can be framed by "call and responce " .

    you call out in a blues shout your lead, and respond with the chord in a rhythmic cadence to compliment it in the groove

    the fewer notes the better

    "call responce " is huge in the afro diasporic diologue . most all the grooves can be broken down into "call responce" parameters , and jazz swing is righth in there too

    so , i think if you aply your mechanics like people are talking about here, and frame it with a "call responce" concept, you should be able to cop it. cop the pick up thing im talking about, and you move your center of gravity up, so , if you go back after practicing the anticipated pick up, and go for the one again, its easiar. you may even want to keep the pick up anticipation aproach for ever and not worry about the one , and be on top of the beat

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Maybe it works better for you. You tend to play more relaxed than I do.

    So, I think this has three elements

    1) hearing rhythms clearly and accurately
    2) having your chops together to play accurately
    3) being able to relax into it

    You might have one of these qualities.

    I feel I know people who have 2) and 3) and not 1), so they often float. With a good rhythm section they can sound pretty damn good because the drummer will feed them the subdivisions etc, but it can be tiring to play with because they don't have a really strong sense of where the rhythms are at.

    Often they sound very good on recordings with a click etc. They can be very stylish and cool when they get a little more intention.

    On the other hand more fiery people might have 1) and 2) but not feel 3). So they can drive and push and speed up even when we aren't egregiously out of time. But they can be exciting players if we get it under control.

    And some players might have 1) and 3) but not quite have the articulation. So you have sloppy players with good feel... Who I respect a lot more than I used to haha.

    (And there are people with great time who lean one way or the other. Lots of people say Oscar Peterson drives the tempo for instance. On the other hand Wes tends to slow bands down.... different personalities... Anyway.)

    But record yourself and see what you think. My playing sounds both more in time and a lot more vibey surprisingly when I take my foot off the emotional gas in the way Hal and ... 80/20 dude? ... describe. Watch yourself playing.

    Trying to create groove doesn't help at all for me... I have to be still and know.
    I'll try to express this another way.

    Tap your foot and sing, bareheaded, a nice version of Come Fly With Me.

    Then, put on one of these ...

    The Classic Frank Sinatra Hats

    Start snapping your fingers and hear the Billy May band playing Frank's arrangement in your head, vamp a 3625, and keep those fingers snapping Sinatra style.

    I know, that if I do that, my time feel is going to swing harder.

    The issue is, next time I play the tune, which way am I going to play it?

    I have to remind myself. Most likely, Billy May did not.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I'll try to express this another way.

    Tap your foot and sing, bareheaded, a nice version of Come Fly With Me.

    Then, put on one of these ...

    The Classic Frank Sinatra Hats

    Start snapping your fingers and hear the Billy May band playing Frank's arrangement in your head, vamp a 3625, and keep those fingers snapping Sinatra style.

    I know, that if I do that, my time feel is going to swing harder.

    The issue is, next time I play the tune, which way am I going to play it?

    I have to remind myself. Most likely, Billy May did not.
    the head wear is important.

  40. #39
    Joking aside, one of my aspirations with all this is to get to a standard where I can pull off a jazz hat.

    I also want to be able to refer to people as 'cats' and describe things as 'hip' without it raising any eyebrows.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Joking aside, one of my aspirations with all this is to get to a standard where I can pull off a jazz hat.

    I also want to be able to refer to people as 'cats' and describe things as 'hip' without it raising any eyebrows.

    Relax)).. just trying doing some music, some fun...

  42. #41
    Thanks for all the advice. Have been practising my timing way more. Turns out there's quite a lot wrong ?

    Does anyone have any tips for counting? I noticed through all this that I cannot keep track of the bars at all unless they are telegraphed by another instrument.

    As it stands, I can either count or play. Not both together ?

  43. #42

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    Counting is like practicing anything. You have keep some things constant while working on the difficult thing.

    so if you have trouble counting while you improvise, take a bop head or a lick, and work on counting through that. You might have to do a bar at a time, that's OK. Your brain will get used to it over time.

    With this type of work, a lot of it is coordination. I find writing out the way it lines up with the beat can be helpful and then practice slowly.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshd
    Thanks for all the advice. Have been practising my timing way more. Turns out there's quite a lot wrong ?

    Does anyone have any tips for counting? I noticed through all this that I cannot keep track of the bars at all unless they are telegraphed by another instrument.

    As it stands, I can either count or play. Not both together ?
    well the good thing is you didnt quit, which is what i wanted to do when i first tried this after playing for years