- HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RHYTHM AT THE GUITAR?

As I said very often in "guitar Vlog", if we had to work a single thing every day, for me it would be the rhythm.

Indeed whether it is my students or the guitarists whose videos I can see on Facebook or youtube what is most lacking to Western musicians is the rhythm ...

What is the common element of any great musician of all styles and instruments? It's a good sense of rhythm.

I am speaking here of rhythm in the broad sense of the term but we can attribute to it several notions:

  • the tempo: the tempo is supposed to be a constant common to all the musician of the same group to be able to play together. There may be a change of tempo in the song or the song may speed up a bit or slow down a bit. Some are totally against these small accelerations or slowdowns but I tell myself that if the music requires it should not hesitate.
  • You only have to listen to "september" of earth wind & fire from the end to the beginning and you will realize that the song has to speed up, or Miles New Miles milestones and there you will realize that the song has slowed down. Who would dare to throw stones at these two artists?
  • The rhythm is the way to "fill" the tempo with the different rhythmic figures: black, eighths, triplets etc ... what is magic is that with links, subdivisions, silences and the concept of polyrhythm on reaches practically an infinity of possibilities.

 

  • Groove and swing: "groove is a kind of swing and swing is a kind of groove. It's hard to define these two terms that make music magical. We attribute the term groove to binary rhythms most of the time and the term swing to jazz which is supposed to be ternary. How to define the feeling of love or joy? Difficult to describe a state with words ... in general we know it without being able to explain it ... just listen to Michael Jackson sing or dance to understand what is groove; Charlie Parker or adderley canonball to understand what swing is ...
  • The rhythmic interpretation: you have surely heard of "playing in the depths of time" or "in time" or "playing on time". It is the act of interpreting the rhythm while keeping the tempo. One could add to that the fact of playing rubato. In jazz some soloists play at the bottom of the time or Lay back as john scofield, dave liebman or Sylvain Luc among many others. I tend to do that too ... more mimicry because I raised many solos of these three artists but I would say that it depends on the context because in extremely fast tempos it is very hard to play in the depths of time. In this case even the notion of swing is subjective ... that said when we slow down very fast solos of great jazzmen there is nevertheless a notion of swing which is directly generated by the sentences themselves.
  • The rhythmic seat: solid like a rock! Talking about it in this chapter is limited New age ... it is one of the aspects on which I practice the most. Make black but deep (again expressing a feeling with words is not easy). In recent years I have noticed that many drummers and musicians in general are sorely lacking a rhythmic basis. For me it is necessary that when one plays alone the tempo is anchored deeply, for example when one plays solo guitar or duet with a singer it is necessary that the tempo is clear and omnipresent even if one plays polyrhythms or tempos in the tempo. When we play with a drummer who has a good rhythmic base we feel it because we do not even need to think or concentrate, we are like on an airport treadmill.

In the guitar school there are 3 complete chapters devoted to rhythm. Besides I can tell you that after filming all these videos I felt the progress almost instantly especially the exercises in Chapter II to develop its rhythmic sense. The trance, the singing, the percussions ... assimilated to a kind of meditation that I put into practice as soon as I can: by car, by public transport, when I walk on the street etc ...

I have written many exercises for this chapter which will be published as and when and which will call for independence.

The habit
It is obvious that a person who has never played in 7/4 or 5/8 or 15/16 etc ... can not be comfortable overnight.

This is unorthodox rhythmic signatures but this is the case for all types of rhythms. Example a person who comes from rock often has trouble on reggae or swing or even funk for example.

Each style has its own rhythmic interpretation, its own groove its own language etc ...

By doing the job of professional guitarist we are often faced with playing a lot of different styles and especially to make the studio. This is where we really realize. Since I have worked a lot in jazz and fusion, it's hard to "narrow down".

Already at the level of harmonic material but also rhythmic ...

The interest of playing very slowly :


Whenever I slowly work diligently I notice the progress almost instantly as do the rhythmic exercises of Chapter II of the guitar school.

After working with the metronome at 40 for a few hours we feel a more specific and more rhythmically inspired shot especially when we start to use flow rates which we are not used as the quintolet for example.

Put the rhythmic idea in the foreground


I've been doing this exercise for a number of years ... I started working on it with be bop themes, that is to say I was taking a piece of Charlie Parker and I was improvising with the rhythm of the theme. At this point we realize that nothing but the rhythm alone is enough to make it heard and helps to create a great solo and especially gives almost an infinity of possibilities if we shift the rhythmic fragments.

I also noticed that when we adore a phrase in a solo is often the rhythm that calls us so do not forget to note the locations of the sentences: where does the phrase go from and where does it arrive? It may be as important as the heights of sound that compose it.

In all these videos you will find some ideas to work the rhythm and in the guitar school you will find many more, do not forget that it is better to play false notes in rhythm than to play the good steps in rhythm ... ideally it is to play the good with a great pace ...

 
 
 

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