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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Developing a rhythmic concept

Happy new year! To everyone who, like me, is wondering where the time went from last year allow me to introduce an new topic on time...

When I talk about a rhythmic concept in our playing I'm referring to a way of approaching and thinking about improvisation that puts rhythm as the chief organizational concept. Music of course has to have rhythm as well as melody and harmony (or does it?) at least the kind of soloing that I'll be referring to in the next few posts. What I'll be illustrating is the way in which I've been able to relate some of the rhythmic exercises I developed in the "Think like a drummer" posts to my instrument, the piano. I've attempted to make a few of the exercises playable by both pianists and non pianists alike. Because of the way in which playing the piano co-ordinates two hands it's useful for all instrumentalists to work on these exercises as a way of internalizing the concepts. Later I'll analyze a solo by Herbie Hancock to demonstrate how a true master uses them.

For the first exercise I've taken the octatonic scale and divided it equally between the two hands. Once you've finished learning these make sure you try switching hands. Alway put the metronome on and keep tapping your foot in eighth notes.

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