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Looking for Constructive Criticism of My Rhythm Playing

https://youtube.com/watch?v=3lY42eGFiAk

I am playing at 90bpm because when I get to the faster tempos I get really sloppy. If anyone has feedback for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. You can be brutally honest with me.
Buco

Comments

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Hi J, not bad but you should break down each element to start. Leave the upstroke out for now. Just play the 1 and 3 at a slow tempo and completely damp the 2 and 4 until you get the 1 and 3 to sound how you want (I'm assuming you are not satisfied with it since you are asking, not sure what ur level or experience is so I'll just try to hit everything). Typically you should damp all 4 beats. The 1 and 3 are kind of a 'rake' followed by damping with your left hand. You are letting the 1 and 3 ring the whole time. If that's the sound you like fine but typically all beats are damped especially for more med/up tempos. Only grip lightly with the left hand so it is easier to damp at faster tempos and it also gives you a drier tone (less ringing). Think more towards the percussion and less ringing. Hit all 6 strings even though you are muting some of them to get more percussion. Rake thru all the strings. I think of the 1 and 3 and kind of a 'woof' sound.

    The 2 and 4 are more like a 'chick' sound. Woof chick (1 and 2) if you want to describe it that way. At least that's how I think of it. But don't add the 2 and 4 until you have the 1 and 3. Then just play the 2 and 4 without the 1 and 3. I think of the 2 and 4 more like the pick is gliding across all 6 strings rather than digging in and raking like the 1 and 3. And faster motion with the pick on 2 and 4. Also, damp it even sooner after the pick stroke than the 1 and 3.

    Once you get that put them all together without the upstroke. If you like the sound and it is relaxed and comfortable play along with a medium swing recording that you like and see if you fit in. I like to practice with Gonzalo's stuff with Jeff R since their rhythm is very crisp, dry and not busy. Once you can fit in with that you can start trying to add in the upstroke if you want but keep it light and very close to the 1 and 3 or it will sound bad IMHO.

    Hope that helps and good luck.
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Yes, I'd can the upstroke. That should be like a grace note, if used at all....much of the time, it's an unnecessary bother.
  • Bones wrote: »
    Hi J, not bad but you should break down each element to start. Leave the upstroke out for now. Just play the 1 and 3 at a slow tempo and completely damp the 2 and 4 until you get the 1 and 3 to sound how you want (I'm assuming you are not satisfied with it since you are asking, not sure what ur level or experience is so I'll just try to hit everything). Typically you should damp all 4 beats. The 1 and 3 are kind of a 'rake' followed by damping with your left hand. You are letting the 1 and 3 ring the whole time. If that's the sound you like fine but typically all beats are damped especially for more med/up tempos. Only grip lightly with the left hand so it is easier to damp at faster tempos and it also gives you a drier tone (less ringing). Think more towards the percussion and less ringing. Hit all 6 strings even though you are muting some of them to get more percussion. Rake thru all the strings. I think of the 1 and 3 and kind of a 'woof' sound.

    The 2 and 4 are more like a 'chick' sound. Woof chick (1 and 2) if you want to describe it that way. At least that's how I think of it. But don't add the 2 and 4 until you have the 1 and 3. Then just play the 2 and 4 without the 1 and 3. I think of the 2 and 4 more like the pick is gliding across all 6 strings rather than digging in and raking like the 1 and 3. And faster motion with the pick on 2 and 4. Also, damp it even sooner after the pick stroke than the 1 and 3.

    Once you get that put them all together without the upstroke. If you like the sound and it is relaxed and comfortable play along with a medium swing recording that you like and see if you fit in. I like to practice with Gonzalo's stuff with Jeff R since their rhythm is very crisp, dry and not busy. Once you can fit in with that you can start trying to add in the upstroke if you want but keep it light and very close to the 1 and 3 or it will sound bad IMHO.

    Hope that helps and good luck.

    Thanks for this. I will follow your suggestions.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    I’d also recommend listening to a lot of great rhythm players and trying to emulate their sound.

    There are different sounds but here’s a great one :



    Ya definitely ditch the upstroke until your technique is better, and when it is, make it very fast and subtle. Benji does a very subtle upstroke as you can hear in the video above. Some players make them a bit more pronounced, like Fapy. But it remains really quick
    bohemewarbler
  • edited August 11
    @jpipper17 I'd say if you simply shorten the beats 1 and 3 you'll be much closer. Just try to make it the same length as 2 and 4.
    By the way the course with Benji which Dennis posted a video of, is free on DC Music School site. The videos that Dennis is producing are super well produced and if you buy a couple of his Gypsy Jazz techniques videos you'll have more than enough to understand the mechanics of rhythm playing. After that it's just the time that you put in, constantly referring yourself back to the rhythm players you like, comparing your sound to theirs and putting in more time. Do that cycle for a few years and you're set.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BonesBones Moderator
    That's a really great example Dennis, thanks! I wish I could get my upstroke that subtle. I need to work on that. Sounds like the upstroke is just on the lower few strings and totally damped with the left hand (all percussion).
  • Dampening the 1 and the 3 is the first thing to focus on. Lots of good advice in this thread - Denis' course on rhythm playing is a good investment at DC Music School.
  • PompierPompier MarylandNew Cigano GJ-15
    edited August 13
    Check out Benji's version of All of Me from the same course. It's free at DC Music School, though not up on Youtube. It's the same style of rhythm, but at a much slower tempo, and so a lot easier to replicate.

    And check out Wrembel's playalongs for rhythm with no upstroke. Blues en mineur is a good slow-tempo swing number to start with:

    http://www.djangobooks.com/forum/discussion/comment/91784/#Comment_91784
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MOâś­âś­âś­âś­ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    Your biggest mistake is that in the swing tune you're playing, albeit very slow for a swing tune, there are 8 beats on a chord before you change to the next chord. You're only pressing down on the fret board on 4 beats per chord. You need to be pressing down and then releasing. It's a press and release on each beat technique. Press and release. Press and release. It is a partial press and release though, so your fingers stay on the strings.

    That's generally how it works in Gypsy Jazz rhythm, although players will press and hold sometimes when changing chords to emphasize the chord change. Adrien Moignard does this quite a bit, but some players rarely do, such as Gonzalo.

    See this video so you know what I'm talking about.

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