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Looking for Constructive Criticism of My Rhythm Playing



  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,900
    Hi JP, nice work. Definitely making progress. Now I would say it's more of a refinement thing. Still a bit too much ringing (IMHO) but that is more of a style personal preference thing. Just so you know you are playing the way you WANT to play maybe try experimenting and see absolutely how short and dry you can make each pulse??? That way you know you really have control of the sound/tone and you are getting the sound that you want. Again, listen to recordings of rhythm players that you like and try to play along and sound like them. At this point I would say make it crisper, dryer (less ringing) and more percussive (but not louder. Remember you are also the drummer. If you make each beat shorter there will be more space between the beats (if that makes sense to you) and that way the pulse is more emphasized and swinging (that gets toward what I called 'crisper' above). One way to shorten each beat is too not grip too hard when you grab the chord with your left hand. It really doesn't take that much pressure to sound the notes of the chord and if you grip lightly that will facilitate releasing (damping) the sound more quickly. Right now each beat is not that distinct but again, if that's the sound you are going for, fine as long as you can control it on purpose. But I'd suggest playing around with trying for a crisper/dryer/percussive sound just to see if you can do that. Play slower if you need to until you get the sound that you like.

    I hope that helps. Sorry if the words don't describe it well enough but I think you've progressed in your technique to the point where it is more of a feel thing that is harder to describe in words.
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    edited September 2018 Posts: 218
    I agree with Bones. You made a distinct change and improvement with your left hand technique. Now, you need to refine your right hand technique while you continue to work on getting the sound you want. You have to ask yourself whether or not you want to try to incorporate the upstroke (or grace note) on the 1 and 3 or not. Some players might suggest to start your development right away with this traditional la pomp style; others might suggest sticking with all downstrokes at the start. Adrien Moignard is playing it with downstrokes in the video on this thread. Are you okay with that? I think it's cool, but not everyone likes that style. I think it's important NOT to learn in a way that you'll say later on, "But that's NOT the sound I'm after!" I suggest to start with the sound that you're shooting for.
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 492
    I would say you made a world of improvement over the first video. The best way to improve further (for me, anyway) would be to play with others. That forces you to improve your listening, timing, and fine-tuning your rhythm playing. Barring that, play along with your favorite tracks.
  • jpipper17jpipper17 New Saga Cigano GJ-10
    edited September 2018 Posts: 34

    The traditional la pompe is what got me into this style. So I want to get it down. I love the shape of djangos hand during his playing with all four others in this video. La pompe and lead. The two videos I post are what I want! The instructional guy, django, and the guy left of django behind stephan...I want that kinda rhythm. I also like the benj winterstein videos recommended.

    @bohemewarbler @Andrew Ulle

  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 97
    Sounding SO MUCH better.

    Just something to be aware of, in case it's not intentional, you're making the "ones" when the chord changes longer than the "ones" when it doesn't. But sounding much better.

    Keep that wrist loose, like shaking out a match...that's the key to not building tension and tiring out...
  • jpipper17jpipper17 New Saga Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 34
    jeffmatz wrote: »
    Sounding SO MUCH better.

    something to be aware of, in case it's not intentional, you're making the "ones" when the chord changes longer than the "ones" when it doesn't. But sounding much better.

    Keep that wrist loose, like shaking out a match...that's the key to not building tension and tiring out...

    The longer ones were intentional, but that's something I am changing. I keep switching between techniques and recommendations and who I'm trying to sound like. It makes my practicing frustrating. If I want to play rhythm like Django and his rhythm section, shouldn't I practice la pompe? But others say leave the rest stroke out for now...when do I add it in though? Adding it in changes the whole feel in my right hand. I'm kinda without a direction. Perhaps i should quit thinking so hard and just play along with django and try to make it swing.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,900
    Haha, yeah I've always struggled with that. Too many choices. It's hard to just pick a direction and follow it.
  • jpipper17jpipper17 New Saga Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 34

    Is this la pompe any better? Do you still think I need to cut the up stroke out for now, or can I build up on this? Brutal honesty folks.
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    Posts: 218
    If you know the direction you want to go with your rhythm style, then I think you should go with it. Using the upstroke on the one and three is to me all one fluid motion, so you should learn to play and treat it as one fluid motion. Start slowly and slowly build up speed and refine as you go. And maintain a good player's posture (not like your last video). As mentioned above, imitate the style of those you wished you sounded like until you feel you've made it. And you must play and jam with other GJ players: those around your level and especially those who will be better than you. It's really a must. Think of it like learning to play tennis. You can only improve so much by hitting against a wall.
  • Posts: 2,853
    Brutally honestly speaking it sounds good.

    Going to different directions and trying out different stylistic things and deciding what sounds better is telling me you're putting ego aside, listening and being critical of your own playing. That's the best thing you can ask of yourself in order to improve.

    You're coming to the point where picking out things to improve on would be nitpicking. Sounds like going forward you just need to play as much as you can and as mentioned above look for people to play with if you can.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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