Call Us


Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Today's Birthdays

Tom Minet kalinka Pyramidion

Who's Online (1)

  • Scoredog 5:44PM

Eat Your god*amn Spinach.

NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
edited July 2017 in Gypsy Jazz 101
Some of you may be familiar with the Phrase

(1)Eat your god*am spinach.

It can be said to the polyrhythm of three over four (below).

1001 1010 1100

Lots of musicians have used it to learn to 'hear' a simple polyrhythm.

However all things are not equal because it is clear that phrase(1) has a bias in three four. This is to do with the sense of the words. To prove this you say it out loud tapping three even beats and it feels one way and then you tap, and feel, four even beats and .............it feels REAL WEIRD and the words lose their meaning.... but you can do it, and you can even get comfortable with it.

Here is the same collection of hits in the same order with the same separation grouped in threes.

100 110 101 100

and here is another phrase.

(2) This rhythm counts in four.

And you can say phrase(2) to a count of four far more easily than to a count of three, again because of the meaning.

In fact you can program a sequencer to repeat the pattern of hits and then take turns saying either phrase along with the computerised rhythm.

There are two important things to note about this last experiment for those few of you who are, like me, curious enough to do it.

1. The sequencer is not in charge of what the words mean.
2. Sequencers do not make particularly sensitive accompanists.
3. Rhythm is more to do with intent than with bean counting.

If anyone actually gets the point of this I would be simply delighted to hear from them. Honestly guys it would really make my day.

Comments from those determined to miss my point or who think that it doesn't relate to music making probably won't interest me terribly.

However this is the internet after all and lots of 'differently smart' people will be impressed with twitter style faux moral outrage and anti-intellectual clichés etc.




  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    I'm not really sure what you are talking about but I guess I'll I put my two cents:
    I don't usually associate a phrase for "polyrhythm" since I find much easier to use konnakol to apply "rythmic tensions" over some desired metric.
    Specially because it's really easy to control where you want your accents and do some fancy stuff playing with many different metrics.

    For example, at least in GJ you can often find the eights subdivided in 3 by an accent, creating a certain rythmic tension that I find very useful to expand my vocabulary while improvising.

    What is especially important is the sense of time and intention over this, some fancy subdivision is not enough to really have an impact over this kind of stuff.

    A great example of possibilities for polyrhythm is konnakol, it has made my life much easier for this kind of stuff.

  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Thanks Eli, I know a little about Konokol but don't use it in my own practice. If I were playing Indian classical music or variations thereof I like to think that I would take the time to learn it properly and respect the tradition and methodology of that system.

    For example when an additive phrase is used over a common time signature the phrase has to be understood in that context and that is the principle work of preparing to use it.

    This guy has a go.

    I do think Eli that you could spend a little time thinking about what I wrote above, however unfashionable an endeavour that might be. It is more to do with western music and the interaction of melody and implied harmony and why standard notation is written the way that it is when it is written well.
  • I mean I chanted along in both 3/4 and 4/4 but I'm not sure what's supposed to happen other than feeling silly and thinking you might be playing a practical joke?
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    How do these look to you Buco.

    Ea tyourgo damnspi nach.

    Thisrhy thimncount sinfour.

    Easy to read, correct, avoiding unnessecary confusing ?

    Another thing, spinach is good with chicken, for a balanced diet. Tablature is not music.

  • To my ear/brain is how much emphasis (subtle or not) that is placed on certain beats. whether a piece is in 3/4 4/4 12/8 or 11/8 or whatever.

    That seems to drive the way a soloist phrases things to some degree.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    To my ear/brain is how much emphasis (subtle or not) that is placed on certain beats. whether a piece is in 3/4 4/4 12/8 or 11/8 or whatever.

    Hi Jay, I don't think that's quite it. Take 4/4, a classical interpretation of a given melody wants a heirarchy of principal accents on the downbeats 1 and three and a jazz interpretation the exact opposite with accents on all offbeats and down beat accents on two and four. A latin or pop interpretation, from Jobim to the Beatles, feels just two down beats in four (2/2 really) with the principal accent on the second and sharp accents on the last quaver in every group of four.

    They would however all have the same harmonic rhythm which is, I believe, the principle consideration when notating tonal music. That means that regardless of the style of performance the score would look the same.

    The thing that makes a tune a tune is the tune etc. A good sight reader puts her or his interpretation on the melody using their knowledge of the perceived style and their fluency in the style selected.

    In every case feel and style are very complicated and whatever rules you generate to describe a style will be routinely be contradicted by a knowledgeable performer. That doesn't mean that it's all baloney though it just means that style is complicated and takes time to get.

    Same with sight reading, it's not about getting things right, that is a very low and uninteresting bar. The goal is to make music and the clearer the score the easier, and more fun, that task is.

    Would you give this to an actor ?

    Wou. DLyoug ivet histoa nac tor !

    Or this


    If there were an actor who learned all their parts phonetically without understanding the words it might take them a very long time to improve their performances, and if they were to make a mistake they might find that they would need to go straight back to the start only to make the same mistake, over and over and over.


  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    I normally don't think of things in hex-decimal figures , I just listen to percussionists and try to feel their rhythms...here is an example ruffed mix coming up off The Idiomatiques upcoming CD...the rhythms start at around 20 secs.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31773631/Google This ruff (Snippet).m4a
  • NylonDaveNylonDave Glasgow✭✭✭ Perez Valbuena Flamenca 1991
    edited July 2017
    Always a pleasure to hear what you're working on Scoredog !
    I like the track and you are getting a great guitar sound there.

    I would call that 'New Jack' feel, two to a bar, accent on two and swung sixteenths. Pretty common in Funk and a real feel good rhythm, also happens in Reggea a lot. There was a great instructional by the sadly departed Ross Bolton where he provided a load of patterns for rhythm guitar and played them with even sixteenths and then swung sixteenths. I would recommend it to players of all levels.

    I absolutely agree with you that listening close and feeling it is the only thing that you ever really need to do.

    But that skill sits on top of the totality of a players previous study and experience. We would all like to be in the position of listening and getting it right away but that is not the reality for most people, especially amateurs and people new to a style. No amount of avoiding study helps when people find it difficult to hear clearly on their own. But that study is fun, learn to sing a melody whilst drumming along (single strokes) and it should come for most people if they are prepared to take their time and go slow.

    If a composer wants to write things down then they need their understanding of the written medium to be as strong as their internal understanding. That way the composer can give players a fighting chance of understanding too from the score alone. That will take study too and it is fun. The only people who think that it isn't haven't done it.

  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    I think maybe one advantage was sight reading through Louis Belson rhythm books as a teen. I probably take most rhythm things for granted so you are right, to the someone just beginning to think about this stuff there should be another path. There are still a few rhythms that throw me on occasion but having played with great drummers like Rayford Griffin (Jean Luc) if you can keep time while they are soling thats a good barometer.

    On a side note really tragic about Ross and a sudden shock when us LA musicians learned his diagnosis. We traveled in similar circles but rarely crossed paths. Very well liked and highly thought of.
  • Plus 1 for Louis Bellson Books

    Dave as I read through what you wrote I think we are pretty much saying the same concepts just quite different words
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
Sign In or Register to comment.
Kryptronic Internet Software Solutions