I have always been fascinated with rhythm: I remember hearing the preservation hall jazz band when I was around 10, it knocked me out!. A few years later I heard Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald, amazing! the rhythmic drive and swing was unbelievable. Anything that I hear that moves me like those concerts did is still just as exciting. Brazilian music, Cuban music, classical music (when it's great!) is just as exciting. How do we learn to master and fully connect to this most essential part of the music, Rhythm?
Why is it that when some musicians play, even though they seem to be doing all of the right things, it doesn't really work? Then you hear someone else and you know, it's the real thing.
When we listen to music we don't just use our ears. If we are open to it we respond, we "listen" with our entire body. When we really listen to music it truly "moves" us. If we can recall that full body response when we make music then we can truly move others with our music.
When you learn to understand and fully embody all the elements of rhythm you will learn to really connect with the audience, and the other musicians your are playing with.
The beat, meter, linear and vertical motion, subdivision, gesture, harmonic rhythm, phrases, formal units; all are rhythmic elements that can be understood and embodied. Great musicians do this, partly from conscious practice, partly intuitvely and partly from immersion in the music (imitation and assimilation). If understand and embody all of these musical elements, your music will work.
Lessons (Skype or in person) and workshops available.
"I thank you for your amazing input. I applied the principles of developing a feeling for every possible placement in the most common subdivisions to my practice routine, combined it with the full body awareness and exercises you showed us and added my observations. And WOW! I am playing better, more relaxed, concentrated and swinging then EVER before. Also all the people I played with recently were surprised."
A particular interrest has be rhythmic structures that are new to me.
When I started playing music in odd-meters (not wild about the term frankly) it was much less common and it was breaking new ground. My interest in "odd-meters" has always been because it can feel so good and groove so hard (never because I wanted it to "interesting" (the kiss of death) ).
I had a trio with two great musicians, Massimo Biolcati (bass, and the creator of irealbook) and my dear friend, the late-great Take Toryama (drums). We spent a lot of time together, practicing together, thinking and listening together, not copying other music but figuring out how Moment's Notice should sound in 11/8 (below). It was an incredible and formative learning experience for me.. The experience of learning how 11/8 and 5/8 and 5/4 groove (without a model) was a game-changer. It gave a model for really learning how to get deeper into 3/4 and 4/4, (meters that everyone thinks are "easy" (it is very easy to confuse familiarity with understanding).
Lessons (in person or Skype) and workshops available. .