Help With Rhythm
- Subject: Help With Rhythm
- From: Bill Houle <saxandharper@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 15:37:46 -0800 (PST)
I've gotten some good off-line replies on how to get
get better rhythm and phrasing with my harp playing.
One in particular stood out and I got permission from
the author of the following reply to post it, though
he prefers to remain anonymous. I thought it was a
great suggestion and worth sharing. A very simple
technique but I'm finding it hard to do! Back to the
"I hope this helps. I don't know your level of musical
understanding, so i'll keep it simple (it works for
me). Most blues is played on the down beat. Say, 4/4
time (4 beats to the bar)....1 and 2 and 3 and
4....you accent your playing on the down beat (the
numbers). Pretty simple, eh.
Now if you're playing funk, groove, jazz, the accents
are played mostly the up beats (the ands, between the
numbers). Listen carefully to funk horn
players...always on the up beat. Tap your foot...1 and
2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and etc etc..... and ONLY
PLAY WHEN YOUR FOOT IS UP. Practice this until its
second nature. Also a long phrase can begin on the up
Listen to lots of funk/groove/jazz horn (trumpet, sax)
players.....tap your foot to the beat and take note of
the up beat. Its taken me quite some time to learn to
play on the up beats, but its where the action is!
Most harp players play on the down beat (blues).
Although, Lee Osker ('War'band) is a good horn style
harp player. And Magic Dick from the 'J Geils Band"
is also very good. My listening education has come
from horn players, not so much from harp players,
especially for timing and phrasing, . I focus heavily
on horn lines with my current originals band
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