[Harp-L] Syncopated, or just loose?

I recently commented on how to help a student gain rhythm awareness. Today,
I'm super-charged by another student's choice of Frank Sinatra tunes played
on his chromatic (The way you look tonight) and Peggy Lee's Fever.

The student is reading treble clef and becoming aware of the vocalist's
phrasing as it varies from the chart. We are identifying examples of
phrases that SOUND free of rhythmic construction, yet actually are VERY
precisely syncopated.

This week I challenged the student to use a metronome, to play these tunes
successively (progressively?) slower by 10 BPM and record each pass for me
to hear. I think this process will help him "see" the spaces between beats,
and be playing very accurately when he returns to "tempo as recorded."

At this moment, I believe Willy Nelson often phrases VERY loosely. Upon
closer examination, I may find that he, too, is precisely syncopated... or
not. (grin).

Robert Hale
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