Rhythm

The first thirty years are the worst

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Do you find it more difficult to learn the rhythm or lead to a Gypsy tune?

Lead
11
69%
Rhythm
5
31%
 
Total votes : 16

Rhythm

Postby Djangologist » Sun Jul 06, 2003 4:41 am

Howdy,
I was wondering if anyone could provide any help in figuring out the rhythm parts to these gypsy tunes. I do know about the three note voicings, and I am starting to feel the flow of most of the chords. I guess one of the few songs I've taken and picked up the rhythm part soley by ear is Belleville just a few weeks ago. I know hard work and practice are the only ways to get where you're goingm, but if any one has any shortcuts, hints or strategies I'd much appreciate hearing them.
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Postby Phydeaux3 » Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:34 pm

Djangologist
Unfortunately there is no short cut to rhythm. You've got to listen, listen and listen some more and absorb the groove being played. Then pick up the guitar and try and sit in with what you hear. You'll also find that different songs have different grooves to them. Then you've got to decided whether you want to try to play rhythm played by different sectors of the gypsy family i.e Dutch is different to French is different to German etc.
Hope it helps.
Alors! Un, deux...
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Postby Northern-Neil » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:04 pm

I voted for the rythm here. Now I (finally)know how to do it right, obviously the rythm part, when it comes to new tunes, is the easiest. But I've got to say, it personally took me about 4 or five years to get the rythm about right, whereas long ago I was playing adequate and note perfect, although admittedly stilted, lead lines.
...Eh up, Djangologists!
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Postby TedGottsegen » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:17 pm

Although I'm biased when it comes to rhythm, I have to say that they are both equally as complex. The guy that I used to play with, he is a great soloist and told me in no uncertain terms how hard he feels playing rhythm is - it's being a drummer and not only maintaining the beat, but the accents, time, volume - playing fast without playing loud. All lead players who try to do it say the same thing. Ninine Garcia told a friend that Mondine made him play rhythm for 10 years before he was allowed to take a solo.
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Postby djangology » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:51 pm

Yeah, I think its more complex than I first realized as well. Someone told me once that all jazz players can play between 3-5 different speeds depending on how developed their sense of rhythm is.

For example: The beginner/intermediate players can usually only zero in on 80, 120, and 160 BPM. The advanced players can feel the difference between 70, 100, 130, 160. The expert players can differentiate between 60, 90, 120, 150, 180. Theoretically, as the sense of rhythm improves, so does your ability to differentiate between these tempos.

If you can't play more than 3 tempos, then all you have to create interest to the listener is different keys. By improving your sense of tempo, you have more room to create music to the ear. When I first started playing I think I only used slow and fast, which gets boring really quick.

Imagine yourself sitting around with your buddies deciding whether the next song should be slow, medium, or fast. After thinking about that, imagine if you were able to break it down and tell your band to play medium-fast, and they actually knew exactly what speed you were talking about. :-)
Last edited by djangology on Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Phydeaux3 » Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:03 pm

It's a hell of a disipline.
I sometimes think I've got it right and am swinging away, then when Colin plays whilst I solo, I find that my rhythm is thin, rather weak and not swinging at all compared to him. I reckon as pointers to 'the sound' it's down to how you hold your plectrum, how your arm is hooked around the guitar to ensure that the thumb is square against the strings, how under control you are i.e authoritative but not loud.
Again back to my previous post it also down to the type of songs you play. Take for example 'There Will Never Be Another You'. As a duo, I start this song, whilst the theme is played, with a slightly modern rhythm. The kind that to old jazzers play or 'whisking the eggs' at it's sometimes called here. Once we're into the improv. bit I play the 'choom chaa' gypsy style as best I can. Eventually it's all down to whether it swings with no gaps or faffing around inbetween the 1-2 beats. If there's a hole there, its very difficult to solo against. If you add an extra up stroke beat, you're then making 6 beats in a 4 beat bar. This will tend to turn your playing either into trad jazz or some hillbilly beat and is absolutely awful to solo against. It has to be a relatively strict but swinging 1-2, 1-2 beat.
Whilst I'm not trying to push Colin's Under Paris Skies CD I find the rhythm there very clear to hear. Barrington does an excellent job in keeping the rhythm down for Colin's lead and when James solos with violin, Colin's rhythm playing, comping and accenting enhances what Barrington does. If you listen over and over as I've done, it's basically all there, just learn what chords you need and play along. Listen to Moreno's CD's for example for the genuine 'Gypsy' hardcore rhythm playing and try and cut out the solo in your mind. Of course listen to Django and again try and hear what's going on behind him, Stephane and the others. Whichever gypsy player you like you will not hear any holes in the 1-2, 1-2 beat from their rhythm players.
Practise, practise and more practising and playing with other people and asking their opinion of your rhythm work against their soloing is I think the only way to learn, and I'm still learning.
Alors! Un, deux...
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Postby Northern-Neil » Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:13 pm

TedGottsegen wrote: Ninine Garcia told a friend that Mondine made him play rhythm for 10 years before he was allowed to take a solo.

Something I wish English players would take account of, especially when trying out a new rhythm guitarist. You give 'em an anecdote like that, they look you in the eye and nod as if they fully understand, but you can guarantee that within a month they're complaining about not getting any solos.
...Eh up, Djangologists!
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Postby nwilkins » Sun Jul 13, 2003 4:58 pm

When Ninine told me that, he was speaking about a few things.
1. the necessity of playing rhythm for a long time to be able to get it right
2. the benefits that being an excellent rhythm player brings to your solo playing
3. Most importantly according to him, those 10 years were spent REALLY LISTENING to Mondine and others solo (something people don't do enough of) in addition to gaining a really sound knowledge of the interplay between rhythm and lead guitar. Thus he FULLY UNDERSTOOD the music, it was all in his heart and his soul, before he ever took a solo. He lamented that too many players today do not have a sufficient understanding of the music, and thus lack true feeling in their playing.
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Postby justjack » Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:53 am

I thought I'd tack my question on here, as it seems closely enough related: when playing rhythm (in this style), are there characteristic 'gypsy' moves often used to make things more interesting? I'm not thinking so much about the beat as about the chords themselves. For instance, if you've got four bars of a single chord (think Sweet Georgia Brown, or I'll See You in My Dreams), what are some of the ways you can keep it interesting? I've been using a lot of tritones and inversions, but the tritones often sound too modern, and the inversion/walk-down with a diminished chord can get stale quick. Most of my other attempts (ii-V ideas, half-step stuff) seem somehow awkward. In short(!), if anyone's got the cure-all, do let me know. In the meantime, I'll get Colin's book, which oughta help.
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Postby Djazz Nomad » Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:15 pm

In answer to JJ's last post, I don't think there is a cure all or formula for making rhythm chords more 'interesting'.

The rhythm part should be as simple as possible (chord wise), to allow the soloist to create the interest, tension/ release, inside/outside playing or whatever you want to call it. If a tune has 2,3 or more bars of a particular chord, the rhythm player should just pump it out. Obviously when playing this part alone it sounds a bit un-interesting (unless you're a phenomenally good rhythm player!!!!!!!!!), but the soloist really needs this 'basic' structure to play with/against at his or her discretion.

Check out the Django clip, J'attendrai, listen to any of the originals or the modern day exponents and try to isolate the rhythm parts and you'll see/hear what I mean!! :wink:
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Postby justjack » Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:06 pm

I think it's the bit about being alone that's getting me-trying to somehow incorporate little bits of melody and/or bass lines to flesh things out. Maybe I just need to round up some other people to practice with, rather than trying to do it all at once. That said, I feel like I do hear little variations on recordings-usually nothing huge, but more like a move from a ninth chord to 7b9, and I suppose I'm wondering about that sort of thing. Obviously I don't expect any hard and fast rules, just examples of what might be considered common. (Roll eyes here).
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Postby Jan Primus » Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:02 pm

I II-7 II#° I/3-bass forward or backwards works sometimes, but dont overdo it. So G6 A-7 A#° G with a B in the bass for the key of G.
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Postby TedGottsegen » Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:59 pm

justjack wrote:I thought I'd tack my question on here, as it seems closely enough related: when playing rhythm (in this style), are there characteristic 'gypsy' moves often used to make things more interesting?


Jack,

Buy the Cosimini book, it's filled with all sorts of things like this. All of the transcriptions are straight manouche and can be heard on albums by all the greats. It's worth every penny.

Best,

Ted
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Postby justjack » Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:42 pm

Sent in my order yesterday! But thanks still; I'm waiting by the mailbox.
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Postby Plowboy » Tue Jul 29, 2003 6:24 am

You won't have to wait long Jack. I sent in my order late on a Thursday night and got it the next Monday morning--and all the way from England no less. (Zoot is a god!)
Ted's right --worth every penny.
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