Is This Why Your Rhythm Is Weak?

We’re going to talk simple music math.
But, I promise you it will help your groove. I’ll make it easy.

To get you started here’s a couple videos  I created where I talk about groove and syncopation.

 ==> How To Make Your Melodies Swing Better <==

  ==> 2 Syncopation Tricks For Your Left Hand  <==

Ok so follow me here. Lets say you put a metronome on 60BPM.

That just means there is a click every second right?
And a second is just a unit of time.

And of course a second can be divided in infinite ways.
There’s infinite fractions of time within a second.

Now, here’s where it gets cool.
If you want to improve your groove, just control where you are within that second. 

Great groove artists place there notes in the same general area.

If you place your notes on the last part of the beat then in general you should consistently place them there. 

Same thing goes for middle of the beat or front of the beat.

Try to stay consistent.

Don’t move from back, to center, to front. It makes your listeners crazy.

Again try to stay consistent.

1 Reason Your Rhythm Is Weak

1 of the reasons you may have bad groove is that you metronomic time might be great. But your beat placement is inconsistent.

In general, jazz musicians tend to play on the back part of the beat. For example, take a listen to the playing of musicians like Miles Davis, Gene Harris, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Bruce Hornsby and Herbie Hancock.

They were all masters of time. But, a lot of time they played on the back end of the beat.

Take a listen to this song Sittin’ In the Sandtrip. It’s a Milt Jackson tune but the Rhodes playing on is Gene Harris.

Listen to the 1st solo. That’s Gene. He’s so far back on the beat.

By the way, this groove stuff is my secret weapon. We’ll continue to talk more about this soon.

But, in the meantime watch your placement. Reap the rewards.

Talk soon,
Steve “Beat Placement” Nixon

P.S. For those that own the Jazz Improvisation Super System. Watch how David places all his notes when he’s showing you how to improvise over Misty, Song For My Father, and Footprints. It’s gold.

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Steve Nixon