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RIIYTHM SECTIOI\ MASTER CLASS HANDOUT

FIVE IMPORTANT GLIIDELINES FOR BEING A BETTER RHYTHM


SECTION PLAYER

1. TIME The ability to keep a consistent pulse. All musicians strive to "groove" as hard
and as steadily as possible; oniy when you as a player can internalize good time can you
hope to create music rvith a good feel. The metronome and practicine with it is your best
friend in your search for good time.

2. FEEL The ability to use time and stylistic characteristics to correctly enhance the
musical moment. Everybody knows when a tune doesn't "feel" right. Feel is a quality
that musicians acquire only after hours and hours of careful study and emulation of all
styles of music. Rock "feels' like rock for a reason, just as swing feels like swing and it's
the rhyhm section player's responsibility to acquaint themselves with the differences and
lvhen to use or not use them. Simplicity is always a good rule of thumb, don't clutter a
song with more than it needs to become effective.

3. STYLE The lcnowledge of distinctive dffirences between varieties of music. Why


does swing feel like swing? Is it the same as be-bop? When someone says: "Play a Latin
groove." do you play a bossa nova, a samba, a cha-cha, what?! Is rock the same as funk?
Is funk the same as swing-funk? There are right and wrong ways to play these and many
mores stvles of music and it is the musicians job to be familiar with as many of them as
possible. There are many qualities that these styles all share and you can become more
knoi.vledgeable about them by listening to as much music as you possibly can either
recorded or live, by studying privately or checking out method books and instructional
videos, or perhaps by way of the internet and the numerous web sites there are to offer.
Jazz incorporates many styles as well as the art of improvisation, the distinctive property
that makes rl Jaz.z.

4. PRACTICE The individual effirt a musician must accomplish to achieve mus;ical


proficiency; woodshedding. Every great player has spent countless hours practicing to
master the three basic components of music, Melody, Harmony and Rhythm. Individual
practice is the only way to "get under your fingers" the musical skills you need to become
a solid player; actively listening, playing in tune, playing with a solid rhythmic feel,
understanding how to get a good sound from your instrument, understanding chord
structure (harmony) and how it relates to melody and improvisation, understanding
stylistic differences, these are all areas that the player of today must strive to master.
5. JAM. REHEARSE. AND PERFORM The individrtal musician getting together
with others to PLAY MUSIC in dffirent surroundings. "Everybody sounds great in the
practice room." An old saying that means if you don't get out and play lvith other people,
all that rvork you put into the practice room doesn't mean much. Besides, there is a
wealth of information to gain from playing with others. Jazz in the early days (30's thru
the 60's) was mostly learned directly from other musicians at jam sessions and clubs.
There wasn't the wealth of recordings, videos and instructional methods (Aebersold, etc.)
there are today. Get together with others and share the joy of creating music!

PIANO:
Jazz Improvisation, John Menegan, Amsco Publishing Co.
Booeie Woogie Hanon, Leo Alfassy, Amsco Publishing Co.
Salsa Guidebook for Piano & Ensemble, Rebeca Mavleon, Sher Music Co.
Contemporarv Voicines for JazzlRock Keyboard, Dan Hearle
Voicinss for Jazz Kevboard, Frank Mantooth, Hal Leonard Publishing Co.
Look for these names: Fats Waller, Count Basie, Chick Corea, Oscar Peterson,
Bill Evans.
Bass:
The Evolving Bassist and Evolvine Upward. Rufus Reid, Myriad Limited
The Bass Tradition. Todd Coolman, Jamey Aebersold Publishing
Bebop Bass, Harold Miller, Studio 224 Publishing
Bassiines, Joe Hubbard, Amsco Publishing
Look for: Jimmy Blanton, Oscar Pettiford, Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter'
Eddie Gomez, Stanley Clark, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci
Drums:
Essential Styles for the Drummer & Bassist. Vol. 1 & 2, Steve Houghton & Tom
Wanington, Alfred Publishing, (CD/Book Play-along)
Drumset Reading, Alfred Ronfink
Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer, Jim Chapin, Jim Chapin Publishing
Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drumset, Frank Malabe & Bob Weiner, Manhattan Music
Brazilian Rhvthms for Drumset, Bob Weiner & Dudu Fonseca, Manhattan Music
Look for: Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haines, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Buddy
Rich, Peter Erskine, Vinnie Colaiuta, Louis Bellson, Dave Weckl'