How to be lazy and get other people to develop your rhythm feel
A question I get asked all the time is this:
“How do I develop a strong rhythm feel?”
And what an important question this is.
After all, to quote none other than Wes Montgomery:
“The most important thing in music is keeping the feel going”.
Now, there is an easy way to this, and the hard way.
The hard way is by getting one of those huge ‘rhythm training workout’ books and clap through oodles of dull, humdrum exercises. Ho hum.
The problem with this textbook-based approach:
a) it’s boring,
b) it’s difficult, and
c) it doesn’t work that well anyway.
Thumbs down all around, wouldn’t you say?
Now, let’s look at option #2 instead – the easy way.
As with everything in jazz, I prefer to use (to quote George Costanza of Seinfeld fame) – the “opposite” approach.
Rather than develop a rhythm feel on your own, why not just “reverse-engineer” a rhythm feel of someone else that already has strong rhythm in the first place?
By playing along with recordings (or, better yet, videos) of someone already sitting right in the pocket of the beat, you can quickly develop a secure rhythm feel.
This is a very quick, and often ignored method to developing rhythm awareness, (and this approach helps develop a whole lot of other important aspects of jazz playing too).
So, my apprentice:
Instead of leafing through that dusty ‘rhythm drills’ book that’s sitting there glumly on your shelf…
Find yourself some quality recordings of a jazz guitarist, suited to your level, that you can easily play along with – and naturally develop a strong and secure rhythm feel – almost without needing to think about it.
Anyway, my new lesson series on the classic jazz tune Stompin’ At The Savoy has a bucketload of carefully designed playalong videos designed to help you gain a foundation in your rhythm feel and comping (as well as soloing, chord melody, and all the rest).
How to get the lessons? I’m glad you asked:
Sign up to the FretDojo Academy Club now and get instant access (as well as a secret little extra bonus that I’ve been quietly working on that’s coming out soon).
Now the exciting bit:
If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.
Here's what you get when you join up:
- Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
- Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
- Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
- Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
- Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
- Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
- Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
- Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.
The best part:
You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer
Founder, Fret Dojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education