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).
Founder, Fret Dojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education