Playing in 'half-time'

half diminished

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I'm re-reading a book called Forward Motion by Hal Galper, I've mentioned it before.

Something I've been struggling with is this business of keeping time, spelling out the chord changes in a solo and moving through a chord progression. It gets even harder (for me at least) when things speed up. :(

Anyway, this book talks about the concept of playing in half time. I have to say, it makes sense especially the quote "the faster you play, the slower you count". In essence what the author advocates is rather than counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 over say two bars, you just count 1, 2 (on beat three), 3 on beat one of the next bar) and 4 on beat three of bar two).

Now it's early days but it seems to be helping. No only does this free up [my] mental capacity but it helps spell out the changes more easily as when you count, that's the 1st or 3rd beat of any bar and therefore the ideal beat for a 3rd or 7th chord note. He also talks about these notes/beats as being guide tones that you work towards in the solo and suggests that the in-between bits are embellishments. Makes sense to me though others may disagree.

The more I read this book, and it has for me taken several readings, the more I get from it. Obviously some of the content is very advanced but there's some real pearls of wisdom IMO even at my level.

There's also some great stuff on using leading notes, creating tension and release, how to play with and without rhythmic syncopation and loads more. In 100 years and with 8hrs practice per day I reckon I'll be quite good at this. :D
 

kevgermany

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Oh dear. This is exactly the opposite to wht I've been told - e.g. a piece in 4/4 time that's mostly quavers, count it as 8 beats to the bar.....
 

Phil Edwards

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... that's the 1st or 3rd beat of any bar and therefore the ideal beat for a 3rd or 7th chord note. He also talks about these notes/beats as being guide tones that you work towards in the solo and suggests that the in-between bits are embellishments. Makes sense to me though others may disagree.
makes perfect sense, that's what my teacher calls them too. The purpose of my lessons is to improve improvisation and learn to play without the dots. We played a 12bar blues ONLY using guide tones to get it nailed last week. And only once that was sorted did we start to add other tones.

I've had a few lessons so far and we've haven't read, or written, anything yet. Makes you listen, concentrate, and practice hard to embed it - you can't leave it a few days, and just go back to the book, if you don't have one!

Testing but very enjoyable,

Phil
 
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half diminished

half diminished

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You're right. As you (probably) know, my teacher is Karen Sharp and I can hardly argue with her about what's best now can I. She seems to agree and likewise, I am just working on roots, then roots and 7ths and finally 3rds and 7ths and I'm not allowed to add any other notes though I am allowed/encouraged to play the specified chord notes in some kind of rhythm.

To be honest, I couldn't see what benefit this approach would have but now it seems to be coming together, at least in theory.

Once I've managed two per bar I can (and only then) add a 3rd chord tone but I'm not there yet. :w00t:

Also Karen has me doing a II V I sequence of mostly dom 7th chords: D7, G7, D7, D7, G7, G7, D7, D7 followed by a bridge of E-7, A7, D7, A7.

Mind you, mrs hd's getting fed up with me trying to explain it to her. :)
 

visionari1

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All good advice and some of it I can understand intelectually, it's another thing altogether to play through these 3rd's & 7ths etc as the tune is running (even at half speed), however I firmly believe, the penny will drop, if I keep going. A very good approach, my teacher takes, is breaking it down into simpler and simpler chunks, till I get's it....which sometimes is quite a few chunks.

Ciao
Jimu:mrcool
 

Morgan Fry

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Leeds
"the faster you play, the slower you count". In essence what the author advocates is rather than counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 over say two bars, you just count 1, 2 (on beat three), 3 on beat one of the next bar) and 4 on beat three of bar two).
That can be a very usefull way to look at it. You end up counting at around the same tempo whatever tempo the rhythm section is playing at. Often it's useful to think in half notes at 240 bpm and eighths at 60 (or whatever you call them here). Turns both into the same tempo in a way and makes it easier to play fluid lines at the extreme tempos, fast or slow.
 

Phil Edwards

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Hi Jimu, that's the point in only playing the guide tones - you break it down to the point where you can't complicate it by trying to play all the notes in the chord or scale, just listen to the guide tones. Although it might not sound very musical at first (it can do in time, that's a challenge in itself when only using very few notes) you can hear the essence of the chord when played over the rythym section.

BTW, if you want some 12 bar blues backing tracks have a look here and download this lot. Lots of keys, lots of tempo's.

http://www.torvund.net/guitar/index.php?page=Backing_blues

Phil
 
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