Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miniseries #008, Cluck Old Hen II

Hi Everyone,

Syncopation.......what is it? I like to think about syncopation in music as playing and or hearing something that is unexpected to the ear. If we go back to the vamping series , we can relate syncopation in rhythm by listening to the strong down beats of 1 and 3 and add syncopation by playing something on the off beats of 2 and 4.

We can also use syncopation in our "lines"....... by lines, I mean the notes we select to play any given tune or song in our soloing. If we were to take a line using single string or Keith/Thompson stylings, we can use syncopation by starting our lines on something other than the down beats. Also, we can use syncopation by using rests in our lines and picking up the line in an unexpected place.

Remember we can break up a measure using any combination of notes or rests. We can use whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty second notes or rests to break up a measure any way we want to. We can break up our lines using syncopation using any fractions of notes or rests that we would like as well. You can practice by playing a simple line on the down beats, then play the same line on an off beat and try to listen to the results. You can start a line at any given fraction throughout a measure, or, you can start a line with no syncopation and add syncopation along the way.

We can also use syncopation using the Scruggs style. We can take any given roll or roll pattern or lick, and use the same methods described above to get syncopation in the style. You can experiment by taking a simple roll or pattern or lick at trying the same excersises mentioned above. This we take a little time and practice, and a good place to explore is in jamming with others. A comfortable Jam will allow you to try some of these things out. You may even find yourself using syncopation without realizing it.

We'll be discussing more about syncopation and many other things along the way of the Moose in future lessons.

Rock On All,


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