Learn how starting your phrases on different metric points can have a huge impact on the rhythmic variety and the quality of your solos.
Watch the Video Lesson:
This is an excerpt from LINEAR FREEDOM Lesson 15, where we study beginning our phrases on various different metric points. Here are the available choices for a song in 4/4 and a 16th note subdivision:
This rhythmic concept, in its simplest form, gives you an entry point into rhythmic development and helps you break out of the confines of your rhythmic habits. We will practice starting our phrases on different metric points. That means on every possible beat, or subdivision of a beat. This may seem simplistic, but as you start to do this exercise, some of you may realize that you always start playing your phrases on similar starting points. Some players even start everything on beat one, and they don’t know they are doing it:
This can make your solos dull and boring, even if the content is otherwise good. You will be surprised at how quickly your phrasing will be enriched by adding the ability to begin on a variety of metric points.
I usually practice this for all possible options, so for a song in 4/4 and using a 16th note subdivision that's 16 starting points. Of course you can just choose a few if you don't want to spend too much time with this, and you will still see some results. In the video I play an example of always starting on beat one, which is of course a very strong option, but can get old very fast if you get stuck on it. Then I do another one on another, random point, the 4th 16th note of beat 2:
Then I mix up different points so you can see how much more free everything sounds when you have variety, compared to the first 2 examples. Again, I do not use any tricks and embellishments like bends slides and so on. I just play pure melodies with the Linear Freedom randomization concept so that you can give all your attention to the rhythmic aspect. After you watch the demo, I encourage you to put on a backing track and try a few different options.
If you find the subdivisions hard to handle, then start with just the 4 different downbeats. Remember that as with everything we do here, the goal is to practice this enough so that you don't need to think about it anymore, and then let yourself relax and see your playing flow out effortlessly and fluidly.
Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions, or to let me know if you would like to see more lessons on this subject. Have fun with this, and I will see you in the next lesson.