Wednesday, July 04, 2012

VOQOTD: George Marsh on playing odd meters

"[Y]ou don't have to play the first beat of an odd meter loudly. You have to know where it is, and the musical phrases should flow through the downbeat. Usually that takes playing the downbeat for a while, then experimenting with phrases that don't necessarily have the downbeat on every bar. Maybe with two bar phrases so that you'll hear this rhythm not hitting the downbeat which will be a surprise, but you'll get it after the second bar. Sooner or later it will turn into a melodic flow that has to do with the tensions and releases of 5/4 and the particular pattern that you're in. The way to become fluid is to study the time signatures, play them a lot and log the hours like you would log flying time. There's no other way, you just do it."
- George Marsh

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