Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Half-time feel to regular 4/4

We'll be marking time a little bit this week, saving up the big, good stuff for our fund raiser, which is going to be next week. As I mentioned in our last half-time feel funk entry, you want to keep in mind that you're also going to be playing these same ideas in regular old 4/4, with the rhythmic values doubled— to make 16th notes and 8th notes, mainly. That's usually how you're going to use them, in fact.

To illustrate how that works, here again is our source idea as it appears in the book Syncopation. It says 4/4, but in playing half-time feel, we're really playing 2/2— “cut time.”

Here is the same line of music with the values doubled, which will reduce each two measures into one measure. I've added dotted barlines in the middle of the measure so it's clear where the original barlines were:

So here's the basic-form half-time feel funk groove from our last entry, as you play it reading out of the book. There's no key, but the top line is the cymbal, the middle line is the snare, and the bottom line is the bass drum:

Here's that same thing with the rhythm doubled:

Since you will mostly be playing these grooves in the 8ths-and-16ths-in-4/4 form, you might think we're making extra work for ourselves by developing them in 2/2 this way. But I've concluded that's actually a strength of this method; it gives you a commonality between your funk vocabulary and your jazz and clave-based playing— playing which is based largely on 8th note and quarter note values, at all tempos.

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