Monday, November 25, 2019

Jazz waltz with Chaffee

Let's detail something I mentioned in the Chaffee jazz post: using the patterns in that system as 8th notes in a jazz waltz. They're three-note (or rest) patterns, so playing them two times = a complete measure of 8th notes in 3/4 time. This gives a strong feeling of a dotted quarter note pulse starting on the 1, & of 1, or 2— an Elvin Jones-like thing. I've found this to be a very interesting form of conditioning.

As I said, Chaffee's system should really be used by people who already have a working jazz vocabulary. What we'll do here is actually more practical than the regular system, but still, if you need more explanation than I'm giving here you probably shouldn't be doing it.

We'll play the patterns as 8th notes in 3/4, along with a jazz waltz cymbal rhythm. It is slightly odd to make that translation by looking at a single beat of a triplet rhythm, so here are the pattern rhythms as they appear in the book, and how they will be played in this waltz method:

I suggest playing it both with swing 8ths and straight 8ths. You could also also just play quarter notes on the cymbal, or a different jazz waltz rhythm.

There are a lot of patterns to cover, and it's very difficult to give them all equal attention. But if you have an appropriate level of experience to be doing this, you will have played many of them already through other methods, and you can move through them very quickly. Play maybe 2-8 measures of each pattern, more on the ones that are more difficult for you.

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