Friday, August 28, 2020

World's shortest Roy Haynes waltz lesson

UPDATE: See the page of practice suggestions for more on this!

Someone on the internet asked me to explain what Roy Haynes is doing on the Chick Corea tune Windows, from the album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, so I wrote up a little lesson on some of the basic elements, on getting started making the approximate vibe:

Listen to the recording, play through the page in all of the suggested ways, then improvise combinations of things to make a continuously developing waltz texture— that's the part that will take some practice; the ideas themselves are not difficult. Vary the dynamics and articulations with your left hand— use buzzes, rim shots, etc. Roy really exaggerates his accents, and tends to put them in odd places.

Obviously there are some other things happening— he plays some triplets between the snare and bass drum, and plays both hands on the snare drum occasionally— usually 3- or 4- stroke ruffs, open, as singles.

To continue developing this beyond the scope of this page, you should be able to play a regular jazz waltz, and have some basic coordination together with that. See Joel Rothman's 3,5, 7, 9, Jazz! or Joe Morello's New Directions in Rhythm for materials. Get my book Syncopation in 3/4 for more practice resources.

Get the pdf


Anonymous said...

Very good and fun exercise to learn about Roy Haynes's comping in 3/4, thanks Todd.

It helped me quite a bit understanding what's happening in Windows.


JS said...

Excellent breakdown! If I ever meet you in person, I'll buy you a steak. This is great stuff.