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Swinging behind the beat


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I love how Garner switches from behind the beat to being on top of the beat with his right hand phrases, while his left hand "chunks " out his steady Freddy Green like pulse. He had a great ambidextrous timing that was very dramatic. It sounds refreshing when he suddenly switches gears from laid back swing eighths to even eighths on top of the beat. Also notice the frequent use of subtle accellerando and ritardando within phrases. I mourn the fact that Garner's style of phrasing is almost forgotten in modern times and instead we are focused on more machine like ascetics. The soul of the machine (technology dominated,computer age, perfect players, almost European classical-like, a de-emphasis on African American jazz traditions)

 

[video:youtube]

 Find 675 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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The Russian Dragon, here mostly on top of it; hot stuff:

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[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tClTjGTH

 Find 675 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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I have no idea if this is true or my imagination, but it seems to me that "swinging behind the beat" (as I interpret the phrase) is currently, and maybe historically, more prevalent among horn players - particularly saxophonists - than pianists. If that it is true, I don't know why it would be.
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I have noticed that my comping hand will play behind the beat established by my bass hand. I do not know why this is. I can't even tell when I'm playing, only when watching video.

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I have noticed that my comping hand will play behind the beat established by my bass hand. I do not know why this is. I can't even tell when I'm playing, only when watching video.

 

My workaround for this puzzle is to uniformly rushing everything.

 

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I have noticed that my comping hand will play behind the beat established by my bass hand. I do not know why this is. I can't even tell when I'm playing, only when watching video.

 

My workaround for this puzzle is to uniformly rushing everything.

 

Heh. Yeah, I'm the opposite, but I've started working with the metronome again. That is one tough sumbitch to get to feel the swing to.

 

I'm trying to feel the swing to the metronome for basic stuff like the Bach, and it's tough.

 

I've never had any complaints about keeping time or locking-in with bass/drums, but it's just plain tough IMHO to really play to a "click" and make good music.

 

My respect for people like Richard Tee and stuff who are, IMHO, extremely strict players has just grown.

 

I mean, I've never missed a beat, but as for playing, I never cared so much about every single little note being right on -- just so long as you get back there at, say, each chorus or 32 bars, or whatever.

 

It's some crazy discipline to be micro-dividing so that it's not just rubato every four-bars or whatever, and getting lost but coming back perfect at the musical division that makes musical sense.

 

Guess there's always something to work on.

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To play behind the beat one must listen to others doing it such as Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Erroll Garner, Miles Davis' "So What" solo, etc....

Don't try to get it from on top of the beat players like Pat Martino, John Coltrane, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Oscar Peterson, etc.

 

Each day when you train with Aebersold tracks (use the RON CARTER tracks only for this) tell yourself before you begin that you are going phrase behind the pulse, then for refreshment play the next phrase on the pulse. Back and forth thousands of times and it will become second nature. Also, accelerate and ritard within the phrases like Erroll Garner always did. Don't play like a machine.

 

On this Erroll Garner recording at the intro you can hear his left hand boogie on the pulse and his right hand around 100 milliseconds behind... then at times throughout piece he will switch to being on the pulse for refreshment. For example his head melody is behind but his brass like chord stabs are on pulse for dramatic contrast. This behind the beat stuff probably dates back to black singers that were brought to America by slave traders.

 

Erroll Garner is the best example of behind the beat: his left hand played strict on while his right hand intentionally laid back:

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 Find 675 of my jazz piano arrangements of standards for educational purposes and tutorials at www.Patreon.com/HarryLikas Harry was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."

 

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