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NN: Sophie, how did you approach rhythm when you learned to play piano ?
SA: I approached it in the classical way, through music theory. Obviously rhythm is quite abstract and you start to get a feel for it once you play your instrument.
NN: Did you mainly work by yourself with a metronome ?
SA: The metronome is an important tool, but that doesn't mean you should "sleep with it" ! You need time to interiorize the pulsation that's necessary for any rhythmical expression, especially if you play alone.
Is the perception of rhythm very different in Jazz and Pop-Music ?
NN: Yes, as you will be looking more into creating "imperfection", rather than metronomical stricture. Jazzmen are often self-taught, and have developed a "Groove" or a "Feeling" without studying solfege but only by interacting with other musicians.
SA: Talking about "Feeling", would you say it's the same as "Interpretation" ?
NN: Yes, absolutely. These are two ways of expressing the same thing. Shifting around the beat leads to rhythmic imperfection... it's the "Human Factor" that makes music so pleasant to listen to, not the perfection of a machine. For example: "to play laid-back". Does that exist in classical music ?
SA: Not really, since this way of expressing did not make it into the classical world, especially if you think of Bach being played with fluctuations... On the other hand, why not approach Chopin more "freely" ! When you improvise, do you use certain recurring binary or ternary patterns ?
NN: The majority of tunes you improvise to in jazz are based on a ternary or binary-ternary (swing) playing. The confirmed Jazzplayer juggles with both.
There are lots of cliches or patterns in bossa, pop or rock. We will discover them throughout this method...
This method is not a solfege handbook. It will permit you to approach rhythm through your ability to replay the samples you have heard on the CD. We will provide written elements as a support.
Your Turn To Find The Rhythm... offers rhythmic solutions for the advanced readers of Your Turn To Improvise... and will facilitate their notions of improvisation.
This method also addresses musicians who play in bands and who would like to improve their rhythmical knowledge.
An audio CD proposes exercises for pianists allowing them to play with a "Virtual Band" (bass, drums, percussions...) which will make exercises more enjoyable.
We hope that this trip through all these different styles will help you to discover or better understand how contemporary rhythms are built.
If you play in a band or if you are planning to, this method will help you to better understand how musicians interact.
But please, keep the rhythm...