Monday, February 8, 2010

Doodlin with polyrhythms

The song "Doodlin'" by Horace Silver sets up an interesting 3 against 4 figure. The song is in 4/4, but the motif is a three beat figure, staring on the 2nd beat of the first measure, like so:

one TWO and a three four
ONE and a two three
FOUR and a one two
THREE and a four one two three four

and then again in the second four measure phrase of this twelve-bar blues. The last four measures resolves this tension but reverting to a straight 4/4 count. A thing of beauty.

The swung 8th note pattern is really based on triplet rhythms. If you hear it like that, and accent every other note, then you get quarter note triplets: 6 instead of 4 beats to the measure:

Inestead of counting ONE and a TWO and a THREE and a FOUR and a

do it like this

ONE and A two AND a THREE and A four AND a

Or ONE two THREE four FIVE six instead of ONE two three FOUR five six

This creates a 4 against 6 polyrhythm. Youl'll hear jazz drummers playing around with this all the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment