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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
30 Day Challenge
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Cello Lessons: Soloing: Using Repeated Rhythms

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Oftentimes when we're working
on improvisation, we have some sort of
subconscious need to play a lot of notes.
We feel like we have to do something
amazing because we're taking the solo.
Well, ultimately that can happen.
But we wanna find different ways to
organize the notes that we play.
So one way is to just focus on a rhythm,
a melodic rhythm.
And if we can take a specific rhythmic
motive, and if we just repeat it though
all the different chord changes,
it's actually gonna sound really natural.
It's gonna sound like we're
talking about something, and
our improvisation will flow very nicely.
This is actually how many
melodies are created.
You'll notice in a lot of jazz and frankly
a lot of classical and bluegrass music,
basically any melodies that you see
are often built on repeated rhythms
that are then imposed into different
keys and different harmonies.
So, let's explore that, improvising
over the solo changes of minor swing.
I'll go through this and
just pick one rhythm per chorus and
I'll try and play the same rhythm
exactly over these different chords.
It's a simple rhythm.
I'm gonna change the notes,
I'm improvising the notes completely,
but it's always the same rhythm.
It can be
any notes.
It doesn't have to sound constant,
because the rhythm,
speaks for itself.
it sounds good if you can
stick to the chords too.
Let's take another
couple rhythms just to
see how this can sound.
Again, the concept is that
the rhythm doesn't change and
the notes can be anything.
It's really trying to draw on a rhythmic
motive as our primary impulse for
the improvisation.
Let's do another rhythm.
The notes can be anything.
And the rhythms can be anything as well.
You could just play one note,
or two quarter notes.
one two three four one
You could go through with any
simple rhythm or any lick.
I just chose some rhythms that feel really
stylistically appropriate for gypsy jazz.
But frankly,
you can really do anything you want.
After you get good at really
sticking to the rhythm and
being able to play at the same
rhythm over different notes,
then you can actually start
thinking about creating variations.
Where you'll start with a rhythm
that maybe you'll repeat two or
maybe even three times exactly the same.
But over the course of a chorus, over the
course of a chorus, that's hard to say.
Over the course of a chorus,
create variations and
start to alter the rhythm and
even add a couple extra notes.
And that also can sound really natural and
let your improvisation develop.
Let me demonstrate that over two choruses.
Whatever the rhythm,
you can easily start to create
rhythmic variations and
add a couple notes, and
your solo will be developing
before you know it.
But think about these core rhythms that
you can use as a building block and
a seed for your improvisation and
it will start to sound really natural and
really melodic.