Question/confused about timing in blues building speed course

Discussion in 'BGU Questions' started by bluesdude, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. bluesdude

    bluesdude Blues Newbie

    Jul 27, 2020
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    With all the exercises going into depth about the rhythm and count that is used to play the exercise/lick, do I have to play a certain lick on the count described? Like say the exercise was explained as starting on the 'and' of the second beat, do I have to play it on that same beat when I improvise. OR, does the talk about what count the lick/phrase is played on serve to help me hear the rhythm in my head and play it as fast and whenever I want in the bar, so long as I maintain the same rhythm. Which one is it? Any help? Thanks!
  2. jmin

    jmin Student Of The Blues

    Dec 17, 2013
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    I’ll give you my alcohol-induced response! I think Griff is adamant about teaching timing - rhythm, counting, etc.
    The importance he places on it makes me want to follow the count of a lick exactly as he describes it.
    If you can understand what he’s teaching, and play just what he’s teaching first, then I think you should feel free to alter the timing of his licks to suit your taste. I think that’s probably the ultimate goal!
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  3. snarf

    snarf musician wannabe

    Jan 23, 2010
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    My recommendation is to practice it and learn it as written. Once you have it down cold, then, if you want to re-imagine it a little bit and change it some, feel free. But to start, you need to learn it the way it's presented. Those licks start and end on the right beat to fit the lick. If you branch out and start playing it different from the start, it's not going to sound right. Here's an example.

    Examples 1 - 4 all prep you for playing example 5. Those little licks can be moved all around if you want, but they build into lick 5. Lick 5, otoh, starts on beat 2 and ends on beat 1. If you start it on beat 3, or even the & of beat 2, it's going to throw that lick off, and it's not going to sound quite right or have the affect that it would if it was played as written.

    Having said that, if you skip to the Group 1 Solo, you'll see that it has that lick from example 5 as well as some of those little building blocks from examples 1 - 4. Example 5 in that solo still starts on beat 2. The little building blocks may not start on the same beat as they did in examples 1- 4, but their timing is always the same.

    Having started that course this time last year (and still working on parts of it), if you work the process like Griff outlines it, you'll have the licks down cold by the time you get to that first solo. I wouldn't look to re-imagine the licks any earlier than that solo. Work the process like Griff lays it out. If you do, I promise you (because it's been my experience) that the course will move your playing forward considerably.
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  4. Paleo

    Paleo Theory, Solos, Licks

    Sep 27, 2013
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    Subtitle of the course: "Increase your speed, dexterity and timing from your current level, step-by-step"

    I'll focus on the dexterity aspect.

    Each "block" is based on finger movements commonly used in blues/triplet based soloing.

    Once you get the movement into your fingers and the timing into your brain you can work on increasing speed.

    As described above, the individual movements in each group are combined into licks and eventually into a solo.

    To gain the intended benefits of the course, you take it "step-by-step" following the structure Griff has laid out.

    Beyond the course, when you start using these movements in your improvising, you can combine them into your own licks and solos, modifying the timing and speed any way you like.

    The finger movements will remain the same.

    Griff also stresses that you will use your new ability with speed sparingly, when you really want to let go.:)
    #4 Paleo, Jul 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020