Lesson 17: Building Intensity with Rhythm
Focus on Rhythm
The last few lessons have focused on how to build energy in your solos by using repetition and by increasing the range of pitch and dynamics. This lesson offers another option for building energy in your solos: increased rhythmic activity. In other words, play more notes as you progress through your solo.
You can build energy in your solo by using just a few notes at the beginning of your phrase, increasing the number of notes, and using shorter note values by the end of the phrase. Like all of the exercises that focus on raising the intensity level of solos, this lesson requires a lot of practice to find an approach that is effective. Simply speeding up the rhythms in a phrase can result in a solo that sounds forced or gives the impression of showing off. It takes practice to use this technique in a way that is musically convincing.
Lesson 17 Assignment
Compose an eight-measure solo on the B flat 7 chord using chord tones. Begin with very simple rhythmic ideas and increase the rhythmic activity as you progress through the phrase. Also, use shorter note values at the end of the phrase to help build the level of energy. Besides increasing the rhythmic activity in your solo, you can also increase the pitch range and the dynamics, as you did in Lesson 13. (For free blank staff paper, visit www.Music-Paper.com)
Memorize your solo and repeat it many times.
Improvise on each of the chords in the B flat blues in the same way as the written solo. Pace yourself and build energy through increased rhythmic activity.