Performing & recording as a solo musician is an amazing experience, being the only one singing & playing is the very definition of creative freedom. That being said, playing with others takes these efforts to a whole nother level. I was thinking to myself last night if that freedom (playing solo) could be felt when it was translated to a 5 piece band. Yes absolutely, with the right group of musicians and an understanding of rhythm & harmony. Orchestras do this all the time.
I’m a guitarist, harmonica player, and singer. To better reflect efforts in the studio, I will add bass, keys/piano, drums, & a second guitar/mandolin/slide to perform the latest round of recordings live. Knowing that I recording everything solo, the immediate challenge is to have each instrument fit harmonically, tonally, & rhythmically where they should be. Not a problem you say? Try putting 2 guitarists in a room with keys, they’ve never played together and are just learning the songs from the set without written arrangements. A discussion on comping is going to occur. Who does what and at what register.
To anyone who has ever had to comp in jazz, it’s a very straightforward challenge. Play with purpose, complement what’s being said by the others on the bandstand, play with ears, and don’t step on the other musicians or you get kicked to the curb. Luckily Southern California has some legendary players.
Today, I’m going to try to spell out the polyrhythm parts to each song to compliment the chords and demos. I’ve spent a ton of time building out charts, lyrics, & audio/video demos for musicians in anticipation of putting together a band/collective.
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I’ve found that this is a great start as a singer-songwriter, across the entire lifecycle of the creative process. In ideation, writing, retaining ideas, through recording and live performance. Band arrangement, intending to take songs to the streets with consistency, as a reproducible thing, is where my love for Percussion tutor comes in.
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Before you go any further, download it now. It will help your rhythm immeasurably regardless of the instrument you work with. If you think, hey man, I don’t play African or Latin American music, this is not for me. Listen to what one of the most influential bassists of the 20th century says about her rhythmic influences.
Those of us who have taken the time to research the origins of music, especially rhythm, understand the importance of all things African & Latin American. Percussion Tutor gives you the ability to have a variable BPM metronome that can be configured to just about any polyrhythm imaginable. Not only that, if you are a bandleader who wants to build out polyrhythms that flow and move, then assign each part to the instrumentation, the instrument separation functionality makes illustrating how each part works in the polyrhythm extremely easy.
If 2019 was the year I spent in the studio, 2020 is the year I focus on performing originals with a live band. This tool will make the difference between people staying in their seats and getting up and shaking their asses off.