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Author Topic: layers of rhythm  (Read 293 times)

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george garside

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layers of rhythm
« on: September 11, 2019, 12:10:42 AM »

 The Dg box  is a great rhythm box  and here are  my thoughts on adding layers of rhythm  to which hopefully others will add to, agree with, disagree with or whatever!

To me there are in essence 4 ways of creating rhythm which can be used singly or in any combination depending on the tune being played and  the desired effect.

1. Playing the melody line rhythmically.  The basic rhythm should be  inherent in the way the melody is played in just the same way as happens on melody only instruments such as fiddles, whistles etc.  Every tune has or should have an inherent rhythm  including slow airs  and it is that basic rhythm that is essential in transforming playing the right notes ion the right order into music! 

2.  Using spare fingers to beat  a rhythm additional to the inherent rhythm of the treble,  The extra rhythm can be extra single notes or right hand chords or a combination of the two. This is quite easy to do as on the push any combination of notes will harmonise and on the pull there is only one combination that won't

3. Intermitant GENTLE pulsing of the bellows to add a fairly unobtrusive extra layer of rhythm here and there in a tune   particularly bits where the bellows are going in one direction for a few bars of music. This is not to be confused with bellows shaking that some piano box players indulge in.

4. The bass  , preferably played lightly  and crisply and  not necessarily consisting of um pa ing  throughout the proceedings. Sometimes less is more and  leaving the bass off for a bar or two here and there can add to rather than detract from the overall effect.  With some tunes  at opposite ends of the speed spectrum  leaving the bass rhythm ( but maybe or maybe not keeping sustained chords) can help eg in haunting slow aires  or very fast jigs and reels.

please feel free to disagree or otherwise criticise this list or preferably to chuck in some more 'layers' of bass???

george

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Grape Ape

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Re: layers of rhythm
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 12:26:07 AM »

I think you are spot on. Rhythm has been a strong focus of mine for most of this year as I needed improvement.  I think points 1-3 best illustrate what I have spent most of my time working on. #4 has been become a focus more recently, and can be a very powerful tool as you said for both fast and slow tunes.
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Howard Jones

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Re: layers of rhythm
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 09:01:41 AM »

Similar to (2), you can also try holding a sustained bass note and tapping a rhythm on a chord button - or vice versa.

Clawhammer

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Re: layers of rhythm
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 02:35:11 PM »

Thanks very much for this breakdown! 
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nigelr

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Re: layers of rhythm
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 05:22:37 PM »

One extra thing I've seen used is what I call the "palm slap", where you accentuate the rhythm by pulsing the right hand against the treble keyboard.  This technique is probably best seen in DTN's playing - watch his right hand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6FjuOzZFjw

I suppose an extension of George's point 3 but amplified.
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Jesse Smith

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Re: layers of rhythm
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 03:45:29 AM »

I think your #3 (bellows pulse) gets at something that is almost unique to squeezeboxes: the ability to easily swell the volume, especially of chords. I can't easily think of another acoustic instrument that allows a single player to swell up a chord the way an accordion or concertina can. It allows us to really emphasize the downbeat by starting the sound early and swelling up to the actual beat, so we get a rrrrrrrUP sort of sound. I love this technique for morris dance tunes where it really gives a feeling of falling into the downbeat (and then hopping or leaping up on the upbeat).

(If someone else can think of another instrument that can do this, let me know! Bowed string instruments can swell the volume, but not easily with chords on a single instrument. Same with woodwinds and brass; you really need an ensemble of players to swell up a whole chord.)

 
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