Just as you need to maintain an extensive melodic vocabulary for soloing, you must also develop a diverse vocabulary of rhythms because effective rhythmic phrasing is an essential aspect of retaining the attention of an audience. Rhythm is the single most significant element of soloing in any style of music, and regardless of your note selection, if your phrasing lacks rhythmic variety, listeners will simply lose interest in your playing.
If music is related to a language, the best speakers will pause when delivering a speech in order to provide time for their audience to absorb the information. Great improvisers take the same approach and will incorporate pauses so that the listeners can process the musical ideas being expressed. If you fail to insert space within your phrases, the audience will just tune you out.
During your practice sessions, you can experiment with a number of techniques to improve the diversity of your rhythmic phrasing. Rather than transcribing solos note-for-note, you can transcribe just the rhythms of your favorite solos, and then borrow those rhythms when improvising your own phrases. You can practice starting and ending phrases on each eighth note of the measure. You can also practice playing lines of various lengths over the span of one or two bars. While you examine these different techniques, always consider where to place accents in your phrases along with which articulations to employ, and think about leaving space in terms of when silence should begin, its duration, and when it should cease.
When the tempo of a composition is medium to fast, solos often contain a considerable amount of eighth notes, and as a result, soloists may have difficulty sustaining rhythmic variety if their phrases feature a continuous stream of the same rhythm for an extended period of time. Even if their phrases are only composed of eighth notes, soloists can imply different levels of rhythmic activity through accents and various articulations. Typically, soloists tend to accent the first note, last note, highest note, and lowest note of a phrase. They also accent notes that are placed on the upbeats such as the "and" of beats one, two, three, or four as well as notes that follow skips. ... Subscribe Today & Read More!
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