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Essential Grooves – why music feels good

When you’ve completed this set of material, you’ll be more at ease joining in a variety of different playing situations confidently. You’ll be able to come up with sympathetic rhythms to join in with music in different styles, and to create varied rhythm parts for your own solo arrangements and compositions.

You will be able to perform in a more relaxed and spontaneous way. When people refer to the groove, it means how the rhythm feels as well as specifically what rhythm is being played. The easiest way to describe this is to imagine the pulse, which might be played be a specific instrument (like a drum kit or bass player) or might simply be implied; and then imagine where you are playing relative to the pulse. There is a tolerance where we are playing close enough to the pulse that we hear it as being ‘at the same time as’, but if we recorded ourselves, we wouldn’t be exactly metronomic each time – we will typically be a tiny tiny bit ahead or a tiny tiny bit behind.

These variations are what creates feel – a laid back groove will be a tiny tiny bit behind the beat. The more experience you get with different accompaniment styles, the more you’re moving towards the time when you will be quite intentional with your relationship to the beat, rather than the point where we all start which is simply trying to find the right chord/pattern at the right time.

This material covers eighth note and sixteenth note rhythms, barre chords and triads, so it’ll be an opportunity to review those and consolidate them.