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-   -   Help with Rhythm - Grief & Praise - Glen Phillips (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=519032)

SunnyDee 08-19-2018 12:30 PM

Help with Rhythm - Grief & Praise - Glen Phillips
 
I really like this song, and I've been trying to catch the way he's playing this rhythm but have finally decided I need some help. Can someone spell it out for me? Probable time signature? 6/8?
I'd rather not play it with pick either, so do I need to adjust a bit?


mattbn73 08-19-2018 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SunnyDee (Post 5813197)
I really like this song, and I've been trying to catch the way he's playing this rhythm but have finally decided I need some help. Can someone spell it out for me? Probable time signature? 6/8?
I'd rather not play it with pick either, so do I need to adjust a bit?


Yeah, syncopated 6/8 (or 12/8) feel, but it swings as well. One of the more difficult feels to learn.

Where are you at now? Can you convincingly play a straight 6/8, all down strums?

That's the "step one" feel IMO. After that,

- straight 16ths, using upstrokes in between
- swung 16ths the same way

Then, syncopation of the same...
(Accent the downbeat and the "and" of 2 etc...)

Of course, none of this works in text form.

"Missing strums in between" is my last concern honestly with this feel. once you learn the basic feel, you'll be able to do that automatically anyway . This kind of feel is a great example of why the typical YouTube "easy strum pattern" method is too oversimplified. It completely breaks down at this level. There isn't really a D-U pattern which can authentically describe this sound.

SunnyDee 08-19-2018 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattbn73 (Post 5813238)
Yeah, syncopated 6/8 (or 12/8) feel, but it swings as well. One of the more difficult feels to learn.

Where are you at now? Can you convincingly play a straight 6/8, all down strums?

That's the "step one" feel IMO. After that,

- straight 16ths, using upstrokes in between
- swung 16ths the same way

Then, syncopation of the same...
(Accent the downbeat and the "and" of 2 etc...)

Of course, none of this works in text form.

Well, I'm kinda happy to know it's a little difficult. :)
Straight is no problem, so it's the swing/syncopation that's giving me trouble. Not the playing so much as the hearing/counting. If this were straight 6/8, I don't think I would have been confused by it. Can you help me hear/define/count the difference? Where in the count is he using that percussive hit?

mattbn73 08-19-2018 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SunnyDee (Post 5813243)
Well, I'm kinda happy to know it's a little difficult. :)
Straight is no problem, so it's the swing/syncopation that's giving me trouble. Not the playing so much as the hearing/counting. If this were straight 6/8, I don't think I would have been confused by it. Can you help me hear/define/count the difference? Where in the count is he using that percussive hit?

Not a really consistent repeating repeating pattern. It's pretty varied and nuanced, but there's a general kind of backbeat feel to it.

So, 12/8 can be thought of as a type of 4 meter. Instead of 1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12, you can count it more 1-&-a, 2-&-a, 3-&-a, 4-&-a. If you're doing that, then the "backbeat" is on 2 & 4, just like 4/4. That's where you're hearing a lot of those progressive hits.

Work on trying to strum along to this , simplifying it, by strumming ALL the downstroke beats regardless of whether he's playing them all or not. The loud soft aspect of the pattern is more important than "missing" anything really.

I also think it may be easier to pick up on larger patterns and hear more of what he's doing if you count it in 4 , as described above. One pattern he's using is to occasionally accent the last 3 beats leading into 1. Again, you've be thinking "4-&-a, 1"...

I think if you learn to count the big beat down strokes, you'll be able to get the up-strokes by ear. it's just more difficult to work on subtle VARIATIONS of something that you don't understand structurally at a more BASIC level first.

stanron 08-19-2018 03:27 PM

Compound triple time complicated by syncopation.

There are three beats to the bar. Each beat is a triplet. So you could call it swung 3/4 time.

mattbn73 08-19-2018 06:06 PM

Oh man, you got me watching some of these videos. Man, he is fantastic. I had not made the connection that he's the toad the wet sprocket guy. Loved them in college.

He's a great singer, but he also has some serious one-man guitar chops. I picked up a lot of this kind of style from spending a year or so just listening to too much Alison Krauss and Union Station. It's really somewhat of a bluegrass -type technique. But the bass is kind of muted much of the time and not just single note there.

Anyway, if you can pick up some of this single note -type strum style, it greatly increases your dynamic range as a player. There's only so LOUD you can strum. All of the real dynamic range is found by working on the softer end, fewer notes etc. Then, "normal" strumming sounds huge.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this! Really enjoyed it and will be watching more.

SunnyDee 08-19-2018 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattbn73 (Post 5813483)
Oh man, you got me watching some of these videos. Man, he is fantastic. I had not made the connection that he's the toad the wet sprocket guy. Loved them in college.

He's a great singer, but he also has some serious one-man guitar chops. I picked up a lot of this kind of style from spending a year or so just listening to too much Alison Krauss and Union Station. It's really somewhat of a bluegrass -type technique. But the bass is kind of muted much of the time and not just single note there.

Anyway, if you can pick up some of this single note -type strum style, it greatly increases your dynamic range as a player. There's only so LOUD you can strum. All of the real dynamic range is found by working on the softer end, fewer notes etc. Then, "normal" strumming sounds huge.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this! Really enjoyed it and will be watching more.

So glad! Me, too, really like him. And, yes, I'm very into dynamics which is why I prefer all fingers with much more control for me.

stanron 08-20-2018 09:40 AM

You asked how to strum this. I thought someone would have answered by now but here goes anyway.


Each beat divides into three rather than the usual two. So instead of counting


Code:

1 + 2 + 3 +

for each bar you count

Code:

1 + + 2 + + 3 + +
for each bar. To strum the basic pattern you strum down on the number, do nothing on the first + then strum up on the second +. Like this

Code:

D  U D  U D  U
1 + + 2 + + 3 + +

You can see that the down strum lasts twice as long as the up strum. Once you get the feel for the rhythm you may well be able to figure out the syncopation yourself.

SunnyDee 08-20-2018 09:57 AM

All the suggestions have been really helpful in seeing different ways of conceptualizing what's going on. Thank you!

Quote:

Originally Posted by stanron (Post 5813936)
You asked how to strum this. I thought someone would have answered by now but here goes anyway.



Stanron, can you say where he's putting that percussive hit?

stanron 08-20-2018 10:28 AM

It seems to be mostly on the down stroke of the first beat of the bar. What he plays to accompany his singing is

Code:

P                  P
D    D    D  U  D    D    D  U
1 + + 2 + + 3 + + | 1 + + 2 + + 3 + + |

with the down on beat one being heavier than on beats two and three and some times percussive (P).

Played like this it's only the third beat that has the triplet feel.

Brent Hahn 08-20-2018 12:04 PM

The whole thing seems simple to me. 6/8. Two groups of three. A downstroke on every beat, accents on beats 1 and 4, plus little swingy upstrokes before beats 1 and 4.

mattbn73 08-20-2018 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brent Hahn (Post 5814056)
The whole thing seems simple to me. 6/8. Two groups of three. A downstroke on every beat, accents on beats 1 and 4, plus little swingy upstrokes before beats 1 and 4.

Yes. ALL music is downstrokes and upstrokes. So, as with all music, it's just simple??

Teaching beginners and intermediate players of all agesfor a long time, I have found that this is one of the harder feels for most players. Period.

Normal humans trying to learn to play have trouble with this.

Brent Hahn 08-20-2018 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattbn73 (Post 5814097)
Yes. ALL music is downstrokes and upstrokes. So, as with all music, it's just simple??

Teaching beginners and intermediate players of all agesfor a long time, I have found that this is one of the harder feels for most players. Period.

Normal humans trying to learn to play have trouble with this.

Okay okay... I dug myself this hole, only reasonable that I find a way to climb out. :-)

Give me a half hour and I'll record a little step-by-step thing that should help. I hope.

Annnnd... we're back. Here's a link to a little audio demonstration. Unlike the artist in the video, whose picking hand is literally hit or miss when it comes to making contact with the strings, for clarity's sake I made sure to give every beat a full whack. But besides that, it's the same thing.


SunnyDee 08-20-2018 01:53 PM

Matt, I must admit, I appreciate being classed with normal humans in this. :)

Brent, I appreciate you going to the trouble to demo. That does help, and, yes, a simplified version is pretty simple. It's really helpful to get the different views of the same rhythm.

mattbn73 08-20-2018 04:36 PM

The syncopation is still the distinguishing characteristic IMO. Syncopation in three or six etc. is slightly more confusing to hear than four. In 4/4 time, if you put accents on beat 1 , the- &- of- 2, and then on beat 4, there is an obvious uneven pattern to the syncopation which sets up your ability to easily hear the beginning of the next measure. You're taking a straight un- syncopated eighth note feel (2+2+2+2) and swapping it for something like (3+3+2).

In 3 (or 6 or 12 etc), it feels funny, because you're trading one kind of EVEN pattern for another, to achieve that syncopated sound. So, a 2+2+2 straight, folky waltz becomes 3+3. So, now more subtle SECONDARY accents are necessary to sell it ...or even to learn to hear it easily, but it's among the best stuff in music once you learn it. Of course all of this is easier in person. Very awkward in text form. I do this stuff with kids but it's incremental steps at a time. The kind of feel he's getting in that video is pretty advanced in my opinion. Great playing.

Here's my take on the syncopated bit. Still awkward. In lessons I'd break it down more for sure: https://youtu.be/MBOic1ycags


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