Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Rhythm Book Teaches NINE

Here's an excerpt on NINE from Don Ellis's "New Rhythm Book" found in Chapter 6 "An Approach to Odd Time Signatures for Keyboard and Guitar Players' by Milcho Leviev. Its not the basic basics of NINE, but gets into interesting concepts.

Just makes you want to super impose in NINE? Well I might help slightly if I had the accompanying vinyl (soon, I say soon universe), or if we started from the beginning of the book, or if was easier to read. So here's what it says:
"The time signature of 9 could be a regular one (3+3+3) or subdivided irregularly in 4 different ways: 2+2+2+3,3+2+2+2,2+3+2+2,2+2+3+2. Lets examine this pattern: Example 73.
This is the rhythm section's open vamp for the solos. The rock bass line was derived from a more simple pattern at the beginning of the chart which shows the subdivision of the meter clearly: Example 74
Notice example 73, what the drummer's cymbal is doing. It is playing even quarters with are on the heavy beats in the first bar and on the off beats in the second bar. If we cancel the bar between the two measures they will become one measure of 9/4. Remember this, because when we later begin to analyze 'Strawberry Soup', a composition in which the measure of 9 is exploited in almost every possible way, we will see the basic concept is just the opposite. It is written in 9/4 and is subdivided in two bars of 9/8.
You might say all these things have nothing to do with your playing the piano or guitar, but that is not true. We have to be aware of everything the other players are doing especially the bassist and drummer.
'Relaxing Todora' was written in 9/8 instead of 9/4, because the bass pattern and some of the horn figures would look very unclear on paper otherwise, and because the main feeling is one of rock. We know that in the rock idioms we think in eighths and even sixteenths, rather than in quarters. A parallel between a regular 4/4 rock and this kind of 9/8 would make the matter clearer: Example 75
For soloing on this pattern, we should definitely think in sixteenths in order to get the driving feeling. A staring point could be one of the horn patterns: Example 76
'Strawberry Soup' is one of the richest (musically and technically) compositions of Don's creativity and on the Band's bag, as well. As it was said before, here we have 9/4 subdivided in two 9/8 bars: Example 77
The 9/4 bar could be treated as having 9 even quarters or 3+3+3 over 4. The two 9/8 bars obviously are of the kind 3+2+2+2 over 8. Feeling the two measures together (9/4 and the same time the two 9/8s) is the basic task for soloing in this piece (if we have and open vamp D-7). The challenge becomes much greater if we want to solo on the basic 10 bar blues type structure of the piece. For that purpose we need the following scheme: Example 78
If you are strong-willed enough to first understand and then to practice and feel comfortable in a structure like that, you won't have any problems playing in the 'oddest' of meters!"

Get it now? I'm starting to nineit. More lessons to come.

Schemin' NINE,
BetZe13 Tune in


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