Course Introduction
Deep Thinking
The Jazz Language
The Musician's Ear
Better Rhythm
Music Theory
Improvisation Hacks
Practicing Well
The Master Speaks

The Rhythm of Phrases

An improvised solo in jazz is the telling of a story. Too many players treat their improvisation as simply the running of notes for the span of the solo. A good musical story, however, has a certain rhythm to the phrases played by the improviser. Those phrases build on one another and attract interest through their variety and relevance to each other.

In this lesson, I’ll use the Herbie Hancock solo on the Sonny Rollins album, Now’s the Time, to illustrate a master of phrase rhythm. Herbie (and Sonny, by the way) are among the best at creating interest in their musical stories through their use of rhythm throughout their notes and phrases.

Good phrase rhythm requires a intuitive sense of time. Watch the video below on Richie talking about how to develop good time.

Lesson Materials

Related thoughts from the masters

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