Today’s transcription comes from a video that Bob Reynolds posted to Youtube demonstrating playing in 7/4 time on the tune “Out of Nowhere.” I chose this solo to transcribe, because quite frankly I’m pretty terrible at playing in odd-meter and I wanted to have a good example to practice along with; an etude of sorts. This solo comes pretty close to that while still retaining a genuine/musical feel that I think etudes tend to lack (especially jazz etudes). Besides, there are some really killer phrases that go across the entire range of the horn that I really wanted to learn.
I’m still digesting this solo and will follow up with a more in depth analysis soon, but here are a few key practice techniques I can derive from this solo with regards to playing in odd-meter:
- Know the Tune inside and out. If you are getting lost in the form you probably have no hope of keeping the time.
- Start with the melody. Bob does a great job of modifying/embellishing the melody to clearly show the 7 time feel.
- Use Rhythmic Repetition. There are several instances in this solo where Bob repeats the same rhythm across 3-4 measures. I think trying to use the same rhythm through out a chorus or even 8 bars would be good practice.
- Use Melodic Repetition. This goes hand-in-hand with #4.
- Vary the beat that phrases start and end on. This goes for all soloing, but especially in odd meter. If you can phrase over the bar line and starting on uncommon beats I think that is a good indication that you feel pretty comfortable in that meter.
Bob has a lesson dedicated to playing in 7. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but from what I’ve seen of his other videos it has tons of great stuff in it. Be sure to take a look!
More to come soon!