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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I've always been under the impression that in jazz that the 2nd and 4th beats of the bar are the ones we emphasise, but I've also come across people saying that the 1st and 3rd should be emphasised instead (say with chord tones in bebop playing).

So which is it?

(Edit; in common time obviously)
 

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Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contri
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Try 1-3 for the odd numbered measures in the phrase and 2-4 for the even numbered measures. Or vice versa.

What are your feet telling you?
 

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I feel that you need to be feeling both. But, I think 1 and 3 grounds you more to the pulse than 2 and 4. 2 and 4 is the swing, so its really important to feel that too. I have been told that a good way to think about this is how would you move your body to dance over a fast tempo? I think it feels more grounded if you are moving with 1 and 3 than 2 and 4. I feels much more comfortable to me, but 2 and 4 are still in there. I have been told by different players that "You have to feel it on 2 & 4", and then by a different player "You have to feel it on 1 and 3". To me tempo also plays a part of this. If I'm playing a medium tempo, 2 and 4 seems to groove more. I would experiment with this on several tunes with you feeling the metronome pulse on 1 and 3, and then on the same tune at the same tempo, feel it on 2 and 4. Let your body make the descision as to what feels and grooves best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RandyJ said:
Ed, I love that!
There's no other place like SOTW for some comic relief.
Huh?

Thanks for the tips Landru.
 

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EZ said:
Try 1-3 for the odd numbered measures in the phrase and 2-4 for the even numbered measures.
I was half joking, but only half! What I described here played in double time would be a funk beat. Emphasizing in a given measure 1 and 2 and the "and" of 3 and 4. RHCP: "Give it away, give it away, give it away now!"

In most seriousness, listen to your feet and the muscles in the back of your neck - how is the beat telling you to move?

Music is about movement as much as it is about tonality - for music that does not compel movement (be it your feet or your heart) is often misconstrued as music.
 

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This is a good question. One way to look at it is the harmony (chords & chord changes) happens on 1 & 3, and the rhythm is more on 2 & 4. But that's not entirely accurate either, since the "strong" beat is generally on 1 & 3. 2 & 4 (the "weak" beats) can be emphasized to give a more swinging or syncopated feel. For a real synocpated feel emphasize the upbeats (the "and" of 1 or 2 etc), of course.
 

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JL is right as I understand it. There is a difference between strong for chord tones and strong for rhythm accents. As a general rule, if you want a swing or bebop type of sound, chord tones should fall on one and three, accents on two and four. In eighth note passages, downbeats are strong for chord tones and upbeats for accents. Shelton Berg, in his book The Goal Note Method, points out that playing chord tones on the strong beats (e.g., 1 and 3 in 4/4 time) is a "centuries-old principle of melodic structure". In a piece like Take Five, you will hear many chord tones on 1 and 4, but rhythm accents elsewhere.
 

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Not sure if this helps, but in salsa dancing you can either dance on the 1&3--that's west coast style--or on the 2&4--often known as east coast or "mambo" style. Some people can only dance one or the other. As long as both partners are together, it works. The feel is very different depending on how you do it! Dancing on the 1 feels more like you're pushing the beat forward, whereas dancing on 2 feels like hanging back. Both styles are beautiful when performed well.
 
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