Thomas Berglund
Thomas Berglund
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Using of polymetric phrases in the soloing

This lesson is about using of polymetric phrases in the soloing.

Polymetric means two or more rhythms with different meter going on at the same time in the same tempo. In improvisation it means that you can play phrases in a different rhythmic meter from what the song has. If we talk about 16th notes of a 4/4 time signature you normally divide them up into groups of four. If you instead playing or accentuating in groups of five the phrases becomes slightly offset.

original

As you´ll see in the polymetric example above the emphasis is coming slightly offset in the five 16 notes groupings against the four 16 notes groupings and this allows the rhythm to create a tension in the phrase. Furthermore, one can, for example divide phrases with any kind of groupings against any other kind of groupings .

Below there are some phrases I´ve done to show how they can sound. I also show them in the video lesson.

Here are odd groups of 16th notes:

Groups of five 16th notes:

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Groups of seven 16th notes:

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Groups of nine 16th notes:

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Here´s a whole lick in groups of seven 16th notes:

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When playing these phrases against 16th notes in groups of 4 as I do in the lesson there are different polymeter going on and that creates a rhythmic tension in the phrases.

These are examples of mine but you can create your own phrases in the same way. When you have done a phrase you should practice it to a backing track to get the feel of the phrase. After some time with practicing this you will find yourself playing polymetric phrases as a natural thing in your soloing.

For me it´s inspiring to play and work with polymetrics. It´s important in the practicing to play in context so you learn to keep the timing to the tune that´s playing. Otherwise it´ll just be a thing you know and not can use in the real playing.

Good luck!

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GMT
@glennthompson   5 years ago
Rhythm is SO important, yet it is often overshadowed by too much time spent focusing on melody. It's great to see some aspects of rhythm being covered here. Very good lesson for improving one's rhythmic facility! Thanks Thomas, well done. \m/~L~\m/
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
I always appreciate when you´re watching and comment my videos Glenn! Thanks!
PaulJones9
@pauljones   5 years ago
Polymetric phrases are a great way to spice up a riff, solo, or melody. More guitarists should be aware of this concept. Excellent lesson! Contgrats ;)
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
I´m glad you like the lesson and for telling! Thanks!
PaulJones9
@pauljones   5 years ago
You're welcome! I'm looking forward to see more of these lessons :)
Fusk8
@favio-montealegre   5 years ago
Really usefull!! this Polymetric phrases followed by the drums sounds incredible! great for prog rock and jazz!
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
Thanks for watching and nice comment! Makes me glad you like these polymetric phrases!
CTambornini
@ctambornini   5 years ago
Great lesson Thomas, I think you got the point when saying "listeners don't know what's happening but you have the control over it"! That's how polymetrics make the charm both for the audience and for the guitarist. I agree with pauljones, I believe this is a key for every guitarist and I'm not only speaking about jazz or prog.
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
I´m glad you like the lesson and you have a good point when saying this is not only for jazz and prog musicians, it works great to put in these rhytmic elements in all kind of music. Thanks for comment!
Flekador
@fl3k   5 years ago
Really interesting lesson. I love the rythmic feeling thas this technique causes! I will be practicing it during all this week. I always wondered how to do this naturally and now I know how. ;)
Thanks for your contribution!
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
Makes me glad it´s useful! Thanks for comment!
Sotonushka
@sotonushka   5 years ago
Brilliant! I've been using such solo patters for quite a while but had no idea they're called polymetric. Was genuinly interesting to learn more about it and also actually hear the examples of how it works in the mix.
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
Thanks for watching and comment! Actually it was the same with me that I have played these kind of rhytmic phrases for a long time and didn´t know the name of it. When I did this lesson I was stung to learn it´s name.
Dene
@dene   5 years ago
The cool thing about polymetric phrases that the same phrase sounds totaly different just because of shifted accents :) Rhythm is such an interesting thing to experiment with. Nice lesson.
Thomas Berglund
@thomas-berglund   5 years ago
I could not agree more. The rhythm is the key in many ways to find new and interesting ways of playing phrases and make that x-tra tension in the playing. Thanks for watching and comment!