Tips from the Studio: Put it in the pocket. | SOSstudio

Journey of a Studio Collaborator

As a Collaborator for SOS Studio I am faced with the rewarding challenge of never knowing exactly what project will land in front me from week to week….is it Bluegrass? Folk? Alternative? You get the idea…

Being able to play lots of cool licks, knowledge of theory, and crazy fast speeds are all great in their own way but they all depend on that one important element that many musicians tend not to focus on as much as they should….Rhythm!

“Ahhh, but it’s so boring to focus on the beat and playing with a metronome…”

I would have to disagree.  Playing ‘in the pocket’ is an integral part of being a musician and when it’s happening on a track, it’s one of the coolest and most rewarding moments in music.

So how to help with keeping it fresh and avoid it being ‘boring’?  As a guitar player, I’ve found that studying not only different musical genres which are rhythm heavy (funk, bluegrass, jazz) is vital, but the study of other instruments that are more rhythmic is incredibly important…..let’s say for example…DRUMS

Stick ControlOk, now I’m not saying go out and buy a snare or drum kit and start completely learning another instrument (although that is not a bad idea in the long run) but there are some great resources that can be found in the drum community.  At SOS I have the privilege of working with some great drummers, and during a conversation with Co-Founder Damion Sanchez I asked if there were any well known drum books that everyone has, kind of like everyone’s parents has the Frampton Comes Alive album (yes, yes they do, go check). He pointed me in the direction of a couple and the one that instantly jumped out and helped me almost immediately was called “Stick Control”.  This is a short book, only about 35 pages or so, which walks you through several different rudiments meant for snare…or any drum, I guess.  I applied it to my playing in 2 ways: replacing all the left hits with ‘up’ strokes and the right with ‘down’ strokes on the guitar, both full strumming then one string only. All I can say is that for $8 everyone can benefit from this book.  If an instrument can play a rhythm then this is a great exercise book for that instrument.melodic rhythms

If you’re looking for a more guitar-oriented book then I would suggest Melodic Rhythms for Guitar, an older book but still fantastic.

Why am I focusing so much on this one aspect of music?  Simply put, it’s the most crucial.

If you can’t feel the pulse of the music then it’s not going to matter how cool the lick is or how many notes you can play.  It simply won’t make any sense and might make you sound like a greenhorn no matter how good you are… As a Studio Collaborator I constantly strive to always be in the pocket, finding the groove and hopefully inspiring the others who I’m playing along side. Rhythm is the foundation of everything, without it there would be no “feel” in the music….and we might not get called back for more sessions….

Rhythm, Pulse, Pocket, Drive, Click, Time Feel, Feel, Groove, Swing, Funk, Cadence

Get into it!!!!

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