Author Topic: learning rhodes clichés  (Read 6919 times)

Offline hmazura

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learning rhodes clichés
« on: September 05, 2009, 08:21:39 AM »
i've always listened to pure jazz, but bought rhodes just recently and would like to learn some classic funky runs, licks, tricks and other cliches :)

can you reccomened some paticular albums (Herbie's perhaps?) or songs?

thanks

Offline leon-

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learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 03:20:45 PM »
I too would like to know this - are there any manuals/dvds that specialize in playing Rhodes pianos - I've looked but can't find anything.

L

Offline zippertafari

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 07:20:13 AM »
I''d like to add to this request. I know there is a lot of good stuff on you tube - however if anyone has a breakdown on the main scales - in particular an explanation (however brief) of how funk players use the 'diminished harmony' that would be great. I've done some research - and while I can identify the notes Im not sure how to make lines sound funky as they just sound off :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 07:24:19 AM by zippertafari »

Offline jean-papa

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 05:46:37 AM »
i think you must practice scales and chords, as with any other instrument... :'(
and intervals too!
i think the best choice is to get a teacher, i mean a piano teacher ;)
even the best book(the jazz piano book by mark levine?) won't be as effective as a real human being!


quick tip though:

C diminished  : C-Eb-Gb-A   (same notes as Eb,Gb,and A diminished)
C# diminished  : C#-E-G-Bb  (same notes as E,G,and Bb diminished)
D dimished  : D-F-Ab-B   (same notes as F,Ab,and B diminished)

if you mix C diminished with C#diminished, you have an 8notes scale : C-Db-Eb-E-F#-G-A-Bb-(C)
this is what is called a diminished scale.

there are 2 other combinations : C diminished with D dimished, and C# dimished with D diminished

that means you have 3 diminished scales to practice.
notice that there's always a pattern, alterning tone and semi-tone. (or semi-tone and tone)
that's why it's called a symetric scale ;)


of course you must know when to use them ???

basically, 2 options:

1)on a diminished chord of course
here you must use the tone/semi-tone scale

on C diminished : C-D-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-A-B-(C)

2)on a dominant7 chord:
here you must use the semi-tone/tone scale

on C7 : C-Db-D#-E-F#-G-A-Bb-(C)

i'm not sure it helps (well,in fact i'm rather sure it won't)
so,again, take lessons if you want to learn fast and good.
and sorry about my english,you know what they say about french people and foreign languages... :P



Offline leon-

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 01:28:50 PM »
 I do have the Levine book and it is very good - but I find it more for actual jazz playing and not so much funky stuff. Some parts are perfect (like the McCoy Tyner fourths) but something more 'funk' based would be great.
Good info on the diminished scale.
Leon

Offline The Real MC

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 09:58:09 AM »
Piano technique is different from rhodes technique.  A lot of piano styles do not translate to rhodes and vice versa.

I don't know of any instruction books or DVD/videos, unfortunately you'll have to use your ears.  If you want to learn funky Rhodes technique, listen to Joe Sample on his Crusaders stuff from the 70s/80s.  Josef Zawinel (sp?) of Weather Report is another good one, but he doesn't use the rhodes extensively.

Offline Rob A

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 11:55:21 AM »
I have been a little hesitant to make a reply in this thread, but here I go anyway.

Before I launch, I'll just say that there's not any realy right and wrong about this kind of thing, so just look at the info presented as "useful" or "less useful", okay? It pains me that people may get into arguments--reasonable people can certainly disagree.

I tend to look at this style of Rhodes playing as being primarily about playing rhythm guitar role on keyboard. So taking one step back from that, you kind of have to consider all this against your group's instrumentation, and your role at a particular point in a particular arrangement for it to make much sense--you don't do the same things continuously (I hope), you vary your textures and register and so on to keep things interesting for your audience.

So it's mostly about your accent and articulation. It's also about the space you occupy and the space you leave unoccupied. It's less about your note choices. So what I'm saying is that within reason, you can play about any notes, and if you get the articulation and accents right (where right means in a way that contributes to the groove) then the pitch of the notes is less important to your success.

So everything takes place in context. You have other instruments in your group, including quite possibly a guitar. And as much as anything, coexisting peacefully in a groove with your guitarist is the essential skill to cultivate. Whatever that guy is doing, you need to do something that complements it. That usually means lining up for hits, but otherwise staying out of each other's way.

So you can vary your note length, your register, your dynamics, your accents, your texture/spacing, and so on. You vary those in different ways throughout the song to a) contribute to the groove, and b) occupy space that is distinct from your guitarist(s).

So first, let me explain what I mean with "contribute to the groove." You have to listen, of course, but the things that matter are the basic pulse of your groove (usually 8th notes are straight, but 16ths can be straight or swing), and where the accents fall. Most* funk grooves have a very strong emphasis on beat one. Beyond that, you can expect certain sixteenth note upbeats to be accented. Listen up, find that pattern of accents, and play something that works with it. That doesn't mean hit them all. Play some of them, play around them, whatever, but make sure what you're doing works with them.

Then what is "occupy space that is distinct from your guitarist(s)" about? Like I mention above, you need to listen to the guitar part, and do something that works with it. If he's high register, play in a low register. If he's playing single note (chicken pickin) you can play bigger textures and chords. If he's doing accented upbeats, play on down beats. He plays short, you play long. Not all of those at once, but you have many ways to vary your playing so it is non-interfering, so be conscious of the space. Playing rests is also very legitimate--sometimes the best contribution you can make is giving the space completely to the guitarist (and hopefully the favor is occasionally returned.

A very commonly used funk accent pattern involves accents on every third sixteenth note. This can pick up at different points in the measure, but here's one example of this:

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
(a representative funk accent pattern)

A good guideline to give some structure to my "play whatever notes you want" philosophy is that you should probably be placing short notes where the accents fall, and long notes otherwise. That gives you a good start on constructing figures that work. You can practice doing this with a single note. If you can mentally feel the groove I diagrammed above, imagine a single note figure like this:

1 e doo doo doo DAHT & a doo doo doo DAHT 4 e & a

Elaboration:
That simplistic figure can be elaborated on endlessly. Remember that simplicity will generally be better than complexity in contributing to the groove. Repetition builds unity, and contrast/change gives variety. In funk idiom, the balance is shifted slightly toward unity in favor of variety, but all good music needs a balance of unity/variety to sound coherent. (all unity = boring, all variety = unlistenable)

So, whatever your single pitch is, elaborate this figure by making the first note of each group of four a half-step lower. (Instant cliche!) For instance, if the chord going on is a dominant seventh (pretty good bet in funk) then picking the seventh and approaching from the sixth would get this done.

To elaborate further, add the root above the seventh. This close spacing kind of reinforces that what we are playing is more percussive than harmonic or melodic in nature.

To elaborate further, and make a denser texture (more than just two notes), play the whole seventh chord, and make the first note an approach from a half step below. This is a very rhythm guitarish approach to playing.


I'm gonna stop here, because no wall of text is going to really help you much in getting there, you have to sort of just go do it. I'll try to post up some sound file examples later to help with envisioning what I'm describing above. I'm hindered a little by not having a guitarist around to help out, but I may be able to work around that.

So in summary cultivate these skills:
Listening
Contributing to the groove


*The whole thing about Herbie is that played a lot of music in a style that is pretty much the exact opposite of this statement, but funk none the less. So I want to acknowledge that in the footnote here and not get derailed by that particular point. Finding the one in "Hang Up Your Hangups" or "Actual Proof" or "Steppin In It" is not easy.

Offline leon-

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 12:56:02 PM »
thanks to all of you and especially to Rob for an excellent post !

Offline Rob A

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 09:20:36 PM »
This episode is brought to you by the letter E and the number 7.

Backing track so you can try this at home:
http://shup.com/Shup/498500/tut0.mp3
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.)


One note version:
http://shup.com/Shup/498501/tut1.mp3

Two note:
http://shup.com/Shup/498503/tut2.mp3

Two note with approach:
http://shup.com/Shup/498504/tut3.mp3

Full chord (E7#9)
http://shup.com/Shup/498505/tut4.mp3


Offline Rob A

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 09:30:48 PM »
This episode is brought to you by the letter D and the number 6.  ;D
http://shup.com/Shup/498509/tutd6.mp3


Same principles apply, plus a lot of left hand ghost notes.

BTW, I apologize for the sucky drumming.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 09:33:08 PM by Rob A »

Offline zippertafari

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 04:28:32 AM »
Rob -

Great post and examples !

Z

Offline leon-

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 02:36:20 PM »
Great stuff Rob

Just trying to work my way through the examples. Do you have any transcripts of the later ones specifically tut4 and tutd6 ?

L.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 02:44:37 PM by leon-nelson »

Offline Rob A

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 03:05:17 PM »
lol, you guys don't ask for much. That's why I picked a CC license, so the community can transcribe them for me. ;)

Nah, I was gonna follow up with an actual chart that includes several crucial idioms the way I'd notate them. More or less write a tune that will walk you through learning a bunch of the useful licks. Not everyone is real comfortable with notation, but it's a good tool for those who are. As far as I know, you can't really effectively notate what I'm doing on the clav. If I wrote out all the itty bitty ghost notes, it would look pretty hairy.

Offline zippertafari

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 03:58:14 PM »
Would really like to see something like that. Your breakdown was one of the best posts I've read here and it is appreciated.

Offline dnarkosis

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 08:37:56 PM »
I may have missed some development or other along the way, but when I first read this thread I was going to link to Volvoxburger's YouTube channel - and now find it has disappeared. That channel would have addressed a lot of these requests, it seems.

??
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Offline Rob A

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 09:09:02 PM »
Yeah, that's gone.

Offline Dan Belcher

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2011, 07:25:12 AM »
Why's your channel closed, Rob?? The funk quotient of the Internet just dropped 84%!
Proud owner,
1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73

Offline ahlnold

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 10:50:34 AM »
Bump*

A question left unanswered? I've been looking around the forum for a thread in which the answer lies. It was one of my favorite YouTube channels, sad to see it go.

Perhaps it's no one's business but I am curious.


On topic though. I find that some newer records are comprised even more of cliches than the old records which inspired them. One such record is Nils Landren Funk Unit - Fonk Da World.


Offline leon-

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Re: learning rhodes clichés
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2011, 04:31:23 AM »
never really found one solitary resource, but maybe thats not a bad thing as it forced me to use my ears a lot more.
Happy to use whats worked for me so far.
Melody harmonised in 5ths
Hammer ons
Double stops (generally 3rds and 4ths)
bluesy single lines
Prominent bassline.

Doesn't sound like much - but coming from a bebop piano background it has taken me a long time to get to this point.
Would like to hear other's suggestions/thoughts on this.