Working feel of 8th notes seems like an ever ending process of refinement and over the years I’ve found an interesting and pretty fun way to work on it. By isolating and looping some of my favorite examples of 8th note “feel” it becomes a bit easier to begin to emulate such an often elusive yet extremely important aspect of the art form. In this lesson I’ve used looped 8th note examples from 3 different master improvisers (Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter and Lee Konitz). Each of these wonderful musicians have a unique and highly refined sense of 8th note feel.
By playing along with these loops you can begin to focus in and work on emulating their feel and perhaps begin to refine or conceive of your own feel in the process. I’ve found this method of “feel practice” to be more beneficial than only playing along with entire transcriptions. Although nothing replaces transcribing, this method simply allows you to more easily focus on just the 8th note feel exclusively by not varying the melodic improvised content.
Dexter Gordon Loop Slow: “Apple Jump” from Biting The Apple – Dexter Gordon Quartet 1977 (Barry Harris: Piano, Sam Jones: Bass, Al Foster: Drums)
Dexter Gordon Loop regular speed:
Wayne Shorter Loop Slow: “On Green Dolphin St.” from Live at The Plugged Nickle – Miles Davis Quintet 1965 (Herbie Hancock: Piano, Ron Carter: Bass, Tony Williams: Drums).
Wayne Shorter Loop regular speed:
Lee Konitz Loop slow: “I Remember You” from Motion – 1961 (Sonny Dallas: Bass, Elvin Jones: Drums)
Lee Konitz Loop regular speed: