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Re: OT The Sub Pulse was West African/African Diaspora rhythms: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 12/8

I am intetested in the course, is this dme online?
Antony Hequet

Sent from my iPhone

On 2010-09-14, at 05:59, Rick Walker <looppool@cruzio.com> wrote:

On 11:59 AM, Mark Showalter wrote:

Ok, let me see if I have this now.

The pulse is 4/4 because of the drums on the beat, but the "sub-pulse" is 
the bass&  the palm muted guitar because they play on the sub-division of 
the beat?

This is just how I organize it, think about it and teach it (after having 
analyzed, literally thousands of popular music styles from all over the 

When you count to the music (let's take good old 4/4)
the numbers you count     1,    2,     3,      4
are the PULSE   (In this case,    the 4 pulse)

The way you subdivide that pulse so that all of the notes in the ostinato 
rhythm (repetitive syncopative
or non-syncopative rhythms)  fall on the subdivisions (in the case of our 
example,   the 8th notes)
is what I call the SUB PULSE

In a typical 3/4, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 7/4, etc. tune you might have a subpulse
that is 8th notes,   triplet 8th notes,  16th notes,  triplet 16th notes 
or even 32nd notes (Mbalax from Senegal,
or grooves from the hip hop producer Timbaland as the rare example)

Any embellishment that occurs (as distinguished from what we call fills,  
or breaking from the pattern
at the end of every 8, 16 or 32 bars, typically) at a faster rate (smaller 
note value)
and in this particular case, 16th notes what I call
They are specifically played at a faster rate than the subpulse

In groove playing or groove arrangement,  it's extremely important to 
understand what the
SUB PULSE is.   if you ignore it or use a note value that is either too 
high or too low, you run the risk
of not understanding how the listener hears the music;  how the dancer 
dances to it.

Though 16th notes are played periodically as embellishments by the drum or 
the 'pick bass' guitar lines
in this case) the 'feel' of the music is NOT 16th notes, but rather 8th 
notes (the note value of the syncopative
bass line that drives this song.

People frequently mistake the PULSE for the SUBPULSE,  the SUBPULSE for 
This is why so many guitar and keyboard players (sorry for picking on you 
guys) write such horrible
drum machine patterns for their songs.

If you guys are interested  I'll lay out an approach for successful rhythm 
section writing and
rhythm section arranging or tweaking  in future posts but, again,  this 
festival is just freezing my brain so it may have to come at odd intervals.

Also, it should be said that in almost 30 years of producing and 35 years 
of professional playing that
this approach has proven extrememely successful.   Mine is a relatively 
conservative approach but
it always works.   I also believe that every single rhythm or rhythmic 
arrangement has a particular feel to
human beings................you only need to add one 16/th note offbeat 
snare drum hit to the drum beat of Queen's 'We Will Rock You" to realize 
that the original and the embellished versions sound completely different 
to the the listener.

Lastly, it should be said that this is a very effective map for 
arrangement, composition and even real time

As Alfred Korzybski said,  "The Map is not the Territory".
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that by merely observing, on a 
sub atomic level, that
we change the nature of the thing we observe (okay, this is a very 
simplistic understanding of his
principle but a useful one).
My mentor, the amazing maverick scientist Gregory Bateson said,  "We are 
doomed to make
imperfect maps of reality due to our inherent neurophysiology.  He said 
that, however, there
is such a thing as a better map.

So,  this is a small part of  the best map I can offer and I try to 
constantly find holes in it and accept any critiques of it.  (lol, after 
thirty years of teaching it,  a student last week informed me that there 
isn't a word tertiary but that the two correct terms are binary and 
ternary................you learn something every day,   hopefully.

It doesn't not consider all kinds of musics but it particular effective 
when use in music of Africa, the African Diaspora,  the Middle East (with 
the exception of Middleastern and Persian classical musics),  the village 
groove musics of India (and NOT Indian Classical music),  all the major 
regional popular music styles of the Americas
(but not so called free Jazz) and most of the European and UK musical 

yours,   Rick Walker
ps  in the new year I'm going to be teaching my entire Rhythm Intensive
online with real time video conferencing if anyone is interested in taking 
4 week, 1 hour a week course,  of it's 4 week advanced addition.
Let me know if anyone is interested in taking that course.  It's taught 
one on one, is pure theory
and has teaching materials supplied.