read this site for years - hear is a pearl.
No worries. Your advice is sound—that’s exactly what I did: listened to a lot of really good players and sorted out where the emphasis always falls and that this is also where all the articulation happens. At first, I just felt it. But then, to help others understand it, I figured out where in the count the beats land, for every tune form.
Part of the beauty of this music is that the pulse is steady even as it moves around. Not just always a downbeat or always a backbeat (as in some genres), but moving from downbeat to backbeat and back again, and sometimes all of the above. So the pulse is fluid, not static. Yet there is a form to it—always on the 1s and 3s, never the 2s and (in 4/4 tunes) 4s.
You might hear a 2 or a 4 swell in a 1-2-3-4 phrase, but that’s only leading onto the next 3 or 4 beat, where the emphasis actually lands.
# Posted on April 2nd 2011 by Will Harmon