In my opinion, every great groove/song keeps you listening because of the rhythm. From Monk to Van Halen, a tunes groove is deeply rooted in its basic rhythm.
Take the simplest of examples: Momma loves shortnin’, Momma loves shortnin’, Momma loves shortnin’, shortnin’ bread. Yep, I guarantee that rhythm is in your soul right now. You didn’t hear anything, you didn’t read any music – you just saw the words on this page and that rhythm is tattooed on your brain. This example, to me, really demonstrates the essence of any great groove.
We’ve touched on this before in other articles. This is just another attempt by me to drive home the importance of getting the rhythm into our souls first – before the notes ever even hit the air.
The examples in the accompanying video will show just that. Breaking down the coolest grooves in their primal, rhythymic form is necessary (and fun!) for the notes to even matter.
You must practice every day on your ear training and your facility on your instrument, but it all comes under the umbrella of rhythm. All the craziest, most unbelievable chops on your instrument don’t mean didley squat shit if you don’t have rhythm. That I guarantee.
I am not by far the first person to say this. Case in point: “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing….. do-wop do-wop do-wop do-wop do-wop do-wop do-wop.” (I’ll bet that rhythm is in you right now)!