Jazz Rhythm Dialect

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Getting comfortable with the rhythmic concept of swing is critical to developing an improvisation that swings. The late great jazz educator Alvin Batiste would always say “there are no wrong notes in jazz, just mispronunciation.” He was talking about developing a rhythmic and harmonic concept that would help you create the swing feel through a jazz rhythm dialect.

The pronunciation of the jazz language is acquired through the use of syllables that help create the natural rhythmic feel of swing. Jazz like all other music genres gets its momentum from the interpretation of its rhythm. Rhythm is fundamental to creating the feeling for swing. Developing a jazz dialect naturally creates a rhythmic understanding through feeling the pulse of the music. The conceptual approach of this jazz rhythm dialect is rooted in the feel of the rhythm of spoken syllables. This approach can help develop a natural feel to swing and help players understand the concept of swing.