Sweet alright yet not an easy one to get under your fingers. In this episode of Talking Technique, I show you a few strategies for tackling this – and any – challenging riff.
Why is it a Challenging Riff?
One of the reasons it is a bit challenging is its rhythmic make up: eighth notes, sixteenth notes, and a dotted eighth add interest*; then there is the quick tempo and the fact that the song begins with the bass and just a shaker, so you want to be on it right from the get-go! With all these big jumps not such an easy feat!
*: I am using the original, Toys in the Attic version. Many people – including YouTubers – get it dead wrong or combine a hodge podge of versions.
Here’s How to Nail It
Only if you completely wrap your mind around it will you be able to place the accents correctly according to the underlying subdivision. So, understanding it is the first step!
Okay, so you can now place the one-e’s and the and-a’s correctly and you understand the riff in your head. Great. But now to use it with confidence or when improvising, rhythm must be felt in the body!
What exactly does this mean? This sounds elusive!
If it sounds elusive to you it means you need help getting rhythm from your head into your body. That is exactly why I created Ari’s Rhythm Matrix.
In it I break down all binary rhythms into 16 easy shapes and I use a trick to help you get them into your body so you can feel them easily. It is so easy it is almost funny. But boy, is it effective!
To learn my rhythm matrix and how to get rhythm into your body, join my Rhythm Matrix Live Class. The next one starts on June 23rd 2022.
If you join my Rhythm Matrix Live Class you will get a complete rhythmic break down of Sweet Emotion as we use it as one of our sample pieces.
In the meantime, you can watch my Talking Technique video below to get many tips on the technical aspects of this cool riff. And check out this blog post for a PDF download of Sweet Emotions intro, technique tips and what happened when Tal Wilkenfeld learned the original riff…