Boogie Woogie: Groove

What really makes boogie woogie tick is the rhythmic groove. While it’s nice to have a library of fancy licks in your bag, you need to play them in rhythm or things just won’t feel quite right. One key to success is to stop thinking the groove and to start feeling the groove. Merely thinking about the time by counting 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 in our heads is an abstraction that distracts our attention away from feeling (and enjoying) the concrete physical and sonic experience of the music we are playing. You want to feel the time in your whole body!

Rhythm Practice Tip

A simple, but extremely powerful, practice habit will absolutely, positively transform your playing to new heights: Practice with a drum track.  Doing so will expose the loose rhythmic screws in your playing by providing immediate feedback when you start to lose the groove. Combining this feedback with honest listening to what you are playing will tighten up those loose screws in very short order, guaranteed. If you do not have access to a drum machine or virtual rhythm section, a metronome will do in the meantime.