Articulation At Fast Tempos

harry63 writes “In slow and medium swing tempos I understand that “off-beat” articulation is used most often (I know there are times of course, that you don’t use this articulation, but I am generalizing on purpose). With fast tempos this articulation can really make your playing sound heavy and tend to drag. I am curious to know what sort of articulation patterns you all use at break-neck tempos?”

3 thoughts on “Articulation At Fast Tempos”

  1. I’m by no means a master of fast tempos, but from listening to the greats, I would say that the 8th notes start to even out as tempos increase — not so much emphasis on the offbeat. Get the tongue out of the way for the most part (it’s too slow, for most of us), and accent the shape of the phrase with quick bursts of abdominal pressure. If you slow down Charlie Parker’s faster pieces (using software like Amazing Slow Downer), you’ll hear very little obvious tonguing. Fast bebop is really a legato style with breath accents.


  2. Yeah, except that if you listen to like Bob Mintzer, like out of his 14 Jazz/Funk Etudes book, he tongues a lot of the 16th runs.

    I dunno. I’d tend to slur things, and maybe accent beats (1,2,3,4 etc).

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