The Musician’s Guide to Rhythm (North Shire Press, 2014) is a new book by Julian Gerstin & Ken Dalluge. It’s a practical guide to performing and creating with rhythm for instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, and teachers.
The book covers the many musical styles that contemporary working musicians in the United States encounter: jazz, classical, rock, blues, Cuban, Brazilian, etc., and refers also to Bulgarian, Egyptian, Indonesian, Ghanaian and other styles. Examples from such styles illustrate rhythmic concepts. Co-author Julian Gerstin indicates that this is not a “how to play Brazilian music” type of book, but a clear, progressive approach to skills and concepts from basic (accurate note placement) to complex (improvisation and composition). Each chapter is followed by an extensive set of exercises.
Julian Gerstin adds: “Rhythm is still the least theorized part of music teaching, and, while MGTR focuses on practical application rather than theory, ethnomusicologists will read between the lines and discover ideas that apply more broadly. For example, the concept ethnomusicologists call “timelines” (guide patterns) is introduced not only in reference to African and Caribbean music, but jazz, funk, and Balkan music as well. The guide pattern concept becomes a key to organizing asymmetric patterns in general, part of a larger picture of rhythm built up throughout the book.”
MGTR is written by two long-time performers and music teachers, Julian Gerstin and Ken Dalluge. Julian is a long-time Society for Ethnomusicology member and a contributor to Ethnomusicology, Black Music Research Journal and other scholarly publications. He has done fieldwork in the Caribbean and with Caribbean and African immigrants in the United States, and currently teaches at Keene State College and performs in jazz, Afrocuban, and Balkan ensembles. Ken, who is based in Santa Cruz, California, was originally from Minnesota, the son and grandson of jazz trumpeters. Ken got his union card at 15 and, after music education studies in college, gigged across the country in jazz, rock, R&B, and show bands and, for six years in the 1990s, in France. Ken has also been deeply involved in Brazilian music, traveling to Sao Paulo many times and becoming a consecrated lead drummer in the Umbanda religion.
The Musician’s Guide to Rhythm is available in two versions, paperbound and wirebound.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.