This will give you the ability to phrase over the barline and swing harder! Break down some rhythmic roadblocks and feel rhythm in a freer way.

Part 1 of this single note-based class explores the superimposition of 3/4 rhythms over 4/4 swing commonly called hemiola rhythms. This rhythm is a hallmark of jazz syncopation and can really make your solos and comping swing through it’s “over the bar line” phrasing.

The class begins with one of the most swinging rhythms in jazz from Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing.” Three different common tone or pedal points are used to phrase over the chord changes to “Sunny Side Of The Street” using Duke’s iconic rhythm.

The next rhythm that is explored is the dotted quarter note, used in the form of guide tone lines and scale patterns. We then move on to harmonized diatonic triads in a modal context employing hemiola rhythms.

Next we apply the same 8th note rhythm of three note groupings to the changes of “Sunny Side” using triads, scalar patterns and enclosures. The practice is then extended to six note patterns.

Finally we explore the classic “Honeysuckle Rose” pattern bending it into a 3/4 rhythm to be used over chord changes in 4/4.

Working on one’s phrasing will bring your playing up to new heights and establish greater rhythmic conviction in your playing.

You’ll be sure to benefit from working this elastic phrasing into your music as it is essentially what will give the lines forward motion and swing.

Expected Outcome from this class: Break down some rhythmic roadblocks and feel rhythm in a freer way. This will give you the ability to phrase over the barline and swing harder!

  • 4 pages of PDF written material notated in standard notation (and TAB for guitarists)
  • Running time: 31 minutes


  • Hemiola Rhythms (3/4 against 4/4)
  • Freeing up one’s rhythmic feel

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Class Content

Part I
Jazz Phrasing Part 1 Class Video 00:31:00

Course Reviews


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  1. Jazz Phrasing Part 1


    Extremely valuable information with lots of practical uses.

    by Dane Clarke
  2. Years of learning packed into another great class from Steve


    This class, just like the contents of every of the several Mike’s Masterclasses of Steve’s which I have the privilege to own and to be able to study, demonstrates Steve’s 100% commitment to revealing his own personal musical devices which he clearly uses in his own playing and performances. All one has to do is watch and listen to some of Steve’s YouTube solo guitar performances and group performances on the internet, such as Almost Like Being in Love, with a vocalist and bassist, and you will have proof positive that Steve generous offerings reveal what he has spent years researching and developing in order to create his own singular voice on the guitar. I finally have come to the conclusion that Steve’s selfless goal has always been to honestly and generously reveal what he knows best – the music that has made him a singular voice in today’s music world, and to share that NOT with the hopes that people will necessarily just copy this material by rote, but rather to help spark an opportunity in others to also create their own polyphonic and poly rhythmic voice on their own instrument. In the July 2006 issue of Down Beat, yes, 2006, there was a transcription of Jimmy Raney solo’. The article’s title “Harmonic, Rhythmic Tension Propel Jimmy Raney’s ‘Motion’ Solo.” There is a discussion in that article about the precise rhythmic ideas that Jimmy inserted into this solo These rhythmic ideas in Jimmy’s solo are the exact same magical rhythmic mechanisms that Lester Young made a career out of and which Steve shared (and made quite understandable) in his MMC titled Jazz Guitar Phrasing, Part 1. In the DownBeat article, discussing this wonderful 3/4 over 4/4 is quoted and described “Players who did not utilize this thinking as being flat-footed.” The Mike’s Masterclasses which Steve has authored will allow you to not be flat footed. The true impact of Steve’s generous offerings on one’s development of their own voice is awaiting you in each of his Masterclasses. There is not a clam in the bunch.

    by Charles M.
  3. Excellent Class - looking forward to the rest of the series!


    This is very important information for those of us (like me) who tend to just run a stream of eighth notes when they solo. Here Steve starts soloing with just one note, but since he is playing a very interesting rhythm (the hemiola) it sounds much more musical and melodic than you would expect. I really learned a lot from this class and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

  4. Hemiolas are cool!


    There is a lot in this short lesson and it will take a while to put into my playing…but I love it! Thx Steve!

    by George Cole
  5. Simple routines that will transform your playing


    A couple of hours with this course and I sound so much better I can’t believe it. The great thing about rhythm studies is that everything benefits – soloing, melody, comping, everything. Can’t wait for my next gig in a couple of days, thanks Steve.

    by Ray Bartlet
  6. Another absolutely great lesson!


    Steve Herberman is an awesome player and excellent teacher. I’m so glad for having taken this course! A bunch of ideas to improve your jazz phrasing! Thanks

    by Daniel Corzo
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