Sixteenth note lines are an important part of jazz phrasing that sometimes gets overlooked. They are an essential part of double-timing, an exciting rhythmic device to employ while soloing, especially when grouped in interesting ways.

This masterclass examines the various note groupings of sixteenth notes concentrating on those that are asymmetrical since they tend to be the most rhythmically satisfying. We’ll look at groups of 3, 5, 6, and 7 as well as grouping the sixteenth notes as triads, 7th chords, 9th chords and 11th chords.

These foundational exercises are given at the beginning of the class using D dorian tonality to see and hear the examples more easily. The minor 6 pentatonic scale is used in several examples to give the examples a hard bop Coltrane-type of feel and sound.

The class closes with a 32 bar solo written over the chords to “There Is No Greater Love” that is challenging while addressing this syncopated sixteenth note technique through chord changes. Charlie Parker put this approach on the map in his rhythmically exciting improvisations. Using Bird’s approach as a foundation this class delves into some of the more recent developments of odd time cross rhythms over 4/4 time.

Rhythmic variety is what the jazz player is most often seeking in their solos. Getting a firm understanding and control of sixteenth note rhythms will definitely take one’s playing to a higher level.

  • Running time: 30 minutes
  • 8 pages of PDF material including standard notation and TAB

Sub-topics Included

  • 16th note phrasing and articulation of 3, 5, 6, 7 note groups
  • The minor sixth pentatonic scale and diatonic triads and 7th chords
  • Asymmetrical phrasing and articulation of 16th rhythms over “There Is No Greater Love” written solo

Outcome from this course:

Achieving flexibility and competence with feeling asymmetrical groupings of 16th note rhythms. The guitarist should be more comfortable double-timing on their solos.

Course Curriculum

Jazz Phrasing Part III
Jazz Phrasing Part 3 Class Video 00:30:00

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  1. Profile photo of James S.

    jazz phrasing pt. 3

    5

    Steve always hits a home run.

    ~ James S. (June 15, 2018)

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