Contrary Motion Counterpoint Part 2: Mixed Rhythms

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Contrary Motion Counterpoint Part 2: Mixed Rhythms Class Content | Steve Herberman


Continuing our look into the powerful device of contrary motion counterpoint, we turn our focus towards varying the rhythms in the upper and lower lines. This approach can create a very rich tapestry that is unpredictable and exciting. Not only are these concepts great for solo guitar arranging/improvising, but for composition in general. This style will greatly help with finger independence and harmonic creativity, helping the guitarist to break from the confines of block chord playing.

This class consists of 20 examples of contrary motion counterpoint lines using II-V-I progressions (both with short and long harmonic rhythm.)

They are extremely useful for use over standard tunes and jazz classics, really any style. Both 4/4 and 3/4 meters are covered in a couple of different keys and in different registers. The material is written for 6 string guitar though a couple of the examples are extended in the video to satisfy the 7 string player. Each example can be altered rhythmically and melodically to make them your own. Several examples cover hemiola rhythms (or cross rhythms) to make the lines swing, giving them greater rhythmic forward motion.

A theoretical analysis of each example is provided in the video which helps to further memorize the concepts and lines. The class is packed full of practical advice in coming up with original phrases and creative brainstorming of this concept in the practice room. Let these short, musical and memorable II-V-I phrases be part of your contrapuntal vocabulary!

  • Running time: 42 minutes
  • 5 pages of PDF material in TAB and standard notation
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Contrary Motion Counterpoint Part 2: Mixed Rhythms Full Class 00:42:35

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10 days, Stream only, Full Class

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