Thursday, June 28, 2007

Peter Magadini - Polyrhythms, The Musicians Guide

Ive just got hold of this book and it looks like a great method for studying Polyrhythms. Beginning with 6 against 4 (3 against 2) Magadini demonstrates how the basic pattern is put together both with written examples and a accompanying CD. He then develops this further with exercises that subdivide the top ratio, in this case the 6, into eighths, triplets and sixteenths. By the end of the chapter there are solos and other exercises that allow you to be comfortable with alternating between the different subdivisions. Once this has been completed one follows the same principle with 3 against 4 and 5 against 4. I have only just scratched the surface of this book, but so far it looks like a very good and complete method to studying these rhythms. My only complaint as someone who has difficulty in this area, is that while the method is very easy to understand, implementing it is not! I would have preferred a more gradual approach and a few more intermediate level exercises in the first few chapters, as the book quickly advances to some very challenging exercises. Furthermore the CD for my ear also has examples that are quite difficult to hear without slowing them down. In the end I resorted to programming the rhythms myself in a sequencer in order to really hear them well. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful book, and a must have if you want to improve in this area. You will need plenty of patience and discipline though!

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