Writing and Sequencing for the Rhythm Section

Marching band is the first to use percussion differently right?

What is the standard Jazz rhythm section?

Now is the bass or the drums providing the momentum?

How different can these be? Here are a few examples:

Country – specifically Train beat

Way more than you could imagine for one example!

What do we see as the Rhythm section now or for this class?

Keyboards (acoustic and electric piano, vibes, marimba, etc.).

Strings (bass, guitars, banjo, mandolin, etc.).

Percussion (drum set, congas, timbales, shaker, triangle, tambourine, etc.).

Role of these instruments is specific to the genre

The more instruments and parts, the less busy they need to be

When comping, where do the harmonic instruments need to stay?

Avoid lower octaves of keys unless for bass movement, now smaller than P5




Flat wounds versus Round Wounds

Electric (fretless): A smoother sound that is most commonly heard in jazz-rock fusion. Jaco Pastorius used this bass.

Also good to know Amplifiers, Bass types. All this makes a huge difference in sound.


Electric (solid body):


Les Paul

Electric (hollow body):


Gibson es 275

Electric (Semi Hollow Body)

ES 335

Steel string acoustic:

Nylon string acoustic:


Piano: Upright – musical instrument in which the soundboard and plane of the strings run vertically, perpendicular to the keyboard, thus taking up less floor space than the normal grand piano. Upright pianos are made in various heights; the shortest are called spinets or consoles, and these are generally considered to have an inferior tone resulting from the shortness of their strings and their relatively small soundboards. The larger upright pianos were quite popular in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. The action (hammer and damper mechanism) of the upright differs from the grand-piano action mainly in that upright action is returned to a resting position by means of springs rather than by gravity alone, as in a grand. This, in part, accounts for the characteristic “touch” of uprights, which is distinct from that of grands. The chief advantages of upright pianos lie in their modest price and compactness; they are instruments for the home and school, not for the concert stage.

Grand – Here’s the difference:


Fender Rhodes –  is an electric piano invented by Harold Rhodes, which became particularly popular throughout the 1970s. Like a piano, it generates sound using keys and hammers, but instead of strings, the hammers strike thin metal tines, which are then amplified via an electromagnetic pickup which is plugged into an external keyboard amplifier and speaker.

Wurlitzer 200A –  Differences between them all:


Clavinet – an electrically amplified clavichord that was invented by Ernst Zacharias and manufactured by the Hohner company of Trossingen, West Germany from 1964 to the early 1980s. Hohner produced seven models over the years, designated I, II, L, C, D6, E7 and Duo. Its distinctive bright staccato sound has featured most prominently in funk, jazz-funk, reggae, rock, and soul songs.

Mellotron – an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England, in 1963. It evolved from a similar instrument, the Chamberlin, but could be mass-produced more effectively. The instrument is played by pressing its keys, each of which presses a length of magnetic tape against a capstan, drawing it across a playback head. Then as the key is released, the tape is retracted by a spring to its initial position. Different portions of the tape can be played to access different sounds.

Hammond B3

Vox Continental

Farfisa Organ