Music rhythm concepts in jazz and blues improvisation  

When you improvise, you have to emphasize off beats (or upbeats).

There are different kinds of off beats ( upbeats) :

  1. Quarter notes = emphasize 2nd and 4th beat
  2. Eighth notes = emphasize the even notes ( 2,4,6,8 in 4/4) ( 2,4,6 in ?)
  3. Eighth note triplets = emphasize above all the last note of every triplet
  4. So on.

music rhythm concepts in jazz improvisations

This is one of the most important concept in improvisation and music in general: emphasizing off beats (or upbeats)

Exercises to learn music rhythm concepts to improvise


  • Improvise all quarter notes continuously and in the same way:
  • quarter note triplets
  • eighth notes
  • eighth note triplets
  • sixteen notes
  • sixteen note triplets
  • More

But remember to emphasize off beats always!

Learning music rhythm concepts for blues and jazz improvisation

Often, when you improvise on an eighth note basis, because of the time speed, emphasize just one or two notes:
So practice this important drills:
1. Emphasize the fourth eighth-note continuously every 2 quarters ( 4thand 8th eighth) (6thand 12th eighth note triplets)

learning music rhythm concepts
I think, this is the most important rhythmic accent pattern.
2. Emphasize the second eighth-note continuously ( or eighth triplets) every 2 quarters ( 2? and 6? eighth)

blues jazz improvisation : music rhythm concepts

3. When the time speed is very fast, emphasize continuously just the last tone of every measure

learn music rhythm

The goal of these drills is to acquire the habit to emphasize the weakest point of the measure.

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