[Dixielandjazz] No Rhythm Front Line

Michael Woitowicz banjobarons at nconnect.net
Tue Jul 27 12:06:54 PDT 2004

Bands that I have worked with locally use this technique all the time. The
leader simply calls out "No Rhythm" and the banjo, drums and tuba/bass drop
out for one chorus.

Depending on the ability of the front line players, it can be very
effective. Sometimes if we had a sub, the rhythm or count was lost. In that
case, our perceptive drummer would provide a very soft tick-tock on the wood
block -- just enough for the front line to hear, but barely perceptible to
the audience. This helps to keep the front line together.

Sometimes, the front line also cuts down on the volume at the same time.
This is a real "shocker" to the audience and you can see the heads turn
around as half the band quits playing and the other half starts playing

I was at the Bix Fest last weekend, and only heard one band do this. Of
course, I didn't attend every session at all four venues, so it's possible
that more groups might have done it.

Mike Woitowicz
The Banjo Barons Ragtime Band

The Dixie Barons Dixieland Band

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