Groove Is In The Heart: Charlie Hunter Video On The Importance of Rhythm

I’ve made no secret that I’m a big fan of Charlie Hunter. What he does is amazing and unique (please check out my previous post on Charlie Hunter here: The video below is from Premier Guitar magazine during which Charlie plays a couple of tunes and discusses his approach to music.
At about the 5:25 mark he begins talking about how crucial the role of rhythm plays in his guitar conception. He’s laying down some knowledge on us when he talks about how the drum feel (whether from a actual drummer or an “imaginary” drummer) is the starting point from which everything else (melody, bassline) follows. I also found interesting his comments concerning how drummers are better suited to understand his instrument because they are more familiar with the rhythmic aspect of playing multiple parts simultaneously. As Charlie says, “guitarists never really come to terms with the fundamentals of the music which is rhythm, the groove and the time”. Other bits of serious wisdom include his comments on the benefits of practicing with a metronome (“The metronome is your friend. It tells you very nicely how much you suck”), how working on your time groove is a continuous process and the importance of paying attention to duration of the notes you’re playing. I also love his term for rhythmically weak playing: “Budweiser blues licks”. Ouch!
Add some incredible solo guitar playing and you got a really cool video. The Premier Guitar website ( is a great resource for guitar nerds and definitely worth checking out.

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Posted in Blues, Improvisation, Jam Band, Jazz

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