Lately I've been getting into "wonky" music,

a subgenre of electronic music known primarily for its off-kilter or “unstable” beats, as well as its eclectic blend of genres including hip hop, electro-funk, chiptune, jazz fusion, glitch, and crunk.

as well as J Dilla beats and "drunk swing".

I'd like to explore this on rhythm guitar, without a drummer.

How do I reproduce and practice Wonky beats accurately at a steady tempo? Wonky beats have the rhythmic equivalent of scalar microtones which makes counting kind of difficult.

  • 1
    Have you got a link to a good clear example of wonky beats? Jun 12 '20 at 21:19
  • open.spotify.com/playlist/…
    – empty
    Jun 12 '20 at 21:32
  • Nice. But I've listened to half a dozen and can't find anything wonky! Well - There's a delayed synth hi-hat on the left in They Act Brand New. and a synth-flute-thing on Can't Get Used To Those which is playing a bit early, but it's all sequenced. The backing tracks are loops. It's all enjoyable, btw. Especially Special ReQuest. Name a track to concentrate on which you think has unstable beats. Jun 12 '20 at 22:33

Just yesterday I stumbled upon a video that covers this topic - it makes uses of quintuplet / septuplets swing:

DAW Grid

You can write your own patterns in a DAW/sequencer, and play along.

Expanding, as from here:

Quintuplet swing subdivides the beat into quintuplets. The first note is three quintuplets long and the second note is two quintuplets. This corresponds to a swing ratio of 3:2 or 60%. It has a more powerful and angular sound than the standard triplet swing.

In septuplet swing , the first note is four septuplets and the second note is three septuplets. This corresponds to a swing ratio of 4:3 or roughly 57%. It has a really hip, lop-sided feel.

You can practice runs of 5/7 notes over a steady 4/4, using ghost notes to skip some beats, or other similar techniques.


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