the online magazine for bass players

Search Menu

Ray’s raving about… Konnakol

Konnakol is the comprehensive language of rhythm which allows the composition, performance or communication of rhythms in any style. Konnakol uses syllables that are aimed at optimizing vocal performance and allow you to create seemingly endless amounts rhythms.

Konnakol is something I’ve studied for many years now. Whereas Western music puts more emphasis on harmony, Eastern musicians start with rhythm studies. Many Eastern musicians even spend years working with konnakol before even progressing to an actual instrument. The practice of konnakol has been around for years, and I believe it to be one of the best ways to gain knowledge of complex ryhthms, odd time, polyrhythms, etc.

My own personal interest was in taking the concept of konnakol and using it with my slap bass vocabulary. The slap technique lends itself well to being able to incorporate a wide array of rhythms and can be directly applied to konnakol studies. I plan to have a instructional book on the subject in the future. Having said that I cannot say enough how konnakol can help any musician gain more knowledge, skill and freedom with rhythm. Guitarist John McLaughlin is a great example of someone that really utilizes konnakol techniques/practices.

Unfortunately there are not many resources (at least here in the U.S.) on this subject but I have listed a few websites to get you started. A search on YouTube will also get you some good results.

Konnakol Links:

Also, here is a demo I did utilizing konnakol and it interacting with some piccolo bass slap lines.

Related topics:

Comments:

cricketcohen says:

wonderful ! John McLaughlin's “Follow Your Heart” has always been of great interest to me, on the Joe Farrell version how they get such a 'feel' from 11/8 I play Dave Holland's bass line notated in The (1st) Real Book along with the rec. but the improv & indeed the melody seem to use every variation. Jack's laid back drum feel is so easy sounding, I believe the average listener dosen't even hear it as odd meter! At a clinic with DH I asked him about it & he demonstrated a sort of foot tap 'dance' approach.

cricketcohen says:

wonderful ! John McLaughlin's “Follow Your Heart” has always been of great interest to me, on the Joe Farrell version how they get such a 'feel' from 11/8 I play Dave Holland's bass line notated in The (1st) Real Book along with the rec. but the improv & indeed the melody seem to use every variation. Jack's laid back drum feel is so easy sounding, I believe the average listener dosen't even hear it as odd meter! At a clinic with DH I asked him about it & he demonstrated a sort of foot tap 'dance' approach.