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