Changing the Feel
Sometimes a chart or lead sheet will ask you to play a double time or half time “feel.” In this case, the word “feel” changes the way the music is perceived but not the actual tempo. Instead of literally shifting the tempo to twice or half as fast, the chart may ask you to play a groove that implies double time or half time. If this seems confusing, don't worry — it's not that complicated.
Here's how it works: The main thing to keep in mind is that the measures and chords will go by at the exact same rate as before. In other words, the note values do not shift. Also, the tempo remains consistent, but the feel or groove is made to seem twice as fast or half as fast. In essence, you are pretending to go into double time or half time by playing twice the speed or half the speed as requested. Again, the chordal movement, or rate of change, remains unaffected and untouched.
Another way to conceive of this is to double or halve your note values while keeping your tempo consistent. For instance, if you are playing quarter notes over the changes, now play eighth notes to create a double-time feel. If you are playing quarter notes and you are going to do a half-time feel, you'll need to play half notes. Figures 16-3 and