This post focuses on a unique way to produce backwards phrases with any instrument.
I used to have a bit of a fascination with backwards sounds when I got my first computer sound card. I would record my voice and play it backwards or record an instrument and play it backwards. At one point I realized that backwards sounding things could be played forwards and then reversed. So I tried speaking a word, reversing it, then record my attempt to reproduce the backwards sound with my mouth. After that, I would reverse my backwards attempt and see how close I could get to the original word. If I did it well, I sounded either like I had a speech problem or I was British, depending on kind you want to be to a Liverpool accent.
You can do the same thing with instruments. It’s a little tough with complex rhythms because you’ll have to play normal syncopations that sound impossible backwards. It’s actually really good practice for developing a freaked-out sense of rhythm.
Here’s an example:
Then I reversed it…
Then I try my best to learn how to play the sounds of it backwards.
You can take a listen to the backwards phrase and my backwards playing together to hear how close they sound: Both Backwards Phrases (One Reversed and One Performed)
Then I reverse the performance of the backgwards sounds…
And, finally, you can hear the original phrase and the backwards phrase performance reversed all together to see how well I did…
The cool thing about this is, even if you make mistakes, you’ll still probably end up with something funky.
It’s fun and weird as hell.