Mulle Holmqvist is a Swedish jazz guitarist and lecturer/improvisation pedagogue. He graduated from the Malmö Academy of Music in 1981, by which time he had already started teaching at what would develop into one of Sweden’s most renowned jazz schools. Mulle worked there for 27 years, nine of which as head of the music programme. He has taught a considerable part of the Swedish jazz elite. Mulle grew up in a musical home, listening to his brothers’ jazz records, and early developed a strong relationship to the jazz genre. However, he began his musical career as a touring pop musician in the 1960s. Since then he has appeared in a large variety of contexts, as composer and musician on records, on television and radio shows, in theater projects, backing various artists and playing in different groups. Mulle has always been interested in rhythmics, and his early fascination with the music of Frank Zappa led to ideas that would eventually develop into the reference rhythm method. He has used the method in his teaching for almost fifteen years now, and through the years many have encouraged him to gather the material in a book. Here it is – enjoy!
Emeli André

“Mulle Holmqvist is my absolute favorite among Sweden’s improvisation guitarists, so when I put my own band together, he was my first choice. He is incredibly creative and completely unaffected in his playing, and with his boundless rhythmical flow he gives endless energy and inspiration to the musical communication.”
Hans Andersson – bass player and assistant professor at the Malmö Academy of Music

“Mulle is one of the people who have meant the most to me, as a musician as well as a teacher. He has taught me so much and inspired, challenged and encouraged me a great deal. Some of my artistic choices owe much to his input, and without his lessons I wouldn’t be playing the way I do today (especially not on the rhythmic level).”
Peter Nilsson – freelance drummer and teacher at the Malmö Academy of Music

Above all, I see the reference rhythm method as a way of opening doors to new rhythmic worlds and possibilities. A short cut to something that could drastically expand our means of expression. Many have already started exploring this type of rhythms, which I’m certain will grow increasingly common in western improvised music. I have practiced the reference rhythm method with students for more than twenty years. In just one lesson, most students perform several advanced superimposed rhythms – previously unknown to them – in different time signatures. The method is based on intuition, and you can go straight to the goal without circling around in a lot of complicated mathematic calculations. That’s what I wanted when I started to think about how to manage playing tuplets – and that’s what I got!”
Mulle Holmqvist