Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paradiddle-diddle method for uptempo jazz

This is something I developed for both for getting some relief while playing fast tempos, and for doing a modern feel without getting your cymbal pattern lost in the weeds. The seed of the idea comes from Bob Moses (see "Non-independent method" in Drum Wisdom) and John Riley (see "Fast face-lift" in Jazz Drummer's Workshop). It's actually pretty straightforward, once you're able to read through this batch of syncopation exercises using the method outlined in the last post; first move your right hand to the ride cymbal, leaving the left on the snare, and add the hihat on the &s, with your foot:

We'll need to convert the 16th notes of the exercise to 8th notes, so one measure of 16ths becomes two measures of 8ths. If you can't do that instantly, start by counting 1-2-1-2 instead of 1-2-3-4:

Think of the 16th notes as 8th notes. Counting your fast tempos in a moderate 2 is actually preferable to counting a fast 4:

After the break I'll give a few options for the bass drum part.

For the paradiddle-diddle portion:

Also try all of the above without the BD on the accented note:

For the other parts either play the accented notes, or both of the cymbal notes:

In actual playing you'll want to use the bass drum much more sparsely than that, obviously. Practice the bass drum and the accents in general at a moderate volume, with the idea that in real music you'll want to make occasional bigger punches.


r.rimshot said...

I'm new here, so a tad confused about converting a 4 to a 2 count and thinking of 16ths as 8ths.
In example above:as 8th notes, there are still 4 notes to a beat to be considered. I don't understand the advantage of the conversion unless it frees us of thinking in a 4 beat phrase...(?)

Todd Bishop said...

Hi R- The reason for the conversion is: with the reading materials I wanted to use for this interpretation, the resulting drumset patterns are in the wrong rhythmic value for the style we're trying to make: uptempo jazz. The interpretation gives us 16th notes, but they should be 8th notes in that style. The style is twice as fast as the interpretation, if that makes sense. The only advantage to doing it this way is that the reading patterns are already written, and most jazz students will be familiar with them. Hope that helps! tb