Monday, January 23, 2012

Todd's Methods: Stick Control in 5

So much for writing nothing. I've been doing a lot of practicing in 5/4 lately- I've always quite sucked at it, frankly- and finally getting it together for real has been a curious process. Very different from 4/4 or 3/4, for not-obvious reasons. We'll go into that another time.

This method is so simple that I would be very surprised if it wasn't already in use, though I've never heard of it: you add a quarter note at the beginning, middle, or end of each exercise from the beginning of Stick Control.

Much of learning this meter involves learning some very "regular" patterns, with more emphasis on beat 1 than drummers of my, ahem, sophistication are usually comfortable with. This method is good for cracking that and getting at a more modern language. It works best at brighter tempos, in a fusion/funkish style, or the even-8th ECM feel, depending on how you accent and use the bass drum. Don't be too much of a mechanic in how you run these things; if something other than what I've written out falls under your hands easily, do it. The patterns all speak a little differently- try to find what each one is good for and develop it accordingly.

Get the pdf


Unknown said...

Yeah Todd,

I think this is a great idea, I haven't heard of anyone else doing this either! Thanks for sharing, my odd time playing is pitiful, so I need to do some pretty basic ground work. This will be a great place to start.

Todd Bishop said...

I've been using a combination of Even In The Odds, Rothman's 3-5-7-9 Jazz, and Uribe's Brazilian book. We also try to do one thing in 5 at my regular session.

The hard thing is that you have to spend a lot of time playing dumb while you learn the shape of the measure- the split second you try to do anything hip you blow past the down beat and it falls apart. That's what happens to me, anyway...

david said...

Hi! I really enjoy your blog! I was wondering if you could recommend any recordings/songs/bands that utilize quintuplets (or septuplets) as consistent beat subdivisions (that are faster than 80 bpm) I've found stuff in chamber music, but I've haven't come across much as far as fusion and jazz goes.

Todd Bishop said...

Thanks David! I've actually never heard of anything like that- maybe you can find someone playing in 5/8, counted 'in 1'. I can't think of anything like that in Zappa; maybe in Mahavishnu or Don Ellis? You might try Steve Coleman, too- those are just wild guesses.