Monday, April 30, 2012

Three Camps round up

I recently picked up a stack of Mitchell Peters books, one of which contains several variations on this classic, and it seemed like a good time to round up the various sources and variations on it. In case anyone doesn't know, Three Camps is a military drumming piece over 200 years old, based on rolls and accents in a triplet rhythm. I've been playing it since drum corps legend Ghost (known to his mother as Bill Linen) taught me an unusual (possibly mis-remembered) version in 1982. Since at least Charles Wilcoxon's day, drummers have been using it as a template for working on other things- accented singles, paradiddles, ratamacues, etc. Here's what I could find online and in my own library: 


The Moeller Book, and Haskell Harr Drum Method, book 2
Each of these has it written out in the archaic notation, with an unusual ending in Harr- two 5-stroke rolls plus release. Due to the notation they're pretty useless to modern users readers.

Rudimental Swing Studies for the Advanced Drummer by Charlie Wilcoxon
In traditional form, paradiddles, and ratamacues. Unfortunately both the original edition and the typo-riddled Sakal edition present it with the old-fashioned notation, though it's marginally more readable than the Moeller version. (To be fair to Mr. Sakal, I think there are many more typos in his edition of Rolling in Rhythm than in RSS. Still looking for an original edition of RIR to confirm that...)

Intermediate Snare Drum Studies by Mitchell Peters
Includes the usual triplet roll form (in modern notation), and in rolls with a 16th note, quintuplet, and sixtuplet pulsation.

Variations on Three Camps by Marvin Dahlgren
This was an unexpected find. I was continuing my so-far-in-vain search for a copy of Dahlgren's Drum Set Control, and came across Really Good Music, which publishes his books- including DSC. According to the site: "The first half of the book is designed primarily for Snare Drum. The second half is designed for use with Drum Set. As usual with Marv Dahlgren books, one can easily spend the rest of your life perfecting these patterns. This 61 page book is in easy to read manuscript with sticking patterns indicated." Naturally I ordered a copy- along with DSC and a book I had never heard of, Complete Text for the Rock & Roll Drummer. I'll let you know when I get them.

Variazioni in Three Camps by Daniele Sabatini
Never seen this before. Ten different variations. No information on what they are, but the preview has it written in flamacues. Available through a German site.

Online versions after the break:

Written as triplets, no rolls, with a modified ending- two beats of accented triplets plus a release, instead of the traditional triplet figure with a ruff, or the four-beat fp roll which is the way I learned it. The Accent Percussion Project has an identical version.

In the forum there's also an unusual polyrhythmic version- the first page of it, anyway- someone who calls himself teh_guardian has changed the note values to 8th notes, while keeping the same actual number of notes, giving a 6/8-within-4/4 feel.
Here's an otherwise conventional version written as sixtuplets in 2/4, using Berger notation.
The image above is from a c. 1784 book mentioned on Engelman's site- it's not complete, so I include it here as a curiosity. You could write him and ask for a scan of the complete piece.

And there's my screwy old version, which has the 3rd camp in the middle, and no restatement of the second camp. There was a period of years from the late 80's to the mid 90's when I never played it- I might've remembered it wrong when I recovered it. I think I'm right, though- I remember it being substantially shorter than the traditional version. And it's hard to forget these things once you've played them hundreds of times.

Finally, I saw Elvin Jones perform it on the drums in a clinic c. 2000; he doubled the accents with the bass drum, and played a two measure drum solo at the end of each time through. I was hoping there would be video of that (or at another clinic) on YouTube, but no.

1 comment:

Sammy said...

Hi Todd!!

I'm Samuel from Brazil. I'm studying Peter´s Intermediate Snare Drum Book and I've some rythmical understanding problems on Three Camps variation on Pages 8-9: 5 and 6 hand motions per pulse... I just don't get it...

Thank to you, this Drum Blog is far the best drum resource on the internet.