Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Typos in Funky Primer

Time to get out your white-out again. This is something that had been bugging me for many years of working with A Funky Primer, by my old professor, Charles Dowd. Most of the book consists of bass drum and snare drum combinations along with 8th notes on the hihat. A few places, though, there are these oddball patterns where the hihat falls on the e's and a's:

There's nothing wrong with the pattern, I guess, except that it makes no sense in context- there's nothing else like it anywhere in the book, except these few random measures. After a couple decades of just ignoring those patterns, it dawned on me that when you beam the notes this way:

The result is exactly what you would expect for that page of the book. I imagine the copyist was getting in a groove with his work, and got a little cocky about knowing where the beams were supposed to go without double-checking his master copy, and screwed it up.

A couple more of these after the break:

These two are from the "hands only" part of the book:

Properly beamed this becomes:

And this pattern:



Anonymous said...


Mark Feldman said...

I have always been frustrated by that very measure in the Funky Primer.....thanks for writing about it. --MF

Todd Bishop said...

Um, I looked up DFB on, and most of the meanings were kind of disturbing...

russell said...

hey todd - i love this blog, your content and your writing a great.

my impression has always been that the funky primer stuff was accurate as written. i think dowd is just introducing some basic mixed sticking stuff.

Todd Bishop said...

He never mentioned it one way or another when I was studying with him-- I can't remember having to play them in front of him in a lesson-- so it's possible. But as written, they are totally out of context with the other things on the page, and anything else in the book, and he introduces them without any preparation or follow-up, while everything else is in very logical order. So it just seems more likely to me that the copyist screwed up a couple of patterns. There's no reason not to play them as written, though.