Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bembe Wheel coordination

Here are some generic snare drum and bass drum coordination/performance patterns for use with the bell patterns in the Bembe Wheel. Each one of those patterns deserves at least one individually-tailored “page o' coordination”, but these will get you started:

Play each exercise individually along with every bell pattern in the Bembe Wheel, then combine bass drum and snare drum patterns with the bell patterns. Actually, that's no small assignment. If you're having any trouble reading the 12/8, note that the hihat part keeps a steady dotted-quarter note pulse throughout every exercise.

UPDATE: The author of the Bembé Wheel idea is Gary Harding, a percussionist, scholar, and teacher from Washington state. For more background, visit his site, .

Working up even a simple independent line vs. a complex bell pattern is challenging, but often there will be just one beat per measure that is actually difficult to coordinate. You'll probably have to break each measure down a bit, just adding one or two beats of the coordination part to the bell part at a time. Look for places where the hands play in unison, or where the combination can be converted to a sticking— adding the 'B' (for Both hands) to your sticking repertoire is helpful:

That's the fifth snare drum pattern from this page combined with the well-known “short” bell pattern from the BW page. The sticking ignores the hihat part, obviously.

Get the pdf

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