Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Additional tom moves

If like me you've been working the hell out of the pages o' coordination (me, I've been hitting the Afro 6/8, the 6/8 Rumba clave, and the page of Mozambique) you may be getting a little bored with the old Joe Cusatis-sourced tom moves I always tell you to do with them— to me they can begin to feel a little formulaic. To take things in another direction, I've started doing moves based on patterns from the beginning of Stick Control, playing the Rs on one sound, and the Ls on another, so this Stone exercise:

Could be played like this (or on any two drums, in any order):

So revoicing the snare part from this pattern, from our original Elvin's Afro-Waltz page:

Would look like this:

It would be easy to take this way too far: on Stick Control pp. 5-7 there are 72 patterns × 3 sets of drums to play them on (snare/high tom, snare/floor tom, high tom/floor tom), × 2 drums to begin the pattern on. So, you have to use some restraint if you're going to get through a page of exercises in a reasonable amount of time; there's no need to go through every mother-loving pattern on every combination of drums. I usually just do all of our old moves, on all combinations of drums, plus 2-4 Stone-derived moves, played between two drums only. Whatever moves you do, it shouldn't take more than half an hour to work through one of the pages— assuming you can already play it just keeping your LH on the snare drum, that is.

You can probably safely limit yourself to these four-note patterns:


And maybe these eight-note patterns:

And you could also do these Stone-like three- and six-note patterns:

Those alternate patterns might sit a little more-interestingly on the drums than their formers.

Of course, you can always just improvise the moves, but the point of doing these abstract patterns is to make you play some things you might not otherwise play. The moves can also form some long counter-melodies, which definitely forces you to concentrate, and opens some mental doors.

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