Friday, October 03, 2014

“Skiplet” analysis— a line of music

Continuing with the analysis portion of this skiplet-based method of jazz coordination-thingy, in which, in order to learn independence vs. a jazz time feel, we orient everything around the three close-together notes of the cymbal pattern:

A reminder: I promise you this is not just a mass of analytical BS, with which to burden your students until they fire you, and quit drumming. The thing we're trying to do is hard, and it is usually handed to students with no strategy for learning it— they are expected to get it by brute-force practice. What we're doing is giving an actual process for this task; we're replacing no-instruction with instruction. So, it may look like we're complicating the task, but what we're really doing is clarifying it.

The goal in these first posts is just to show you the basic idea, and how to attach the independent notes to the cymbal pattern. Do refer back to the original post on this subject if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

First, here is a very well known line of music from Ted Reed's famous book:

A common interpretation— the relevant one to what we've been talking about— is to play the top line of the exercise (ignoring the bottom line), while playing jazz time with the cymbal and hihat, swinging all of the 8th notes. Doing that to the line above gives you this:

Here is how we break that up skiplet-style— any notes on the & of 1 or 3 are attached to the skiplet following it. Note that at the end, we play all the way to the 1 of the next line of music— not shown above— which happens to have a snare drum note on it. With this method, we always deal in complete skiplets.

Of course, this is usually done directly, without having the cymbal part written out— the student needs to end up with the complete part, while reading out of Reed. Next time we'll talk about how to get there— how I go about actually teaching this approach.

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