Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2-3-4 Method

With today's “2-3-4” method, I'm getting into the “give your practice idea a name so people will remember it and treat it like it's a thing” racket. This is a pretty easy method for use with Syncopation/Ted Reed-type materials— remember, that's where we read a single rhythm of the page, and extrapolate a complete drum set part from it. The “2-3-4” method is so-called because it uses fill-in patterns that are two, three, or four 8th notes long. It may not work as intended with many of the exercises actually in Reed, so I've written up a page of exercises for it.

The concept is very simple: you'll play the notes from the page (the stems-up notes— ignore the stems-down notes) on the cymbal and bass drum together, and fill in between those notes with the snare drum, or snare drum and bass drum, according to the formula below. Count them in cut time— these will be easy to play fast. The concept will come in handy any time you need to play real actively, in any genre of music.

So, all of the rhythms on the page will call for one of the following two, three, or four note patterns. For page rhythms two 8th notes long, like quarter notes or tied 8th notes:

For rhythms three 8th notes long, like dotted quarter notes, or tied quarter and 8th notes:

For rhythms four 8th notes long, like half notes, or tied 8th notes and dotted quarters:

These are just examples; you may see other combinations of notes and rests. Just look at the page, and analyze whether the rhythm calls for the two, three, or four note pattern. You can mark it in with a 2, 3, or 4 above the note if you need to. There are actually some 1s in there, too— that's the dirty little secret of the “2-3-4” method. I guess calling it the “1-2-3-4”, or the “1-4 inclusive” method seemed a little... stupid. Stupider. Anyway, any time you see a single untied 8th note, you play it on the bass drum and cymbal, with no filler note after it. I've kept those to a minimum on this page; I'll be posting some more pages that will have more of them.

Since the reading rather difficult on some of the later exercises, I've written out the exercises with the interpretation applied on the second page of the pdf. Only use it be sure you understand the method— do your practicing from page 1 and figure out the interpretation on the fly.

Get the pdf

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