Friday, May 06, 2016

EZ Tony Williams-like method

EZ-ish. The concept is extremely simple, anyway. Scarcely worth writing up, but here it is. And when I say Tony Williams-like, I mean “it reminds me of one thing he kind of did on a thing I listened to a lot.” I know on the internet his name is just shorthand for five notes on the cymbal, fast, and that's it, but he occasionally played some other things. Here and there. And this thing, when I was practicing it and improvising with it, reminded me of the vibe from the blowing on Frelon Brun. It's an entry point, anyway.

We'll use the Syncopation section from Reed— Syncopation Sets 1 and 2, plus full-page Exercises 1-8. Heck, you could also use “Lesson 4” (new edition lingo— the pages with the quarter notes and 8th notes early in the book). Here's a passage that should be plaguing your dreams:

Like I said, it's easy: play the short notes (untied 8th notes) on the snare drum, long notes (quarter notes, dotted-quarters, tied notes) on the bass drum. Play the cymbal with everything. That's backwards. Play the melody rhythm on the cymbal, add snare drum on the short notes and add bass drum on the long notes, like so:

Not much to it. Sometimes you need to just play a rhythm, simply voiced. You can't play genius stuff 100% of the time.

Do whatever you want with the hihat. Play quarter notes with it for an extra Tony Williams-like effect.

Or play it on 2 and 4, or play it in unison with the bass drum, making a splash sound.

Here and there you can do some runs of just cymbal and bass drum:

Where you get longer runs of 8th notes, if you'd like, you can come off the cymbal, add some embellishments, whatever. Like with this passage from Exercise 2:

You could do something like this:

Like I said, this is an entry point. You can certainly open it up and let your own stuff find its way into the texture, or let things drift away from a strict rendering of the method. Just playing the method verbatim at a bright tempo is an excellent workout, too, though.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Very useful.
    Just in this period i'm studying Tony Williams from the album "Four & More" and i needed some exercise just like that,thanks.