Monday, September 12, 2016

EZ Reed interpretation: another triplet lick

I like these Reed interpretations using the early part of the book. You can just play through fifteen lines of exercises, plus a 16-20 bar exercise, and be done with it. FINITE ASSIGNMENTS, people. Not as sexy as some of the fancier things using the heavier reading later in the book, but I'm really appreciating the value of a potent quarter note pulse. Doing these easy methods using this portion of the book really reinforces that, and helps you learn to be creative with it.

For the uninitiated, I'm talking about applying an interpretation to things written in the book Progressive Steps to Syncopation by Ted Reed, something jazz drummers do all the time, and which I've been looking to apply more to rock and funk drumming. Today we'll be developing some fluency with the eternally popular rock & roll floogeda-floogeda lick. I think Elvin Jones was actually the first person to do it, but the rock people have really run with it, right into the ground. But it's still fun to play, and sounds impressive, so:

Look at the triplet and quarter note section of Syncopation, pp. 14-15, which I think is called Lesson 5 in the new edition of the book. We'll use line 5 for all the examples:

Ignoring the stems-down part, play the written triplets RLB, with the hand notes played on the tom toms. Play the quarter notes on the bass drum:

On the quarter notes we're going to add some notes that aren't on the page— we're going to play triplets on those beats, too. Keep doing what you were doing, but now filling out the last two notes of the triplet with the RL on the drums:

Basically then, book triplets = triplets played RLB, and book quarter notes = triplets played BRL.

These are meant to be played fast, so play them in cut time, with your metronome clicking half notes. If you're having trouble getting them up to performance speed consistently (around half note = 90-140ish) play some running RLB unisons— all three limbs at the same time— at quarter note speed at your target tempo for a few minutes every day:

Once you can play through the exercises perfectly without stopping at a reasonable performance tempo (anything above about half note = 90), you can play a time feel during the first two or three measures of each line. I've written out some basic possibilities for moving the hands around the drums on the fills:

Improvising a slightly more complex groove on the first three measures:

You can also do these in a jazz feel, of course— alter your touch, and play a swing feel during the time portions. You guys know what you're doing, I don't need to write it out. I should also direct your attention to this companion EZ triplet method, to which the “another” in the title of this piece refers. Have fun!

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