Friday, March 03, 2017

EZ bass drum workout and double bass developer

Have I not posted this before? This is a variation on my cut time funk method, strictly designed as a bass drum workout. It also makes an excellent double-bass single strokes developer.

This should be pretty familiar territory, so I'll whip through the outline: using pp. 10-11 in Progressive Steps to Syncopation, play the top line rhythm on the bass drum, except for the 3, which you'll play on the snare drum. Add quarter notes on the hihat. So exercises 1 and 2 from Reed would be played like this:

Here's Ex. 6, written the way I usually like to write drum parts, with all parts on the same stems:

It's very straightforward— play exercises 1-15 and the 16 bar exercise this way, straight through, without stopping. That's the workout. You can alternatively do this using any other cymbal rhythm of your choice.

To use this as a double bass developer, play the entire workout with your left foot playing the bass drum part. Then do the entire workout with both feet playing the bass drum in unison. Work this up to a reasonable speed, at least half note = 90 bpm.

Then begin fluffing the feet on the 8th notes— just make them not be in unison. It's up to you if you want to make the left foot come late, or the right foot. Also notice that we're not playing both feet on that lone quarter note on 4:

The flam notation is not exactly accurate; we want all the notes to be the same volume, and we want the first note of each “flam” to land on the beat, not before the beat, as is normal when playing flams.

So long as you're not going too slow, it will take only a small adjustment to make those fluffy 8th notes into accurate 16th notes:

You can then clean it up a little more, just playing a single quarter note on one drum at the end of the run.

Practicing this double bass portion, take it one line at a time, working through each of the previous steps. Once you've got line 1-15 very solid, if you want to play the exercises straight through, read from pp. 20-21.

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