Monday, April 10, 2017

EZ Tony-like method: two variations

We're calling this “Tony Williams-like” on the thinnest possible pretext, of course— playing it, it reminded me of some things he did on Frelon Brun, is all. These are two even easier things you can do with an already very simple idea. Our purpose is to drill modern, fast-tempo, broken-time, non-genius stuff you'll play all the time, and become really fluent with it.

Review the first thing: using Ted Reed's Progressive Steps to Syncopation, reading the snare drum part from the long syncopation exercises 1-8: play the short notes (untied 8th notes) on the snare drum, and the long notes (everything else: tied 8ths, all forms of quarter notes) on the bass drum. Play the cymbal in unison with everything.

What we'll do today is even easier. We'll illustrate these using the first two lines of the Syncopation Exercise 1, the famous page 37 (now on page 38, in the new edition):

First, play the cymbal in unison with the snare drum only— bass drum notes are solo bass drum. No reason not to do some of those unisons with the hands on a tom tom and snare drum, too. Mix it up, and try to make music out of it.

Generally you can accent bass drum notes on an off beat. Where there are multiple quarter notes on the bass drum, accent the last note, and play the others a little lighter.

Second, play the cymbal in unison with the bass drum only. Snare drum is played with the left hand, but you can try other stickings with the multi-note runs. In doing that I try to still play all the cymbal notes with my right hand, but do whatever you like. Vary the accents, and try adding flams at the beginning of those multiple snare drum notes, too.

Easy? Sure. So easy you should be able to smoke exercises 1-8 without complaint. Do these in normal uptempo range: half note = 130-165. At those tempos you will not swing the 8th notes. Do whatever you like with the hihat.

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