Friday, May 05, 2017

Chaffee linear phrase as 32nd notes

This is a thing I was working on with a student— this particular Chaffee-style linear phrase (5/3/5/3) happens to work really well as a fill— it sounds impressive, and it's really easy to play. In the original presentation— in vol. 3 of Gary Chaffee's Patterns books— the patterns are written as 16th notes in 4/4. Here we'll put them in context, as a 32nd note fill in 4/4, using parts of the linear phrase, building up to using the whole thing. By following the progression below, you'll be getting the most real vocabulary out of the book exercise, while making sure the internal architecture of the lick is solid when you go to play it in longer repetitions.

I think it's a good idea to learn this system with the given stickings, so each 5 or 3 note pattern (RLRLB or RLB) starts with the right hand. Feel free to change the sticking any time you think you have a good reason to. If you move your hands around the drums (both hands or just the right), you'll have a fancy fusion/“gospel chops”-style fill; if you leave your right hand on the hihat, you'll have a little burst of hyperactive Chris Dave-syle action. When practicing at slower tempos, you may want to play 16th notes during the time portion of the measure. You can also add an extra measure of time between fills, so you have a two measure phrase with the 32nd note fill at the end of the second measure.

The inverted way on the bottom half of the page is not something I normally do with every Chaffee phrase; it just seemed like an obvious thing to do when practicing this particular lick this particular way. Which is part of the method: when something strikes you, do it. People think that there is some pristine system that must be followed to the letter to get the intended result... there isn't. Try to understand what parts of idea are important, and do what you want.

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