Saturday, February 03, 2018

EZ uptempo jazz method - 02

It's not so much a method as it is “some things to try”, using pp. 10-11 (“Lesson 4”) in Ted Reed's Syncopation. Last time we looked at ways of making a broken time feel using the first four patterns, from page 10. Today we're looking at some ways of making Tony Williams-like fills out of the remaining patterns, those with two and three beats of 8ths notes per measure.

Let's establish our rhythmic and phrasing framework. As before we'll tie the last of a run of 8th notes to the following quarter note:

Since we'll use these as fills, we won't do them repetitively. Where a run of 8th notes crosses the barline, we'll want to isolate it as a single lick. So where there's a book rhythm is this (with the tie added):

We'll just play the long run of 8th notes plus the tied quarter note:

On the patterns with two beats of 8th notes, there is an extra, untied quarter note in the measure, which we won't play. For example, here is line 6 repetitively, with ties, and with the lick isolated:

For practice purposes, we'll put our fill at the end of a four or eight bar phrase, playing a simple time feel with quarter notes on the ride cymbal and 2 and 4 on the hihat the rest of the time.

Keep reading— the fun stuff is after the break:

Where the exercise has a fill crossing the barline, we'll start the fill in the last measure of the phrase, ending into the first measure of the following phrase. So to illustrate: here is the line 13 rhythm with ties, with the lick isolated, and with the lick placed at the end of a four-measure phrase:

The fun part is that we're going to play a few different stickings with the 8th note runs, ending with an accent on a cymbal and bass drum on the tied note. On exercises with two beats of 8th notes— that's lines 5-8 on page 10— try:

You can also reverse those stickings, and start with the left hand:

With lines 9-10 and 12-13, try:


Start by playing these all on one drum— snare, high tom, or floor tom— then with the hands on any two drums. Since we'll be coming out of a time feel to play the lick, you could play the first right hand note or notes on the ride cymbal, then move to the drums. Also try moving one or both hands within the lick; at moderately-up tempos you could try splitting the doubles between drums. Finally, try accenting one or all single notes. See what works for you and have fun. 

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