Wednesday, March 14, 2018

EZ triplet bass drum / cymbal drill

Do you think most of what you play in real life is hip, complicated, multi-layered, polyrhythmic, hybrid-rudimental madness? Sir, it is not. Most of what you play is normal, obvious, easy stuff. You want to be really good at normal, obvious, easy stuff, and not sound boring while doing it.

The trick to working on normal, obvious, easy stuff is to not overdo it. Do it in one-to-several practice sessions, at one or two normal speeds, and move on. Whatever you didn't get this time you'll get on the next thing— which doesn't mean you get to slide on making a lot of elementary errors in counting or whatever. But pick and choose what you're going to really punish yourself learning. I think using a practice loop makes working on boring stuff like this a lot more fun, so I can do it longer.

This is an easy drill I'll end up doing in one-to-several practice sessions, and moving on. It has one challenging element, which is that you have to play the bass drum pretty fast. It uses the triplets-and-quarter notes pages from Syncopation— pp. 14-15. Play the written rhythm on any cymbal, plus bass drum; will in the rest of the triplet with your left hand. As always, ignore the stems-down part in the book.

So the line 1 rhythm:


You can do whatever you want with your left foot. I think it's an excellent idea to learn to play it without using your whole leg, so try simple, heel-down quarter notes or just the 2 and 4.

You can also play the first note of the triplet on the snare drum:

Or the first note after the written triplet:

Or both:

On exercises with more than one beat of triplets at a time:

Here are some of those possibilities:

On the book exercise that is all triplets:

You can do this:

I vary the accents, move my right hand around the cymbals, and move my left hand around the drums. I don't think it's necessary to do that systematically. There are a lot of possibilities, so it will be up to you to make a reasonable 10-20 minutes of practicing out of it. I've been playing it with my Cannonball/Sermonette loop; you could also use this Ahmad Jamal loop, or whatever you like. You should also do the entire thing with an alternating sticking.

1 comment:

Ed Pierce said...

If I had my own blog, and had a VOQOTD feature, this would be my #1 entry in this category: "You want to be really good at normal, obvious, easy stuff, and not sound boring while doing it" - Todd Bishop