Sunday, January 27, 2019

Todd's methods: Gospel 6

Get me.
Here's a practice method for people who have bought my new print book Syncopation in 3/4. It's closely related to my standard Reed 2/2 funk method, except here we'll be doing a slow gospel 6 feel, a la Natural Woman. On the drums this kind of vocabulary is normally learned in 12/8 or 6/8, which makes the reading rather difficult when you have to play this feel on an arrangement written in 3/4... like Natural Woman. In that case the drum groove is two measures long, and the backbeat is on 1 of the second measure. I found it to be more of a challenge than reading in 6/8 or 12/8, anyway.

Starting with this example, line 3 from page 6 (all references are to the print edition, not the e-book). In all cases we are reinterpreting the top line, stems-up part, and ignoring the stems-down part.

It's very simple: play the book rhythm on the bass drum, except the 1 of the second measure, which you play on the snare. Add quarter notes on any cymbal:

Using line 2 from page 18:

You would play this:

If you're copping the Natural Woman-type feel, the 8th notes will swing. There are many other instances of this type of feel where the 8ths should not swing.

On some exercises there is a rest or the end of a tied note on 1, like on line 3 of page 26:

You can either add the snare drum on 1:

Or displace the snare drum to match the book rhythm:

With all of the exercises, you can also play all of the second measure on the snare drum:

And then make a longer phrase out of it by playing all of measure 4 only on the snare drum:

Later you can change up the cymbal rhythm— here using line 1 from page 26 as the example groove:

This becomes a comprehensive way of working through triplet-feel grooves universally, while learning a challenging (though fairly rare) reading situation. I think there are other benefits to using this format, which are beyond the scope of this post. You should be aware of how these same grooves would be written in 6/8, 12/8, or as triplets in 4/4— the more usual ways this type of thing is written.

No comments: