Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hemiola funk series: 2/4 inversions

I wrote this out for some of my younger students, and also as a continued exploration of this hemiola rhythm in funk. It's very similar to some other things I've posted— most of these left hand rhythms already occur in this page of tresillo inversions— so you'll have to forgive the redundancy. It's an idea in development. And different levels of students need to see things written out certain ways.

I've written out a 3:2 polyrhythm in 8ths and 16ths, played twice in a single measure of 3/4, written three ways. Then I extracted the first two beats of each 3/4 rhythm, and wrote out inversions of it, starting on each 8th note of the rhythm. You can see that the results are mostly very common funk snare drum or bass drum rhythms.

I've given a sticking for each pattern: R = right hand, L = left hand, B = both hands. I find it's helpful for students to count the rhythm, and to think of the patterns as a sticking. Also play the patterns substituting the bass drum for the left hand. A couple of obvious moves for turning these into performance vocabulary are to add a snare drum back beat on 2 (if it's not already present), or add a bass drum on 1— or on any cymbal note without a unison.

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