Saturday, September 21, 2019

EZ 32nd note Reed method

Well— cut time 16th notes, which are 32nd notes functionally, if “common time” is our reference point. Perhaps a subject for another occasion. This is a very simple drill for playing fast singles in context as part of a high-energy texture. I was playing it along with my super-awesome loop sampled from Miles Davis's album Live Evil, and found it to be a lot of fun.

A quick note about these “EZ” practice systems: simple does not mean dumb stuff for stupid people who can't play the drums good. This is all professional vocabulary, involving real professional music reading skills, and a person who learned all of those methods and was able to use them musically would be a pretty solid player. You'd probably work more than some of us artist jerks who always have to be playing a lot of drum junk.

We'll use the 16th and 8ths section of Progressive Steps to Syncopation as our library— pp. 22-23. I'll use the line 3 rhythm for the examples:

We're going to reorchestrate the top line rhythm for the drum set. We always ignore the written stems-down bass drum part. To start, play the entire rhythm on the snare drum, with an alternating sticking, starting with the right hand. Later you can move it around the drums, and use different stickings (like playing the 16ths as doubles).

First, hit the cymbals with bass drum in unison on the RL after the 16th notes:

I've put the cymbal on a single line, but you should hit a right-side cymbal with your right hand and a left-side cymbal with your left hand.

Then hit the cymbal and bass drum on the RL before the 16th notes:

You could also hit the cym/bd on the RLs before and after the 16ths if you want:

Or hit the cym/bd on the RL on beat 1, if there are 8th notes on 1:

You could also just play cym/bd on all of the 8th notes. Why not:

All of these are subject to availability, of course. On many or most lines, one or more of those options will be duplicates, or won't be possible with the book rhythm.

BONUS: You could also do something with an open hihat. I often play running quarter notes with my left foot, which makes it easy to play an open sound on the &s with the left hand, with the bass drum in unison:

If you're hung up on this not being 32nd notes, despite the title of the post, here's what the above Reed exercise would look like with the values doubled, and how it would be played with the cymbal and bass drum on 1:

You could play this along with that Miles loop, or the Attica Blues loop, which is a little faster— or the Betty Davis loop or the Black Sabbath Breakout loop, which are slower.

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