Sunday, January 19, 2020

Building rubadub - 01

For intermediate jazz students, here is a page for learning the basic pattern for Mel Lewis's rubadub concept (as helpfully explained by Chris Smith), about as thoroughly as possible, while also developing solid execution with swing rhythm generally. The only thing I've really left open to question here is the ability of the student to interpret swing 8th notes. We can't do everything in one page. Another page is coming for putting this into 4/4 time.

This is approximately what I would have a student do in a lesson if he was not immediately able to play the pattern, or was having problems with the rhythm. I prefer to do this verbally, but it helps some students to see it written out. It looks like a lot, but it's really only nine actual things.

As you can see, we are learning the pattern starting on each of its notes— first the partial pattern in 2, stopping on beat 2, then the partial pattern in 3, stopping on beat 3, then the full pattern in 3, stopping on beat 1. Each of those is written twice, with the right hand staying on the cymbal, and with the right hand moving to a tom tom. Practice each pattern played once with a long pause or a measure of rest afterwards, then play them repeating. I suggest learning it at three tempos: ~100-120, ~160-200, and at a bright tempo with straight 8ths.

That's a lot of ink dedicated to only one pattern, but it's an extraordinarily useful pattern, but one that can get inexperienced players in trouble. And again, we're using this as an excuse to polish the student's execution of swing rhythms overall. The page can be worked through quickly, and will isolate and correct anything problematic with the student's execution.

Get the pdf

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