Monday, July 20, 2020

Reed tweak: adding 16ths to a basic method

Another tweak to the same basic method we used with the tweak I posted last week: right hand plays rhythm on cymbal + bass drum / left hand fills in. That basic method is a super-standard piece of modern drumming language, useful any time you're improvising, soloing, or doing more dense, textural playing. So we want to be able to go some different places with it. The thing we're going to do today will be good for adding some texture when playing at moderate tempos.

To summarize the basic thing, we're interpreting a top-line “melody” rhythm from Ted Reed's Syncopation thusly:

• RH plays book rhythm on cymbal, plus BD in unison
• LH fills in remaining 8th notes on SD

So when reading this rhythm:

You would play this:

Here we will make some of the 8th notes in the melody rhythm into two 16ths, played on the snare drum, with a RL sticking. We'll do that on any 8th note right before a quarter note or tied note. In the above example, that would be all of the written 8th notes in the 2nd-4th measures:

Written without the LH filler for clarity, that would be:

It's not a real easy to just make that complete interpretation while reading on the fly, so you might want to approach it in steps.

Here are four rhythms from the book:

The normal RH/BD part would be:

Plus the normal LH filler:

For this tweak, voicing the plain rhythm with cymbal/bass drum, and the 16ths:

This complete tweak with the LH filler added:

You can work out for yourself (or hey, write me for a Skype lesson) how to approach learning to sight read this. The two major goals for any Reed method are to be able to apply it to the full page syncopation exercises, and to be be able to improvise a texture based on the method. It's up to you how far you want to take that for your own playing needs. 

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