Saturday, June 19, 2021

Dejohnette-like method

The cosmos gave me a couple of instances of Jack Dejohnette yesterday— I got to work on that Jack Dejohnette transcription, and also happened to also catch him on the radio (, The Afternoon Bridge, hosted by my friend Ben Turner), playing with Michael Brecker. I thought about it for a few minutes and wrote this. I wish I had thought about it 30 years ago, I could have used this.  

It's another way of practicing Ted Reed's Syncopation— or any other rhythm book in the world— to develop some Dejohnette-like free flowing busy stuff. Good for soloing, or for that dense accompanying textural playing that nobody ever talks about as a thing.  

Its major elements: 
•  Play the melody part on the cymbal and bass drum with the right hand.
•  Fill in 16th notes on the snare drum with the left hand, ending with bass drum, where it fits. 
•  Break up the longer runs of filler by bringing the right hand to the snare drum. 

It's relatively difficult method to read—you need to be really quick at identifying how much space there is between notes. Here's the key— I've included syncopated versions of a couple of them, and a couple of longer values not found or not common in Reed: 

Note that I accent the singles at the end of the snare drum part. That just happened naturally when I was practicing it. Practice the patterns, then practice them substituting the appropriate pattern for the rhythms in the book. 

I'm practicing this along with my John Zorn / Beeroth practice loop, or with Betty Davis / If I'm In Luck...— in cut time, so the 16ths of the exercises are 32nd notes in the meter of the loop. I think you'll find it goes easier if you practice Reed pp. 35, 37, 34, 36 in that order, before getting into the full page exercises.

Get the pdf


Jerome said...

I feel like this is a big idea that I hope you expand on - thanks so much!

Todd Bishop said...

Yes, I think this one merits a lot of practice time, together with this one. I've got a couple of other things cooking, but I need to learn this one really well first!