Sunday, June 06, 2021

EZ ECM feel - 01 - unisons

This is the first part of a little method I used in a lesson recently, for introducing what has become known as an ECM-type feel— a modern, non-repetitive, quasi-linear, straight 8th jazz feel. See Jon Christensen's playing on Keith Jarrett's Rejoicing or Jan Garbarek's Dansere for a quick introduction to it. This method should help in learning to create an ad lib texture, interpret a melody line or bass line in a chart.  

As always, using Syncopation by Ted Reed...

...increasingly I feel this is like saying “Today we're using letters from the alphabet to write this poem.” “We're going to use colored to paint to make a painting.” Syncopation is a book of rhythms and, as drummers, rhythms are our raw materials. 

So, we'll read the rhythms from the book, pp. 34-38, and interpret them a certain way on the drumset, to simulate a simple improvised drumming texture, and prepare you for improvising your own similar texture, and to simulate a real life reading situation.

For the examples we'll use the first line of the full page exercise on p. 38 of Reed:

1. Play the top line book rhythm on the cymbal: 

As a general rule, you'll want to accent the long notes slightly. Make it sound nice, this is your lead voice.

2. Play with left hand added in unison: 

Play the snare drum and bass drum quieter than the cymbal. Improvise bigger accents wherever you like. 

3. Play with left hand added on short notes only— untied 8th notes: 

4. Play with bass drum added on long notes only— anything longer than an untied 8th note:

Play the snare drum and bass drum together for a denser texture:

You could practice alternating measures of 3. and 4. to create a realistically sparse, varied texture: 

A next step would be to repeat the previous items while playing 8th notes on the cymbal, and then improvise textures similar to all of the things you've done here:


See also my other ECM-related posts, and my other EZ methods, many of which will be similar to what we've done here. 

This does rely on you having an idea of the kind of kind of music in question, so you have to listen to some records and try to copy that sound and basic vibe. 

Listen to: 

Pat Metheny / Bright Size Life - Bob Moses on drums
Jan Garbarek / Dansere - Jon Christensen on drums
Keith Jarrett / Rejoicing - Jon Christensen on drums
Gary Peacock / Tales of Another - Jack Dejohnette on drums
Gary Burton / Ring - Bob Moses on drums

No comments: