Monday, July 12, 2021

Reed interpretation: alternating triplets, no left on cymbals

Interesting, unusual little tweak streamlining a standard Reed triplet method, that should be good for fills, and for creating an easy, open triplet texture with a strong foundation in the bass drum. Probably helpful for generating some flexibility with an Afro 6 feel. Or any other triplet feel. 

It's based on the following method: play alternating triplets on the snare drum, hit the cymbal and bass drum along with the melody rhythm (with swing interpretation) in the book. 

What to do here: simply drop out the left hand whenever it's supposed to hit a cymbal. Bass drum continues playing the complete melody, right hand hits the cymbal whenever it normally would. 

It's a little weird to work out, so I've written a very detailed key. Left column is the melody rhythm as written in the book, middle column is how you play it with the foundation method, right column is how you play it with this method: 

As you practice you'll notice the right hand plays quarter note triplets all the way through this method. In fact you could warm up for it by playing a quarter note triplet with the right hand, over the suggested book rhythms, played on the bass drum. Play the whole quarter note triplet on the cymbal at first, then move any notes not in unison with the bass drum to the snare drum. 

The feel of this is very different from the foundation method, which has both hands jumping up to the cymbals in a soloistic way. It has a more relaxed, quasi-linear flow, which just the right hand making an easy move to the cymbal.  

You can practice this with pp. 4-5, 10-11, and 30-45 of Syncopation. It can be extended by reversing the sticking, and/or by keeping the left hand cymbal hits from the original method, and dropping out the right hand.   

UPDATE: I've continued working with this, and I like it. It does get easier to make the interpretation while reading, and I was able to play straight through all of the pages above the second day of working on it. I play all the parts at a roughly even volume, solid but not too strong, especially the cymbal. It creates a nice relaxed groove centered triplet texture driven by the bass drum— makes me think of Mickey Roker or Jeff Watts or Keith Copeland— people who play the bass drum. 

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