Friday, August 20, 2021

Delecluse patterns on the drum set

A rare-ish book outside of conservatory percussion circles, that is worth having in your permanent library, is Methode de Caisse-Claire by Jacques Delecluse. It's an odd-sized book, so to print pages for my students I snagged one of the pdfs of it kicking around “free” online, but you should buy it. I'm on my second copy myself— a bass player borrowed my school copy and never returned it.  

It contains a lot of very modern etudes, and 10-15 pages of technical studies, which are a nice alternative to the usual technique books by Stone, Morello, et al. Lately I'm working on pp. 3-4 with some students: 

Playing these rhythms with an alternating sticking is a kind of stick control system in itself— practice them like you would Stone, 30 second to one minute on each line. It's also easy to adapt them for drum set— try any of the following, moving your hands around the drums. 

Start by accenting any 8th notes in the patterns: 

With some different stickings, you can make a pretty complete bebop snare drum vocabulary. You can do doubles on the 16th notes, “side” triplet stickings on the 16th note triplets: RLL, RRL, LLR, LRR. 

The remainder of these ideas seem more suitable for a rock/funk/fusion interpretation. Wherever there are two 16ths notes followed by an 8th note, you can put a bass drum in the middle, and start or end with a flam or double stop (both hands in unison on two different drums): 

On any 16th note triplets, you can play a RLB sticking. I like to always end that with the right hand, which makes it RLBR. Work out the rest of the sticking so that falls naturally: 

You can also end that RLB pattern with a double stop or left handed flam. I prefer left handed flams on the drum set— since the right hand falls first, it's easy to convert them into RH-lead singles. 

Where there are four 16th notes, play bass drum on the first and last 16ths— again, I like to play the following note with the right hand, BRLB-R: 

Where there are six 16th notes, or two sixteenth note triplets, play the bass drum on the first and last of those: 

There are some other rhythms on those Delecluse pages, using a 16th rest or a 16th triplet rest— I don't have any great ideas for how to handle those yet.  

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