Wednesday, December 01, 2021

EZ Reed method: Jack's way

This is a very basic method improvised by a student of mine— for younger students, or as a remedial thing for others. It's good for orienting students in the Reed thing, playing full drum set parts non-independently, based on a single rhythm. Nobody reading this is going to do it themselves, so I'll address this post to teachers. 

Use Lesson 4, on pp. 10-11 of Syncopation. Play the top line book rhythm with an alternating sticking, with one hand on a cymbal, one hand on the snare, with the bass drum doubling the cymbal part. So line 2 from the book would be played: 

Sidebar: with that particular rhythm, they'll be playing Son Clave in 3/2 position with the right hand, and 2/3 position with the left hand. Interesting, I don't know what, if anything, that tells us about the origins of clave.

Played strictly alternating, many of the patterns will start on the opposite hand in the second measure. They should also be played “pseudo-alternating”, beginning every measure with the right hand, or the left hand: 

For rhythms that naturally start with the same hand every measure, have them also start with the opposite hand: 

Normally I have students play the right hand on the cymbal, but if they play it with the left instead, this could be an easy entry into developing left hand coordination with the bass drum, for intermediate students, or others who have neglected that.  

The idea is not necessarily to develop a particular type of vocabulary, although the results do resemble how you might play ensemble accents with set ups. Mainly this is just a foundational way of playing a rhythm directly on the drum set, so the student is thinking of a musical idea— the rhythm— and not about the independence required to do it. As is the case even with easy normal materials.   

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