Wednesday, January 12, 2022

8/8 rock method

An easy little two-part system for rock and funk drumming. It's a way of livening up a rock groove without breaking away and doing an actual fill— using an 8th note texture, played between the bass drum and snare drum. It's a highly effective way of playing, and I've never seen it discussed as a thing to do. Drummers with jazz background may do it because it relates to their regular training, pure rock drummers may do it by accident. I've heard gospel/R&B recordings where this was virtually the drummer's whole time feel. 

An aside: ...did you know, you can sign up for lessons with me to learn ANY of this stuff on the site? It's true. That's what I'm here for. Hit the EMAIL TODD link in the sidebar. 

Here's how to do it: 

The beats
Use the grown-up part of Syncopation, pp. 34-45. Ignore the bottom line rhythm in the book. The top line rhythm is your bass drum rhythm, except notes sounding on beats 2 and 4— play those on the snare drum instead. If there's no 2/4 sounding in the rhythm, add snare drum on those beats. Play 8th notes or quarter notes on the cymbal. This gives you some ordinary sounding rock beats, for example:  

8/8 texture
Play the complete book rhythm on the bass drum, but fill in the gaps on the snare drum, to make a full measure of 8th notes. Continue the cymbal as before:  

Alternatively, you could play the book rhythm on the snare drum, and fill in with the bass drum. This will make the one-line exercises more interesting when we do the practice phrase in a moment: 

Practice phrase
Reading from Syncopation, play one measure of rock beat, one measure of texture. The first example above would be played like this— oops, a slight error— the first measure below is the first beat example, the 8/8 measure is the first 8/8 example. I'll correct that later today... 

You can make some more interesting two-measure phrases reading from the full page exercises on pp. 38-45. Repeat any two measures several times. All of these examples have the bass drum playing the book rhythm on both parts:

Of course you can/should also play the full page exercises straight through. As with all of these methods, learn the system well, then improvise.  

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