Monday, January 17, 2022

EZ solo method: six stroke rolls with brushes

I was doing this easy Reed method with a student— it's a rare one for using the triplets-and-8th-notes pages of Progressive Steps to Syncopation,  pp. 16-17. This is good for brushes, OK for soloing with sticks. Let's bang it out: 

On measures with one beat of triplets play RRL and RLL stickings on the triplet, alternate the rest:

Swing the 8th notes, try some different accent possibilities: 

On measures with two beats of triplets, play a six stroke roll sticking: 

Or a reversed* six stroke roll sticking:

* - We need a name for this rudiment. Inverted SSR, Half Reversed SSR, something... 

Typically we'll accent the single strokes in those patterns: RLLRRL or RRLRLL.

On measures with three beats of triplets, extend either sticking by adding a RRL at the end:

Note that the result of that is a six stroke roll with an added RRL at the beginning or end. 

On the full measure of triplets, do either sticking, RLLRRL or RRLRLL

Play exercises 1-15 and the 16-bar exercise as written, then practice one measure of time, one measure of solo pattern: 

On exercises where the triplets run across the barline, you could play them as written— line 4, for example:

Or start the solo part where the across the barline triplets start: 

Note that the sticking is different depending on how you do that. It's up to you how you handle any remaining 8th notes in the measure— they're really not the critical part of this exercise. 

Add hihat on beats 2 and 4, add quarter notes on the bass drum if you choose. As with all jazz solo materials, it's important to finesse the dynamics so you don't play it too ricky-ticky. I retain much of my normal timekeeping motion with this type of thing, so this integrates smoothly with the ongoing texture, I'm not stopping my motion to execute some triplets. Since I play matched grip, it's easier for my left hand to do a lateral motion than a circular motion, and that naturally has an alternating 8th note motion to it. Much of brush playing is just doing it, so your personal natural motion emerges. 

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