Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Jazz fills with Stone

Another item from a drum lesson. A student and I were playing around with Stick Control, using it as a launch pad for jazz fills. The starting place was my post on rubadub using Stick Control— we went someplace else with it. We can use some rubadub type moves, but it's not the main thing. 

First, play one measure of any line from Stick Control, pp. 5-7, on the snare drum, swing interpretation. Let's start with line 4: 

No problem. The nature of a fill is that it happens in the context of a time feel, so we need to get away from the cymbal, and back to it. Put the last note of the pattern on a cymbal, on the & of 4— as always with a cymbal accent, add bass drum: 

Playing a fill in jazz time, it's most natural to end the time feel on 1, and then start the fill— whatever is written in the book, the 1 of the fill measure will be a RH on the cymbal: 

That's the basic framework. You can then try moving the right hand around the drums: 

To get a non-hokey swing interpretation, usually you'll emphasize the right hand, and don't habitually accent the down beats with either hand. 

With sticking patterns ending with a left hand, you have some options for how to end the fill. You could end with an accent on a drum on the & of 4, and come in with time on the cymbal on 1, normal volume— no accent:

You can add cymbal to that & of 4 accent: 

Or you can just end on the & of 4 with a cymbal and bass drum accent, played with hand indicated in the sticking, or just with the right hand, regardless of the written sticking: 

It's a starting point for trying some things. Play around with it for a few days, and you'll find some useful patterns, and some patterns that don't want to sound goo— so you play them a little longer trying to figure it out. A lot of things in drumming you don't need to work comprehensively— relentlessly drilling all 72 patterns at all tempos— to get something useful from them. Better to find a few easy things you'll do all the time, and improve at some ideas that are hard for you to make sound good. 

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