Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Reed interpretations: triplet feel R&B

This is a triplet-feel R&B groove practice method we did in a lesson with a student recently. It has a snare drum backbeat on 2 and 4, quarter notes on the cymbal, and some triplet filler on the snare drum. You can do this with pp. 10-11, 30-31, and 34-45 of Syncopation by Ted Reed. 

To make this kind of groove it would be simple enough to just play a swing version of our regular rock beat method, but where's the fun in that? This way has more notes.  

To illustrate it clearly we'll go through a few steps, but once it's learned it's easy to do the finished method on the fly while reading out of Syncopation.

To begin, let's use the humble line 1 from p. 4: 

Play the top line rhythm (coincidentally the same as the bottom line rhythm) on the bass drum, fill in with the left hand on the snare drum to make triplets, add quarter notes on the hihat (coincidentally the same as the pattern rhythm), like so: 

We want to have a snare drum backbeat, so let's move the notes on the 2 and 4 to the snare drum— accent them, and play the rest of the triplets softly: 

Now see p.11, line 11: 

Again, play the top line rhythm with a swing interpretation on the bass drum, fill in the middle of the swing 8th notes on the snare drum, to make triplets; add quarter notes on the hihat: 

Move the 2 and 4 to the snare drum, accented: 

Now do this rhythm  from page 30: 

Again: play top line rhythm on bass drum, swing interpretation; fill in with snare drum to make triplets, add quarter notes on the hihat: 

When there's bass drum sounding on the & only of beat 1 or 3, like that, you can drop out the first snare drum note on those beats, making a RLB pattern: 

So— open your book now— here is how you would play the second line of the famous p. 38 (née 37) exercise: 

And the same thing again with the RLB thing where appropriate: 

You could also do this method while playing a shuffle rhythm on the cymbal, or a jazz-type rhythm, if you choose. This type of thing is more useful in a jazz setting than you might expect. In that case, I might drop out more of the snare drum filler like so:  

In the end, there are no more variations for this than there are for standard rock beats— this is way easier than the large amount of materials in the book suggests. 

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