Sunday, January 08, 2023

Unpacking a groove: Predator

I'm getting into some finer points of playing the hihat two handed with a younger student, and was tempted to show him a groove I transcribed a long time ago: Predator, played by Omar Hakim on Weather Report's album Domino Theory. 

It's a good piece of literature, with a lot happening— accents with either hand on the hihat, either hand moving to the snare, an open roll, an open sound— a lot for a 12 year old to process all at once, though individually within his technical grasp. So I wrote this page breaking down every part of it, working it out precisely. This is like a piano lesson, learning technique through a piece, rather than through technical exercises.   

In the lesson we'll play each numbered pattern one time, until the dynamics/articulations are what I want, and then play them repeating. With the 3/4 measures I just want to leave some space after playing the thing; if a student leaves an extra beat of rest, making it 4/4, it doesn't matter. 

Normally I might do this same process just looking at the original transcribed beat, and giving the student orders— e.g. “play the last two beats of the second bar”, “play beat 3 of the first bar plus the snare hit on 4.” Not all students are adept at filtering that way, right away, hence this page. In fact, this will be a good way to teach him to filter that way.  

Get the pdf

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