Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Reed tweak: alternating triplets in 3

This came up while I was practicing out of my book, Syncopation in 3. An extremely ordinary practice system used with Syncopation is to a) swing the top line rhythm, b) fill in the remaining triplets softly, and c) play the whole thing with an alternating sticking. For example: 

a) Book rhythm: 

b) That rhythm swung: 

c) Triplets filled in, played with alternating sticking: 

Using this on the drumset, there's some value to being able to consistently land with the right hand on 1— it takes a little extra attention to land on the left. With alternating triplets, your right hand lands on a downbeat every two beats— your hands are telling you you're playing in 2.    

So, following are some ways of always landing with the right hand on 1, some of which I've been doing for years, without thinking about it— it only just now occurred to me to write it down. We get into some cool Elvin-like stuff here. 

Playing book rhythms that have a quarter note on the third beat, like the one above, there are a number of interesting options— I'll write it out for drum set, playing the accents on the cymbals, with bass drum in unison: 

Typo alert: I left off the accents on some of the cymbal hits on 3. Accent all the cymbal notes, or don't.

Some of those work better than others, depending on what's happening on the 1 when you repeat, or in the next measure, if you're reading the full page syncopation exercises. 

If the book rhythm ends with an 8th note on the & of 3, it's simpler— just don't hit the cymbal on that note, but do play the bass drum. So these two rhythms: 

Would be played: 

And you can take that a little further with some Elvin type things: 

You have to take a loose attitude about all of this stuff— the goal is not always to do a pristine rendering of the system, it's to make something musical out of it that is personal to you.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the suggestion I have your book and will apply these concepts