Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Reed tweak: quasi-right hand lead

I really do try to practice when I practice, not just do writing sessions for the blog. But these things just come up. 

This is yet another small change to the straight-8th right hand lead method (RH plays book rhythm, left hand fills in 8th notes), breaking up the longer runs of 8th notes on either hand.  

This has been a long term thing: those multiple 8ths on one hand are kind of monotone, and limiting, and day to day I mostly just avoid them, in favor of the parts of the book with no more than two notes in a row with either hand. I've written some exercises like that

My examples all have cymbal/BD on the book notes, this can also be done with hands only, on the snare and toms. 

So: the basic system:

1) Play the notes in the book with the RH, on a cymbal, with BD in unison
2) Fill in spaces with the LH on the SD, to make constant 8ths.
3) with the following exceptions:  

Where there are three notes in a row— 8th note spacing, written, or filler— alternate them:

Where there are four notes in a row, play RRLR, or if it's filler, LLRL:

Note that on pp. 30-45 of Syncopation, there are no instances of needing more than four notes in a row of filler. 

Where there are five notes in row, play RRLRR, or if it's filler, LLRLL. 

Where there are six notes in a row, play RRLRLR, with filler, LLRLRL:

Where there are seven notes in a row, play RRLRLRR, or if it's filler, LLRLRLL: 

If you're practicing this with another book besides Syncopation— like Bellson's Reading Text in 4/4, or Chuck Kerrigan's Syncopated Rhythms book— and encounter longer runs of 8ths, you can follow the same formula:

•  Even numbers of notes start with a double (RR on the main part, LL on the filler), then alternate. 

•  Odd numbers of notes start and end with a double, alternate in the middle. 

It makes the most sense to do this with the full page exercises, so you have a mix of normal RH lead, with some of this— a lot of one line exercises will end up being mostly alternating, following these rules. I was able to play through all the full page exercises on pp. 38-45 this way, with some stopping because I didn't catch everything. It would be easy to perfect with a little practice, and this will likely become my default way of doing this. 

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