Friday, July 21, 2023

Reed tweak: RH lead with a backbeat

Another real simple tweak to a basic right hand lead method used with Syncopation: adding a half time feel backbeat. We've been doing a lot with this lately, and it's turning into a very robust system. We're getting into some things we used to have to just figure out (or not) individually, in an unstructured way, in the practice room. I've added a Reed tweaks tag to give these small changes to existing systems their own category.

The right hand lead method, once again, is: 

RH on cymbal + bass drum: play book rhythm
LH on snare drum: play spaces in book rhythm, to make a full measure of 8th notes

To give it a backbeat: 

If there's a snare drum on beat 3*, accent it. 
If there's a cym/BD on 3, substitute SD for BD, and accent it. Cymbal rhythm stays the same. 

* - In cut time the beat is counted in 2, but I still count the actual rhythms in 4/4. The backbeat is on the cut time 2, or on beat 3 in 4/4. 

Here's how that works out interpreting some rhythms from pp. 34-45 in Syncopation: 

Sorting out what to hit may be a little confusing at first, so keep the basic method as your point of reference. Sort it out by playing a two-measure phrase: 

1st measure: regular RH lead / 2nd measure: RH lead w/backbeat

This creates a nice open environment for adding embellishments, which we'll get into in the next post. 

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