Friday, August 04, 2023

Reed tweak of a tweak: ending a solo phrase

Here's a very small but useful tweak of a tweak: remember the Reed system with alternating triplets, hitting the accents on cymbals + bass drum... except we'd leave out the LH cymbal hits? It's a good little system, creating a bridge between linear materials and ordinary alternating triplets. I recommend learning it. It's good for jazz, good for 12/8 settings. 

A student and I figured out a good way to end a solo phrase or fill: Do hit the last left hand accent of the phrase. 

So: line 3 from p. 34 of Syncopation (look it up), which would be played like this* the normal alternating triplet way: 

* - I've put all the cymbal hits on one line, but use two cymbals— hit a cymbal on your right with your RH, and a cymbal on your left with your LH. 

...and played like this with the LH cymbal hits omitted: 

...would be played like this as a two measure solo break, catching only the last LH cymbal hit: 

Instead of hitting another accent with the RH on 1 after the solo part, you could tie that last LH accent, and come in with the time feel on 2: 

Often that final LH cymbal accent will fall on beat 4, and there are some possibilities for that. Here's line 6 from p. 34, the normal alternating way, and the no-left accents way: 

Hitting an accent on 4 and an accent on 1 is a little hokey— not that there's never a reason to do it: 

You could just end the solo with an anticipation, accenting the 4, without completing that triplet: 

Depending on the tempo you might come in with the time feel on 1, as written there, or on faster tempos, come in on 2.  

For the sake of illustrating the system I've used the one-line exercises— and you should be very clear on all the rhythms individually with this system— but you'll get more plausible sounding solo ideas using excerpts from the full page exercises— you could trade 2s, or 4s. Play 2 or 4 measures of solo/fill this way, then 2 or 4 measures of time. 

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