Wednesday, June 26, 2024

How to stop - 01

Kind of a mundane item here— a multi-parter, believe it or not— mainly for teachers, about handling ordinary materials in a more real-life musical way, including how to stop in the conversation. Younger students and novices who haven't done much real playing will often end a practice pattern weakly, petering out.   

How to do it isn't spelled out in drumming materials, which are often written as repeating single measure patterns. They're incomplete statements by themselves— the last note of the measure is usually not the true end of the idea. 

Ending this rock beat this way, for example, makes no musical sense: 

Breaking from a groove with that hanging hihat note is not going to happen in real music— except maybe as an arrangement device simulating a digital edit. The pattern is completed on the 1— the 1 is the beginning of the pattern, and also the end:  

A beat pattern with a bass drum or snare drum on the & of 4 is more complete on its last note— played as an accent the last time: 

You could practice breaking a number of places in the pattern, in fact: 

Or put on another ending altogether, regardless of what's happening in the written beat: 

Usually this gets worked out in the course of doing some real playing, but there's no reason not to include it in regular practicing in preparation for that. I introduce this after students are comfortable playing basic beats, and are ready to begin thinking about orchestration and fills. 

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