The rhythm created by playing every third sixteenth note is one of my favorites. I’ve used it a lot in fills and soloing vocabulary. I think that I initially got the idea for applying this to a cymbal pattern in grooves from something (surprise!) I heard Vinnie Colaiuta play. I know, shocking.
The only way to get something like this together is to create some exercises, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. So, here it is, the beginning of a series that will seek to give us freedom with this idea as it is applied to grooves. I have not, by any means, mastered these exercises as of this writing, but early indications are that this is going to sound amazing.
The first step is to take the simplest eighth note rock beats–the first beats we all learned–and try to layer this new cymbal pattern on top.
In 4/4 time, the dotted eighth note pattern will resolve after three measures, so the exercises are all three measures long and repeat. Although these are the most basic of all rock beats, you may find that the layer of dotted eighths on top will give these beats a new life. There is a brand new texture on top which I think, as I work through these, is going to sound very cool.
As a summary and to build some real control, the final exercise (6) includes a four measure bass drum and snare pattern that repeats until the cymbal pattern on top resolves. The underlying four measure snare/bass drum phrase is similar to the type of rock beat you might encounter in a real playing situation. But, to gain real freedom playing these ideas while maintaining our new cymbal idea, you need to be able to play it while rotating through the entire system of the cymbal pattern. Tricky and fun.
Here is the PDF: dotted eighth independence one
Very different. Lots of fun. Have at it.
Don't miss LEVEL5's next show: 10:30pm on Wed, 4/11/17 at NYC's legendary club, The Bitter End.
"The Sybil EP," the debut from Mark Feldman's LEVEL5, is due for release in 2018, and features Oz Noy and Will Lee.
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