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 Back to the Tempo Dispatch Archives  

 ISSUE #15___\__\__\__\__\__________/__/__/__/__/ MARCH, 1998


                        TABLE OF CONTENTS
                     What is in this issue?
               1. Feature Article:  Solo Techniques (Triplets)
               2. Humorous Story


                          TRIPLET SOLO

       Upon close analysis of most recorded or 'live' drum
  solos, two separate note values stand out as being the most
  commonly used.  Yes!  Most drum solos are based on either
  8th triplets or some form 16th notes.
       When you can comfortably manipulate these two roll
  patterns (note values) around the kit, your solos will begin to
  fly on their own.
       Lets begin with 8th triplets.  I will assume you already
  know how to play them.  If you don't, then visit either of the
  following two lessons.  Learn to attach and play 8th triplet
  fills to the 8th Rock beat before trying to solo with them.

      You will find info on 8th triplets at both of the following
  urls.  (Both of these lessons are on 'Lesson Menu #1'.)

 '8th Triplet Fills'.


 'Advanced Fills'.
     Look for that lesson on Menu#1:  Rudiments, Rolls and Fills (Part 2)

      The triplet form shown in the above lessons is just one of the
  many ways to approach triplets (ie: RlrLrl).  You could alter the
  stroke pattern many ways (ie: RllRll or LrrLrr).  Another
  method of playing triplets is to play the first of your three
  notes on the bass then follow thru with a Right then a Left in
  very rapid roll-like fashion (BrlBrl).

      Once you can play the triplets for long durations at blazing
  speeds, it will come natural to create your own solos, following
  the suggestions below . . .

         Keep your bass tempo steady and........

  1.  Begin with SOFT triplets on the snare.
  2.  Experiment with simple accent variations, first
      with your right hand then left.  Next, try simple
      rim shots. In other words get a steady flow of
      soft triplets happening at a moderate but steady
      tempo, then occasionally drop one or two notes
      that are louder and more powerful than all the rest.
      This is even more effective if you can manipulate the
      stick so that it connects with the head and rim
      simultaneously.  Doing this creates a 'ping' or rimshot
      sound.  Mix it up!  Get as much rhythmic variety into
      your solo as possible.
  3.  Try to mix accents with rim shots.  You are mixing tones
      for different effects.  Don't be afraid to experiment.
      Screwing up is part of the learning process!  Sometimes
      the mistakes may sound better than the intended licks.
  4.  Reach to the closest tom tom for occasional cross-over
      variations. Again, you are playing a steady flow of
      triplets on the snare.  Choose your time . . . but when you
      are ready, reach up and pop one note on a high tom without
      interrupting the flow of your roll.  This will be easiest
      if done with the right hand (for most of you).  If you can do
      it once, try two the next time.  Soon you will be working
      your way all around the kit, popping all the toms randomly
      but in steady time (with both hands).  STEADY is the key to
      success here.  Keep the roll flowing but go anywhere you
      choose with it. The possibilities are nearly endless once
      you gain a feel for it.
  5.  Try crashing cymbals at random, while maintaining a triplet
      roll elsewhere (on a snare or tom).  At first, take it slow
      then, with the roll in progress, reach up and pop a
      crash cymbal . . . just like you have been doing on the
      toms.  Alter the random crashes at will, listening for
      effects that cook.
  6.  Experiment with accent variations on any tom tom.
  7.  Try cross-over variations between any of the toms.
  8.  When you begin to develop some control with
      accent variations, try to think and accent different
      Jingles and Rhymes.  In other words, play the roll
      as softly as you can, then begin to think the rhythm
      pattern of 'Jingle Bells' or 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'.
      Play the jingle or rhyme as accented notes while the
      roll continues to flow.  Every new melodic rhyme will
      produce another brand new solo.
  9.  Play triplet accents and Cross-overs around the
      cymbals for dynamic effects.
  10. Try to think dynamically when playing solos.  Seek
      dramatic volume fluctuations as well as note value
      fluctuations.  This can be done by moving off the
      drums onto the cymbals then back to the drums again.
  11. All of the above points or suggestions may be
      applied to sixteenth notes (singles, doubles and
      paradiddles) as well as eighth notes or most any other
      feasible note value or rudiment.  This statement is
      bigger than you may think!  It is another complete
      lesson on solos!  Just insert the words 'single stroke'
      into all the above suggestions and you will see what I mean.
  12. IMPORTANT: You must hear a solo in your mind before you
      will play it effectively on the kit.  Begin a collection
      of solo recordings and listen to them every day. It is
      extremely helpful to listen to solo recordings immediately
      before attempting your own.  Try this, it works!  Grab a
      cola and listen to 10 or 15 minutes of a recorded monster
      solo.  Try to absorb it subliminally. Do not allow
      distractions . . . just listen and FEEL what you are hearing,
      then get on the kit and go for it!  Don't try to copy these
      recorded solos note for note.  Simply use them to stimulate
      your own creative flow and maybe steal a few ideas. Do your
      own thing based on what you have just been listening to.

  13. Tape your efforts.  YOU WILL BE AMAZED! We are all hyper
      critical of our own humble offerings.  It is very common
      to self criticize ourselves into total defeat.  It is human
      nature I suppose.  Anyway, if you will tape record one of
      your best solo jams . . . it is just possible you will not
      believe your ears when you hear the playback.  Confidence
      is half the game!  Hearing the playback will build confidence
      and guide you toward the perfection that you seek.

      Good luck and above all . . . HAVE FUN! ! !
    |__________________HUMOROUS STORY_____________________|

                       A Helping Hand

  A priest is walking down the street one day when he
  notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a
  house across the street.

  However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too
  high for him to reach.

  After watching the boys efforts for some time, the priest
  moves closer to the boys position.

  He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the
  little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's
  shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a sold ring.

  Crouching down to the child's level, the priest smiles
  benevolently and asks, "And now what, my little man?"

  To which the boy replies, "Now we run like Hell!"

  NOTE: The cute story above was lifted from the
        joke page at:

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