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Issue #4_____\__\__\__\__\__________/__/__/__/__/APRIL 97 TABLE OF CONTENTS What is in this issue?

Contents: 1. Feature Article: Improvised Fills using the Hi-hat 2. Bass Player Joke of the month __________________________________________________________________
*** FEATURE ARTICLE *** For APRIL 97 =============================================== *** BEGINNERS CORNER *** ===============================================
SPECIAL NOTES: #1. In the lesson that follows, I am assuming you have studied the BASIC DANCE BEATS: #2. I realize that many of the subscribers to this newsletter do not own a drum set. No problem! You can practice these routines right where you are. Use your imagination! Tap on anything nearby and pat your feet on the floor. Get accustomed to practicing this way. I recommend it for everyone, including those who DO own a drumset. =============================================== *** USING THE HI-HAT *** There are many approaches to using the hi-hat but the most common technique is to kick the hi-hat on the 'back beat' of the particular dance beat you may be playing. The 'backbeat' is the snare portion of the basic dance beat. If you are playing 8th note rock as it is shown below, your right hand will be on the ride cymbal and you will kick the hi-hat with your left foot as you connect with the third cymbal and simultaneous snare. ( Left-handed students must do their own transposing here.) ============================================================ SPECIAL NOTICE: NOT ALL E-MAILERS ARE CREATED EQUAL! The fonts in your E-mail program may not be the same as mine. This may cause the notation (below) to shift and appear improperly spaced. The font being used in this note is New Courier, 9 point. ============================================================ 8TH NOTE ROCK: C C C C Ride Cymbal (Right hand) S Snare (Left hand) B Bass (Right foot) X Hi-Hat (Left foot) Get accustomed to kicking the hi-hat with each repetition of the above pattern as you jam with your favorite recordings. It will become second nature with only a little practice. Try doing the same thing with *ALL* the basic dance beats. You *DO* have all the basic dance beats memorized! Right? NOTE: The Waltz beat is an exception. Many drummers kick the hi-hat on 2 & 3 of most Waltz beat patterns. =============================================== *** INTERMEDIATE CORNER *** =============================================== MAGIC FORMULA FOR SIMPLE FILLS: One of the most common E-mail questions I receive at the website, concerns fills (ie; dropping rolls into a song while jamming). Everyone seems to be looking for a 'magic formula' to help them develop their roll patterns. I learned by listening to various drummers and imitating their rhythmic ideas. I recommend this to everyone, but there are other things we can do to make the learning process a little easier. ================================================== NOTE: The following trick will work with nearly any dance beat pattern, but for simplicity, we will use the 8th note rock beat to illustrate the idea. If you have not learned to play the 8th note rock beat yet, go to: THE DRUMMER'S APTITUDE TEST: ================================================== IMPROVISED FILLS In this exercise, you will learn to jump from a basic dance beat, then improvise (or make up) a random fill and return to the beat. It is easier than you think, if you are comfortable using the hi-hat as it was studied in the 'Beginners Corner' above. LET'S DO IT! Play a repetitious, basic 8th note rock beat and kick the hi-hat as we learned earlier (above). Get it going! Keep it going for awhile, then stop hitting the ride cymbal and snare. That's right! STOP YOUR HANDS, but continue with both feet. Hold both arms over the drums, but don't hit anything yet. Your feet will be playing the steady beat, producing a "boom, chic, boom, chic" effect. Keep the feet going in steady rhythm, just as they were when the hands were engaged. If you were playing along with a song, the feet would remain 'in time' with the music. Got it? OK! You are half way home! The feet are still marking time . . . boom, chic, boom, chic . . . Begin thrashing at the drums with both hands! Do anything you want but don't lose the flow of the bass and hi-hat. The . . . boom, chic, boom, chic . . . effect should remain steady as you thrash about with the hands. Bang away on the snare, go to the toms and back. In short, do anything that sounds good to your ear. Challenge yourself to do this for long periods of time as the feet maintain the steady rhythm. It gets easier with a little practice! You are now playing an improvised fill!!! That is all there is to it! The hard part will be in returning to the beat, without losing tempo. RETURNING TO THE BEAT . . . Ok! You are still thrashing away at the drums with both hands while the feet are marking time . . . Resume playing the beat on *ANY* bass drum (or right foot)! Your right foot has not stopped (we hope). Each right foot marks the beginning of another repetition of the beat . . . so, just come in playing the (8th note rock) beat on *ANY* boom sound or right foot. (LEFTIES: You must do your own transposing here.) REMEMBER THESE THOUGHTS: You can do anything you wish as a fill . . . and the fill may be of any length you desire. You may play on any of the drums (objects) in front of you. Just maintain the beat flow with your feet as you play your fill. This way, you will never lose track of the beat flow within the music. Practice the above lesson without music until it becomes 'natural' or 'second nature'. Then try it with simple, medium tempo songs. You needn't wait for the drummer on the recording to play a fill either. You can add your fills anywhere you choose for now, while you are learning. Later on, you will learn to be selective about fill placements. Fills are normally used by drummers to 'fill' up the holes or dead spots in a song. We usually save our fills for those little empty gaps in the music where nothing much is going on (i.e. between verses or leading into the chorus of a song). There is more to think about here but we will save it for the 'Advanced Corner', coming up next. =============================================== *** ADVANCED CORNER *** =============================================== The above lesson is definitely not intended as a substitute for getting around the 'rudiment' issue. It is only intended as a primer to rudiment studies. If you know your rudiments and rolls, the same instructions will apply with one marked difference. You will no longer be thrashing at the drums! Instead, you will be executing your own interpretations of the academically accepted roll patterns (i.e. N.A.R.D. rudiments and other standardized rolls). As an interesting freebie, check out the following 'hidden' URL at the website. Advanced Rudiments, Rolls & Fills (Part II)" ________________________________________________________ |________________________________________________________| BASS PLAYER JOKE OF THE MONTH A couple, who's relationship was on the rocks, went to a marriage counselor who could not get them to discuss anything. The communication block was so heavy that nothing he suggested could make them open up and talk. Finally after several sessions of non-communication, the counselor stands up, walks to the corner of the room and produces a bass guitar. He brings it to the couple, plugs it into a small practice amp and begins to play fervently. Gradually their barriers break down and they begin to discuss their problems and little things that always bothered them that they never felt encouraged to bring up before. At the end of the session, they were smiling and laughing just like old times. They paid their bill and before leaving, the couple asked the counselor, "What did you do? How did that song help make everything work out?" He answered simply, "Everybody talks during the bass solo." ________________________________________________________ |________________________________________________________| This topic could save you YEARS and give you renewed ambition.


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