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Back to the Tempo Dispatch Archives
ISSUE #40 \__\__\___THE____/__/__/ Apr 5, 2000
_____________TEMPO DISPATCH _____________
Newsletter For Drummers and Drumming Enthusiasts
Copyright Bill Powelson 2000 all rights reserved.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: What is in this issue?
1. Feature Article:
Adapting 'Ruffs': Making Funky, Funkier!
ADAPTING 'RUFFS': Making Funky, Funkier
Last month we focused on the 'press' or
This lesson will hopefully compliment
and help perfect those same techniques.
This month we'll focus on the 'Ruff'
as it was briefly described in last months issue . . .
WHAT'S A 'RUFF'?
The 'Ruff' (or sometimes called the 3-Stroke Roll)
is one of the most important rudiments on the N.A.R.D. rudiment charts.
To learn more about ALL the rudiments and the N.A.R.D.,
you may obtain complimentary copies of the charts . . . by visiting this URL.
If you have trouble figuring out how to
download the free rudiment charts, send me a note and
I'll explain in detail.
In short, just follow the hyperlinks on the
page above . . . then 'Right Click' and finally, 'Save As'.
HOW TO PLAY RUFFS:
(. . . Reviewing last months lesson)
First, we'll review the 'Ruff' for those who
missed last months issue . . . THEN, I'll show
you how it may be used to spice up all your rock
beats . . . and make them FUNKY. This works with
the Basic 8th Rock beat (Dancebeat #3) and nearly
ALL of the 4.3 Billion variations that exist within
that beat structure.
SPECIAL NOTE TO BEGINNERS .........................
To learn the VERY IMPORTANT Dancebeat #3, see:
The Drummer's Aptitude Test
NOW, ON WITH THE LESSON . . .
The RUFF is two 'crushed' notes (played quickly)
with one hand, as ONE movement . . . followed by an
'almost' simultaneous SINGLE note played by the other
DO THIS NOW (on a snare or practice pad)
* Throw a right hand 'crush' to the head of the
drum/pad. Make it growl by gripping the stick tightly
between the thumb and first finger (only),
squeeze it and lay it into the drum . . . making a
* Follow the 'crush' (almost simultaneously) with one
single note played with the left. This left-hand
note needs to be right on the heels of the right
hand 'crush', so that 'Burp' sound is produced. Maybe
they should have called this the 'burp' roll, haha,
or . . . the 'Brroom' roll as you'll see in a minute.
You'll have a total of three notes that are played
so rapidly, they'll sound like one. 'Brrrap', 'Brrrap'.
It'll sound like the drum is saying 'Rruff' or 'Brrap'.
* NOW, reverse the pattern . . . Lead with your
LEFT-HAND . . . crushing . . . and following through
with a single right-hand note (making the same Rruff
You've just learned to do alternating Ruffs! Practice
them for 30 minutes or so. Get GOOD with them!
NOW . . . WE'RE READY
FOR THIS MONTHS LESSON:
What good is a roll or technique . . . if we
don't have a GREAT way to use it . . . !?
The LEFT-HANDED 'Ruff' is one of the most impressive
and useful FUNKY licks in the book. You'll love this if you
master it and put it into your trick bag.
1. Play a left-handed 'Ruff' to the snare . . .
2. Do it again but play a bass-drum along WITH
that last (right-hand) note of the 'LEFT-Ruff'.
3. NOW, MOVE YOUR RIGHT-HAND to the hi-hat and play
the same LEFT-Ruff again . . . including the new bass drum
note. The bass will connect along with that final
right-hand note now being played on the hat.
START WITH THE LEFT hand and 'crush' . . .
FOLLOW THROUGH TO THE HAT, WITH
YOUR RIGHT and a simultaneous bass.
You'll hear a 'Brrooom' sound . . . like someone
trying to kick-start a stubborn motorcycle . . .
NOW . . . the neat part! Do it again the same way
but use that bass/hi-hat note as the downbeat (first
note) of ANY dancebeat you already know how to play.
It is probably best to use this with a simple
8th rock beat first . . . Do that, as a primer.
Yes . . . you 'could' attach this left-ruff to the
beginning of EACH REPETITION of the beat . . . but that
may be really hard to do at first.
In the beginning, it will probably be best to just
play it once as you kick off with a steady, normal beat.
Later, you will want to learn to inject this trick into
any beat in progress.
It'll sound like this with 8th rock,
Roll the Rs as you say it, then imitate
that sound as you play the whole thing.
X X X X HH (Right hand)
ll S Snare (l)eft: Notice crushed lefts
B Bass (Right foot)
LATER . . . try to drop this trick randomly
into a beat (any beat) in progress. The idea is to
play it prior to any downbeat (. . . or ahead of the
first bass drum note of any beat pattern.)
FOR THE MORE ADVANCED . . .
* Try this lick with ANY & ALL beats. It can make
your Funky Fatback beats come to life!
* Try it with 16th 4/4, and most Blues Beat
* It's also awesome to attach this trick to
every repetition of Shuffle or Waltz (especially
* Once you gain speed with it . . . try
dropping it occasionally into Quarter Rock and Cut-time.
Right now, you may get the feeling that some of those
latter adaptations are humanly impossible . . . but
BUILD IT GRADUALLY BY USING IT:
The trick is to add this idea to your routine 8th
Rock bag first. As you use it routinely in your jams
with recorded music, it will gradually become perfected.
One day soon . . . it'll just begin happening inside
the more difficult beats like Shuffle or Cut-Time.
IT WILL BECOME ONE OF YOUR FAV LICKS!
This WILL become one of your favorite and most
impressive licks if you master it. It'll be worthy of
every minute of time you devote to learning it. That's a
promise! I have 1000s of private students who will
back me up on this. They rave about it all the time.
NOT ONLY THAT . . . The BEST part of this lesson
goes unnoticed . . .
WHY . . .?
As you master and use this left-ruff, you are
perfecting 'crush' effects with that stubborn left-hand. This
means . . . you'll also be perfecting your 'crush' rolls too
at the same time, without those long-boring-hours on the
This lesson is hard to put into words.
It comes off a lot easier and better when seen & heard
in the live lessons. I hope to have it on
video at the website, just as soon as broadband arrives and
modem speeds increase a little more.
Meanwhile . . . think, Brroom . . . and a stubborn
motorcycle needing spark plugs.
Haha, it's Bike-Week here in Daytona. I'm in
'motorcycle mode' this month.
*********** HUMOR *************
Smile For Today: Life's Truths
Thanks to Jim Casey at 'Vermont
Drums Online' for these thoughts . . .
Behold These Truths
Before you criticize someone walk a mile
in his shoes. That way if he gets
angry he'll be a mile away -- and barefoot.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
If you must choose between two evils, pick the
one you've never tried before.
My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion
that life is serious.
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
I have found at my age going bra-less pulls all
the wrinkles out of my face.
For every action there is an equal and opposite
Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
A closed mouth gathers no feet.
If you look like your passport picture, you
probably need the trip.
Always yield to temptation, because it may
not pass your way again.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the
speed of checks.
A conscience is what hurts when all your other
parts feel so good.
Eat well - stay fit - die anyway.
Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
Middle age is when broadness of the mind and
narrowness of the waist change places.
Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
Junk is something you throw away three weeks before
you need it.
There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more
than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.
Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to
recognize a mistake when you make it again.
By the time you can make ends meet they move the ends.
Thou shalt not not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast
to the real world.
I believe the only time the world beats a path to
my door is when I'm in the bathroom.
Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for
they shall never cease to be amused.
'BA-DIP BOOM CRASH!" :>)
END OF TEMPO DISPATCH #40 Apr 5, 2000
QUESTION: How much work do you think has gone into this presentation
of more than 125 drum set lessons? It'a a complete course!
ANSWER: 50 years (night and day) X 40 hours per week! That's approximately
104,000 man hours!
Treat yourself to my BEST stuff! You have no idea
how much time I can save you!
Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.