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  1. #1

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    I got brushes a couple of months ago an have been using em on any textured surface I can find (even a subway sign, ew!) Wondering what other peeples experience with the drums have been. I love having a chance at the kit, sometimes it sounds almost passable... in my messed up world...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I got paid to play cowbell today. Why are we starting a drum thread in the bass section of the forum?

  4. #3

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    As a Rock Band teacher at music school, I have to be able to play and transcribe some drum parts from rock/pop songs. I enjoy playing drums a lot in that context!

    As far as jazz, I can play trad jazz on a snare with brushes solid enough so they dont chase me out at the jam sessions. Love it too!

    I would go as far as to say if you can't hold a basic groove on a snare or even a drum kit, you have no business playing guitar either. Drums are a must for any instrumentalist, and especially guitar players, as part of the rhythm section!

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    I got paid to play cowbell today. Why are we starting a drum thread in the bass section of the forum?
    I thought bass goes with drums. Couldn't find another spot for it. Think it is an important concept. I got a fever! And the only prescription is...

  6. #5

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    I'm no great drummer, but I love brush playing. In fact I run a website devoted to the art (mostly history, but there are some technical things on there):

    Brush Beat

  7. #6
    Thank you for reviving this neglected but important thread, Gerry. I will check out that site asap!

  8. #7

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    Before picking up guitar, I always wanted to be a drummer. Had sticks when I was younger and used just about every object in the house as a practice kit much to my parent's chagrin. Got the guitar bug in my teens and my interest in drums fell by the wayside...

    Fast forward a few years - was burned out on guitar and music in general so, I started looking for something new. I always had an interest in Latin music and rhythms but Buena Vista Social Club and related acts really grabbed me. Latin percussion seemed like the next step and I picked up a conga set with bongos.

    Spent the next three years taking lessons and practicing to the point where I have some serviceable skills. Have even been able to gig here and there. Would never claim to be a drummer (or percussionist) but, I do think learning to understand and approach rhythm from that perspective has really improved my guitar playing.

  9. #8
    Glad this thread picked up again (even though it was under bass... they should be thought of as one instrument). Was wondering if anyone had trouble cadencing from polyrhythmic ideas that resolve to eighths. That's the other huge concept, rhythms can suggest cadence and resolution just as much, if not more than, notes and harmonies, especially in jazz. Listen to Bill Evans. Yeow!

  10. #9

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    To elaborate on my thoughts from the previous thread, I think a great rhythm with a boring harmony will sound better than a great harmony with a boring rhythm.

    Since I never plan to be a teacher, I haven't studied music as heavily as others, so I make-up my own words to describe what I am thinking. One such term is what I call dancing around the beat. I guess when it comes down to it, they are playing polyrhytm's, but I don't think a good guitarist needs to study polyrhythm's, I think they need to hear them, then copy what they hear on the guitar.

    I brought this up on the previous thread because I think most guitarists forget about the excitement a good rhythm brings to their playing; I will go so far as to say most (not all, and not the top pro's) guitarists ignore this. To me it adds heart to your playing.

  11. #10
    good rhythm... hmmm... Barry Harris said something along the lines of "I'd rather hear good rhythm and crappy notes than crappy rhythm and good notes"

    Yes, this is oft ignored by guitarists... I think it's because we worry so much about sounding like a horn that we forget the rhythm part.

    Now on to

    LOST (and found) in SPACE...

    So I'd like to discuss a series of ideas on this thread:

    1. Why we are so good at imitating rhythm as sound and why teaching the fractions of music (just by themselves) can ruin our groove.

    2. The great metronome debate

    3. Hearing phrases rhythmically and within pulse

    4. True polmetricity

    5. Arhythmic music, is there actually such a thing?

    Where should we start folks?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Glad this thread picked up again (even though it was under bass... they should be thought of as one instrument). Was wondering if anyone had trouble cadencing from polyrhythmic ideas that resolve to eighths. That's the other huge concept, rhythms can suggest cadence and resolution just as much, if not more than, notes and harmonies, especially in jazz. Listen to Bill Evans. Yeow!
    You mean something like quarter note triplets (3 over 2) followed immediately by a chain of swing 8th notes?

    Treat beat one of the chain of 8ths as a transition. Ideas to try (imagine 1 bar of quarter note triplets followed by one bar of swing 8ths):

    Leave a rest on beat one of bar 2, pick up the chain of 8ths on the & of 1
    Play a crotchet (staccato or otherwise) on beat one of bar 2, pick up the chain of 8ths on beat 2
    Tie the last crotchet of the triplet onto the first beat of the chain of 8ths.

    Unless you meant something else?

  13. #12

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    Just to add something. It can sound awful starting a phrase on the downbeat of 1...which is where my thinking was coming from in the above examples. You could equally start the 8th note phrase by anticipation/anacrusis using one 8th note. Treating beat 4 of bar 1 as the transition. The above ideas (except a crotchet on beat 4 bar 1) would work equally well. Either way, as a rule of thumb avoid starting new rhythmic phrases on the downbeat of 1 (just my opinion).
    Last edited by GuitarGerry; 09-11-2015 at 05:11 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    good rhythm... hmmm... Barry Harris said something along the lines of "I'd rather hear good rhythm and crappy notes than crappy rhythm and good notes"

    Yes, this is oft ignored by guitarists... I think it's because we worry so much about sounding like a horn that we forget the rhythm part.

    Now on to

    LOST (and found) in SPACE...

    So I'd like to discuss a series of ideas on this thread:

    1. Why we are so good at imitating rhythm as sound and why teaching the fractions of music (just by themselves) can ruin our groove.

    2. The great metronome debate

    3. Hearing phrases rhythmically and within pulse

    4. True polmetricity

    5. Arhythmic music, is there actually such a thing?

    Where should we start folks?
    Apolligies for the brief reply:

    1. Teach division by clapping through Louie Bellson, both in Latin and Swing time. Some nice phrases in that book and it introduces students to concepts of syncopation.


    2. Unless you're practicing rubato stuff, always use a metronome. Set it at half tempo and learn to hear the clicks on beats 2 & 4, then it swings its a*se off.


    3. Listen to rhythmic players and it'll work into your own playing by osmosis. I prescribe Monk, followed by Monk, and then some more Monk. Mingus' music too. The phrases in his pieces are beautiful. Also prescribed is a heavy does of pre-war/war-time swing. Harmonically, a lot of the music was simple. However, what it lacked in colour, it made up for in rhythm. The phrasing in that stuff just makes you want to dance. Erskine Hawkins, Edgar Hayes, Earl Hines Orchestra, Anky Kirk, Spirits of Rhythm, Harlem Hamfats...don't let the corn put you off. Oh, and Nat King Cole Trio (got to love Oscar).


    4. When I studied I spent a lot of time hanging out with drummers. Learned polyrhythms from them. Even learned how to improvise phrases in 3/4 time polyrhymically. Don't use any of it in my playing (hah!), but I recorded myself once and caught myself playing 5 over 4. I doubt I ever played it again though. Still, good practice for getting your time together (work with a metronome is never wasted). But, outside of quarter note triplets, you don't need to go beyond (to the other side..mwah mwah!).


    5. True arrhythmic music? Possibly. I once went to a La Monte Young concert. Bit hazy on the detail, but I remember the piece being static harmony, but performers cycle through different notes at will. Interesting changes here and there, but it went on too long. Don't remember tapping my foot much. La Monte Young was a dude though. He was presented with a leather biker jacket, which made his day.
    Last edited by GuitarGerry; 09-11-2015 at 06:39 AM.

  15. #14
    No Gerry, that's exactly what I meant. And I agree about the downbeat. I envision this thread as exploring the intricacies or rhythm and pulse that are missing elsewhere on the forum. They are tried to the drum, and we "hit" the strings, so we should consider ourselves in someway, tried to that lineage and technique, of the drummer-bass dynamic duo.

    I will try that idea with the poly's this weekend, thanks!

  16. #15
    Gerry, if it is okay with you and everyone else here, could we address each of the 5 topics individually so we can really dive into them? Let me know, guys and gals.

  17. #16
    And, for the record, since this is MY thread (just saying that for this one thing, I want it to be our thread), I am fine with double or triple posts (as long as we are civil). If you have a lot to say and need multiple posts, go for it

  18. #17

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    They're not really my ideas, just observations I've made. To be honest, until you posted the question I'd never really thought about it, I just do it. However, now that you ask, the things I mentioned are a few ways of avoiding an awkward transition. You don't need to wait until you have an instrument in your hands to evaluate them. Tap out the rhythmic alternatives and do A-B comparisons. Hopefully, you'll hear immediately that things are smoother if you leave a little space for the transition to occur.


    I have no problem with how this thread evolves, but perhaps the bass forum isn't the best place for it. As far as I'm concerned, rhythm is all part of music theory...so perhaps the theory section would be best to start a discussion? I can't guarantee I'll have anything to add, but it might get more people replying.

  19. #18
    Got my 16-yr-old drummer son a cajon with "cajon" brushes. ( And yes, I've heard a lot of meh cajon in my experience, but the kid does some really good stuff with it.)

    Absolute blast! Amazing what someone with a little skill can do with it. Need to post a little something...

    Anyway, what strikes me with drums and two hands, is that subdivisions of beats are physical, kinesthetic, "places" rather than just abstract places in time. I think that's where the most value comes from, whether it's drumming on your steering wheel or with hand drums or whatever. There was a talk in another thread about exercises/methods of practice, associating down/up pick direction with left/right drumsticks in drum exercises or rudiments.

    In addition to pick direction, I have done a lot of similar with two and three voices using right-hand finger style. Simplifies things like working polyrhythms, playing around the beat etc., especially in the beginning, (which is where I live). :-)
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 09-11-2015 at 10:40 AM.

  20. #19
    Matt, thanks for visiting this thread. I put drum explorations under the bass section, cause any great bassist will say that they "have to be one with the drum"