A Practical Application of Swiss Army Triplets
by David Garibaldi
Let’s begin with the basic triplet figure:
. . . this might help . . .
. . . convert this to 16th notes . . .
. . . cycle repeats every 3 bars . . .
Repeat again only this time instead of accenting eighth-notes, accent the second and fourth notes of each beat (*)
Play 4 and 5 together (6 bar phrase) and repeat. Play one-bar eighth-note accents, then one-bar sixteenth-note accents and repeat. Now, using this concept (Swiss triplets converted to 16th notes) interpret the following written notes as accents, as you play the 16th-note sticking. Example:
Remember, the sticking changes because of the 3 bar cycle.
One you are familiar with the above exercises, they can be done in the following ways:
Play all exercises on s.d. only; quarter notes with both feet.
Play all exercises on s.d. only; samba pattern with feet.
Play on two sound sources such as right hand on h.h., left hand on s.d.; or left hand on h.h., right hand on tom-tom, quarter notes with right foot on bass drum.
Play right hand on cymbal, left hand on s.d., quarter notes
Ex.9 with both feet or samba foot pattern.
(Remember to play all unaccented notes very softly.)
Play exercises 1-8 together without repeats as one long phrase.
Play exercises together with repeats in the sequence of 1,5,2,6,3,7.
Use this samba foot pattern: (Ex. 9)
When this material is mastered, go through any popular reading text (Bellson’s Reading Text in 414 or Ted Reed’s Syncopation) using this system. You’ll have less and less trouble with accent control after working at this for a few weeks.
Copyright 1981 John David Garibaldi