Last month, we looked at how syncopated figures could be used within an underlying framework of 8th-note triplets with accents to create some interesting rhythmic ideas. This month, we’ll look at a few more ways to apply this concept. Note: It’s extremely important that all of the material in Part 1 of this article be mastered before progressing to Part 2.
Bass Drum Unison
One or the more interesting ways to elaborate on the concept presented last month is to utilize the bass drum to further enforce the rhythmic figure that’s played with the hands. In essence, the bass drum is played in unison with the syncopated rhythm.
Here are a few more examples of this approach. Once again, start slowly and gradually increase the tempo after you’re totally familiar with the exercise. Use alternate sticking throughout (RLRL).
Using the same procedure as last month, it’s recommended that you once again work with your copy of Ted Reed’s Progressive Steps To Syncopation For The Modern Drummer. Begin with pages 33 through 36, and then move on to solo exercises 1 through 8 (pages 37 to 44) using the bass drum unison technique.
Here’s another method where the accented rhythm moves around the drums (snare, small tom-tom, large tom-tom):
Below are six examples using the drum-to-drum system. After mastering each one, move on to the Reed book and work through the same pages previously mentioned. You’ll note that some of the figures in the book will lend themselves better to the drum-to-drum system than others. Simply eliminate those that don’t work well and experiment more closely with those that do. Use your imagination and create your own drum-to-drum patterns
Finally, here’s another application of the concept using press rolls. Keep the unaccented notes softer than the accented ones. Use alternate sticking throughout (RLRL).
Here are six more examples to be practiced before progressing again to pages 33 to 44 of Ted Reed’s Syncopation book. Along with being a great solo technique, this method will also help build strength and endurance.
I’m hopeful that both of these articles have stimulated you to develop even more ways of using this approach. Good luck!