The Collapsing Concept in 6/8

Crushing Stickings to Create Odd Afro-Cuban Ideas

by Steve Fidyk and David Garibaldi

The legendary drummer and long-time member of Tower of Power, David Garibaldi, emailed me last year with variations on a lesson I wrote for Modern Drummer’s March 2015 issue. The concept I presented was rooted in the teaching tradition of the late author and educator Jim Chapin. It deals with collapsing rhythms—omitting one note from a rudimental pattern and creating a new odd-note grouping. If you’ve immersed yourself in David’s recorded work, checked him out live, or practiced his pieces in MD throughout the years, you’re very aware that he has applied this odd-grouping/linear concept in a modern and creative way. The following material comes from David, and thanks are owed to him for inspiring us to remain musically curious and creative.
Steve Fidyk 

I’ve been working on Steve Fidyk’s excellent article in the recent MD. It’s always amazing to me that many concepts we use have been around for such a long time—although named differently as they evolve—and we’re often developing these same ideas independently of each other. I stumbled upon this concept a number of years ago but had never given it a name or developed it. I had no idea that Jim Chapin taught this, although it doesn’t surprise me. He was way ahead of us in many areas—a brilliant man.

Here’s a lesson that’s based on this collapsing concept. When I had my percussion trio, I found many of these kinds of combinations while exploring ideas for our music. The attached lesson is inspired by both Steve’s lesson in MD and what I was learning about the Afro-Cuban rhythmic tradition.

My idea involves playing one time signature inside of another (in this case, 5/8 or 7/8 inside of 6/8). I took a sticking, orchestrated it, collapsed it, and then applied that material to 6/8 time using a dotted-quarter-note pulse, as is often found in Afro-Cuban music. The feet supply the pulse throughout this lesson as the hands apply the concept. Enjoy!
David Garibaldi

Collapsing Concept in 6 8 1

Collapsing Concept in 6 8 2

Collapsing Concept in 6 8 3