Remo
DrumTalk » Drum Talk

How many can play any sequence without thinking?
go to previous topicgo to next topic

post new topic reply to topic Print this post Print post Forward this post Forward post Click to watch this topic Watch This Topic flat mode Flat threaded mode Threaded
Poster How many can play any sequence without thinking?
Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 1 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 6:30 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I donít think that there is a ďHow-toĒ section on the Remo forum, so Iíll put this thread here.

It struck me as odd , the other day, that the drummer of a highly-ranked band should make a mess of what, on first hearing, seemed to be a dead-easy fill. It was two 4-4 bars (measures) of fast semiquavers (16th-notes), consisting of: four notes on snare, four on high mounted tom, four on low mounted tom, four on floor tom, all played again in the second bar and followed, on beat one of the third bar, by a cymbal-crash. He was playing a ďstandardĒ 2-up-1-down drumkit with a crash cymbal on the right.

I hadnít noticed a two-bar roll like that played very often (perhaps because it isnít very exciting to listen to), and I hadnít given it much thought before. I had half-assumed that because a single-bar roll of that sort can simply be played rlrl all the way, then the second bar would easily follow.

Anyway, the problem arose because the drummer was playing rlrl all the way, and ran into trouble going from the floor tom to the snare drum ready for bar 2. At the speed of the tune, it would have taken superhuman powers to return the right hand to the snare drum in time to start the second bar.

Obviously, the solution lies in placing double strokes and diddles at suitable positions in the sequence, such as:

Bar 1: Sn lrll HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrr Bar 2: Sn lrll HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrl Bar 3: Cym r...

I have to admit that, like the drummer I watched, I cannot just produce fills like this from mid-air if I see them on a chart. I have to go away work on them (but at least, unlike him, I donít try them in public without mastering them).

What Iím getting around to asking is how many of you guys, or people you know, can play this sort of thing on sight? Have you got your rudiments so much part of your inner makeup that you donít even have to think about stick-sequencing? If not, how do you deal with the problem?


Singlestroker edited on Jun 17, 2013 10:23 AM

pgdrums





Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan 24, 2005
No. 2 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 9:37 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
If you're asking about sight reading skills, mine aren't very good because I haven't had to use them much, so I've become rusty. These days, I wouldn't want to play anything on paper without rehearsing it first.

But when it comes to my own fills, yes, stickings (or what some people would call rudiments) are such a fundamental part of my playing that there's very little conscious thought that goes into them at this point. Regardless of which sticking I'm playing or where I end up, my brain seems to kick into autopilot to make sure that my last note is either a double stroke or single stroke ending with the correct hand to get me back to where I need to be. I think this probably becomes automatic for most players over time.




Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 3 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 10:07 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Mark, thank you for your reply.

What I was trying to get at was whether you'd got the standard rudiments to be so much second nature that it equipped you to play on sight anything written. Alternatively (now I think about it again) anything you hear being played by others. For sure, I can recall any rudiment, fill or sequence that I've got down previously.

It's the ability to play something I've never encountered before that I'd like, and was wondering if that's just a dream and will never be anything else.



pgdrums





Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan 24, 2005
No. 4 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 10:22 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
New things I hear someone else play and which I would want to emulate fall into 3 categories:

A. Something I can repeat effortlessly and instantly without any rehearsal;

B. Something I can repeat with a bit of effort/rehearsal; or

C. Something that's beyond my abilities and which I'll never be able to play, regardless of how much effort I put into it.

Unfortunately, truly "new" riffs that I'd want to emulate are harder and harder to find these days, especially on the radio, but the constant quest continues. It's probably a bell curve, with most findings falling into Category B, and fewer in A or C. If it's truly new and interesting, then a reasonable amount of effort to execute it is probably typical.




brad_leishman

Zenquest



Posts: 407
Joined: Aug 29, 2006
No. 5 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 3:02 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
If I had to play a figure like the one you described without any preparation, rather than mixed sticking, I would and play it like this:

SN: RLRL: HT: RLRL LT: RLRL FT: RL then play the last two 16ths with the single kick (hopefully) giving enough time to get back to the snare to complete the figure.

The mixed sticking solution would give the fill a different flavor due to subtle changes in accentuation, particularly if it was a fast fill.

... Unless the sticking patterns are ones I am familiar with played with a combination of drums I am familiar with, I have to go over them. I haven't reached that level of Zen on the drumkit. I am, however, fairly comfortable with mixed sticking on the snare, catching single and double accents on cymbals and toms, but then again the "1" is rarely the left hand (lol)



Zenquest
_____________________________________________________
TAMA Starclassic B/B
Yamaha Oak Custom
Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 6 Posted on Jun 19, 2013 3:07 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Thank you for your take on this, Brad.

brad_leishman wrote:... like this:

SN: RLRL: HT: RLRL LT: RLRL FT: RL then play the last two 16ths with the single kick (hopefully) giving enough time to get back to the snare to complete the figure.

Interestingly, that reminds me of Buddy. Difficult though it is to work out his sequences, I am pretty sure that he frequently used single or double BD strokes between FT strokes to give the impression of continuous FT sequences. Until I realised that, I thought those aspects of his playing were impossible for us mere mortals.

The mixed sticking solution would give the fill a different flavor due to subtle changes in accentuation, particularly if it was a fast fill.

I was thinking about that only today Ė when I was practising the sequence. The fact that different sticking mixes can produce very different effects is often overlooked.

... Unless the sticking patterns are ones I am familiar with played with a combination of drums I am familiar with, I have to go over them. I haven't reached that level of Zen on the drumkit.

Iím glad that I am not the only one. I suspect that there are very few that have reached it. I certainly havenít come across anyone.

... the "1" is rarely the left hand (lol)

I wondered if anyone would pick me up on that. As I expect you are thinking, instead of:

Bar 1: Sn lrll HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrr Bar 2: Sn lrll HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrl Bar 3: Cym r...

I could have gone with:

Bar 1: Sn rlrl HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrr Bar 2: Sn lrll HT rlrl LT rlrl FT rlrl Bar 3: Cym r...

I went with lrll as the ď1Ē, partly because it kept Bars 1&2 identical except for the FT section of Bar 2 and therefore easier to learn (or so I reasoned). It also happens that, although right-handed, I have a natural tendency (who knows why?) to start sequences with the left hand. That makes starting off that way nothing unusual for me. Just as others have to learn to lead with the left sometimes, I have had to train myself out of that curious left-hand tendency where necessary, or just useful.



Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 7 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 5:39 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
brad_leishman wrote:
The mixed sticking solution would give the fill a different flavor due to subtle changes in accentuation...


I just read that part of your post again, Brad, and have just realised that you probably meant it as a reason not to play mixed sticking.

That reminds me of a consideration, which I didn't mention before, that helped my choice of sicking. A full paradiddle starts on FT at the end of Bar 1 and ends on Sn at the beginning of Bar 2. Both bars start identically, and there are two bars of rlrl sitting neatly in the middle of both bars. I do still think that it produces a balanced sequence, divided nicely between paradiddles and single-stroke rolls.

While an identical sound throughout the sequence is arguably desirable, although that obviously depends on context, mixed sticking is sometimes unavoidable, as your own solution equally shows - although it does make it easier to maintain consistency for most of the sequence.

I'm finding it a testing and beneficial exercise learning to play this sequence in various ways - including your own, Brad. Another one that I like is:

Bar 1 Sn lrlr HT lrll LT rlrl FT rlrr Bar 2: Sn lrlr HT lrll LT rlrl FT rlrl Bar 3: Cym crash...



Andy





Posts: 1743
Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Rockford, MI
No. 8 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 1:04 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Frankly, I don't fully understand the question, but when playing something complex, I'm usually pretty good at simplifying and getting by without perfectly duplicating the original song. If I were really good, I'd simply play the song as its supposed to be played. Since I'm not, I just find shortcuts, tricks and simplifications to get through the complex stuff in such a way that the average drunk guy in the audience will never even know.



brad_leishman

Zenquest



Posts: 407
Joined: Aug 29, 2006
No. 9 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 4:06 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
I just read that part of your post again, Brad, and have just realised that you probably meant it as a reason not to play mixed sticking.

Thanks for your thought-provoking post.
Responding to the above quote, I would say not necessarily. If that specific mixed sticking were actually written by the composer, I would respect that the composer was familiar with the different accentuation that the mixed sticking would produce; and thus wrote it that way because it best suits context of the music. So, I would strive to play it that way (assuming I didn't have to sight-read it).
That being said, I suppose I am a bit biased. Because I come primarily from a rock background, I have a natural tendency to strive for a powerful roll when playing a fill involving descending toms; and I find that (for me) single strokes are the best tool for that effect. When playing paradiddle combinations, I have a tendency to "ghost" the diddle on the snare. So If I played the fill with the mixed sticking in your original post, I would naturally ghost the 3rd and 4th 16th notes on the snare, and I suspect the last two 16th notes on the floor tom would have somewhat of a different sound as well. The effect may not be as noticeable in the driverís seat, but if you were to record the two different fills at, say 140 bpm, they would sound quite different. So, which sticking would make the more effective fill? Like you said - - it all comes down to musical context.

Speaking of Buddy, have you tried bouncing the 16th note diddle between two drums ?



Zenquest
_____________________________________________________
TAMA Starclassic B/B
Yamaha Oak Custom
Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 10 Posted on Jun 21, 2013 12:29 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Andy wrote:
Frankly, I don't fully understand the question, but when playing something complex, I'm usually pretty good at simplifying and getting by without perfectly duplicating the original song. If I were really good, I'd simply play the song as its supposed to be played. Since I'm not, I just find shortcuts, tricks and simplifications to get through the complex stuff in such a way that the average drunk guy in the audience will never even know.


Thanks Andy. The question is really about sight reading, or listening to a piece, and being able to play instantly; i.e. without going away to think it over and practise, and without even having to think it over in the rehearsal room just before playing.



brad_leishman

Zenquest



Posts: 407
Joined: Aug 29, 2006
No. 11 Posted on Jun 22, 2013 7:37 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
All this being said, musicians generally do have the opportunity to look at the music before they play it; the musicians on Letterman, for example, do rehearse with musicals guests before the show.


Zenquest
_____________________________________________________
TAMA Starclassic B/B
Yamaha Oak Custom
Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 12 Posted on Jun 22, 2013 1:02 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
brad_leishman wrote:
All this being said, musicians generally do have the opportunity to look at the music before they play it; the musicians on Letterman, for example, do rehearse with musicals guests before the show.


Thanks, Brad. I was thinking more of being pretty well there in rehearsal, as i know that rather few would chance going live without any at all. You mentioned having a look at the material before playing it, and I can tell you that a quick glance is far from sufficient to get me up and running when working out how to negotiate, say the sequence we have been discussing.

By the way, I'll shortly respond to your last post on the mixed-sticking issue shortly. I'd do it now, but I want to do it properly.



brad_leishman

Zenquest



Posts: 407
Joined: Aug 29, 2006
No. 13 Posted on Jun 26, 2013 5:30 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
........Although to any potential music school students out there, I'm sure sight reading would be part of the audition. Further, I'm sure the piece would involve mixed sticking involving leading with the left hand at times.


Zenquest
_____________________________________________________
TAMA Starclassic B/B
Yamaha Oak Custom
Singlestroker





Posts: 603
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 14 Posted on Jun 30, 2013 3:11 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Brad, thanks again. Now Iím just about ready to reply to a couple of your interesting posts. I wonít always follow the order in which you wrote them
brad_leishman wrote:...If... specific mixed sticking were actually written... by the composer, I would respect that the composer was familiar with the different accentuation that the mixed sticking would produce...
and
brad_leishman wrote:... I'm sure sight reading would be part of the audition. Further, I'm sure the piece would involve mixed sticking involving leading with the left hand at times.
It sounds as if, compared with you, Brad, I have limited, and parochial, musical experience. The written drums parts that I have used have all been for British brass bands or concert bands. In none of them has the composer or arranger specified an order of sticking. The only place where I have seen sticking specified has been in tutorial material or examination papers, and in both of these the sticking has been omitted at the higher competence-levels. In British examinations, rather than specifications of sticking, the pieces are usually accompanied with a brief description of the style and feel being looked-for. Although the parts from which I play in the brass band rarely have any indication of sticking, style or feel those are the factors that I nevertheless use when I decide whether actually to play whatís written. I have make that decision all the time, as the parts are very frequently mundane, written in guide-form only or just plain dreadful. It seems that few brass band arrangers understand the drums. I suspect that some of them also consider them insufficiently important to spend time upon, whether in learning about them or seeking appropriate advice.

Are you saying, Brad, that sticking is specified for television-industry auditions, or in the charts that those drummers use?

The left hand certainly is going to be used to start many fills or other sequences; if not, a lot of combinations of snare, tomtom/s and other playing surfaces would be impossible.

Of course, there are different levels of drummers Ė and, I am absolutely certain, way, way above me. However, I still havenít read anything that convinces me that there are many drummers who will know instantly, in every case, what combinations of surface and sticking and footwork will produce whatís written without tripping up and finding they are off on the wrong hand. I am still erring on the side of believing that even the best will need a run-though in many cases, and, in some cases, also time away to learn the sequence unless something is changed. In other words, Iíd be very surprised if, when playing auditions, they didnít sometimes have to approximate to whatís on the sheet.
brad_leishman wrote:... I have a natural tendency to strive for a powerful roll when playing a fill involving descending toms; and I find that (for me) single strokes are the best tool for that effect. When playing paradiddle combinations, I have a tendency to "ghost" the diddle on the snare. So If I played the fill with the mixed sticking in your original post, I would naturally ghost the 3rd and 4th 16th notes on the snare, and I suspect the last two 16th notes on the floor tom would have somewhat of a different sound as well. The effect may not be as noticeable in the driverís seat, but if you were to record the two different fills at, say 140 bpm, they would sound quite different. So, which sticking would make the more effective fill...
I do fully respect your view, Brad, but I still prefer playing my original mixed sticking as powerfully as possible to incorporating those two bass-drum strokes. Both your method and mine include breaks from a continuous single-stroke roll, and I still think that the mixed sticking makes for the better solution. As weíve already agreed, though, itís contextual. I also think that, to a significant extent, itís a matter of preference.

Having said the above, your insight has introduced valuable new thinking to the way I shall approach these things in the future.
brad_leishman wrote:Speaking of Buddy, have you tried bouncing the 16th note diddle between two drums ?
I definitely do that in some of my fills, but Iím not sure if youíre asking whether Iíve tried it within this particular fill. If so, I havenít figured out where in the present fill youíre suggesting that I place the bounce.


Singlestroker edited on Jun 30, 2013 3:19 PM


post new topic reply to topic Print this post Print post Forward this post Forward post Click to watch this topic Watch This Topic flat mode Flat threaded mode Threaded
  go to previous topicgo to next topic
Normal post
New post
Deleted Post
Privacy & Legal | Support | Catalogs  © 2014 Remo Inc.
   
 
Page was generated in 49 milliseconds