RS transparentthe official blog of the Percussive Arts Society

  • Hot Licks: Double Paradiddle Freak-Out by Jeremy Brown

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Apr 05, 2021

    In a previous R!S Hotlick, I explained an exercise I call the Paradiddle Freak-Out! The exercise was intended to help drummers take paradiddles to a higher level of consistency, control, and speed. The Freak-Out! also uncovered some valuable groove and solo ideas that the paradiddle sticking provides on the drum set. 

    We can improve our technique and expand drum set vocabulary in totally new ways by applying those principles to the double paradiddle as well. Here is the basic pattern for the Double Paradiddle Freak-Out! As in the original, each accent shift occurs by dropping a note, so think ahead.

    Basic Exercise Jeremy Brown

    The most awkward parts of the Freak-Out! occur when the accents fall on the “ands” of the beat. Place an imaginary accent (inaudible) on beat 1 throughout the exercise to keep the accents from shifting to the beat. Better yet, grunt or say “one” or “dut” on beat 1 to solidify the groove. Beyond the Freak-Out!, this habit of imagining a loud beat one can help you to execute syncopated and polyrhythmic ideas much more comfortably and will strengthen your groove. 

    After you have mastered the basic sticking, proceed to part two, which moves the pattern to eighth-note triplets.

    Triplet Variation Jeremy Brown

    In part three, we set the sticking and accent pattern over sixteenth notes.

    Sixteenth Note Variation Jeremy Brown

    These three rhythmic value levels make up the complete Double Paradiddle Freak-Out!, but there is more you can do. Try a couple of the following additional alterations.

    Add an accent to the third eighth note of the sticking. These accents create a shifting swing pattern that can lead to some great snare/ride cymbal vocabulary.

    Alterations 1 Jeremy Brown
    Move the accents up to cymbals on your right and left and play the bass drum with them. Art Blakey sometimes played fills and solos with similar ideas.

    Alteration 2 Jeremy Brown

    Playing all variations in four or other meters leads to great polyrhythmic ideas.

    Alteration 3 Jeremy Brown

    Try playing the right hand on the ride cymbal and moving the left hand freely around the drum set in an Afro-Cuban context.

    Alteration 4 Jeremy Brown

    Here is an expansion of one of my soloistic ideas from the single paradiddle exercise that now mixes paradiddles with double paradiddles.

    Expansion Example Jeremy Brown

    Improvise and come up with your own ideas. The examples shown here are only the beginning of numerous possibilities that come from paradiddles and double paradiddles. After practicing several versions of the Double Paradiddle Freak-Out!, notice how easy and comfortable the conventional double paradiddle has become. With the Freak-Out!, paradiddles and double paradiddles can sound as confident and comfortable as single strokes.

    Jeremy BrownDr. Jeremy Brown is the Vice President of Instruction and former chair of the music program at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. His first jazz quartet album as a leader was released in 2014, highlighting his compositions and the brilliant musicianship of the group. Before moving to California, Jeremy earned master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Texas at Austin. In the flourishing music scene of Austin, Jeremy was in high demand as a drummer and percussionist, working nightly with Austin’s finest musicians in jazz, blues, rock, classical, and beyond.

  • Hot Licks: Rudimental Warm-up by Jesse Schattin

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Mar 15, 2021

    This is an exercise inspired by my studies with Oscar Stover. The idea behind the exercise is to simply and systematically work through each of the PAS 40 Standard Rudiments without stopping.

    The Rudimental Warm-Up is notated with the right hand above the line and left hand below the line, so sticking is always indicated. Each of the repeat signs in the exercise can be traditionally observed (play each section twice), ignored (playing the exercise without repeats), or observed selectively to repeat rudiments that are less comfortable for a greater duration.

    A suggested tempo range is provided, but the exercise may be played at a slower tempo if needed or at a faster tempo if able.

    Happy drumming!

    Rudimental Warm-Up 1 by Jesse Schattin

    Rudimental Warm-Up 2 by Jesse Schattin

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    Jesse SchattinJesse Schattin
    has been an active member of the Arizona percussion and education community for almost 14 years. He is active as an adjudicator and clinician and has performed with the Salt River Brass, Tempe Symphonic Winds, BOOM! Entertainment, and the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Percussion Ensemble.

  • Hot Licks: 3:2 Polyrhythmic Fill Combinations by Andrew Lindroth

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Dec 22, 2020

    A 3:2 polyrhythm, often referred to as a hemiola, occurs when you play three equal beats in the space normally occupied by two equal beats. These beats can also occur simultaneously, creating a distinct sound on drums.  This simple polyrhythm is shown here:


    Lindroth Example 0


    The 3:2 polyrhythm can be an effective fill in many styles of drumming. This next musical example demonstrates one way to move around the kit while playing the polyrhythm.

    

    Lindroth Example 1

    

    Once you master the 3:2 polyrhythm, you can begin to add a variety of rhythm combinations based on the 3:2 structure. The next example demonstrates eighth-note, triplet, and sixteenth-note based polyrhythms. Using the previous example as a model, substitute each measure below as the fill in measure four.


    Lindroth Example 2


    Finally, mixing up the various rhythm combinations provides numerous possibilities for fills. Each measure in the following musical example can be played as a separate fill, or the example can be performed as a whole for an interesting solo. Note that the last two measures lose the steady four beats and the bass drum becomes part of the linear fill for added variety.


    Lindroth Example 3


    Obviously, this is just the start of options regarding use of a simple polyrhythm within a drum set fill context. Hopefully this article sparks an interest for readers to create their own rhythmic ideas, voicings, and applications. Happy drumming!

    Andrew LindrothAndrew Lindroth is a percussionist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He performs regularly as the house drummer for The River City Players in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and drummer for the pop-punk band Goodfella, who are signed to Here Goes Nothing Records. He earned his BA degree at Northeastern State University in Corporate Communications and a minor in Music Performance. He is employed as a sports writer for Black and Gold Sports, and enjoys a healthy drum studio teaching schedule. Andrew is also in his third year of teaching elementary and middle school percussion at Grandview Public Schools.

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