Drum Kit Solo 4 - Simple Displacement And Syncopation

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The PDF file above contains the notation for another level 1 drum solo that is based more in the funk genre. This piece combines various ideas learned in level 1 lessons and focuses on snare displacement and syncopation with lots of use of eighth notes grouped in threes. Below is a list of recomended lessons to help with this solo along with a brief breakdown of each section. As with all solos in this level, the intention is to give you an idea of how individual ideas from this level can be combined to create a coherant drum piece. The part presented makes use of 'rhythmic themes' that are called back at various points throughout and has some interesting ideas on building on your existing parts.

The given tempo of this piece is 130bpm but I think it sounds a better a little faster than that. Once you've learned the parts try pushing it up to around 145bpm if you feel you can manage it.

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Piece Breakdown

A (bars 1 - 8)

You will start by playing a two bar pattern that in the first bar is a rhtyhm played over the crash cymbals followed by some quite rhythmic fills. The rhythm over the cymbals starts on beat 1 then plays on the '+'s after beats 2, 3 and 4, don't be afraid to write the counting in if you need to. A different idea is used for each fill and they often involve a rhythm played with two hands where the gaps are filled in with bass drums. Again, write counting in here if you need to. The 'A' section ends with a build up on the snare and floor tom ending on a quick 16th note to eighth note fill. Make sure you get the soft to loud crescendo in as it will add more dynamic interest to the part.

B (bars 9 - 24)

Again you are using a two bar pattern, this time it is heavily groove based. The first bar of the pattern has the snares shifted over an eighth note, so they fall on the '+' count after beats 2 and 4. This is followed by a more 'straight' bar. I like using displacement in this way as the 'straight' bar helps highlight the odd sound of the displaced bar. Watch out for the quarter note crash at the start of the section, it can easily throw you off. In bar 12 a short rhythmic 'shift' happens where the right hand switches to quarter notes on open hi hats with a four on the floor happening under it. This is a simple way of making the part sound more complicated by throwing in more rhythm. In bar 16 you have lead into the fill which is done by adding crashes to the last kick and snare of the groove, the fill is a simple 16th note grouping orchestration that starts on the '+' after beat 1.

Bar 17 onwards is almost of repeat of the first two lines with a few simple variations. In bars 19 - 20 some snares are replaced with kicks, again to create some interesting variation to stop the part becoming too repetitive. In bars 23 - 24 you get a more strongly syncopated rhythm where eighth notes are played in groups of three with the first being played on a snare and crash with kicks filling in the rest. This is followed by a simple eighth note fill.

C (bars 25 - 40)

This section follows a similar arrangement to the 'B' section in that it is a based on a two bar pattern played over eight bars that is then repeated with variations. The main groove has a slight 'latin' feel to it and has constant quarter note kick. In the first bar the snares create a bit of a synopated feel as the first snare is again shift to the '+' after beat 2. Over the '4' of the first bar and the '1' of the second you have two crashes, these should be made quite prominent and are used again to create more rhythmic interest. In the secon bar of the pattern the first snare falls back on the 2 and over beats 3 and 4 you have some toms falling on the '+' counts. So this is actually quite a complex groove that has many different rhythms going on. There are the displaced/syncopated snares creating one rhythm, the right hand and kick create a second rhythm, the crashes throughout the two bars create a third and the toms at the end create a fourth. It would be worth spending some time on this pattern and making sure you fully understand what is happening.

The rest of the 'C' section is just constructed with variations on the first groove. In bars 31 - 33 there is an extended fill that works on accenting all the '+' counts. In the first bar this is done using toms and in the second using snares and crashes. Bar 33 onwards should be quite straight forward after learning the first half, the biggest difference happens in bars 39 - 40 where the fill is built on accenting '+'s again but this time moves the toms in a different direction and throws in some 16th notes.

D (bars 41 - 54)

In this section there is a change of feel. In previous sections there has been a displaced bar followed by a straight bar but this time you switch that round. Start with snares and kicks played together with eighth note open hi hats, which has a really 'driving' feel. This is followed by the snares switching to the syncopated '3 3 2' style pattern used in previous sections. The second set of two bars follows the same patterns but highlights each rhythm by playing crash notes on all snares. The fill starting in bar 47 again highlights where the snare beats would have fallen by using accents. The tom roll is similar to the Single Stroke Roll Orchestration where the groupings were staggered.

As in the previous two sections, bar 49 onwards is a repeat of the previous two lines with variations added. Rather than using crashes to highlight the snare beat, ride bells are used and rather than using accents in the two bar fill, crashes are used and all notes are on the snare. Watch out for the kick placement in the last bar.

E (bars 57 - 83)

The last section is relatively long and is actually split into three subsections (see the Dotted Bar Lines). Each of these sub sections is a development of the previous idea. In the first two lines you are taking a two bar syncopated rhythm where each stroke lasts three eighth notes and ends on two quarter notes. All following sections build on these first two so it is important you can play that rhythm correctly. The second set of two bars takes the same pattern and adds quarter note kicks, followed by two bars where the right hand plays eighth notes on the floor tom with the mid tom notes played with the left and finally the same pattern but on the first note of each group of the the right plays a crash and the left a snare, this is split with the eighth note floor toms from before. The parts get quite complicated here so don't be afraid to spend some time working on them at low tempos.

From bar 65 onwards the same two bar rhythm is followed by a groove is built from it. In this groove you play a snare followed by two kicks with eighth note open hi hats, do this four times followed by a more straight snare kick type pattern. At the end of the first line a simple short fill is thrown in. In bars 71 - 72 crashes are added with each snare hit and a half bar fill that just rolls around the toms is used. Bar 73 -74 is a little transistion into the next section. It follows a similar rhythm to that used in 'A' with another build up in the second bar.

Bar 75 onwards goes back to a similar idea as the start of this section, that same syncopated rhythm is used and is built on each time. This time you start by playing the rhythm over the mid tom, floor tom and kick, next you add eighth note kicks (a bit of a stamina challenge for your right foot here), then switch the hands to snares and crashes and finally a 16th note roll on the snare with the rhythm played on the crashes. End by hitting the two toms and a bass drum.


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