Ex 22-29 ghosted snare drum notes

Rhythm - - FEATURE -

Now we will in­tro­duce ghosted snare drum notes to the equa­tion. The ad­di­tion of ghost notes to a groove has the ef­fect of cre­at­ing syn­co­pa­tion and a sense of light and shade. When ap­ply­ing ghost notes to a sin­gle-handed 16th-note groove the ghost notes will fall in uni­son with the hi-hat notes.This cre­ates new co­or­di­na­tion chal­lenges for most peo­ple. To be­gin with, try to main­tain lightly ac­cented eighth notes within the hi-hat pat­tern in or­der to re­lease the ten­sion that will in­evitably build up in the hand. You will no­tice that all the ghost notes now fall in uni­son with the up­stroke on the hi-hat. Don’t al­low the ghost notes to in­ter­fere with the flow of the hi-hat pat­tern.

In or­der to make this sound con­trolled, fluid and dy­namic, do not ac­cent the ghost notes. Play them qui­eter than the back­beat. We can add ac­cents later. Lis­ten to James Gadson on Bil­lWithers’ ‘Use Me’ and Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Band’s ‘Ex­press Your­self’ for in­spi­ra­tion here. In par­tic­u­lar no­tice how the hi-hat keeps driv­ing for­ward re­gard­less of what the kick and snare are do­ing.

Ex­am­ples 22 and 23 in­tro­duce a sin­gle ghost note on the up­beats of 2-‘a’ and 4-‘a’. Make sure that you don’t flam with the hi-hat. In Ex. 24 and 25 we start to add some bass drum syn­co­pa­tion. Keep the hi-hat driv­ing! Ex­am­ples 26 and 27 in­tro­duce a new co­or­di­na­tion hur­dle – the kick, ghosted snare and hi-hat all fall in uni­son.Again, be­ware of flam­ming. In Ex­am­ples 28 and 29 we in­tro­duce busier bass drum pat­terns.

Prac­tise these grooves very slowly to be­gin with (50-60bpm) in or­der to make sure you’ve got con­trol over your limbs and a de­gree of dy­namic in­de­pen­dence. Be pa­tient and record your­self to hear what it sounds like. Then try it a lit­tle bit faster.

Ex­am­ple 22 is a sim­ple kick/snare pat­tern with lightly ac­cented 16ths, Ex­am­ple 23 is a slight bass drum vari­a­tion We add some ghost notes and bit of bass drum syn­co­pa­tion into Ex­am­ple 24, with a busier bass drum pat­tern in Ex. 25. Watch out for the three-way uni­son on the ‘a’ of beat 2 in Ex­am­ple 26.

An ex­tra bass drum note pushes the groove in Ex­am­ple 27 along, while the groove in Ex­am­ple 28 utilises a re­peat­ing os­ti­nato on the bass drum.

Fi­nally, the bass drum pat­tern in Ex­am­ple 29 is a bit more ac­tive.

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