5 AND 7 STICKING COMBINATIONS
Using five and seven sticking combinations within grooves
Sticking combinations can be articulated in a variety of different ways ie: soloing, phrasing within a section, grooves, breaking doubles etc. Within this month’s article we will be looking at five and seven sticking patterns and how these can be applied to create some lovely groove ideas. By using simple sticking combinations, for example; three, five, six and seven within grooves, we can develop effective patterns to support improvised conversations. David Garibaldi plays a great example of these key elements on the Tower Of Power album Soul Vaccination Live, released in 1999.
In the examples below I’ve included a bar of 16th-note fives using the sticking R-L-L-R-R L-R-R-L-L and a bar of 16th-note sevens using the sticking R-L-L-R-R-L-L, which we will be using firstly as a warm up (odd grouping) and then applying those sticking combinations to the 16th-note groove examples.
In the groove examples the sticking patterns will not change and I’ve made bar 1 of the five sticking groove and seven sticking groove the same with regards to the bass drum placement to help bed these in.You will notice, however, that as you move through these bars I have varied the bass drum pattern placements to really work on combining the sticking combinations and bass drum independence. Once comfortable with these try alternating the combinations, ie: one bar of five sticking groove followed by one bar of seven sticking groove and you’ll really feel the flow of these sticking combinations.
All of the concepts/techniques we’ve looked at to date are simply an introduction to help build your musical vocabulary/palette and to create appropriate choices. A huge part of improvisation is listening, spontaneity, feel and essentially practise but also having a basic understanding of varied techniques/ concepts can only support your musical decisions and application to the kit.