lil’ licks, part III

Ex­plor­ing a six-note lin­ear stick­ing pat­tern

Rhythm - - INTERVIEW - www.erik­stams.co.uk Erik Stams

This month we will be ex­plor­ing a use­ful lit­tle six-note lin­ear stick­ing pat­tern and some if its many ap­pli­ca­tions to the drum kit. This is ba­si­cally an ex­ten­sion of the pat­tern dis­cussed in Rhythm 288.

On the sur­face of it, a stick­ing pat­tern doesn’t ap­pear to be a very mu­si­cal thing. A se­ries of right and left hand strokes is a fairly two-di­men­sional con­cept. The ap­pli­ca­tion of

dy­nam­ics and orches­tra­tion will turn a bland, black and white pa­tern into a tech­ni­colour mu­si­cal state­ment. Ac­cents, ghost notes and melodic con­tent will make a phrase come to life.

The lin­ear six-note stick­ing pat­tern be­low (RLRLLF) works well as a triplet or sex­tu­plet phrase. The in­clu­sion of the bass drum or ‘stepped’ hi-hat in a sin­gle-line stick­ing pat­tern is what dis­tin­guishes it as ‘lin­ear’. Ex­am­ple 1a shows the ba­sic stick­ing pat­tern with no ac­cents or orches­tra­tion. Prac­tise this slowly with a metronome to be­gin with. Each note should be evenly spaced. Ex­am­ple 1b in­cludes an ac­cent on the first note of the phrase. Ex­per­i­ment with throw­ing the ac­cented note to var­i­ous voices of the drum kit. Ex­am­ple 2a, 2b and 2c il­lus­trate a few dif­fer­ent ac­cent pos­si­bil­i­ties. Ex­am­ple 3 il­lus­trates the pat­tern as a fill in con­text with a swung groove.

Ex­am­ple 4 puts the ac­cented right hand notes onto the hi-hat. The left hand snare drum notes are ghosted here, cre­at­ing more dy­namic con­trast. The ad­di­tion of a back­beat (played with the right hand) turns the stick­ing into a groove. Ex­am­ple 5 il­lus­trates how to play an in­ver­sion of the pat­tern by sim­ply play­ing the bass drum on beat ‘1’. The ac­cented notes will now cre­ate more syn­co­pa­tion as they fall on the off beats.

Ex­plore all of the pre­vi­ous orches­tra­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties and en­joy.

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