lil’ licks, part III
Exploring a six-note linear sticking pattern
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.