FROM DRUM! MAGAZINE’S MARCH 2018 ISSUE | BY MUSICIANS INSTITUTE DRUM PROGRAM FACULTY
DAY 8 – 3/16 IMPLIED MODULATION VARIATIONS
Lesson by Jeff Bowders
The lessons for Days 8 and 9 explore the idea of grouping a fixed number of sixteenth-notes to create phrases that introduce a new “feel.” This can be thought of as “implied” modulation because the actual note value does not change; instead, a specific accented phrase within the main (original) pulse serves as a new “pulse.”
While you develop the understanding of how these implied modulation phrases work within the original pulse, it is imperative that you maintain the count of the original pulse. Sometimes there is a tendency to abandon the original count and focus on counting the new implied phrase as the pulse. This will not serve you well. Knowing where you are within the original pulse while playing the implied phrases will be the only way you can confidently employ these techniques.
Let’s get started with a basic 3/16 phrase with the accent on the first sixteenth-note. Playing the accented pattern in Ex. 1 while counting out loud will help you establish a strong rhythmic foundation for this concept.
While playing eighth-notes on the ride cymbal in Ex. 2, use the accent pattern in Ex. 1 to create a sequence with the bass drum and snare. In Ex. 3, match the ride cymbal with the bass drum and snare pattern.
To become comfortable transitioning with this modulation, play the four-bar pattern in Ex. 4: two bars of a standard groove that transition into two bars of metric modulation.
Using the same four-bar approach in Ex. 5, changing the relationship between the bass drum and snare drum creates a “half-time” modulation feel.
Ex. 6 introduces a 3/16 pattern with the accents falling on the first and third sixteenth-notes of that pattern. Again, be sure to count out loud while playing this accent pattern. Ex. 7 moves only the accented notes in Ex. 6 to the ride cymbal. In Ex. 8, add the bass drum on beats 1 and 3 and snare on beats 2 and 4 to match up with the new ride cymbal pattern. Ex. 9 begins with a standard two-bar groove followed by the modulation in the first two bars of Ex. 8.
Finally, using the same four-bar approach in Ex. 10, you can change the bass drum and snare relationship to create a “half-time” modulation feel.
Today’s lesson demonstrates one of the most common modulation concepts. Even if you feel comfortable in starting to “hear” the phrase, make sure that you always count so you never have to guess where beat 1 Sometimes your ears can deceive you!