FROM DRUM! MAGAZINE’S MARCH 2018 ISSUE | BY MUSICIANS INSTITUTE DRUM PROGRAM FACULTY
Lesson by Stewart Jean
This final lesson culminates with a full chart to be played start to finish that incorporates a number of the methods of metric modulation presented in the lessons for Days 1 through 9, while also transitioning through six music styles, beginning and ending with funk-rock. Here is a breakdown of each section.
Section A, which is eight bars long, is to be played at 90 bpm and has a two-bar funk pattern in bars three and four. In bar eight, swing the final two sixteenth-notes (the & ah) to set up the swing feel in Section B, and note that the eighth-note now has a value of a quarter-note.
Section B modulates to double-time, or 180 bpm, and is 12 bars long. A half-time backbeat on the snare is added in bar six, which allows for a smooth transition to Section C. Note that at the end of bar 12 there is a transition fill of quarter-notes with an indication that quarter-notes now take on the value of eighth-notes.
Section C returns to 90 bpm with a straight-eighth Motown feel. It ends with a brief set-up fill of three eighth-notes that set up the transition to Section D, a blues groove in 12/8, in which the dotted quarter-note is played at 60 bpm. In the transition from Sections C to D, the eighth-note maintains its value but is now worth one beat in 12/8. In C, the eighth-note is counted 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &; in D, it’s counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Section D lasts for eight bars. In the first ending, the placement of snare drum and bass drum notes changes so that they land on every other eighth-note, which hints at modulation to 4/4. Then, repeat Section D’s 12/8 feel and make a smooth transition to Section E with the written figure in the second ending, which sets up a country train-beat feel at 180 bpm for eight bars. Bar eight of Section E borrows the same quarter-note transition fill that was used between Sections B and C to slide back into a rock feel at 90 bpm at Section F.
Now you have a four-on-the-floor rock groove for 12 bars. The fill in Section F’s first ending uses small groups of three sixteenth-notes for a syncopated feel. The last three bars in the second ending use a similar grouping of three sixteenth-notes to set up the transition to a new feel and tempo. A grouping of three sixteenth-notes equals one dotted eighth-note; therefore, the dotted eighth-note is now used to transition to Section G by modulating to a value of one quarter-note.
At 90 bpm, repetitive dotted eighth-notes can be used to actually speed up to 120 bpm by modulating the dotted eighth-notes to have the value of quarter-notes. The last bar of Section F creates a smooth transition to a new feel and tempo.
Section G is an eight-bar phrase with an added final measure whole note. The groove is the same groove as in Section A, but this time it’s played at 120 bpm instead of 90 bpm. Bars seven and eight of section G utilize a different approach to the dotted eighth-note modulation technique by alternating between the bass drum and snare drum to create the illusion of speeding up.
Personalize it: Have fun adding your own grooves and fills for a personal touch. Memorize it: Get your head out of that sheet music and focus on locking in the time, the appropriate dynamic requirements, and overall feel.