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ISSUE #46 \__\__\___THE____/__/__/ Oct 5, 2000
_____________TEMPO DISPATCH _____________
Newsletter For Drummers and Drumming Enthusiasts
Copyright Bill Powelson 2000 all rights reserved.
____________'IT'S ALL ABOUT DRUMS'__________
Tips * Tricks * Hints * Ads * Freebies * Lessons *
_________NOW 4,119 SUBSCRIBERS!___________
TABLE OF CONTENTS: What is in this issue?
1. Feature Article:
BASIC DRUMMING MATH = SWISS-WATCH-TIMING!
2. Humor? TO-DO LIST: Before you start a web site :>)
(This discussion is for ALL drummers of ALL LEVELS.)
Why is BASIC DRUMMING MATH SO important!
Though we are focusing on the BASICS here . . . These
thoughts are REALLY directed at PRO-DRUMMERS who may
NOT be aware of BASIC DRUMMING MATH, and WHY the actual
MATH is SO IMPORTANT.
Though you may have been playing professionally,
half your life . . . these points might never occur to
you without some special illustration . . . or thought.
WHAT WILL THIS DISCUSSION DO FOR YOU?
* It should help improve your timing.
* It will help you SEE the MUCH BIGGER rhythmic picture.
* It should help you to improve 'natural rhythmic flow'
as you play 'live' or with recordings . . .
* It will (hopefully) offer BRAND-NEW AREAS of CREATIVITY.
NUMBER PATTERNS . . .
What's with the numbers?
As we view the popular 'Basic Dance Beats' it should quickly
become apparent that those beats function much like the gears
in a car . . .
OR . . . We might do BETTER to visualize those gears as
being in a FINELY-TUNED, SWISS-WATCH!
Songs of slower speeds or tempos will need more teeth
(cymbal notes) in each gear. Feeling the right number
of 'teeth' (cymbal notes) will help stabilize and solidify
your tempo. You'll experience a decreased tendency towards
dragging and rushing (speeding up & slowing down.)
WE ALL NEED SWISS-WATCH TIMING!
Most of the POPULAR beats are based on nothing more than two
actual beats . . . BOOM-CHICK, DOWN-UP or ON-OFF (whichever
terminology you prefer.)
I'm referring to the bass-drum/snare-drum pulse as the
beats repeat within any song in 2/4, 4/4, 6/4, 8/4, and other
'even' numbered time signatures.
THE NUMBER PATTERNS WE'RE DISCUSSING are determined
by the right hand on the hi-hat (or ride) . . . dependant
on how quickly or slowly we are playing our two repeating
bass/snare beats (the tempo.)
If the two beats are 'spaced' or 'timed' slowly,
at great lengths from each other . . . as in
BOOM . . . . . . . CHIC . . . . . . . we'll need MORE
notes on the hat to fill the long gaps in time.
As our two beats become 'spaced' or 'timed' EVER CLOSER,
as in BOOM-CHIC, less notes (or teeth) will be needed
in each gear.
In other words, it's a MATH thing. Faster beats (songs)
require LESS fill notes on the hat. Slower beats (songs)
suggest MORE fill notes on the hat.
AND . . . there is a pre-designed mathematical structure
to the whole thing! (Whether we agree or not.)
It's a MATH THING!
If you SEE it . . . your playing could improve
MORE IMPORTANTLY . . .
This math sets the stage for another round of
DEEPER math that will blow the lid off your playing completely.
Each BASIC BEAT STRUCTURE defined above,will contain
a finite set of PERMUTATIONS (or variations.) You won't see
those VERY IMPORTANT patterns until you can see the BASICS,
CLEARLY . . .
PERMUTATIONS are dependant on the number of cymbal notes
within each repetition of a specific beat structure.
This concept will ripple throughout the entire
time-signature system . . . NAMING and NUMBERING virtually
every potential beat pattern in the musical universe and
those numbers run into the Zillions.
This is all VERY EASY to see . . . if you know what
you are looking for. You won't need a PHD in rocket
science to see it. I teach it to 12-year-olds all the time.
Yes! All the 'funk', 'fatback', 'independence',
'Ska', 'Reggae' and/or virtually any other rhythmic
drumming study you've ever heard of . . . will exist within
All this is covered in my complete course . . .
I'm simply trying to make you become aware of
the importance . . .
MORE HELP . . .
Look at all the dance beats VERY CLOSELY and
focus on just the cymbals . . .
LESSON #3: The Basic Beat Structures . . .
See the 4 + 4 cymbals (in 16th rock, dance beat #1)
See the 3 + 3 cymbals (in Blues, dance beat #2)
See the 2 + 2 cymbals (in 8th rock, dance beat #3)
Notice that dance beat #4 doesn't seem to conform (visually.)
See the 1 + 1 cymbals (in 4th rock, dance beat #5)
Dance beat #4 (shuffle) is weird because it is really
based on the Blues beat. It doesn't seem to
fall into the pattern (numerically) though it actually does
We can't get way from this math . . . The sooner
we embrace it . . . the sooner we'll REALLY SEE the much
bigger odd-time-signature and permutations, picture in the
ULTRA ADVANCED lessons of the course.
Keep thinking . . . and playing!
Enroll to see the rest of this discussion . . .
(in the Ultra Advanced lessons.) This info alone
is worth the price of the 125-lesson course.
People wonder how I can keep up with the e-mail.
It's easy! I TRULY DO LOVE all this. I wouldn't
be out here on the web at all . . . if NOT for the e-mail!
About half of the lessons in the course are a direct
result of YOUR e-mail exchanges.
Write me any time! :>)
TO-DO LIST: Before you Build your Web site . . .
Before you start to build your first
web site, there are a few things
that you really should do.
- Get a portrait made of yourself. This
will serve to remind your family of who
you were before you began to transform
into that which you will soon become.
- Install a CU-See-Me (Webcam) enabled
computer at the dining room table. This
will enable you to attend family dinners
by video conference.
- Prepare a list for each child to explain
why you no longer attend ball games, Scout
meetings, school functions and the like. Do
not bother making one for your spouse. He
or she will come up with their own, and you
really don't want to know what they are.
- Create some pithy answers to several
questions you will be expected to respond
to online, such as:
What are you doing still up?
Don't you have a life?
Does your family let you get away with this?
- Learn to say 'Honey, I am almost done with
this. If I can just stay focused for a few more
days, I'll return to normal. I promise.
- Stock up on libido reducing potions.
- Keep a diary of what you used to do pre-web.
It is important to have a roadmap to help you
find your way back.
- Learn to grovel and beg, so that you will
be able to ask online people for help with
the little problems that come up.
This topic could save you YEARS and offer you renewed ambition.
END OF TEMPO DISPATCH #46 Oct 5, 2000
Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.