Sunday, October 9, 2011

Brush circle comping

Hey everyone, happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there. I want to briefly touch on using circles of various sizes and note lengths in the left hand while keeping time with the right in 4/4 and 3/4 while using brushes. This is an idea used very successfully by great Canadian drummer Marty Morell, amongst others. The principles behind it are pretty simple. The longer the rhythmic duration you're trying to achieve, the bigger the circle. I've filmed a couple of examples to demonstrate this. First in 3/4 I've played dotted half notes, dotted quarter notes, and quartuplets in the circles with my left hand. Like so:

Another length of circle that I neglected to do in this is example would be half notes, which would give us something that would resolve every two measures. if you do that one make sure you're playing a one measure pattern in the right hand to still give it the feeling of 3/4.

Next up are some examples in 4/4. I start with a dotted half note and then go to a dotted quarter note, (all these examples will go across the bar line) then switch to a on again/off again figure that repeats every five 8th notes, then to a seven 8th note pattern of the same type.

I hope these examples give you some further repertoire to use when playing brushes.

P.S. For extra fun(?) try playing the melody to a tune in the right hand while playing some of these circle lengths in the left.

Happy turkey-day!