A place for teachers to discuss issues to do with teaching
User avatar
By Carl
#28251
the rudiment discussion elsewhere reminded me of some things I use in class...
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there are 7 exercises (I keep intending to add more, but time is fleeting)

Ex. 1 and 2 are basic warm up techinques on the djembe, with simple dunun accompaniment.

Ex. 3 I refer to as a "pre-enchauf" with a pretty generic dunun accompaniment

Ex. 4 is individual 'roll 4s', again with a pretty simple dunun part. (you will notice that the dunun uses the x . x x . x x . pattern in the bell for ex. 3 and 4)

Ex. 5 is the first true enchauf, same for dununs

Ex. 6 has roll 4 strung together as it is most commonly used, the dununs play another application of the x . x x . x x . bell.

Ex. 7 is another enchauf with a different enchauf for the dununs (not sure if this is a traditional one, but it is a theoretical application of the basic idea)

The idea here is to develop fundimental skills on djembe and dununs. each exercise would be played off a call. At first a call would stop the group and restart them between ex. more advance would be to just change from one to the next on the call.

Thoughts?
Carl
User avatar
By michi
#28260
Carl wrote:the rudiment discussion elsewhere reminded me of some things I use in class...
for class.pdf
there are 7 exercises (I keep intending to add more, but time is fleeting)
Thanks for that!

That's nice warm-up stuff and generally good exercise. You could make up hundreds more like this.

In general, I'm very fond of exercises that train left-right independence and force a pattern to be played on both sides. Here is one example, a variation on a common Djole accompaniment:
Code: Select all
1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...
s.ss.stts.sbsstts.ss.stts.sbsstt
r.lr.lrlr.lrlrlrl.rl.rlrl.rlrlrl
The idea is to play the whole thing with strictly alternate handing, so the pattern ends up on the opposite side every four pulses. (I wouldn't play it like this normally, but it's a nice exercise.)

Here is another one of my favourites:
Code: Select all
1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..
sttsttsttsTTsttsTTsttsTT
r..l..r..l..l..r..r..l..

1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..
sttsttsttsTTsttsTTsttsTT
l..r..l..r..r..l..l..r..
The "TT" represents a three-roll, which throws you on the other side. Hand the slaps as shown, and you end up on the other side every eight pulses, forcing you to lead alternatingly left and right for the rolls.

A slightly more difficult variation is this one:
Code: Select all
1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..
sttsTTsttsttsTTsTTsTTsTT
r..l..l..r..l..l..l..l..

1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..
sttsTTsttsttsTTsTTsTTsTT
l..r..r..l..r..r..r..r..
The idea of these exercises is to help people to get over the phobia of rolling from their weaker side. These patterns are also good as focus exercises, helping people to feel the half-cycle of four pulses and the full cycle of eight pulses.

Michi.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#28262
michi wrote:so the pattern ends up on the opposite side every four pulses.
michi wrote:helping people to feel the half-cycle of four pulses and the full cycle of eight pulses.
just to clarify the terminology: I always use "pulse" for dots in the grid, like in an echauffement you play every pulse. for the numbers in the grid I always use the word "beat". Do I confuse things here or is it just a difference in German and English?

I sometimes do excercises like these, but not exactly often. Thinking about it, I do use some of those only for beginners, to give them a chance to get their sounds straight. I always wanted to come up with good excercises in a compendium for daily routine, but now this idea troubles me somehow. I would rather like actual patterns, the "vocabulary" of Malinke djembe drumming for those excercises whenever there is one available for the same effect. That would be nice, to search for the things a djembe player "should" be able to handle technically and then search for actual (and the most common) patterns and licks including those, don't you think?

btw, this discussion would fit to jons thread, I think, to continue what started there.
Last edited by djembefeeling on Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By michi
#28264
djembefeeling wrote:just to clarify the terminology: I always use "pulse" for dot in the grid, like in an echauffement you play every pulse. for the numbers in the grid I always use the word "beat". Do I confuse things here or is it just a difference in German and English?
I have no formal music training, so my terminology might be messed up. I use "beat" and "pulse" pretty much interchangeably. When I talk about the sub-divisions of a "pulse" or "beat", as in "one-e-and-a, two-e-and-a", I use the term "micro-pulse". (Quite possibly wrongly so; anyone with formal music training who can help me out here?)
I sometimes do excercises like these, but not exactly often. Thinking about it, I do use some of those only for beginners, to give them a chance to get their sounds straight. I always wanted to come up with good excercises in a compendium for daily routine, but now this idea troubles me somehow. I would rather like actual patterns, the "vocabulary" of Malinke djembe drumming for those excercises whenever there is one available for the same effect. That would be nice, to search for the things a djembe player "should" be able to handle technically and then search for actuall (and the most common) patterns and licks including those, don't you think?
To me, just about anything I do in terms of exercises on the djembe has some benefit. Whether the phrases are traditional or not is secondary, I think. There are exercises for focus, for speed, for left-right independence, for stamina, for feel… All of these have their place and are useful. In short: there is no such thing as a wasted minute on the drum.

I find the left-right independence exercises useful mainly because there are situations where I cannot play a particular solo phrase without being thrown on the "wrong side". So, to me, any exercise that removes fear from playing on the weak side is useful. If I master that, I don't seize up when I suddenly find in the middle of a solo that my strong hand with which I would like to continue isn't available right now because it's still busy :)

The examples I posted are just three of many. There are other warm-ups I use to help people deepen their understanding of pulsation, micro-pulses, traditional vs ballet handing, etc.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#28265
michi wrote: there is no such thing as a wasted minute on the drum.
I think this is very true! the only problem is: unfortunately, my time is limited. what whould be the best thing to do in this limited time is probably the key question for something like a compendium of excercises. to have the same effect on your technical skills while at the same time learning "vocabulary", wouldn't that be great?
User avatar
By michi
#28266
djembefeeling wrote:to have the same effect on your technical skills while at the same time learning "vocabulary", wouldn't that be great?
I take your point: there are exercises that are relevant in both a traditional sense as well as a technical sense. The second and third exercise I posted fall into that category, I think: they work both left-right indepence and traditional phrasing. (The sTT sTT phrase is common in both binary and ternary traditional rhythms.)

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Carl
#28276
My advice for limited time:

1 or 2 basic warmup techniques (you can build a huge list, but just use 1 or 2 per session)

Parts:
More or fewer depending on how much time you have, mix in easy ones with harder ones.

Solo techniques:
Full techniques as you have been taught, or as match a musical phrase.
If you have time, break the techniques down and make focus exercises for specific problems.

I have found that if I follow the traditional material (parts and taught solos) then most technical issues will come up at one time or another. As you start improvising more, you usually "find" the time to work in more practice (even at the expense of sleep... or friends)

Carl
By bkidd
#28291
regarding the above beat/pulse. typically, the beat or pulse would be the dominant feeling such as the numbers in the representation below. the dots are the sub-divisions the beat, which can be many and vary depending on the feeling and signature of the music.
Code: Select all
binary:
1...2...3...4...
ternary:
1..2..3..4..
carl, thanks for the exercises. i particularly liked seeing the dunun lines show how the exercises fit together with another instrument.

jürgen, as for the limited time issue. while i think there might be some exercises that will generalize/transfer to other techniques, practice specifically what you want to work on. focused practice is the only sure-fire way to improve that particular technique.

best,
-brian
User avatar
By alifaa
#28482
I learnt two really good ones from Simon Fraser while I was over in Ghana (yes, long way to go to learn from someone who is in my own country!!). The first one is a great warm up and it practices TSS triplets and alternating rolls. If you then transpose the slaps and tones, you can practice STT triplets with the same pattern. Sounds nice when swung too.
2 exercises
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When I start playing it just for mucking around, I always get lots of people asking which rhythm that part is from!!

The second one is a bit more full on with alternating rolls between bars. Again, you can transpose slaps and tones and practice the other side.

Hope this helps.

Wayne

p.s. Note to Mod: why can't we upload .pcc attachments anymore? Sure I have done so in the past...
User avatar
By michi
#28483
alifaa wrote:The first one is a great warm up and it practices TSS triplets and alternating rolls. If you then transpose the slaps and tones, you can practice STT triplets with the same pattern. Sounds nice when swung too.
Thanks for that, that's a nice exercise!
p.s. Note to Mod: why can't we upload .pcc attachments anymore? Sure I have done so in the past...
I don't think .pcc (Percussion Studio) attachment have ever been allowed. It probably is better to post MP3 or similar anyway because Percussion Studio only runs on Windows.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By djembefeeling
#28490
Here are some excercises I came up with, lately. Its usually very hard for people to play solo phrases right after the beat, so this is rather advanced stuff. the first measure is usually the same for every excercise, so this seeps in after a while. it is also a call-and-response structure. this stuff is much alike of what Stephan Rigert has in his book for solo handdrummers - I highly recommend that for daily practice!

edited to add: triangles symbolize slaps, circles stand for tons and squares for bass.
Attachments
(59.89 KiB) Downloaded 226 times
User avatar
By Carl
#28508
Very nice... I might need to steal this. ;-)

I've dealt with that problem as well. anything on the "off-off beats" is hard for many people to place.
Nice exercises.

C
By djembeweaver
#28829
Great exercises! I really like those double-in-between exercises. Very nice.

Regarding terminolgy, it's always difficult when there's no common language. I did classical trumpet up to grade 5 so I can tell you 'pulse' means in the classical system: It means where you'd normally tap your foot (every 4th note of a 4/4 echauffement).

I don't know of a term for the subdivisions because classical musicains talk about crotchets and quavers and minims. From a clasical point of view a rhythm in 4/4 would have 4 pulses in a bar (or measure). How you divide each pulse depends on what you are playing: You can divide it into 2, 4, or even 8 if you've got fast hands (as well as 3 and 6 of course). In classical music dividing into 2 creates quavers, dividing into 4 creates semi-quavers and dividing into 8 creates demi-semi-quavers. So instead of talking about sub-pulses or whatever, you just refer to quavers, semi-quavers etc.

If you haven't grown up with these terms they probably seem odd and clumsy. The system in the States seems to be different (at least as far as kit drummers are concerned). I'm pretty sure they call a whole beat a 'quarter' note (I suppose because there are 4 of them in a bar of 4/4), a half beat an 'eighth' note and so on. So an echauffment would consist of 16th notes - the smallest usual subdivision excepting rolls.

Maybe getting used to the US system might help communication in the forum.
By bkidd
#28830
djembeweaver wrote:
If you haven't grown up with these terms they probably seem odd and clumsy. The system in the States seems to be different (at least as far as kit drummers are concerned). I'm pretty sure they call a whole beat a 'quarter' note (I suppose because there are 4 of them in a bar of 4/4), a half beat an 'eighth' note and so on. So an echauffment would consist of 16th notes - the smallest usual subdivision excepting rolls.
Yeah, terminology can be a little confusing. I had some background in western classical musical theory prior to drumming so I was used to thinking in time signatures (4/4, 12/8, etc.). My first intro to term another form of classifying this was the use of binary and ternary in place of time signatures. I've also learned that some people (so far only Germans in my limited experience) use 16/8 as a signature instead of 4/4. The nice thing with terminology is that

In 4/4 time, the beats are are the quarter notes, with subdivisions typically being multiples of 2 (8th, 16th, 32nd). As you said, a 16th notes would be used to indicate all the notes in an echauffement and 32nd are used in rolls. 12/8 time is a little more complicated because one talks about dotted quarter notes as the pulse. That said, I welcome crotchets and quavers.

Best,
-Brian
By djembeweaver
#28831
Yeah, terminology can be a little confusing. I had some background in western classical musical theory prior to drumming so I was used to thinking in time signatures (4/4, 12/8, etc.). My first intro to term another form of classifying this was the use of binary and ternary in place of time signatures. I've also learned that some people (so far only Germans in my limited experience) use 16/8 as a signature instead of 4/4. The nice thing with terminology is that

In 4/4 time, the beats are are the quarter notes, with subdivisions typically being multiples of 2 (8th, 16th, 32nd). As you said, a 16th notes would be used to indicate all the notes in an echauffement and 32nd are used in rolls. 12/8 time is a little more complicated because one talks about dotted quarter notes as the pulse. That said, I welcome crotchets and quavers
There we go. I think it's probably better to stick to existing terminology rather than try to invent a new one: 'Pulse' refers to the number of beats in a bar and each pulse beat can be split into 32nd (demi-semi-quaver) notes, 16th notes (semi-quavers) or 8th notes (quavers).

It still works for compound time (6/8 and 9/8) since each pulse beat is normally represented as a dotted crotchet and so splits into 3 quavers (8th notes) or 6 semi-quavers for rolls.

Jon