Saturday, 14 September 2013

Confession #34 - 16th Note Boot Camp (Part 3)

Two weeks ago, we started a series of exercises to help you get comfortable with playing 16th notes, two per measure (Confession #32 - 16th Note Boot Camp (Part 1) ) and four per measure (Confession #33 - 16th Note Boot Camp (Part 2) ).

Intermediate Training 

This week we'll explore some exercises that use more complicated 16th note patterns and I'll show you a trick for translating them into something more familiar.  Below the exercises is an audio only YouTube video which demonstrates each of the exercises, and gives you something to play along with to practice.

Again, the demonstrations are at 60 beats per minute and when practicing the exercises without the video, use a metronome! (see Confession #5 - Use a Metronome!)

Exercise #6

The 6th exercise shows the impact of  sustaining 16th notes over the beat (in this case, Beat 2).

Exercise #6
(Click to Enlarge)

Count and pick this exercise as follows:

 1    & uh (2) ee &    3    &    4    & 
 d    d u      u  d    d    d    d    d 

At first glance this pattern may seem complicated, but watch what happens when we double the duration of each note:

 1    2 &  (3) &  4  | 1    2    3    4 
 d    d u      u  d  | d    d    d    d 

Does the first measure look familiar?  It's the folk rhythm (see Confession #10 - Learn the 'Folk' Rhythm!)!

Once you know how the folk rhythm sounds, it only takes a little bit of practice to translate it into a faster 16th note based version.  Steve Miller's 'The Joker' uses a 16th note folk rhythm pattern in the chorus.

Exercise #7

The 7th exercise shows the impact of sustaining 16th notes over the 'and' of the beat (in this case, the 'and' of Beat 1).

Exercise #7
(Click to Enlarge)

Count and pick this exercise as follows:

 1 ee (&) uh 2    &    3    &    4    & 
 d u      u  d    d    d    d    d    d 

Again, doubling the duration of each note may make it easier to understand this rhythm:

 1 & (2) &  3     4  | 1    2    3    4 
 d u     u  d     d  | d    d    d    d 

Once you've got the feel for it using 8th notes, you can translate it to 16th notes.


Next Week's Confession - Repeat & Vary (Improvisation 1)

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