Category : Chants & Rhythms

Examples of creating a rhythmic phrase pattern and the examination of its compositional parts.

Elements Of One: Cuba, USA, Senegal, India, France 1995 – 1999

This movie documents the cultural connection of Africa to the Americas, Asia and Europe. This covers interactions, deep studies, interviews, performance clips, rehearsals and more under the direction of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman from 1995 – 1999. Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 1.18.31 AMThe journey extends from Egypt, Cuba, Senegal, India and France. As many artists explore the roots and history of creative culture, Elements of One is unparalleled as well as unprecedented.

Triple Chant in 5 #2

The snare/kick pattern loops for three measures with an extra kick in the last measure. The tricky thing is the ride cymbal which can also be played on cowbell. Then there are the pedaled hats beginning on beat 2. It pedals every other beat (2, 4, 1, 3, 5). Nothing lands together except the ride and snare on beat 5 in every measure. Five tempos are demonstrated: 100 BPM, 120 BPM, 140 BPM, 160 BPM, and 180 BPM. I highly recommend performing the chant at each click speed for at least 5 minutes per tempo.

Duple Chant in 5 #3

I grew up in front of a turntable and listened to James Brown in the 70’s and 80’s. Cylde Stubblefield and John Jabo Starks propelled James Brown’s music to unparalleled influence in music history. It is accurate and honorable to say this lesson is inspired by Stubblefield and Starks. Duple Chant in 5 #3 takes shape demonstrated in slow, medium, fast and high velocity tempos. It is important to vocalize the chant with the click track while playing and not under your breath, but loudly. This increases memory necessary to playing the form at all times especially while improvising. Vocalizing is how most successful rehearsals happen backstage by the way! As with most chants, you can break the chant up into two parts. 1) Kick and snare. 2) Pedaled hat and ride. Notice the dynamics from low stick volume control to moderate during the performance.

Triple Chant in 3 #2

Simple in nature and complex in reality. The kick lands on the downbeat one time in measure one on the first beat. The hat comes in on beat two in the first measure. The ride cymbal creates a layer of off beats. The snare is always on beats two and three of every measure as in a waltz. Playing this in repetition requires consistent mental focus. The slightest drifting thought can throw any limb off especially the ride cymbal. This is the ultimate chant that builds synchronicity.