Every time I sit behind the kit immediately after setting up for a gig, I do this warm up exercise to loosen my wrists and ankles. This is not something I practice with a metronome nor is this something I am very technical about. For the sake of explanation and clarification, I demonstrate with a metronome at 80 BPM, 120 BPM and 180 BPM. The pedaled hat demonstrates the spaces the doubles fall into. This happens to be in 3 but like I said before, this is not the point. The point is to play this figure loosely and very fast to loosen the wrists and ankles.
This chant was originally performed by drummer Gene Lake on alto saxophonist Henry Threadgill’s album Spirit Of Nuff…Nuff [released 1990 Black Saint]. The composition is titled “Hope A Hope A”. This chant was mostly inspired by Gene Lake’s style and approach. I always found his style to sound loose. The cymbal part alone gives this Hip Hop chant a loose overlay. The doubles on the bell are key to that looseness.
In this lesson, I demonstrate what I call “two hand doubles and one kick double.” That means each hand does one double once and then the kick does a double once. This is literal. For example, beginning with the right hand you get RRLLKK. Beginning with the left hand you get LLRRKK. It’s very simply in concept. It’s a great exercise to play around the kit moving from drum to drum even cymbals and hats. You can simply start on any drum and the kick. Or just snare and kick. It really doesn’t matter what time signature you play this exercise in as it will fit any.
Doubles are a major part of my repertoire. I warm up with doubles at every gig for a few minutes to loosen up. I demonstrate “Doubles 2” with the click at 104 bpm as a moderate general tempo to work up to. To visibly simplify this, I wrote the chart using quarter and eighth notes so you can see that each note is separate and nothing lands together. This chant comes from my experimenting with “ghost” notes. Like I said earlier, I warm up with doubles at every gig and this chant is one of my main warm ups.