I had a great time playing and teaching this chant as it came out a lot more organic than I first intended. There will be more on the word “organic” later. The things to notice are how the kick and snare mirror each other. The phrases are identical. This was highly influenced by the music of James Brown. “Say It Loud I’m Black And I’m Proud” is a reference now that I think about it. I listened to that cut a lot as a very young boy watching the turntable spin as the funk took me over. Boom, bap, bap, boom, bap is how “Say It Loud” begins. Boom, boom, bap, bap is how this one begins! The pedaled hat/ride helps to establish the landmarks between kick and snare. There are many areas to consider where the spaces occur which is the center theme of all chants. The point is to always keep track of the shape in order to keep place and make music. One more point is to realize how easy it is to slip into a duple feel while learning this chant. It can be played in duple with the slightest shift in feel so be aware of keeping the triple feel bounce.
A new approach is used to remember the form of this chant. Subdividing the frame into three long beats and two short beats creates Long, Long, Long, Short, Short or LLLSS. Always remember: a Long beat is 3 pulses and a Short beat is 2 pulses. This is a much easier way of retaining the shape instead of counting. Although the chart written uses a simple pattern similar to the cymbal and kick drum, the cymbal pr ride can be played various ways as demonstrated in the video with the accompanying music. The key point is to play the chant inside the framework of LLLSS. Once this is mastered at 160BPM, the chant can be performed at faster tempos.
Double bass drum technique is a combination of thigh and ankle muscle movements that I recommend playing heel up. The chart for this lesson looks insane but is easy to understand when looking at the bass drums as broken triplets. The first note of every triplet is held in place by the snare drum as a ghost note and the second and third notes are played on the bass drum every time. This can be played in any time signature in duple and triple. This triplet figure played between the snare and kick creates a flurry of notes that are played in fixed frame. When hearing this lesson as a duple chant in 13, placement of triplets are easier to grasp. Tempo variations become smoother with repetition.
This is the most difficult, simplistic, independent, and synchronistic of chants. Like others, there are numerous ways to understanding the chant. One example: 4 triplets plus one pulse. Another is how the hat and ride stay the same (opposite each other) while the snare and kick shift underneath. The play along track emphasizes the weights of the bass drum demonstrating its simplicity while all other limbs are independent cycles. You can use this chant to work on independence alone. Or you can concentrate on the pedaled hi hat. Whatever methods you choose will help you achieve what few can accomplish and put their minds to.