The chant begins with a pedaled hat and kick. The hat and ride keep the pulse on opposite ends. The first snare lands on the “a” of beat 2. Once that is established, everything takes shape. Tempo changes dramatically shift the feel of this particular chant. The slower the tempo results in a funkier feel. The faster tempo results in a robotic feel. It takes two measures to get back to the top of the chant. While improvising, as with all chants, it’s always best to keep the chant going mentally. Physically, by keeping the pedaled hat constant, it’s almost impossible to lose place as long as the ride cymbal is always opposite the hat. Again, Duple Chant in 5 #5 may sound simple, however strong focus and relaxation can help pull this off seamlessly.
This time we look at a chant in alternate ways. In 5, the chant makes most sense. The accompanying music is arranged in a flow that goes against the chant however it comes around at points. When seeing this in 3 the sound of the chant does not change however, the percussive perception alters. The bar line changes as the note values stay the same in 5 and 3.
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.
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.