Category : Lessons

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Triple Chant in 9 #2

This is a slight change of feel from the previous chant Duple Chant in 9 #2 as it alters the complete perception here. The shape is basically the same as before however, the environment morphs into a swing. All chants can be performed and written in duple or triple feel. The understanding of where the notes fall and the ability to develop the natural shift from duple to triple is within the reach of a solid drummer. The same background music accompanying the drum chant is used specifically using the guitar to help shape the triple feel.

Duple Chant in 9 #2

Weights refers to the specific turning points inside chants. Weights can also be looked at as accents or the overall “skeleton” as I like to call it. Here, the chant is subdivided in 9 by groups of 2/3/3/1 or 2/3/4. The chant neatly fits into the hat and bell-shifting pattern. The weights 2/3/3/1 or 2/3/4 completes the full cycle. The chant begins with a pedaled hat at the top alternating with the bell of the ride cymbal. The top of the chant comes around every two times. Notice how the characteristics change dramatically at only three tempos of 120, 200 and 250 BPM.

Duple Chant in 5 #5

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.

Blue Whale/Los Angeles Residency Featuring Steve Coleman & Five Elements December 14, 2016

During our second residency since our first appearance in Downtown Los Angeles at the club Blue Whale in 2014, our band conducted daily three hour workshops followed by two sets of nightly performances.
15391294_10154929316364284_6313977484603794744_oThe workshops allowed musicians as well as anyone merely interested to get an insider’s look into how Coleman’s approach to composition works. Coleman led lengthy explanations that were more like briefings on a specific subject that usually tied into another such as harmony and leading tones. Or another example is rhythm concentrating on triple (ternary) feel versus duple feel. Workshops were as spontaneous as performing onstage because the main goal was to cover as much material as possible on any and all subjects involving music composition. So, in a sense, workshops never really end.
The performances were a way to express and demonstrate the material covered in workshops.