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.
This chant is a triple feel version of Duple Chant in 7 #2. It begins on the pedaled hat alternating with the ride. Although it sounds very simple, the thing to keep in mind is once you become solid playing it, you’ll notice how challenging it is to come back on the top of the chant when improvising inside the shape. I strongly recommend mastering the feel of this without improvising. Then you’ll have to practice improvising and coming back into the chant at the top. As stated in the previous lesson, Western drumming emphasizes returning to the top landing on the kick and cymbals. That is not the case here. You have to get used to coming out of improvising landing with the pedaled hat and snare.
Triplet feel is really spelled out with the pedaled opened hats and kick pattern. This creates the 3 against 4. It is critical that you understand 1E&A which is the code we will use from here forth. So in this case which are 3 beats per measure, each beat is divided by 4 which is 1E&A. So counting aloud in ¾ you say, “1E&A, 2E&A, 3E&A, 1E&A, 2E&A, 3E&A” and so on. The hat, kick and ride pattern do not change throughout. So understanding how they anchor is half the battle. Therefore, the hat falls on beats 1, 2, and 3. The kick falls on beats 1, A of 1, & of 2, and E of 3. The ride falls on E of 1, 2, A of 2, and & of 3. The snare pattern is the only part that alters. In the first measure, the snare falls on & of 1 and beat 3. In the second measure, the snare falls on E of 2 and A of 3. When playing 140 BPM and faster, the chant takes on a latin influenced sound.
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.