These two Waltz chants are the basic approaches to playing in 3/4. The difference between the two chants are where the snare lands. In the first chant the snare is on beats 2 and 3. The kick is on beat 1. In the second chant the snare lands on beat 2. The kick is on beats 1 and 3. Please make a note that I refer to Waltz 2 as “measures 6 – 8”. At the time this video was produced, I was referring to the first chart I wrote and then I re-wrote the chart. So, at 4:25 please refer to Waltz Chant 2.
Years of Saturdays at 5pm were spent watching Don Cornelius’ Soul Train. The musical guests were performing live in the 70’s which later became lip synced in the 80’s onward. During my pre-teen years I was super excited about any music I could get my hands on in any format. My family had a great collection of albums. At my grandparents place in Hyattsville, MD Uncle Wayne had a lot of vinyl because of his deejaying. He would professionally deejay part time. Then my other Uncle Joey had a decent amount of vinyl and so did my mom in Silver Spring, MD. I was tapping into music my friends turned me on to as well. My beginning staples were basically Funkadelic, Al Green, Kiss, James Brown and Hendrix. Then came the wave of other artists such as The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Sly and The Family Stone, Mother’s Finest, Prince, Brothers Johnson, The Gap Band, The Jimmy Castor Bunch, Otis Redding and The BarKays, The O’Jays, Chaka Khan and Rufus, The Ohio Players, Gladys Knight and The Pips (whom I met at Shady Grove Theater, MD back in the 70’s), The Spinners (whom I also met at the same theater and I tried to run onstage and jump on the drums when I was 5 years old), The Dramatics, The Stylistics, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Isley Brothers, Pleasure, and a slew of other R&B artists I was constantly exposed to casually in my young life. There were various radio programs I checked out which were either rock or r&b. My interest in jazz and instrumental music happened later. When I was a very young kid pop music was basically my main musical interest. There was a natural growth of exposure that shifted from time to time. But I stayed pretty consistent with my interests. In the 70’s and 80’s the dial in my mom’s car was tuned to WKYS, WHUR, or WOOK and sometimes WOL. The “Quiet Storm” during evenings was a hosted radio show which featured a mellow r&b playlist that was the 70’s version of the 50’s Doo Wop Era. I was getting a musical education that lent to my dynamics as a musician that would later serve me well professionally. Listening to all that laid back R&B and Soul Ballads was essential to my development. I didn’t realize it at the time because music was happening so much in my daily life it was as common a function as breathing and walking. When my grandfather Joseph Morris Sr was alive he was always swinging. I mean he was literally in swing mode. He would say, “Hey partner let’s go to the store” and then he would smack his teeth like he was swinging on the sock cymbal. He did this ALL THE TIME and I didn’t realize it and the impact it had on me until years and years later. And man let me tell you, my grandfather supported me like no other. He loved me and everything I was interested in which of course was simply, music. I had this Yamaha drum catalog in 1980 with a picture of this huge Terry Bozzio-like drum kit on the cover and I remember my grandfather saying to me, “Sean, if I could get you those drums I would.” It’s a blessing to have support like that and I had it everywhere from the rest of my family and all of my friends. This is something that everyone doesn’t have and it has everything to do with why I created thericklessons. Support is key to growth. I’ve run into people that haven’t had the same support I’ve had. I even have friends that were literally kicked out of their families for having the desire to work in music. The expectation of some parents for their children can create such a hindrance and division, I find it to be shameful and just unfortunate. A developing musician learns early in life that rejection comes from many places. One place it didn’t come from for me was at home. That was a blessing I never took for granted and used to the fullest. During the 70’s I was as influenced by Westernized pop culture a bit more than the average scruffy kid. I had a crush on a girl in grade school and I gave her my ice cream money everyday. When my mother found out, she came to my school and took me to Washington Music Center in Wheaton, MD. She bought me a guitar. I had no idea what made her do that but it took my mind off girls big time for a while until I was a late teen. I learned a few chords, scrapped the book I was studying and immediately started writing my own music. I got the kid next door to be the lead singer while I did backup vocals and guitar to my first tune in ’78 called “La La Baby”. It was silly of course but I was on the road to establishing my identity.
I always try to find an excuse to write music within the triplet feel. Some people call it a six or twelve. I like to refer to it as the triplet feel because that’s the basis for the general rhythms everywhere in this particular style of music. I performed all the backing tracks that are just bass and guitar. It’s good to be familiar with another musician’s playing that is relaxed and not pushing or dragging. I have the luxury of demonstrating this repeatedly and I hope it serves the purpose of everything sounding relaxed.
This chant expands from previous Rock Chants 1, 2, and 3. The hat and snare are very basic again because they are the common thread in the basics of Western 4 beat rock/r&b/pop music. For any drummer beginning and exposed to Western Music, the basic snare and hi hat are the measuring stick. This music was made for inclusion. It’s meant to be easily understood and shared. Notice the open hat which only happens on the “and” of beat 4 every second measure. The kick drum notation using the dotted 8th tied to the 16th adds a funky touch. This very basic figure opens a new dimension and turns this basic chant (morphed from Rock Chant 1) into a Funk Chant. It serves a specific style and immediately demonstrates how a minimal shift or figure that happens every so often takes the chant into a different world. One or two notes is all it takes to create a style.