Friday, January 11, 2008

Advanced Drum Theory

Well, I suppose I should say Advanced for me, drum theory.

Something I was thinking of on the way to work this morning as I was listening to Change (By Justin King and the Apologies) and was probably influenced by Gavin Harrison's explanation of Polyrhythmic theory (see previous post for explanation).

Anyway this is something of a poly-rhythm idea (something I wouldn't have imagined a year ago). Right now it's mainly theory for me, I've tried it on my practice pads, but it doesn't really fit the style of music we use in praise team, so practical application will probably have to wait until the next Jam session. Okay here's the concept, say you've got a song in 4/4 a quarter note gets one beat, and there are four beats per measure, fairly basic stuff, here's where the theory comes in. Now phrasing has several definitions, but the general acceptance is that a phrase in music is a group of measures that seem to complete itself within a song. (A good example of a two bar phrase is Phil Collin's I don't care anymore. Eric Clapton's Change the world has a very present 4 bar phrasing. The Eagles Hotel California has a good 8 bar phrasing in it too).

Still with me? (Really? Even I got lost for a while there!) Okay so the concept of my poly-rhythmic theory works off of a phrasing, let's say you've got a 4 bar phrase of 4/4 that means there's 16 beats in the phrasing, a standard rock groove would place emphasis on two and four of every measure, now you could cause what GH refers to as a rhythmic illusion by taking the 16 beats, and then subdivide the counts, let's say two measure of 5 and then two of three, just an example.

I know it's nothing earth shattering, it's just something I'm working on myself.

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