Monday, July 06, 2020

Transcription - Milton Banana, "Doralice"

A little while back when we looked at the Milton Banana transcription of "Cidade Vazia" I mentioned that some of the jazz influenced Brazilian drummers of the 1960s didn't always follow a specific rhythmic direction, and I hypothesized that part of this may have simply ignorance on their part.  While that could potentially be true for some drummers, it's clearly not the case with Milton Banana.  On the album Getz/Gilberto Banana puts on a clinic on how to properly improvise within the confines of rhythmic direction.  And he's doing it on nothing more than a hi-hat.  We've seen João Gilberto using minimal percussion to great effect before when we looked at Sonny Carr.

If you look at the first and third bar of each line you'll notice that with only two exceptions Banana always starts the phrase with two 8th notes.  In the second and fourth bars of each line there is no instance where he plays a note on the downbeat.  Of course telecoteco goes deeper than just being on the beat one bar, then off the beat the next, but this simply highlights the fact that Banana is staying true to that rhythmic direction.

Also note how subtle Banana is with his improvisation.  He's improvising quite a bit.  On very few occasions does he play the same phrase twice in a row.  But he's never more than a note or two away from a stock telecoteco pattern; an 8th note turned into two 16th notes here, a note omitted there.

The transcription below shows only the accent pattern, but this is filled in with 16th notes through the entire song.  As with the other transcriptions of this style that we've done try orchestrating in different ways around the kit, and with different patterns in your other limbs.  A few ideas to get you started:


  • With brushes, play the transcription with the 16th notes filled in in your right hand, and sweep with your left hand
  • Play 16th notes on the hi-hat and read the transcription on a rim click
  • Play 16th notes on the hi-hat and read the transcription with both hand, sometimes playing a rim click, and sometimes playing an accent on the hi-hat.  This works particularly well when playing the bass drum just on beat two.  We saw Cuca Teixeira do this in one of the first ever posts on this blog
  • Read the transcription on the ride cymbal, and:



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