Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ratamacues Around the Drums

Time to put those rudiments back to work.  Many of the jazz greats used/use the ratamacue as a fill around the kit, so let's do a bit of it ourselves.

Philly Joe Jones comes to mind in particular when I think of this:

And I've heard Jeff Hamilton turn this around and come up the drums, playing the grace notes on the bass drum, like so:

Philly Joe and Jeff Hamilton generally play both of these in a closed interpretation, meaning they are playing a true ruff which comes just before the primary note, not in any specific time.  But as we've discussed before on the blog, these rudiments can also be played with an open interpretation wherein the grace notes become measured, and are played on the note prior to the primary note.  So this....

....becomes this:

Putting this open interpretation on the kit gives us something similar, but with a different vibe to it.

If we take this one step further we may be pushing the boundaries of what a ratamacue truly is, as it's now closer to being a double paradiddle, but we can get a whole series of new ideas nonetheless by playing the grace notes (which sort of cease to be grace notes) on the two 8th notes prior to the primary note as opposed to the two 16th notes before it.  I recently saw Edu Ribeiro playing an idea like this, and brighter tempos it sounds very cool.

And finally, with everything now being evenly spaced it frees us up to move the idea more freely throughout the bar.

Here is everything above neatly organized into one sheet.  Drop me an e-mail if you'd like a PDF.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Edu Ribeiro Baião Language

For those of you wanting to dig a little bit deeper into Forró rhythms, here is a sheet I've put together of some Baião language.  I transcribed these particular phrases from some Edu Ribeiro recordings, so they were all played on the drum set, but they very closely, if not identically, emulate rhythms that you will hear played on zabumba in a traditional Forró ensemble.

If you aren't familiar with some of the basics of Baião you may want to check out the post I wrote about it awhile back, but a stock interpretation would look something like this:

The sheet below contains variations, and fills.  None of these are really intended to be looped over and over like a groove.  Rather, they should be peppered in with a basic Baião as the music dictates.  This sheet makes a great supplement to the Baião Builder.  To create a nice little exercise out of this work out a pattern using the Baião Builder that feels good to you.  Then, create a four-bar phrase by playing the pattern for three bars, and adding in each of the new ideas below in the fourth bar.  Then work out another Baião pattern and do the whole thing again.  Or, add the new phrases to measure three to create an AABA sort of feel.  Do bear in mind though that these new ideas are not only limited to fills, or phrase endings.  You should play them anywhere in the music that you feel is appropriate.

Only the bass and rim/snare parts are shown here as they will work with any of the cymbal variations on the Baião Builder.