Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trading 4's Using Syncopation

Summary of the exercise
1.  Starting on pg. 34, play the written line with a swinging eighth note interpretation (on the beat = first note of a triplet, off the beat = third note of a triplet) and also play jazz feet throughout.

2.  Play continuous triplets with the written line as accents.

3.  Play continuous triplet rolls with the line as accents (each unaccented note of the triplet gets doubled).

4.  Play all eighth notes from the written line as accents on the snare drum, and all quarter notes or more on either the hi-tom or floor-tom, depending on which hand is playing them.  

5.  Pick one rhythm that you particularly enjoy and memorize it.

6.  Play four bars of time and then four bars of the rhythm you chose.

7.  Sing the melody of "Blue Monk" while trading fours with yourself, try to start transitioning from the rhythm back to time with some improvisation in the fourth bar.  

8.  While trading fours with yourself and singing "Blue Monk", play the written rhythm for two bars and improvise a response for two bars. 

Here are the steps of the exercise written out:
Trading 4's With Syncopation

Philly Joe Jones
If you want to learn some great vocabulary for trading 4's, Philly Joe is your man.  Here is a post I did about Philly Joe's 4's just recently.  I would recommend checking out the song "Billy Boy" from the album "Milestones" for a wealth of great 4's to learn from:

The Dawson Book
Here is a link to the Dawson book that I recommended in the video.  Alan Dawson was not only an incredible teacher, but he was also a great drummer!  Check him out with Sonny Rollins:

"Blue Monk"
Here is the melody that I am using in the video:


  1. Would you mind posting the sticking pattern for the fill around 7:56. Whatever I'm doing isn't mathematically adding up.

    1. Thanks for checking out the exercise! I have the rhythm written out in step five. The sticking would be Rllrr, LrrL, rrllrr, Lrrll (upper case=eighth note triplet, lower case=sixteenth note triplet). Let me know if that helps clarify.

    2. Yes, that helps a lot and makes more sense in my head now. I see where I am getting hung now. Thanks for doing the video and for the help!

  2. Magical. His style is exquisite.

  3. VERY well done. Nice progression/instruction in the lesson.

    1. Thank you so much for checking it out, and for the feedback!