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Old 03-22-2015, 08:05 PM
futuresounds futuresounds is offline
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Default Trying to master limb independence with J. Chapin's "Advanced Techniques"

I'm working through Jim Chapin's Advanced Techniques, and find myself having trouble with the section that makes the bass drum a part of the voicing. I can play the snare & bass drum parts with the HH on 2 & 4. But adding in the ride pattern (and really playing the pattern as opposed to just playing quarter notes) results in things falling apart. Even playing the pattern slowly can be a bear.

Unlike some, it takes me a while to develop the coordination and muscle memory when all four limbs are playing discrete patterns. Have any of you with similar challenges found a good routine or exercise for working through them?

Last edited by futuresounds; 03-26-2015 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:30 PM
futuresounds futuresounds is offline
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Default Re: Trying to master limb independence with J. Chapin's "New Techniques"

Making progress. I'm finding I can (eventually) master the patterns once I first get the voicing down between the right foot and left hand. Once I've completed that task, I'm able to add *either* the HH or the ride pattern (which is harder at first).

I usually try to master the pattern with the RF, LH, and HH and then work on the pattern with the RH. Once I get the voicing down with the ride pattern, adding in the HH later on is easier.

I'm not sure this is the best strategy, but it's working. I wish their was a more "efficient" way to proceed.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:00 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Trying to master limb independence with J. Chapin's "New Techniques"

The only part that really has meaning by itself is the ride pattern-- if you're going to break it down, I would try to always have the ride going. Instead of thinking of it as a collection of independent lines, make one thing out of it-- be clear on the overall rhythm formed by all the parts together, and then figure out the four-limb "sticking" to play the complete pattern-- it will be combinations of single notes and unisons between two or more limbs.

Breaking it down to two-beat chunks, starting on beat 2 or 4, can also help.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:20 PM
futuresounds futuresounds is offline
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Default Re: Trying to master limb independence with J. Chapin's "New Techniques"

Thanks, Todd. I *love* your site. And your transcriptions are always great.

Approaching the exercises as a unified piece of music is certainly giving me trouble, if only because I find myself able to play 2 or 3 of the voices well. It's hard not to focus on the one limb that's not cooperating. Once I train my ears to focus on that one limb, it tends to work for a while before other limbs start to revolt. Does that make sense?

Anyway, your advice underscores why hearing the music/exercise is so helpful. My copy of Chapin is older so I don't have the CDs. But I'll revise my approach along the lines you suggest.
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:18 AM
BrokenStick BrokenStick is offline
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Default Re: Trying to master limb independence with J. Chapin's "Advanced Techniques"

I'd hoped somebody more experienced with this book would chime in, and it looks like one has. It's been years since I worked from Chapin, but I didn't approach it first, so those first hand-foot combinations weren't so foreign to me. One other thing you might try is to sing the hand-foot combination while playing the ride and hi-hat pattern. Might also try breaking the measure up into halves or even quarters if necessary. And you could always try playing the first page of Stick Control (swung) against the ride pattern. Maybe take those first hand exercises in Chapin and try playing those with the foot.
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