A fun and useful method for devoting independent coordination

Griffman

Member
A fun and useful method for developing independent coordination

I have always wanted to develop a higher degree of independent coordination but was bored to tears using 4 way coordination and New Breed. For me the books weren't too hard ( very hard but not too hard to learn slowly with very focused attention). But they just didn't make practice fun or joyful. I think it's important to practice with joy for two good reason. First it's intrinsically motivating leading more practice. Second I believe that emotions are transmitted via music. If I am practice like a joyless accountant I am apt to play like a joyless accountant. I have come up with a method to use any groove to develop independent coordination. In the process I really develop my ability to make the groove sing and the coordination that is developed is often directly and practically useful as is. Basically I play even a simple rock beat in a variety of ways and when these variations are combined the possibilities are practically endless. Some of the basic variations I apply are:

Hi hat closes on
2 and 4
1, 2, 3, 4
Syncopated 8th notes (the "ans" one an two and etc.)

Open handed - switch left hand to hi-hat - right hand to snare

A variety of ride patterns
Quarter notes on the beat
Quarter notes off the beat
16 notes on hi hat right hand, left hand, and alternating hands starting with the left, and starting with right.
Afro-cuban patterns

Switch the snare and kick parts

If you have double pedal - bass drum pattern with left foot, and alternate feet

It seems to be way more fun than 4 way coordination, and more practical, at least for me. My independence has progressed in ways that male musical sense to me.

Does this seem to make sense to others as a method for developing independent coordination efficiently?
 
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evogel

Senior Member
If you practice the New Breed correctly, I don't think that you'd have any of the issues you describe.
Are you using a click? Are you trying to make it groove every time? Are you singing the "5th limb" parts? Are you adding extra reading material other than what's in the book as well? I can't imagine "joyless accountant" coming from that.....but everyone is different.

What you describe is what Gary Chaffee does in his Time Functioning Patterns book as well as a host of other people do in their books too. You can develop the patterns and combinations for yourself but realize that it has all been done before and those who've done it previously have given you a load of alternatives and extras to practice for further development.

Lastly, if you are looking for an additional book to practice independence, try 4-Way Coordination by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot Fine but I gotta add that, if you consider The New Breed to be "dry" I wonder what you'd think of 4-Way Coordination?!?!?

Eric
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
If you practice the New Breed correctly, I don't think that you'd have any of the issues you describe.
Are you using a click? Are you trying to make it groove every time? Are you singing the "5th limb" parts? Are you adding extra reading material other than what's in the book as well? I can't imagine "joyless accountant" coming from that.....but everyone is different.

What you describe is what Gary Chaffee does in his Time Functioning Patterns book as well as a host of other people do in their books too. You can develop the patterns and combinations for yourself but realize that it has all been done before and those who've done it previously have given you a load of alternatives and extras to practice for further development.

Lastly, if you are looking for an additional book to practice independence, try 4-Way Coordination by Marvin Dahlgren and Elliot Fine but I gotta add that, if you consider The New Breed to be "dry" I wonder what you'd think of 4-Way Coordination?!?!?

Eric
You are right in that what he's doing sounds like Chafee's stuff. I can imagine some people being bored by practicing New Breed et al. I can practice paradiddles in 7 for 2 hours and be fine but I know some really good players that would scream after 5 minutes of that.

I would say to practice the New Breed stuff to a sequenced track or a song that it fits in as opposed to just the click if its boring. That should work.

I find that practicing anything to music as opposed to a click makes it much more less clinical.

Also, he actually did mention in his post that he has worked on the book 4 Way Coordination.
 

Griffman

Member
Thank you both for the feedback. I am recently returning to drums after a thirty year hiatus. I developed this method as a supplement while working out of a book called "rockin' bass drum" in the seventies as a way to keep up with all the music I was hearing at the time (Ohio Players, AWB, and the sound comming out of Philly). I turned it into more of a system only now in response to my experience with the Fine book and a desire to surpass the drumming I did so long ago now. Thanks to to the great info I have been finding on the forum i have been practicing to drumless tracks or just a bass track. Even with very technical exercises. Also using the metronome and find it helpful to sometimes have it set to the smallest subdivision I will be playing. I have been doing the counting and singing thing but perhaps not as much as would be most effective. I do find it true that singing the song is a great antidote to overplaying. I figured "my" method would be a time saver that allowed me to work on playing a better groove and independance at the same time. I didn't give New Breed as much of a chance as the Fine book mostly because I got the impression from posts on the forum that they are similar in their abstraction away from traditional grooves. I kind of worried that I would get lost in learning what is known as instructional books that separate the men from the boys instead of working on groove, tempo, touch, feel, etc. I am sure you can work on all that with any book but the fine book was far from user friendly in that regard. Maybe I should give New Breed more of chance or even work harder at making the Fine book groove. it's hard to find more than a couple of hours a day to practice and I am finding so many deficits in my playing that I didn't notice as a younger less mature person. I am reworking my grip and learning brushes and those two books (four way and new breed) just didn't seem fun and practical enough to make the time investment worth it in terms of trying to become a more competent drummer. I have heard about the chaffee books but only enough to know that they are hard and some great drummers have used them when they were already well on there way to becoming great. I suppose most drum books start as a collection of variations/permutations that someone needed to develop some desired proficiency. I certainly am well aware that whatever I come up with is something many other more competent and thoughtfull drummers have already covered more exhaustively. Still it is fun to create my own cirriculum based on my own insights and I hope it will serve me well. If I had unlimited time I would use some of it to learn 4 way and New Breed and all the Chaffee books as well. For now though I need to make sure I can just lock down grooves. Doing the whole Fine book or New Breed would be an accomplishment but not sure it would serve my primary goal - become a subtle and tasteful pocket drummer that other musicians are glad to work with.
 
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