Alan Dawson's Method


Junior Member
Hi all,
I am currently working with john ramsay's book "the drummer's complete vocabulary",
in which he passes down alan dawson's teaching method.

there is a section in the book which deals with various ways in which you can play exercises
from ted reed's book "syncopation".

one of the ways is to read "syncopation" while playing and humming odd time jazz tunes,
but he forgets to mention how do you actually read the 4/4 exercises while you are playing
odd time.

this is driving me crazy...
anyway, if anyone is familiar with the book and this part of it, any help would be appreciated.
the way i practice it is 1. snare plays the line ,then bass drum plays the line , then play the short notes(1/8th ) on snare and long notes(1/4) on bass drum while HH is on 2&4 and right is jazz ride pattern. hope that helps


Junior Member
thanks, that could work..
actually I'm thinking more about 5/4,
which means every 5 bars of syncopation is 4 in 5/4.
the problem with that is that it's not good for reading skills, and you have the ignore the implied melody that each bar has.


Silver Member
It seems like it would be good reading practice. You have to practice reading a text in 4 over a tune in 3.

You could take whatever page you're working from in Syncopation and rewrite each line into 5/4. Either just replace the bar lines to make bars of 5, or add an extra beat to each bar. Might take a little bit of time.


Junior Member
thanks guys,
i guess i will rewrite and try to read it...
just wish the book was more clear on this....
anyone know john ramsay ?


Platinum Member
Perhaps the idea isn't to rewrite it, but to learn to ignore the barline. I'm often encouraging my students to do just that when reading.

Moreover, the exercise would surely lead to a greater ability to phrase 5 through 4 and vice-versa. I imagine a good way to get this going would be to play along with some basslines in 3 or 5 and learn to feel the movement and resolution of 4 through those time signatures.