Gary Chaffee PATTERNS: Your experiences and suggestions

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Just thought I'd start a thread on the Patterns series! I'm just starting to get into these books and would love your valuable input..
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Just ordered a few of these myself. Sticking Patterns arrived yesterday, but as yet all I've had time to do is thumb through the book. Hopefully, Time Functioning and Technique Patterns will arrive in the next few days and I'll order Rhythm and Meter and quite possibly the Linear book soon too. I look forward to disappearing "down the rabbit hole" with these over the next several years and seeing what I can come up with.

I take it you've seen forum member Mighty_Joker's excellent YouTube series on the books?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di4usWl4brU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7v5Gjd_MLo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-eDSSQSHJE


It was his enthusiasm for them that prompted me to take the plunge despite the fact I have several other books I'm still madly working away at. Still, the ability to pick and choose, visit and revisit the material I now have will keep me occupied forever.....at least I know you'll never see a "what should I practice?" thread started by me. :)
 
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whitecatcafe

Senior Member
I take it you've seen forum member Mighty_Joker's excellent YouTube series on the books?
Yes Pocket, I have exhausted all of the threads on the Chaffee books that I could find here. I was hoping for some more input. I mean, these are classic books! Honestly, I was anticipating way more threads and posts but was shocked at the results. Maybe there aren't as many people working on this stuff as I thought, which is both surprising and disappointing.
 

Rberg

Junior Member
With a little creativity, the patterns series offers limitless possibilities for developing new musical vocabulary. I've used them for years, and studied with Gary some years ago. His patterns video series expands on some of the ways he suggests working on the material and is almost a complete methodology of how to develop new ideas. I've shared advice via private messages with a few forum members on how to work on the patterns series. Mighty_Joker might still have a copy of the info I sent him: extensive ideas for how to begin work on the books. That's part why I think the patterns series is so great; there are endless numbers of ways to work on it and though Gary outlines some excellent ways, you can really get creative with how you do it.

edit: The videos aren't released as "patterns series" but as "Phrasing and Motion" and "Sticking Time, Linear Time, Rhythm and Meter."
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
"Sticking Time, Linear Time, Rhythm and Meter."
Saw that for a reasonable price just recently. I did wonder at the time if it was designed as a supplement to the books. Do you think it makes a good addition from the outset, or am I better just starting off with the suggestions Gary outlines in the books themselves and coming back to the DVD for more extensive ideas at a later time?
 

Rberg

Junior Member
Saw that for a reasonable price just recently. I did wonder at the time if it was designed as a supplement to the books. Do you think it makes a good addition from the outset, or am I better just starting off with the suggestions Gary outlines in the books themselves and coming back to the DVD for more extensive ideas at a later time?
The dvds are good from the beginning, even if you don't use certain sections right away. The concepts are good in their own right, and many can be used without a deep study of the books. In fact, many sections develop 1 or 2 ideas extensively, and are relatively easy to do. Ideally the concepts can be applied to anything. The VHS used to come with a sheet with some stuff written down, so you didn't even need the book to make use of it. In fact, the explanations and demonstrates are so clear that I don't remember even looking at the sheet more than once. That was some time ago though.
 

Rberg

Junior Member
Could you PLEASE share this info with the rest of us here? I know that we could all benefit from it greatly!
Sure, I could put something together for you. Keep in mind, it would only be my approach based on my years with the books, my use of the books with numerous students, and my studies with Gary. If you get a chance, I highly recommend studying with him in person, as last I heard he's been teaching again for the past two years.

Anything in particular you're interested in? I like the idea of a thread where people share the ideas they've come up with while working on the books, and I'm also surprised there isn't one. I think it's a sign of the strength of the material; everyone who plays the books or studied with Gary sounds different, based on what they're interested in musically.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Sure, I could put something together for you. Keep in mind, it would only be my approach based on my years with the books, my use of the books with numerous students, and my studies with Gary. If you get a chance, I highly recommend studying with him in person, as last I heard he's been teaching again for the past two years.

Anything in particular you're interested in? I like the idea of a thread where people share the ideas they've come up with while working on the books, and I'm also surprised there isn't one. I think it's a sign of the strength of the material; everyone who plays the books or studied with Gary sounds different, based on what they're interested in musically.
I would love to have a lesson or two with Gary in person, but he is quite far away... upstate NY I think? Maybe I'll email him and ask him if he is interested in doing Skype lessons...

Hmmm, let's see.. I guess my biggest interest lies in getting hand and foot combinations (linear) down.. not really Gospel style playing but just have the facility to play anything between my hands and feet that comes to my head. I really love the way Vinnie Colaiuta does this, he plays some very interesting combinations and phrases them beautifully as well. I know there's a whole section on it in the Technique book.

This is going to sound weird, but honestly, I would like to gain proficiency in all the topics in all 4 books... I know this isn't really focused but I think my playing would definitely benefit from it. In short, I would like to base my practice time around the 4 Patterns books solely, at least for a year or two. I have several other drum books but I find myself working on one thing one day and another thing the next week. I feel that if I at least narrow it down to just 4 books, I can get much more things accomplished that way.

There are some things that I have already worked on in the past, like Finger technique, the Fat Back exercises, jazz independence... I think I'm clear on those aspects. But how do you work through the Rhythm and Meter or Stickings book for example?

In short, I would love to know your 1. personal approach 2. how you used it with students and 3. how Gary worked on the material with you. Hopefully with all this information, I'll be able to come up with ideas for a system of my own. I hope this isn't asking too much!
 

MCS

Member
I would love to have a lesson or two with Gary in person, but he is quite far away... upstate NY I think? Maybe I'll email him and ask him if he is interested in doing Skype lessons...
He's up in Boston.

I travelled over from the UK to study with him, so surely he can't be that far away! :)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The dvds are good from the beginning, even if you don't use certain sections right away. The concepts are good in their own right, and many can be used without a deep study of the books. In fact, many sections develop 1 or 2 ideas extensively, and are relatively easy to do. Ideally the concepts can be applied to anything. The VHS used to come with a sheet with some stuff written down, so you didn't even need the book to make use of it. In fact, the explanations and demonstrates are so clear that I don't remember even looking at the sheet more than once. That was some time ago though.
Thanks mate. I appreciate the insight. DVD ordered now too.

As an aside, I'll also throw my hat in the ring and request any info on the series that you'd be willing to put forward. Given you've both studied and taught from this material extensively, I'd love to hear any thoughts, ideas, experiences or general conversation should you manage to find the time to share it.
 

Brian

Gold Member
I don't really know what to add, but the books are great. practice and improve using these books, and you won't regret it!

About the hand/foot combos in technique patterns have helped me incredibly, with limitless possibilities for practice in itself.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I got these books when I first started drumming about years ago.

They got put into my routine just as part of my basic training.

Now that I've been through more stuff and can slowly start calling myself a drummer of some sort they are just additions and inspirations to the other main traditional methods out there.

When it comes to the linear stuff, I try to just take it slow. I take a line a stick with it for a long time, milking it for what it's worth. It's just a sticking combination really. You've just increased the number of limbs, hence the possibilities are increased. At different points you'll find ways to interpret them that are useful to you that become part of your natural intuitive approach and that's the idea, I guess.

The concept of taking a sticking combination, use it with a reading text and adding an ostinato is one way to find more limitless possibilities.

It's really about what you find interesting and useful in your own musical endeavours.
 

Derek

Silver Member
While reading this thread (and watching the first link to one of Mighty_Jokers vids) you all have me really interested in the patterns books. I looked on his web page and it says that the books can be worked on in unison or "random" order by the individuals choice.

Any recommendations on a good starting point, or do you all suggest just picking what I believe covers my biggest need or most logical place that I think I should start?

Thanks in advance for any input.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Any recommendations on a good starting point, or do you all suggest just picking what I believe covers my biggest need or most logical place that I think I should start?
Based on what Odd-Arne-Oseberg said, I think a good starting point would be to work on the stuff that addresses your needs the most. There is just so much material between the 4 books that without some of sort of focal point you could easily get overwhelmed I think!
 

Brian

Gold Member
Brian, care to share some of these 'limitless possibilities' that you speak of?
When I was starting out, my instructor gave me advice to learn the systems and exercises sequentially and memorize them. Discipline is not my strong suit but these books made me want to practice. Also great for reading.

Part of my warm-up routine every day was going through many sticking and technique pattern exercises forwards and backwards. Later on my own, I've added more challenging things such as playing the hi-hat on upbeats, triplets, with the hand/foot permutations; also playing them open-handed, left-handed, moving hands around the kit, etc. Haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all the possibilities, myself.

Much of the technique side comes down to developing muscle memory and practicing very slowly with a click, of course.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
When I was starting out, my instructor gave me advice to learn the systems and exercises sequentially and memorize them. Discipline is not my strong suit but these books made me want to practice. Also great for reading.

Part of my warm-up routine every day was going through many sticking and technique pattern exercises forwards and backwards. Later on my own, I've added more challenging things such as playing the hi-hat on upbeats, triplets, with the hand/foot permutations; also playing them open-handed, left-handed, moving hands around the kit, etc. Haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all the possibilities, myself.

Much of the technique side comes down to developing muscle memory and practicing very slowly with a click, of course.
Cool, I guess it does make sense to memorize the Compound Sticking patterns. That's what you were referring to right?
 

Brian

Gold Member
Cool, I guess it does make sense to memorize the Compound Sticking patterns. That's what you were referring to right?
Partly. Before all of that, the first several pages of sticking patterns (green book) are the single double accents, etc. I worked out and memorized all of those, including the exercises. Beyond that, I would add the feet and work on different ostinatos to make it a challenging 4-way thing. A paradiddle at the end and the exercise is reversed, to work the weak side. There's seemingly no limit as to how you can practice and apply the material.
 
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