Gavin Harrison here!

Ayl20

Junior Member
Thanks for the quick reply Gavin.

With regards to.. "I never really intended for any of those rhythms to be used in a very literal way like "try playing this example in the middle of YMCA and see what happens" I didn't mean that i used your exact examples (though they were very good examples :).

Instead, what i did was;

1) Come up with a beat that i thought went well with the song that i was playing to.
2) Displace it a certain amount and see how it sounded.
3) Repeat step 2 with all types of beats and differing amounts of displacement.

However, i could never find a nice displaced groove that didn't disrupt the song too much.
So what i was wondering was, whether you could first work out a beat that you intended to be the displaced rhythm and then work backwards by trying to find the 'root' rhythm. But, i realised that it's pretty much just as hard to do this as it is to do the other method as either way you have to play around to find a suitable beat and also your root beat would most likely end up being rather tensioned anyway so you'd theoretically be doing the opposite of displacement in the sense that you are trying to relieve tension by means of displacement.

So then i got thinking, is there some method by which a beat can be displaced WITHOUT it adding tension?? I was thinking that maybe, mathematically there was a way that a beat can be displaced whereby the listeners hear it as an 'alternate form' of the root beat. However, i think the problem with that is that your bass drum strokes will no longer follow the bass line nor your snare play the backbeat etc. So, basically, do you know of any mathematical principles (like, for example, in 4/4 time displace by 1 quarter note or an eighth note or whatever) that instead of creating tension give a new 'feel' to the root beat?

I'm pretty certain that there aren't any, but i was just wondering if you knew of any?

I'm only just learning this sort of stuff so forgive me if this doesn't make sense.

Thankyou very much anyway for the help, and i'm really sorry about the length of the post.

Regards,

-Luke
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Ayl20,

Creating a real "Rhythmic Illusion" is only possible when there's certain characteristics involved. Knowing that the audience is expecting a bass drum to be the anchor point on the "1" (and probably "3") whilst there's a backbeat (usually a snare drum) on 2 & 4 is exactly the reason that you can make an illusion work. You are just manipulating their perception. If you take a regular beat like this: BD 1&3 Snare 2&4 and 8's on the hi hat - and then displace it by 1/16 - people listening will re-organise that information in their brain so that the first bass drum they hear will still be a "1" to them.
This creates the tension when you first present it to them. However, displacement can be used to create great variations on a slightly unusual rhythm like example a below...

Displacement.jpg

Examples B & C are of course displacements of A - but I hear them as new "funky" variations of A - I don't feel it puts any tension on the listener - because rhythm A wasn't so familiar to them in the first place. I could quite easily play a song that featured rhythm A and then play rhythm B or C in another part of the song without anyone getting really confused about where the downbeat has gone.

cheers
Gavin
 

Dom Chandler

Junior Member
Mr Harrison sir,
i tip my cap to you, not only a inspirational drummer, educator and award winning prog dude. But i can only admire the time and effort you put into this forum, i spent most of this evening reading most of the Q & A and i for one would like to thankyou on behalf of us drummers for spending so much time answering these questions. I'm waitng for delivery of PT's 'Nil recurring' cd, i'm sure it will be as inspirational to me as all your other work.
Thanx again mate, you're an all round good egg!
 

Drizzle

Member
Hey Gavin,

Lately I've been busy with your book Rhythmic Perspectives.

And I have a question about ostinato excercise nr 1.

After trying for sometime without getting any further I noticed that the problem for me was to line up the bass drum with the ghost notes.

So I started to practice the following (G being the unaccented notes and A the accented)

GGA
-B-

like in the the 2nd bar of the ostinato, and

GGA
B--

being the 3rd bar of the ostinato.

Later I put them all together and I was able to play the ostinato.

But my problem is that it doesn't feel right, it feels like I'm playing the three parts in a sequence (just lining up the bassdrum with the first or second ghostnote ) so I play the ostinato but it doesn't feel like I'm playing 3's over the latin bassdrum pattern.

My question is, did I learn it in a wrong way and made some sort of shortcut and totally missed the point of the excercise, or is it just a normal step in the process.

Greetz,
Dre
 
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atman

Junior Member
Any plans for coming to Spain? ... Spain exists! :) There's great food here, come and try "tortilla de patata", you will never be the same!
I would like to be at one of your shows but by seeing your tour dates you don't seem to like hot weather, it is great for a sunbath! I Hope you can come and see us, love, Atman.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Drizzle,

But my problem is that it doesn't feel right, it feels like I'm playing the three parts in a sequence (just lining up the bass drum with the first or second ghost note ) so I play the ostinato but it doesn't feel like I'm playing 3's over the latin bass drum pattern.

My question is, did I learn it in a wrong way and made some sort of shortcut and totally missed the point of the exercise, or is it just a normal step in the process.


Does it only feel strange when you're sticking it as R L L ? One of the things that always surprises me when I play these types of exercises - is how some very fundamental co-ordination things can catch me out. That's why I wrote out the "tool boxes". They look like exercises for beginners - but to play them accurately (with nothing flamming) is actually very difficult. I still practice them now because I know that I could make them feel better. They address quite basic problems. It's a bit abstract to work on patterns that you're not going to perform - but they sure pay off in the end. You're doing exactly the right thing in identifying the problem area - and then just going over and over that area. Remember - it''s not just this particular rhythm - it's any time you're playing something with two ghost notes with your left hand and you've got to play a bass drum note exactly with one of them.

Perhaps you're focusing so hard on the groupings of 3 (R l l ) that you're changing your perspective and starting to hear it in triplets - and the bass drum notes are sounding like some odd syncopation underneath them. This is the whole point of the book - it challenges your "perception" when you're faced with two (or more) superimposed ostinatos. Try pedaling quarter notes with your hi hat foot. That should keep your mind in 2/4.

Hi atman,

Any plans for coming to Spain? ... Spain exists! :)


we love coming to Spain - but it's not going to happen on this next tour. There's many places all over the world that we'd love to go and play in - but it's quite a complex procedure planing/routing and booking a tour.

Cheers
Gavin
 

Drizzle

Member
I understand what you're saying regarding the tool boxes.

At first they are not hard to play, but trying to play them real precise and lining things up is real hard and challenging.

It's very cool to see that working on 'simple' exercises like these really improves your groove playing.

I now understand my problem, through your comment about perception.
To feel the ostinato and mentally play the 2 superimposed patterns is just the hardest part.

It's like I'm playing A+B (resulting in C) and not A&B, if you know what I mean.

I would like to be able to mentally hear the individual patterns while playing the ostinato.

I've tried to sing the 3's and the latin bassdrum ostinato while playing the ostinato but somehow after a couple of bars I get lost.

I still see progress so I guess I just need to practice some more.

Thanks,
Dre
 

aegir77

Member
Hey Gavin

I'm really glad Porcupine Tree's coming to Mexico. I''ll definetely be there.
I've had the chance to see some great drummers live (Weckl, Chambers, Terry Lyne) and I'm glad I'll be able to add another to my list.
 
Hi Gavin,How 're you?

I've followed your advices (see upper posts) and i put Emperor coated heads non my toms.
I'm very satisfied, the trio 8" 10" 12" is absolutely thunderous!!!
My 14" tom is very dark and powerful.I've found some problems only on my 16x16 floor tom.
The "note" of the drum is correct, work well with the others. But i got however too much sustain.
On upper post you suggested me that use an O\ring inside the drum.But we was talking about single ply heads...or this method work with my problem?
i wanna try other tuning solutions before use this method...if i can't reach a result that work i'll use it.
On each tom I've tuned the batter head at lower tension and the resonant head at the same tension.
What i gotta do on my floor tom??work more on resonant head and tuning?or i can't do nothing because it is too much deeper (16x16)???

the last thing i wanna say is thanks, for the advice (the snare drum with 8 snares and CS+O-ring sounds clean and amazing!!!
THANKS THANKS THANKS!!!

greetings from Italy!
Riccardo.
 
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kellycurrie

Member
WOW - Nil Recurring preview sounds fantastic. I can't wait to see you in action next month in Toronto.
I know its a long shot, but is there any chance your dvds will be sold at the merch desk?
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Drizzle,

It's like I'm playing A+B (resulting in C) and not A&B, if you know what I mean.
I would like to be able to mentally hear the individual patterns while playing the ostinato.


It's a bit like juggling balls - you can't look at the individuals - you have to see the all the balls as one thing.

Hi ItalianRicky,

What i gotta do on my floor tom??work more on resonant head and tuning?or i can't do nothing because it is too much deeper (16x16)???

Experiment. The room you are in might make a difference to some frequencies. Tuning is always the best way to start - but sometimes it doesn't seem to work - then you need to think about dampening techniques.

Hi kellycurrie,

I know its a long shot, but is there any chance your dvds will be sold at the merch desk?


Yes, I'm planing on having my newest DVD there, plus the new CD of 05Ric and myself.

cheers
Gavin
 

Drizzle

Member
It's a bit like juggling balls - you can't look at the individuals - you have to see the all the balls as one thing.
I understand but when playing the ostinato I always try to check if I'm still playing it in the right way.
So that the 3's are flowing and that I play the latin bassdrum pattern right. Because sometimes I think I played it right and then I hear it back and I'll notice that the spacing of the bassdrum notes is all wrong on some places.


I know that when it's all perfect I notice it and I play the pattern real easy and it becomes this new part, but still I'm trying to hear the latin bassdrum ostinato underneath. (maybe I'm just crazy)


Thanks a lot for your time.
Dre
 

Alexdrum75

Senior Member
Hi Mr. Harrison,
just a question: I'm trying to "decode" your intro to "Halo" on the DVD "Arriving..." but I'm having a heck of a hard time...

It starts off on the + of three and it's composed of sextuplets (???) with various accents displacements...

Can you help me?

I'm trying to learn it by heart while having a cup of Yorkshire tea (the red label).
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Alexdrum75,

That fill was something I just improvised on the night - but I can tell it's an old favorite grouping of 5's sticking. RLRRL in 16th note triplets.

cheers
Gavin
 

crookedrook

Member
Hi Gavin,

If you answered this already let me know. Which Sonor series do you like the best Delite or SQ2? I know SQ2 has the options of type of shell and Delite has the Vintage shell, I'm just wondering because I'd like to get a set.

Thanks,
Rob
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Alexdrum75,
seems like you've got the subdivisions/sticking/accents you just need to fill in which notes are on which drum or hi hat.

Hi crookedrook,
I enjoy playing both the DeLight and the SQ2 - with slight preference for the SQ2 at the moment. PT's front of house sound engineer prefers the SQ2. He also preferred the Designer kit over the DeLight. I think he feels that maybe the DeLight is a bit soft, warm and round sounding for the PT music in general. Vintage shells are also an option on the SQ2 - but that would effectively make it a DeLight.

Cheers
Gavin
 
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