How do you practice this style... ?uestlove

I hope there's some room for me in that boat haha! I got to see Chris Dave last summer play with D'angelo. Holy &#$%! I can't wait to hear this new album.

So there's this amazing band in my town, the drummer has also pretty much mastered this glitchy kind of style, they are a blast to see!

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNHjKmptoQc

It actually kind of sounds like sampled drums from a Wu Tang record on that track, but I'm telling you he actually plays that way. Their album is free on bandcamp, btw.

So excited about this thread, thanks for all the great responses!

Thanks for the link! I love finding other groups that are into this sound! Its very much in the league of the J*Davey sound (if you never heard of them you have homework!)
 

jodgey4

Silver Member
Great thread!

I love playing Dilla stuff on the drums. I've been playing this one a lot recently http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdZK0HeYkwM
I just love how the open hi hat comes in right at the end of the loop.

In general I find playing to hiphop beats a really good way to practice, kind of like practicing with a metronome but much more fun. I hate playing with just a click.

You also need discipline to play the same beat for four minutes straight without changing it up - and that is something I really should practice more. Discipline while playing!
I've had this on repeat for days... my goodness - if this ain't soul, ain't nothin'!
Dime Piece off that album is sick nasty smooth as well.
I've really been getting into the discipline thing, since I started following Steve Jordan, and some old school funk drummers that just plant a money beat in the place where groove lives :). Music > drumming for me as a passion... always serve the music.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Okay, here's a tune from the guy I used to play with that has a bit of that lurch thing. The drummer in the corporate band we played in also played this tune live with this guy. And he put it down to displacements. As have the other drummers in these circles that I've worked with or talked to about it. ?uest is calling it "sloppy" for convenience, but he knows exactly where he is.

http://www.reverbnation.com/princeblkmagicdamons/song/12368481-stalkin-ft-dwele
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I tried transcribing the thing, but I don't think it's possible to do it accurately, without writing a lot of really strange, unreadable stuff.

Make what you will of this: I did play this septuplet pattern along with the recording, and it actually fit the swing feel he's doing pretty closely-- the circled notes almost matched his hihat for much of the track. I have no idea what ?'s actual process was for developing his thing, but if you want a relatively easy way to get consistently into the ballpark of that swing rhythm he's doing on the hihats, this will work. Get the pattern solid with the click, then drop out the left hand, then drop out the middle accent.
 

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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Okay, here's a tune from the guy I used to play with that has a bit of that lurch thing. The drummer in the corporate band we played in also played this tune live with this guy. And he put it down to displacements. As have the other drummers in these circles that I've worked with or talked to about it. ?uest is calling it "sloppy" for convenience, but he knows exactly where he is.

http://www.reverbnation.com/princeblkmagicdamons/song/12368481-stalkin-ft-dwele

all that stuff is perfectly quantized
no glitch beats at all
not to mention no live drumming

the style the OP is speaking of has nothing to do with displacements or subdivisions ....it is a feel thing

it is based on a style derived from faulty sequencing equipment .....there is no way to precisely mathematically break it down ...it is a glitch.....its a feel

the live drummers who first played this style were emulating J Dilla, RZA etc. who created their signature sound via glitches in digital equipment.....this has all been covered in this thread

I've been playing hip hop and working with hip hop artists for 22 years ....trust me on this

you guys can try to break it down mathematically all day .....you can talk about displacements and subdivisions until you are blue in the face....and possibly get something that may even sound kinda close .....but it won't be quite right
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
I came to this thread to say a few things. First, Anthony is correct. Second, this style of drumming is very difficult, but incredibly fun! It's hard to stay "in time" and play things consistently a little bit wrong. Honestly, I think it requires a much more advanced understanding and feel of the quarter note than just playing straight time, and practicing with a metronome is probably the most important part of getting this sort of groove. Third, I love Chris Dave! For real, this dude is crazy, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViHmnR4OXUc
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
all that stuff is perfectly quantized
no glitch beats at all
not to mention no live drumming

the style the OP is speaking of has nothing to do with displacements or subdivisions ....it is a feel thing

it is based on a style derived from faulty sequencing equipment .....there is no way to precisely mathematically break it down ...it is a glitch.....its a feel

the live drummers who first played this style were emulating J Dilla, RZA etc. who created their signature sound via glitches in digital equipment.....this has all been covered in this thread

I've been playing hip hop and working with hip hop artists for 22 years ....trust me on this

you guys can try to break it down mathematically all day .....you can talk about displacements and subdivisions until you are blue in the face....and possibly get something that may even sound kinda close .....but it won't be quite right
What's your method for developing it, then, Tony? Just sending people off to do it by feel is to me a little like suggesting cop Vinnie Colaiuta's thing by vibing it. Each of those guys-- Dave especially-- is obviously drawing on such a deep technical foundation that for an average player to approach it that way would be pretty much hopeless. So can you give me some more detail?

I hope it's clear to everyone that when playing any kind of rhythmically in-the-cracks-y music, if you're not a part of the local culture where that music was created, you don't start out by playing the feel correctly. You start by blocking out an approximation of the thing you're after, live with the music for a long time, and only after it's sort of in your DNA are you able to get to something like the real feel. This is exactly what you are doing when you play your jazz ride pattern as a triplet, for example. As an outsider assimilating somebody else's music, you have to analyze, internalize, and pray you have enough talent to eventually get to something like the real thing. I've been watching people struggle with trying to learn samba rhythm by vibe for years now-- they refuse to actually figure out what's going on because they're convinced they have to just feel it, and they never get there.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
This has turned into a pretty interesting thread. It's not really my thing, musically speaking, so I'm enjoying the insights into how to get from here to there, so to speak...
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
What's your method for developing it, then, Tony? Just sending people off to do it by feel is to me a little like suggesting cop Vinnie Colaiuta's thing by vibing it. Each of those guys-- Dave especially-- is obviously drawing on such a deep technical foundation that for an average player to approach it that way would be pretty much hopeless. So can you give me some more detail?
you get yourself some Wu Tang records, some records with J Dilla productions, some MF Doom productions etc. etc. you listen a bunch and play along.....just like any other feel you want to cop ...you surely wouldn't try to cop Vinnies feel out a of book would you ?.....would you try to cop Elvins ride cymbal feel out of a book?......I sure hope not.....no you would listen and emulate

unfortunately there is no simple mathematic solution to this....that is the absolute charm of this type of playing .

anyone who wants it bad enough can do the research ...listen to the music that it came from and emulate it ...anyone not used to playing hip hop or does not live with it running through their veins this will prove to be very difficult for ....but with desire comes production

a man trying to sound like a faulty machine is not something that is going to come easy ......Quest makes it sound quite simple by using the word "sloppy".....I assure you it is not that simple.

drummers spend so much time trying to play evenly and give notes their value......to now unlearn that may prove more difficult than the former

working on something like this before ones time and evenness of note values is established can prove to be catastrophic
 
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Anon La Ply

Renegade
Isn't Q just flamming the backbeat to get a displacement effect? Even an clod like me can do that - flam before, flam behind, tighter, looser. Getting the timing bang every time on as people do when they bury the click is much harder for me. It's like the law of entropy - there's only one way to be bang on but a million ways of being off.

Not trying to be smart - I think you guys know the contempt with which I hold my own playing and the admiration I have for the skills of others here. Just that I can't see what's difficult about it.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Isn't Q just flamming the backbeat to get a displacement effect? Even an clod like me can do that - flam before, flam behind, tighter, looser. Getting the timing bang every time on as people do when they bury the click is much harder for me. It's like the law of entropy - there's only one way to be bang on but a million ways of being off.

Not trying to be smart - I think you guys know the contempt with which I hold my own playing and the admiration I have for the skills of others here. Just that I can't see what's difficult about it.

that is actually a much better way of thinking about it than thinking in subdivisions and displacements

it's and expansion and contraction of beats while staying within the parameters of a solid quarter note

over thinking it is a good way to ruin trying to execute it .......which is exactly what we are doing in this thread
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Well, not like any other feel I want to cop... ha...

You don't want to copy those guys from a book, but you do want to start from a place of understanding what's actually going on, at least generally (well, you start by listening to them a lot and deciding you want to play like them, but that's a given). Elvin's thing is a good example of that; people first approach it by identifying the broad outlines of his "style"-- usually they settle on accenting the cymbal on the &s, and playing very triplety. That's the crudest possible take on his playing, but it is an entry point.

Thanks for the cites, I'll look into those-- I think I need to give D'Angelo's stuff a closer listen, too.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Isn't Q just flamming the backbeat to get a displacement effect? Even an clod like me can do that - flam before, flam behind, tighter, looser.
Glad that Anthony agrees with that-- that seems like a workable thing-- I think most people can get their heads around building a feel around wider or looser flam timing, while still maintaining a steady pulse. Very astute of you, there.
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
I hope it's clear to everyone that when playing any kind of rhythmically in-the-cracks-y music, if you're not a part of the local culture where that music was created, you don't start out by playing the feel correctly. You start by blocking out an approximation of the thing you're after, live with the music for a long time, and only after it's sort of in your DNA are you able to get to something like the real feel. This is exactly what you are doing when you play your jazz ride pattern as a triplet, for example. As an outsider assimilating somebody else's music, you have to analyze, internalize, and pray you have enough talent to eventually get to something like the real thing. I've been watching people struggle with trying to learn samba rhythm by vibe for years now-- they refuse to actually figure out what's going on because they're convinced they have to just feel it, and they never get there.
I hear you, Todd. I don't think anyone should shy away from the kind of analysis you provide; it's just one more tool at our disposal en route to getting the feel right for something. Obviously one has to listen to a lot of the music that you want to perform in order to play it well, but rhythmic analysis can unlock doors towards assimilating the feel or the coordination needed. If someone just practiced out of the Chapin book without listening to a lot of straight ahead jazz, that person wouldn't sound very good on a jazz gig. BUT I sure know that I was able to assimilate a lot of bop vocabulary a lot faster by practicing out of that book (AND doing a lot of listening) than I would have been able to do by just listening alone.

I attended a workshop about 20 years ago by C.K. Ladzepko, a master drummer from Ghana, and most of the rhythms he taught us were variation on the standard 12/8 Ewe bell patterns. He didn't write anything out for us, but my college percussion instructor wrote out all the patterns for us in 12/8 on the chalkboard behind C.K. I don't think C.K. thought of the patterns in terms of Western notation, and there were definitely little nuances in how he phrased the patterns that weren't quite "precise" in terms of how they lay in the 12/8 grid (just like a swing ride cymbal pattern), but having the patterns written out in 12/8 notation (even if not 100% accurate to what he was playing) was a definite aid in getting in the ballpark of being able to play them.

Incidentally, the workshop also had a segment on Brazilian rhythms by Chalo Eduardo. That was my first real exposure to the "triplet against 16th" pull of much Brazilian music, something that I know you've analyzed on your blog.

Ed
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
You don't want to copy those guys from a book, but you do want to start from a place of understanding what's actually going on, at least generally .
absolutely 100%....

thats why listening to the guys who created the style (accidentally mind you)....and genuinely loving it is crucial to learning to play this way

it goes against anything and everything any drum teacher, prideful drummer, or even hip hop producer ever set out to do before RZA and Dilla......and took balls for those guys in the early to mid 90s to release those records with what many looked at as "mistakes" on them
...and even more balls for the drummers who emulated that style to come out and play like that on records

interesting stuff here if you are looking to get into J Dilla
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2013/02/07/171349007/why-j-dilla-may-be-jazzs-latest-great-innovator
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Glad that Anthony agrees with that-- that seems like a workable thing-- I think most people can get their heads around building a feel around wider or looser flam timing, while still maintaining a steady pulse. Very astute of you, there.
Cheers Todd. It's circumstance.

Starting out, my off-kit practice was sitting on the floor like yogi and playing on a pad and the carpet (which soon wore down to the floor) and flams sounded fatter. So that crept into my kit playing - and later I had to try to focus on (and overthink) precision.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I hear you, Todd. I don't think anyone should shy away from the kind of analysis you provide; it's just one more tool at our disposal en route to getting the feel right for something. Obviously one has to listen to a lot of the music that you want to perform in order to play it well, but rhythmic analysis can unlock doors towards assimilating the feel or the coordination needed. If someone just practiced out of the Chapin book without listening to a lot of straight ahead jazz, that person wouldn't sound very good on a jazz gig. BUT I sure know that I was able to assimilate a lot of bop vocabulary a lot faster by practicing out of that book (AND doing a lot of listening) than I would have been able to do by just listening alone.

I attended a workshop about 20 years ago by C.K. Ladzepko, a master drummer from Ghana, and most of the rhythms he taught us were variation on the standard 12/8 Ewe bell patterns. He didn't write anything out for us, but my college percussion instructor wrote out all the patterns for us in 12/8 on the chalkboard behind C.K. I don't think C.K. thought of the patterns in terms of Western notation, and there were definitely little nuances in how he phrased the patterns that weren't quite "precise" in terms of how they lay in the 12/8 grid (just like a swing ride cymbal pattern), but having the patterns written out in 12/8 notation (even if not 100% accurate to what he was playing) was a definite aid in getting in the ballpark of being able to play them.
There's a lot of resistance to it among some students, I think because they take it as a denial of feel, or soul, as if you're advocating a purely technical mindset. But what you're really doing is just getting whatever verifiable information you can about the thing, so you can start from a less wrong place than if you just guessed at it.

Anthony-- Thanks for that NPR link, and for the insight-- I definitely need to update my education here.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Isn't Q just flamming the backbeat to get a displacement effect? Even an clod like me can do that - flam before, flam behind, tighter, looser. Getting the timing bang every time on as people do when they bury the click is much harder for me. It's like the law of entropy - there's only one way to be bang on but a million ways of being off.

Not trying to be smart - I think you guys know the contempt with which I hold my own playing and the admiration I have for the skills of others here. Just that I can't see what's difficult about it.
The difficulty is not so much the technical aspect, but being able to put these pieces together and make tangible and repeating musical phrases that you can identify with. Thus, it's not "random".

Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, it's all about placement of notes and mastering time to the point it's no longer front and center (in a general sense) Elvin Jones, imo, is where to begin. At least that's where I did *cough* years ago. lol
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I guess there are many ways to look at this. I've played with guys who did this strictly from feel and I know guys who play it with just as much feel, but still know exactly where they are.

If it mystifies someone who is trying to just "get it" from listening, then a bit of analysis may give them a starting place from which they can then dial in the feel. Different people learn and assimilate in different ways. Playing with people in this genre there were things that just fell into place and could be played by feel, but there were things that some folks could do that were just too oddball to really get until I broke it down and built it back up again. I played with Deja Bryson (Peaboo's neice) for a couple of years and there were some songs she had that were just really weird in time in a few places. Some of the folks just had it, and some like me had to work it out and then lock in to the others.
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I guess there are many ways to look at this. I've played with guys who did this strictly from feel and I know guys who play it with just as much feel, but still know exactly where they are.

why would someone playing from feel not know where they are?
those who live this music know exactly where they are at all times.

I have an idea......how about you break it down for us and transcribe it ....show us exactly what is happening written out and mathematically broken down .....it will be fun

here ya go ....one RZA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLcr8KPbuM4

...and a couple J Dilla
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAe5WxGsYh4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff9eDId1GtM&t=12m4s

or better yet.....make a video of you playing them
show me these subdivisions
 
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