Combinations of sounds
You know, just, how many different orchestrations can I find? And I’ll just turn the lights off, and play until I start repeating myself, or until I hit some sort of wall. But it’s more, it’s not very systematic, because how many different five-note orchestration al combinations are there? It’s too many to really quantify, or, you know, that’s not the way my brain wants to think of it. So let’s see. (drumming) So time’s sake, you know we could just go and go and go, and that last one actually included combinations of sounds. So until then, first try not to combine any sounds, just everything is one note at a time, one sound at a time, and then as you start to combine the sounds, that really kicks the door open for seemingly infinite possibilities. But again that is, I would encourage you to, because this is a great example of, you and I could spend a half-hour and write out as many different five-note combinations as we could, just with the orchestration, and then we could post all of those and send you the PDF and then you work on them. But that just feeds into the trend of someone else providing the ideas, right?- Exactly. – So, we are all capable of discovering many of these possibilities on our own. So, please, please, inject your own personality into this stuff.
That’s why the original example is so basic, because anybody can use it, and the feeling of creating your own variation is so much more empowering than playing the one that I chose. The one that I chose is of no more or less value than the one that you will choose, right? And I think that’s the most important thing. This is really, again, trying to get into that gateway of creating your own ideas, and having the confidence to create your own ideas, and then having the confidence to inject those ideas into the music that you’re playing. – Based on what it calls for. – Exactly, exactly. – So we’ve done dynamic, rate, orchestra, orchestration, sorry, phrasing.- Phrasing. – So again, wherein time does this idea appear? So where does it start, if we’re in four? – Well you’ve been starting it on the one every time. – Exactly, so, within 16th notes, per beat there are only four different places it can start. So I’ll play two of each, I’ll play the original starting on one, I’ll play that twice, then I’ll start the idea on the E, so I’ll move it into the future 1/16th, and then I’ll go to that, I’ll go to the uh until we get to be at two. (drumming) So on and so forth, I hope that’s clear. So again, that has its technical challenges. It took me a while to relax and be able to play that. But more importantly, the effect that it would have on the music on the emotional side of it really changes. Totally changes.- Big time. – And you are, recording these memories and these feelings as you’re doing it, you’re saying, oh wow, when it’s on the one it’s very settled.
Eighth notes (way to start)
It’s very welcoming, like a nice firm handshake. Hey, hello, you know? But if we just move it1/16th note into the future, then it’s like, whoa, almost like somebody punches you in the arm or something. – Totally.- Right? – So it’s the same idea, but because we’ve moved it, it has a very different effect. And by definition, we could say it is a different idea, even though it’s the same, right? So, as I said, each one individually is quite expressive, but it isn’t until you start to combine them that the magic starts to happen. The magic, I do know, you know, some exciting things start to happen. David Copperfield, anyway. So let’s go in reverse order. So let’s stay with phrasing, but let’s introduce rate as well. So, what if we are using triplets? There are three different places inside the beat for this idea to start. Again, five equidistant notes, so how does the original sound? (drumming) Four, triplet triplet-triplet triplet. (drumming) Okay, so here we go, starting on the second note. (drumming) Four, one two three four, one two three four, one (drumming) on the third note, one two three four, one two (drumming) Okay, so that was starting in each. Eighth notes, there are only two places for it to start. (drumming) Four, one two three four, one two three four, one two (drumming) Okay, of course, you can move it to start on different beats as well, but inside the subdivision, those are the options. And, as you move to different rates, especially higher rates, they’ll be more options inside of each beat, right? I don’t think we need to do that today, but you can imagine, I hope it’s clear, yeah. Okay, cool, so let’s see. That’s changing quite a bit, we’re really adding to our arsenal now, but we’re still only on the snare drum, so how would that start to sound orchestrate? So let’s just choose one orchestration for the demonstration’s sake. Let’s say. (drumming) – Okay.- Five notes. – Now, let’s go back to our 16th notes, so now we’re gonna use, we’ve determined our rate of 16th notes, we’ve determined our orchestration, (drumming) and now, we’re gonna focus on phrasing, and move it into those four different places inside the beat. – Okay.- Okay. (drumming) – Okay.- Love it. – So it’s still very systematic, still a little dry, you know, but again, we’re going, we’re identifying which tool we’re using, and how it’s changing our original theme.
Improve my musicality
Quickly I’ll just play how this would sound through the different triplet options. (drumming) Alright, so each, especially with the bass drum as the last note of the phrase, maybe for that first one, wow, I’ve never had to play the bass drum on the middle triplet to end a phrase. Now I know what to work on, okay? So quite often, by attacking this stuff from the musical side and trying to figure out ways on how to create useful musical phrases, that will inform what you need to work on. – Totally.- Instead of just kind of, – Not knowing what to practice, and then you say, what should I practice today? Please, someone, tell me what to practice. – Mark, you’re a genius, I love it. I love it. – Well, so, it’s, it’s okay, I want to improve my musicality, and in doing so, you’re gonna come across many dramatic obstacles that need to be addressed. And then, that’s that pivotal moment where wait, why isn’t this one working? Okay, hit pause from your creative musicianship practicing, and you say, alright, I need to get to the bottom of this, how can I really get comfortable playing the bass drum on the middle triplet? And just, – Work on your independence or your coordination. – Totally, yeah, yeah totally. So now, as we start to include these four tools, where can we go? It’s, we can go anywhere really. I’ll try to now play a solo only using this idea. – Just the five-note idea. – Just the five equidistant notes, and that’s the rule. Anytime I go to play something I have to play that. – Okay, but you’re gonna change the dynamic, the rate, orchestration, and the phrasing. – Yes, so fast forward 15 years of working on this stuff, no shortcuts, and now, the computation is virtually silent in my mind.
You know, when I first started working on this stuff, it’s gonna be really loud. That voice of telling you how to work on the tools, and one and two and, and you know, all this stuff, and that’s how it should be when it’s new. And over time, and overusing it and building the confidence, it gets quieter and quieter and quieter, so now when I’m playing, I’m relying on all that homework, and trusting the work to hopefully make something that’s interesting to listen to. – That was such a good point that you said there. You guys rewind that and watch it again if you need to, that was brilliant. – Cool. So let’s see what happens. So again, I’ll play the hi-hat, the quarter note on the hi-hat, just for context, because it’s only me today, but it doesn’t mean that’s the best thing for the music. Also, I’ll be thinking of four, but that’s just anything. It could be, you know, this isn’t, this isn’t an exercise in four, or an exercise in anytime signature, really. It could be one one one one one, I find that’s actually a helpful way to practice because later, the music will tell us what meter we need to put this stuff in. We want to predetermine the least amount of stuff when we’re practicing right? I’m kind of floating a vacuum right now and just trying to get these tools, build confidence with the tools so that later, now, I’m in a musical situation. The music is gonna tell you the energy and the emotion and the meter and the, you know, where it’s going, and the sound that it needs, so I don’t want to be too specific in the way that I’m preparing this stuff. – Makes sense, yeah.- Okay. (drumming) – Very cool, all using the five notes. – I think so. – Maybe once or twice. – This is being quite professionally documented, so there might be a few instances where I cheated unintentionally with you know four-note idea or six-note idea, but yeah, the whole time, I was thinking about one thing the whole time, and it was that one idea.