It's been a little over a week since I shot this latest lesson, but I keep returning to the beat, even without consciously trying.
I've been working on inverted ride stuff. As in, instead of "one, and-a two, and-a-three", it's "...and-two-and, ...and-three-and". It makes sense, because it you're doing the Keith Carlock/Jojo/Spaven beats, there are a lot of implied beat shifts.
But instead of keeping a common "one", you can shift the implied ride pattern along with the beat.
None-of-which, it should be noted, is a particularly good way of keeping a gig.
But let's get to the larger point. I'm thinking about the Guitar Center Drumoff for this fall. And it's most inconsequential whether I participate or not, but it's focussed my practice once-again, around a single thought:
I don't want to sound like a second-rate version of somebody else.
What if Spanky had tried to sound exactly like Aaron Spears?
Or Nasheet Waits like Tain?
It's crystal clear in martial arts. If you've got reach, you've got to play a game that plays to your advantages. Ditto if you've got power.
So how come there's not more of this type of thinking with the drums?
What does this all have to do with the drumoff? Everything I'm practicing, I'm thinking "does this sound like me, or a second-rate imitation of somebody else." Gradually, I think I'm starting to become "known for" some things.
Orchestrating common six-based rudiments with the right hand on the hats.
4 note groups over a 3-based pulse in an implied 12/8, and transposing those ideas to sextuplets over the same meter and tempo at a 16th base.
And, were I to compete, I would want to do the best possible version of what I do.
All of which brings me full-circle to today's (fake) Mark G beat. Sure, I was hearing Mark's style in my head, if not consciously so. But it was only in retrospect that I realized it was idiomatic to Mark's thing.
See if you agree...