The Drums – 16th Note Grooves

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 24,716
    Professional drummer Wes Crawford demonstrates how to play the 16th note groups.

    Wes Crawford

    Wes began his professional music career after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology at Virginia Tech. Soon thereafter, he began performing drumset with the extraordinary Jazz/R&B singer Jane L. Powell, a musical association that lasted eleven years and continues as a managerial relationship. The group toured throughout North America and the Caribbean performing at festivals, universities, resorts, nightclubs, and cruise ships. They opened for such acts as Ray Charles, Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Lou Rawls, The Crusaders, Joan Jett, Ernie Watts, and Paula Poundstone, and occasionally performed alongside artists such as Tony Bennett, O.C. Smith, and Dorothy Moore. The 1,300 colleges and universities comprising the National Association for Campus Activities voted the group Entertainer of the Year in 1990, their highest honor, and Jazz Artist of the Year for 1990-1992. During these years of touring, Wes also recorded two albums with Ms. Powell as well as for several outside artists. Wes also conducted electronic percussion seminars at VA Tech and at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Gifted. In 1992, Wes settled with his family in the Washington, DC area as an independent artist on drumset and percussion where he currently performs and records with acts such as Shahin & Sepehr (Higher Octave/Narada world music recording artists), Cocktail Nuts (aka “C-NUTS”- Jazz versions of rock classics, on Wildchild/Mapleshade Records), mrudangam virtuoso Umayalpuram K. Shivaraman (including a clinic at PASIC 2000 and a featured performance at Baltimore Drum Day 2000), Squeeze Bayou (1998 winners of the “Best Non-Louisiana-Based Cajun Band Recording” awarded by the Cajun French Music Association), and Night Life (high-energy show band). Wes has also regularly performed and/or recorded with Aisha Kahlil (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Eva Cassidy, Catalyst Events’ “Beatswork!,” Zydeco Crayz, Mary Ann Borelli, “Oh Susannah!”, Sugar Jones, and Armadillo recording artist Daryl Davis. His other noteworthy performances and recordings include those with the David Bach Consort (2nd place winner in the 1998 BET unsigned band video contest), Hennesy Jazz Search regional winner Jerry Gordon, and performances with Milestone recording artist Ron Holloway. Wes considers education to be an important link to the future of the percussive arts and teaches drumset privately and at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He also performs in public school assemblies with Mosaic, which provided the musical instruction and curriculum for the 2000 Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute. Wes serves as the Director of the annual Drumset And Percussion Camp of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute and as Vice-President of the MD/DE chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. In 2000, Wes started, a site to feature his interactive educational media such as his popular “Drumset Play-Along DVD.” His latest “A Rhythmic Murder Mystery” interactive DVD features a solo electronic drumset concert, which he also performs live. Wes holds Associate Artist relationships with Maryland Drum Company and with Trueline Drumsticks, and he occasionally works as Music Consultant for the not-for-profit Sustainable Environments for Health + Shelter.

    I am Wes Crawford. We are now going to talk about 16th note groups. So far we have been playing 8th notes on the hi-hat or 8th note triplets, we have been playing triplets, one triplet, two triplet, either straight or shuffles. We are now going to see how it affects the feel to play our beats with a 16th note lying on the hi-hat. So, were going, one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and, one E and, two E and. Again, we will start with their basic beats and that will carry us a long way if you are playing with performances with bands; one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and, one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and, one E and, two E and. So, there is basic beat with that. You can vary this snare drum and the bass drum any number of ways (music). Okay, they're just some examples. Just want to give you an introduction to this group. When would you use this though as opposed to an 8th note. Listen to the rhythm of the music or the rhythm of the bass player within the music and if that person is playing a 16th note kind of feel on their base and lots of 16th notes this might work. If its a lot faster, we can do two hands on it and get the same thing, alternate single strokes for instance; one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and; one E and, two E and, and you can speed this up quite a bit one E and, two E and, three E and, (music) and so forth. Ive threw in just a few little variations, notice, if you are going one E and, the right hand is always on the beat or the N, the E and the R played by the left hand. So, if you play anything with the bass drums thats on the beat or the N, it should be hitting with the right hand; One and two and three and a four and N. If you do with the E or the R youll get; one E and two E and three E and four E and, so you might get, one E and two E and R, three E and four E and R. Its a good one to practice. One E and two E and R three E and four E and one E and two E and R three E and four E and R. You have to keep ringing that right hand over to two and four to keep it going, but thats an explanation of 16th note groups on the hi-hat in a very basic manner and again you can make up your own beats or use some of the ones you have already learn and translate them to 16th note groups.

    The only other thing I want to cover with 16th note groups on the hi-hat is that you may swing them, that is, you may turn them into 16th note shuffles, so that you are getting a bouncy feel and this is used lots of different styles, but you probably be most familiar with it in hip-hop music. Instead of going one E and two E and one E and, you change it to this, one E and, two E and, a three E and, a four E and. You see how I'm swinging my voice; I am shuffling, bouncing my voice with it, as I do it so you might get (music). If thats straight you might get (music); little faster (music). So, that created a whole grove based around this bouncing kind of feel but if 16th notes, unlike shuffle rhythms, were really bouncing the 8th notes in getting that bouncy shuffle feel.