The Drums – Varying the Bass Drum by 16th Notes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,255
    Professional drummer Wes Crawford demonstrates how to vary the bass drum by 16th notes.

    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 MusicAndGames4U.com, 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.

    Hi. I am Wes Crawford and we are now going to explore some 16th note bass drum variations. As we play a rock beats we can also vary our bass drum by 16th notes. In other words, if we are still keeping in common our hi-hat as 8th nodes, one and two and three and four and, the 16th nodes on the E and the R and between. (Music) and we could play our bass drum there. So, it would be right between two hi-hat strokes. One E and, two E and, three E and, four E and, one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and. You probably practice that. Lets do it on the E of two and four. One E and, two E and, three E and, four E and, one E and, two E and, three E and, four E and. Lets try it on the R of all four beats. One E and R, two E and R, three E and R, four E and R, one E and R, two E and R, three E and R, four E and R. Now, lets try in some beats. One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four and up.

    So, that beat has that a little anticipation at the end, it kicks you right before you are expecting it. You use a beat like that in a lot of songs, are in beat type songs and things like that. It will match up the bass very nicely. So, in that beat, I started on beat one, for the first measure but then as it approached to the next measure, I hit the 16th node right before beat one which is the R of four and continued for each measure hitting on the R four - One E and, two E and, three E and, four E and ah; One E and, two E and, three E and, four E and ah; One E and, two E and, three E and, four E and one.

    You might also want to hit on the ah right before two and four like one E and two, three E and four; One E and two, three E and four; One E and two, three E and four. See, it has a nice feel to it too. How about on the E after two and four? One two E and three and four E and, one E and two E and three and four E and. See, more closely one E and two E and three E and four E and one E and two E and three E and. We can also explore double hits, where we are hitting twice fast with the bass drum 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 three E and four E and one E and two and three E and four E and. So, we are going one E and two E and three E and four E and one E and two E and three E and four and. So, try that, the first one is on the beat one E, but then the next time it was on the and, same coordination but a different place in the beats so it feels little different. Again, I am trying to just give enough samples here that you could work up your own 16th node beats. Lets try one more (music). You have heard that kind of a beat before. Boom bah baboom baboom bah, boom bah baboom baboom bah. Lets try it slower, its going boom bah, boom boom, boom boom bah. So, this is a great beat for this reason for your coordination. The first two hits started with a hi-hat, went boom boom; the next one ended with one boom boom. Ill show you with the hi-hat, boom boom, boom boom. Just practice that much over and over, together bass hat bass together. See, together bass hat bass together (music). Whatever, you can make up your own and vary around with it. So, this will get you started with 16th nodes on the bass drum. The key being you have to hit exactly in between the hi-hat hits and now its up to you to go out and listen for beats like this, try to copy them, make up your own.