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USING DRUM TAB CREATIVELY

 

As soon as possible any drummer or teacher should use standard music manuscript to record/transfer their ideas but TAB has its uses particularly in the following creativity lesson I use with my pupils.

 

I give my pupil a bare scaffold of TAB like this:

empty.jpg

This grid or maths quad paper is ideal for throwing down ideas. Use pencil if you can because editing will be essential as the examples to follow will show.

 

The instruction I give my pupil is to, without thinking, add 6 or 7 ‘X’s randomly in the red box area. Next I get them to play what they have written. I also try their idea out and we discuss what works and what doesn’t.

Here is a pattern by one of my pupils, Isabelle. It’s a good one, but after playing it for a while she decided it needed a snare stroke on the 3 and then, with that change, the pattern really began to groove.

isabella1.jpg

Click here to hear this groove.

The dark vertical line indicates a new starting position we tried to see how the groove sounded (in drumming this is called permutation).  You can also see at the end of the pattern where we tried opening the hihat … we decided that that didn’t work. So you see after the intial randomness there is a lot of discussion and modifying. The end result is a great groove and a great drum lesson.

 
Next Isabella made up this groovy little idea:

isabella2.jpg

Click here to hear this groove.

Here is another example from Sarah:

sarah.jpg

Click here to hear this groove.

Some great syncopation here. It is quite tricky to play the first time off but I liked it.
 
Here is one put together by Ju Hun. Initially he didn't have a bass stroke on the '&' after 2 but when he tried to play it he soon decided he needed some bass somewhere between the snare on the '&' of 1 and the snare after the 3. So we tried three various placements (the circled numbers). After a few trials he decided he liked the second option. So another creative process was successfully completed.

juhun.jpg

Click here to hear this groove.

The next step is to get the pupil to take their new groove and write it out in proper manuscript.
 
Here are the above grooves...
 
 

syncobeats.jpg