Here are your practice assignments for this week:
Practice the rhythm exercises that I gave you this week. Focus on keeping a steady pulse with the bass drum. Make sure you know how the bass drum should line up with the rhythm so that it will stay in time. Also, practice the open hi-hat beat that we worked on from “Karma Police” by Radiohead. Take it slow and focus on moving your feet up and down together.
Review the opening section of Paradise City and work on playing through it with the recording. Count in your head (or out loud) while you play to make sure you are doing the right number of repeats. Add on the new section that we worked on this week. Focus on getting the transition between the two sections that we’ve learned so far.
Review the jazz rhythms that we have been working on. Be sure to listen carefully to both the snare rhythm and the ride cymbal rhythm to make sure that you are playing both accurately. You must be able to hear both rhythms correctly and understand how they fit together. Next week we will move on from this, but it should be something that you continue to work on moving forward.
With all of the songs that we have been working on together, be sure to listen carefully to where the beat is in the song and stick with it all the time. It is important that everything you play is in time with the music you are hearing. Try clicking your sticks 4 times with the beat of the song before you start playing. Also, listen carefully for the beginning of each bar (beat 1) so that you can keep track of where the beat is.
Review the new beat from La Villa Strangiato. Because it is in 7, you will need to count in order to play it accurately. Practice playing just the snare drum and bass drum together while counting and listen for the placement of the off-beats. Then add back in the hi-hat part and try to hear the beat as a whole. Also, spend some time this week listening to other songs by Rush to find one or two other songs you might like to check out.
Keep working on the middle section of Fool in the Rain. Take it slow and be sure you know how the bass drum is supposed to line up with the accents on the snare. The bass drum is the main time-keeping element in this beat, so practice starting with just the bass drum and then add in the snare. Once you can play it comfortably and consistently, then try speeding it up.
Review the verse and chorus beats from Back in Black. Continue to practice them along with recording, but make sure you are also counting while you play. The mistakes that you are making tend to be from either adding or leaving out a beat. Counting consistently will help you to correct this. Also, practice the new section that we added to the song. Take it slow and focus on hitting the crash cymbal exactly together with the bass drum.