Here are your practice assignments for this week:
This week, focus on reviewing the drum beats that we have worked on so far. Play each one slowly at first and read the page carefully to make sure you are playing each note correctly. Then, once you have the sound of the beat in your ear, try playing it slightly faster. This is the best practice strategy for practicing new beats and rhythms.
Practice each of the jazz rhythm exercises that we have done over the last few weeks. Practice playing them at a variety of speeds: slow, medium, and fast. Also, see if you can add fills using the triplet accent patterns that we have worked on. You want to try to transition seamlessly into and out of the fill without losing time or pausing.
Work on the two main beats from the song “Freedom” that I wrote down for you. Remember that even though it is a very fast song, it is important to practice the beats slowly at first in order to develop accuracy and consistency. Once you feel like you can play the beat accurately, then try to speed it up.
Keep working on the beat from “Take 5.” Practice the three variations that we worked on this week. Remember to always accent beats 1 and 4 in order to maintain the right groove of the beat. Also try practicing along with a recording of the song.
Review the jazz rhythms that we worked on at the end of your lesson this week. Now that your recital pieces are in great shape, we will go back to working on other things in your lessons. You should still practice “Good Times Bad Times” and “Ramble On” at home to keep them fresh for the recital, but also spend some time on the jazz rhythm exercises in your book.
Review the beats that we have worked on from the sheet that I gave you. Beat #7 is new this week, so look at it closely before you try to play it. Work on creating less motion with your elbows and more motion from your wrists. You will tire yourself out if all your motion is in the elbows and this may be causing issues with consistency.
Have another listen to “Black Hole Sun” before your next lesson and try to get the sound of the drum beat in your ear. If you can take a crack at playing some of it, that would be great. Either way, we will continue to work on the beat from this song at your next lesson and will do some more syncopation exercises like the ones we ended with this week.