Here are your practice assignments for this week:
Practice the new rhythm exercises that we worked on this week. Focus on understanding the difference between quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. Eighth notes are twice as fast as quarters, and sixteenth notes are twice as fast as eighths. Count each rhythm out loud before you play it. This will help you to play accurately.
Practice the triplet accent patterns that we worked on this week. Focus on keeping a steady rhythm and making sure the non-accented notes are very soft. Start slow and then speed up as you start to feel more comfortable. Then try practicing each accent in alternation with the jazz beat (ride cymbal and hi-hat). Play the beat for 2 or 3 measures, and then play the accent pattern once.
Review the new beats that we have been working on the last few weeks. Practice playing each on several times in a row without stopping. Also, practice them at different speeds (slow, medium, and fast). Next week we will work on playing along with music. It is very important that you feel comfortable playing each beat many times in a row and at different speeds.
Practice all the jazz rhythms that we have done so far this year. See if you can transition from one rhythm to another without stopping the beat. It is important that you can keep the ride cymbal and hi-hat foot going while changing what you are doing on the snare. Also, practice playing triplet-based drum fills in coordination with the beat as we practiced in your lesson.
Practice the first 4 measures of the song “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin. Focus on the timing of the cowbell part compared to the eighth notes on the hi-hat. Remember that the hi-hat stays steady while the rhythm on the cowbell changes. Also, spend some time this week listening to the song to familiarize yourself with it.
Review the accent patterns that we have been working on. They have gotten a lot better in the last two weeks, but I still want to keep working on them. See if you can play them a little bit faster without losing the steadiness of the rhythm. Also, don’t let the non-accented notes get louder as you get faster. They should remain quiet at any speed.