Comping Workout

Matched Gripper

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This is a workout that I came up with many years ago and forgot about. I was inspired by a local drummer (who I haven't seen before or since), who could play ridiculously fast and tasty patterns between his snare and bass drum while maintaining the ride swing pattern when trading 4's. All exercises are played while playing the jazz swing pattern on your ride and 2 & 4 on your HH's. You can also play them with a rock beat, but, playing the 8th note triplet section with a straight 8th note rock beat may be particularly challenging.

There are several ways to practice these patterns: One approach is to pick a tempo (preferably with a metronome), and play through each pattern consecutively (eg. 8 measures for each pattern), moving to the next pattern without stopping though the entire section. Start with a slow tempo (60 bpm's if you dare), and increase the tempo with each pass. At first, however, I would recommend playing each pattern seperately with the "open-closed-open" method just like rudiment practice. One important benefit of open-closed-open is that you will find that you can play some patterns much faster than others and you may not want to limit the tempo of those patterns to that of the more difficult patterns. You may find patterns with foot doubles that start on the beat are harder to play up tempo.

It takes about 30-45 minutes to practice through each section. Also, I highly recommend counting out loud when practicing.

One more thing, with the straight 8ths and 16ths, the goal is to play them "straight" against swingtime to as fast a tempo as you are able, but at some point, you should expect the patterns and the swing cymbal beat to merge.

Section I. Straight 8th Notes with Swingtime
L (snare) F (bass drum)

Single strokes
L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F
F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L

Double Strokes
L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F
F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L

Inverted Doubles
L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L
F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F

Paradiddles
L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F
F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L

Section II. 8th Note Triplets with Swingtime

Single Strokes

L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F
F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L

Doubling the Left Hand
L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F
F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L
L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L L F L

Doubling the Foot
F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L
L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F
F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F F L F

Double Strokes
L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F
F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L

Inverted Doubles
L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L
F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F

Paradiddle Triplets
L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F

Section III. 16TH Notes with Swingtime

Single Strokes

L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F
F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L F L

Double Strokes
L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F
F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L

Inverted Doubles
L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L
F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F F L L F

Paradiddles
L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F
F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L F L F F L F L L
 

Matched Gripper

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Section III 16th note against swingtime can be tricky with the ride in triple and snare and bass drum in duple. Still very cool.
Yeah Section III merges pretty quickly. It's aspirational but not really necessary to benefit from the exercises. The straight 8th duples give you a better chance to feel the independence at slow/medium tempos before it merges.
 

cworrick

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Hate to tell you but I've been doing this for years as a warm up.
It's the first page of "Stick Control" lines 1-13.

R = Foot
L = Left hand.
Right hand plays swing pattern and Left Foot plays 2&4 on HH.

Rock has two ways to do it.
R = Right OR LEFT Foot (using a double pedal.)
L = Left hand on snare with Right hand playing 8ths on either HH or Ride. OR SWITCH THIS and work on your Left hand time keeping.

If you think the doubles exercises and inverted paradiddles are difficult, wait until you get to the triples on lines 9-12. They will really get your leg muscles burning.

It took a little time to learn the patterns, but now I have it where I will do either 30 seconds, or 1 minute each line depending on how much time I have.
There's easily an hour plus here if you do everything for just 1 minute.
 

Matched Gripper

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Hate to tell you but I've been doing this for years as a warm up.
It's the first page of "Stick Control" lines 1-13.

R = Foot
L = Left hand.
Right hand plays swing pattern and Left Foot plays 2&4 on HH.

Rock has two ways to do it.
R = Right OR LEFT Foot (using a double pedal.)
L = Left hand on snare with Right hand playing 8ths on either HH or Ride. OR SWITCH THIS and work on your Left hand time keeping.

If you think the doubles exercises and inverted paradiddles are difficult, wait until you get to the triples on lines 9-12. They will really get your leg muscles burning.

It took a little time to learn the patterns, but now I have it where I will do either 30 seconds, or 1 minute each line depending on how much time I have.
There's easily an hour plus here if you do everything for just 1 minute.
To clarify, it’s not the first page of Stick Control and it doesn’t come from Stick Control. It’s just a progression of exercises I came up with to free up comping skills that I think is logical and effective. YMMV.

There are some common patterns in Section I (straight 8ths) with page one of SC, (just about every conceivable pattern can be found somewhere in SC). But, for example, there are no triplets or 16ths on page 1 of SC.

In any event, if you have been working lines 1-13 for years - playing straight 8ths against a swing jazz cymbal beat - then Section I should be easy for you.

PS: How do you feel about the straight 8th doubles compared to the inverted doubles in Section I?
 
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Tedd

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Just to be clear - the 8th notes are flatted and not swung, is that correct? The reason I ask is because with the syncopation book (and a couple of other books), I've been swinging the 8th notes.

Thanks for posting these great exercises.
 

Matched Gripper

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Just to be clear - the 8th notes are flatted and not swung, is that correct? The reason I ask is because with the syncopation book (and a couple of other books), I've been swinging the 8th notes.

Thanks for posting these great exercises.
Welcome! Yes. Section I (straight 8ths) the patterns are played straight at slow and medium tempo. But, as you increase speed, you will come to a tempo where the 8ths and the ride pattern naturally merge (sync) together.

PS: One way to manage the independence is to understand that each pattern is a repeating 4 note grouping. Listen for the “skip note” of the ride pattern to fall in between the 4th and 1st 8th note. Does that help?
 
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Tedd

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Welcome! Yes. Section I (straight 8ths) the patterns are played straight at slow and medium tempo. But, as you increase speed, you will come to a tempo where the 8ths and the ride pattern naturally merge (sync) together.

PS: One way to manage the independence is to understand that each pattern is a repeating 4 note grouping. Listen for the “skip note” of the ride pattern to fall in between the 4th and 1st 8th note. Does that help?
Yes, that does help - thanks.

This is going to take me quite awhile to get through these exercises - I'm looking forward too it.
 

Matched Gripper

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@tone-def kindly PM’d me this video which demonstrates some of the exercises in Section II in the OP (except for the double hand single foot triplets, double foot single hand triplets, and the paradiddle triplets), for those who want to see and hear what they look and sound like.

Unlike this video demo, however, I highly recommend practicing with the open-closed-open method (start very slow, gradually increase speed, maintain tempo, and then gradually decrease speed to the very slow starting tempo, continuously without stopping), at least at first. Practicing at all tempos is a very effective coordination builder, especially gradually decreasing speed.

 
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Matched Gripper

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This is an explanation I recently wrote in a PM that I think might help explain how to approach Sections I and III in the OP. It's not that easy to explain without notation software.

"You play the cymbal beat - with the skip note - on all exercises. When playing Section II - 8th note triplet exercises, there is no independence problem because all triplet based snare and bass drum notes fall directly on one of the triplet based cymbal beat notes.

"However in Sections I and III, you play duple based snare/bass drum patterns against the triplet based cymbal beat with the skip note. As I explain in the OP, if you are practicing the open-closed-open method (slow-fast-slow), which I recommend, as you increase speed, the triplet pattern of the cymbal beat will straighten out and merge with the duple pattern of the exercises in Sections I and III [so that duple snare and bass drum notes fall directly on the straightened out cymbal beat notes]. And as you slow back down, you should try to separate them out again.

"As for the placement of the skip note, in Section I, when counting the 8th note exercises as: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, the skip note falls between the & of 2 and 3, and between the & of 4 and 1. In Section III, when counting the 16th note exercises as: 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a, the skip note falls between & and a of 2 and the & and a of 4. . . . Again, as you speed up the cymbal beat will naturally straighten out and merge with the exercises. Does that make sense?"
 

Squirrel Man

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@tone-def kindly PM’d me this video which demonstrates some of the exercises in Section II in the OP (except for the double hand single foot triplets, double foot single hand triplets, and the paradiddle triplets), for those who want to see and hear what they look and sound like.

Unlike this video demo, however, I highly recommend practicing with the open-closed-open method (start very slow, gradually increase speed, maintain tempo, and then gradually decrease speed to the very slow starting tempo, continuously without stopping), at least at first. Practicing at all tempos is a very effective coordination builder, especially gradually decreasing speed.

This instructional is simply amazing. It's short, to the point - all the stuff my brain works well with. Just show me what you're doing and I'll pick it up from there. Long intros and over-elaboration loses me, this one is in my que to focus on for a while.

I've been loosely working on spang-a-lang and for a rock based drummer it's really not easy at all. I got the spang thing going a bit and that's a bit of a challenge because it's easy to schlock off on it, that's my take but the footwork and fills in between. Hats I'm ok with and it's a slow progression but I'm getting it. This stuff is a total boost for things to work on.

Thanks for posting that, I'm totally stoked for the project.
 

Matched Gripper

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This instructional is simply amazing. It's short, to the point - all the stuff my brain works well with. Just show me what you're doing and I'll pick it up from there. Long intros and over-elaboration loses me, this one is in my que to focus on for a while.

I've been loosely working on spang-a-lang and for a rock based drummer it's really not easy at all. I got the spang thing going a bit and that's a bit of a challenge because it's easy to schlock off on it, that's my take but the footwork and fills in between. Hats I'm ok with and it's a slow progression but I'm getting it. This stuff is a total boost for things to work on.

Thanks for posting that, I'm totally stoked for the project.
I really need to learn notation software.
 


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