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Do you use alternate sticking when you can’t quite do what was originally done.

Tornado

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I worked up this one for an R&B show, but we ended up not playing it. Sucks because I worked hard to get it with one hand. It's a workout at 85 bpm. What Jeff Porcaro was doing at up to 99 bpm is next level stuff.

 

Dan K

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Yeah, I'm not Jeff Porcaro either! Working on it again, though.

Dan
 

KingLudwig

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For example, my band recently learned Georgy Porgy where Porcaro is playing 16ths with one hand on the hats at 96 bpm. I can’t keep it up throughout the whole song yet, so I’m playing 16ths with two hands. Ugg, hate to do it but a boys got to do what he’s got to do….

My philosophy is, "what makes the song better."
That's sound wise first & foremost. Interpretation, style, showmanship, etc. are relegated to the back seat. We have a few instrumentals in the set where we all get to show what we got & that's where improvisation kicks in!
 

Peano

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Here are four techniques. You can also play a single paradiddle between hats and snare, with the strong snare beats on 2 and 4 (obviously) and the others just ghost notes.


Another:
 
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zeichner

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For me, the prime directive is to make the song groove. If I physically can't play what is on the record, then the song won't groove if I try. It's instructive to listen to the way a band approaches a song when playing live, as opposed to the recorded version. With Toto, there are numerous live videos of Georgy Porgy, not only with Jeff Porcaro, but also Simon Phillips and others. The song got slower & funkier over the years. Even Jeff started to break up the hi-hat ride, often doing eighth & 2 sixteenths. With Simon Phillips, they started to really swing it. By 2019, they were doing the song at about 90 bpm.

You can hear similar examples with Tower of Power. Just because David Garibaldi might have played one thing on a recording doesn't mean he would do exactly the same thing in performance. Then listen to Ron E. Beck & Herman Matthews play the same songs - neither playing the Garibaldi grooves, but both making the song groove in their own way.

 

DavedrumsTX

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For example, my band recently learned Georgy Porgy where Porcaro is playing 16ths with one hand on the hats at 96 bpm. I can’t keep it up throughout the whole song yet, so I’m playing 16ths with two hands. Ugg, hate to do it but a boys got to do what he’s got to do….
Do whatever you need to do to the make song groove for the audience and your band. Most people will never know the difference of what type of sticking you are using, but they will know if it’s not grooving.

Don’t get discouraged. Work on single handed 16ths with a metronome every day, just for a few minutes. Start slow and gradually increase your speed. However, the minute you feel tension and you are not relaxed, back off on the speed. You will start to see your comfort and speed build over time. There is no microwave approach.

Also remember even Jeff Porcarro said his right hand was tired after recording Keep Forgetting by Michael McDonald.

Good luck!!!
 

Karl

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In my youth I played a lot of Soul and R&B that required 16 note highhat. I developed a technique where I pushed my palm toward the hats on the 1/8th notes(1&2&3&4&) and caught the top of the hihat with the tip of my stick on each upstroke. It was a bastardized version of the Moeller technique. It worked for me and most importantly , it felt right. Or 500 hrs on the pillow‍
 

itsjjp

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Jeff and other pros are very clear that it sounds better played with one hand. Either you can or you can't. Nothing wrong with using 2 hands for sn overall similar effect.
 

PDXMan

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Played a jazz gig celebrating the music of Dave Brubeck a couple of years back. One of the tunes I had to learn to play in Joe Morello's style was this one:
called Bossa Nova U.S.A. I ended up learning to play the main grove with either hand playing the 16ths on the snare so I would switch back-an-fourth; mostly to give the left hand a break from doing something it's not used to doing. I've kept up practicing this groove and it actually helped my left hand get a lot better at comping. I kind of use it as a stick control exercise now, but if the right kind of tune comes up during the night, I can play it pretty smoothly for a chorus or two with the left hand taking the lead. When I was learning this groove, I had to raise up my snare a bit and level it out to get the right hand and stick angle and rebound needed. Turns out that's better for a lot of things on the snare; go figure. Anyway, you might take a real close look at the height of your hats and find that a little ergonomic adjustment helps you get those 16ths happening a little easier. My 2-cents.
 

varatrodder

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Years ago I came up with an alternate way to do one-handed sixteens (I've always had slow hands), similar to the "1_&a" approach. It's a paradiddle pattern based on a Latin rhythm that only uses the left hand for a few notes on the hi hat, but has a very similar feel to straight 16ths. To my ear, it has more flow than just playing 1_&a, or playing alternating 16ths. It can be played tight and crisp, or really loose and swampy. And if you play the right hand on a cowbell or ride cymbal bell, you get a nice Latin flavor.


16ths-01.png
 

Ray Dee Oh King

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Definitely. I play what I hear. I never learned to read charts, and have always learned by ear. Whatever my brain tells my body to do to create the sound, is what I do. Sad but true :violent1:
 

drums1225

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For example, my band recently learned Georgy Porgy where Porcaro is playing 16ths with one hand on the hats at 96 bpm. I can’t keep it up throughout the whole song yet, so I’m playing 16ths with two hands. Ugg, hate to do it but a boys got to do what he’s got to do….

For me, the most effective way to approach fast one-handed 16ths (or 8ths) is to employ a subtle pumping motion (a la Moeller) and very low strokes. As I approach tempos at, near, or slightly above the top of my range (for instance, "The Funky Drummer"), I'll work in the open/close technique. The key to speed is to remain relaxed while using the lowest strokes you can control.

In the meantime, when tasked with playing songs live, that may be at or near my max tempo, I will still play them one-handed, but if I start to tense up or get tired, I give myself tiny little breaks where I might leave a note out here and there; often the "a" before a backbeat, especially if there's a bass drum there. This way you still convey that one-handed 16th note feel which, as previously noted, is distinctly different from a two-handed approach.

You might be surprised at how leaving a note out every once in awhile releases enough tension to continue pumping out fast 8ths or 16ths.
 
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Tornado

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Years ago I came up with an alternate way to do one-handed sixteens (I've always had slow hands), similar to the "1_&a" approach. It's a paradiddle pattern based on a Latin rhythm that only uses the left hand for a few notes on the hi hat, but has a very similar feel to straight 16ths. To my ear, it has more flow than just playing 1_&a, or playing alternating 16ths. It can be played tight and crisp, or really loose and swampy. And if you play the right hand on a cowbell or ride cymbal bell, you get a nice Latin flavor.


View attachment 556761

This is almost like the pattern I like that I poorly explained earlier in the thread, except I go ahead and play the right hand on the hats along with the snare, so I'm playing a maximum of 5 notes in a row. I do think part of sound is not hearing the hats cut out on each snare hit. It's still not the same as all one hand, but it sounds cool in its own way, and is a lot of fun.
 

wflkurt

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It's funny that this topic is popping up. I am plying a new song with my band this Saturday and the one handed 16th groove I am doing is just about where my limit is. Maybe almost past it. I would definitely not want to open a set with the tune but it should be ok after a few songs in. It's a Sam Hunt song and while I actually really like the song structure, the melody and the chords, I hate the production. The drums and bass are fake and I would love to hear how this song would have sounded with someone like Carter McLean on drums. A really funky bass player would have been great too but apparently the cheesy fake drums and bass are the thing.


I'm also doing a one off gig with my old Van Halen tribute and Alex played some pretty fast one handed stuff back in the day. He played Mean Street one handed on the Fair Warning album and that goes at a pretty good clip. It's the same with songs like Right Now and Spanked from the stuff in the 90's. I saw a 2015 clip of Alex playing Mean Street and he does it two handed now. He's also 68 so there is that...


 

kzac

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For example, my band recently learned Georgy Porgy where Porcaro is playing 16ths with one hand on the hats at 96 bpm. I can’t keep it up throughout the whole song yet, so I’m playing 16ths with two hands. Ugg, hate to do it but a boys got to do what he’s got to do….

I would say play what you can master that fits the music, regardless of what the original percussionist did (Jeff) or you can make it yours. Sounds like a tune that would be fun applying paradiddles and random left hand accents. Give it some flavor opposed to the original disco beat.

Looking at the video, what you might be hearing as 16th notes are actually diddles like those used on multiple stroke rolls, this is quite commonly mistaken as 16th notes from the sound.
Personally...
I would opt for a broken up single and double paradiddle groove myself, that provides ghost notes on the snare with accents in key places... Think it would give the tired old disco tune a new flavor... The King Kong beat would work well also
 

varatrodder

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This is almost like the pattern I like that I poorly explained earlier in the thread, except I go ahead and play the right hand on the hats along with the snare, so I'm playing a maximum of 5 notes in a row. I do think part of sound is not hearing the hats cut out on each snare hit. It's still not the same as all one hand, but it sounds cool in its own way, and is a lot of fun.
Now I'm gonna have to try that pattern with the hi hat hitting at the same time as the snare. That would certainly give it more the right sound.
 

vintagerick

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I haven’t heard anyone else say this yet, so I’ll throw this out there. Call it laziness, or I prefer to call it improving my independence, but for about 10 years now I’ve been mixing up riding the hihat by alternating two bars, or four bars, or eight bars, with each hand. If you get tired after eight bars of 16th notes with the right, then play eight bars with your left hand playing the 16th notes. Work to make each hand sound the same. It definitely helps me get through a long night!

As for a basic exercise to help increase speed and stamina, try this on a practice pad - start with Flam Taps, then FRRFLL, then FRRRFLLLF, then FRRRRRFLLLLLF, etc. starting slowly and increasing the speed.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Your guitar and bass player WILL sometimes use hammer-ons/pull-offs, sweep picking or other "shortcuts" instead of picking every notes to make certain things easier/smoother. Do you hear the difference? Do you care? Neither will they, most probably.

Unless you are in a tribute band that goes for absolute accuracy, I think you can two-hand it and call it a day. 99.9% of the people on the dance floor won't mind ;-)
 

Fingerz

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For example, my band recently learned Georgy Porgy where Porcaro is playing 16ths with one hand on the hats at 96 bpm. I can’t keep it up throughout the whole song yet, so I’m playing 16ths with two hands. Ugg, hate to do it but a boys got to do what he’s got to do….
Its funny you mention Toto as I have yet to wrap my brain around Jeff's Rosanna shuffle which of course is hybrid Purdie, Bonham, Bo Diddley beat.

I have seen it played but where I normally cross stick my hi-hat, this beat feels more natural played with my left on the hats. I found this out as I was sitting at a light and playing tbe beat on my arm rest! Go figure.

Miss Jeff's originality so much. A true legendary stick man.
 
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