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Hello one and all! Welcome to my blog, which will be mostly comprised of supplementary lessons and exercises/concepts for my current and potential students alike. Not only will this give a taste of what private lessons are like with me, but should also provide some fun stuff to work on in your free time. To kick off the first mini-lesson, here's a concept based around phrasing. Many students ask "How can I play over the bar line?" I think the answer is obvious if you think about the question a little more. If you play perfectly symmetrically in a measure, then that means you're playing the exact number of beats in that measure and then stopping. In other words, if you're in 4/4 and want to play over the bar line, you have to play in something OTHER than 4/4! Easy, right? Let's look at some exercises we can do to develop this concept.

Notice the use of "positions". First position starts on beat one, second position starts on beat two, and third position starts on beat three. Depending on which position you use, you'll end up with what I call a "remainder" measure, in which you can either improvise, rest, or play time until the measure is over. Also notice that in position one, there are two options: play four groups of three, and improvise for four beats (a whole measure) or add another group of three and improvise for one beat. Both are valid and both feel different, so experiment.

I have come up with a few three beat phrases for you to put around the kit. Some are fun and feel natural, and others may feel quite strange at first. Pick a few you like and go nuts, making as many variations as you can possibly think of, then make a few more! On page two I've taken examples 1 and 11, and orchestrated them around the drumset while placing them in each of the different positions. Try them out and see how different each feels, and more importantly, make variations and orchestrations that you really love and add them to your vocabulary.

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