Vamp Exercises: Part ITechnique by Kirby Jacobsen // October 08 2012
We are all familiar with a "vamp" – a repetitive musical passage. Consequently, a repetitive rhythm with several strokes performed with one hand can be considered a vamp as well. One familiar vamp exercise is playing eight 1/8 notes per hand. Vamp exercises are great to play as part of a warm-up routine, not to mention that they are terrific for consistency and evenness of strokes.
The exercises below are from my upcoming book, Stick it to Your Chops. I play these exercises as warm-ups, following the “90 degree bounce” (see my previous article)
The exercises presented here are not the typical hand-to-hand 1/8 note exercises. They are more like accented patterns. The accent pattern is noted under each exercise number and the meters have been omitted for simplicity. Start these exercises slowly. Play them at different speeds and at soft, medium, and loud volumes. Additionally, try doubling the amount of R and L stickings. For example, for exercise one you would play 16 notes with the right hand, 16 with the left, and then repeat. Play each exercise several times before proceeding to the next. As always, I strongly suggest using a metronome.
Until next time, lock it in the pocket.
About the Author
Kirby Jacobsen studied Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami and Jazz Performance at the William Paterson University. As a freelance drummer he has performed with Ira Sullivan, Gary Campbell, Dave Liebman, DaveSamuels, Rafael Cruz and Jerry Jemmot. Kirby also leads the Blue Brush Trio which performs in the New Jersey metro area. His technique-building methodbook, Stick it to Your Chops, will soon be available through CDI MusicPublishing, Inc. Send questions or comments to Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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