Keeping Time on the “&” – Part 1

In this next lesson for Developing Strong Inner Clock, we’re going to keep time with one hand on the “&” of the beat while the other plays a chart. Here’s the catch: the hands are going to switch roles at the top of every measure!

  1. Practice the entire chart without alternating the time-keeping limb, i.e. play the “&” with your Right Hand while playing the entire chart with your Left Hand. Once you’ve mastered this, work on the opposite: play the “&” with your Left Hand while playing the entire chart with your Right Hand.
  2. Begin the switcheroo!
    • Measures 1, 3, 5, etc.: Your Left Hand keeps time on the “&” on the snare drum, your Right Hand plays the chart on a tom.
    • Measures 2, 4, 6, etc.: Your Right Hand keeps time on the “&” on a tom, your Left Hand plays the chart on the snare drum.

    Don’t be overwhelmed by playing the entire chart all at once. It may help to initially break the chart into two- or four-bar phrases.

  3. Too easy? Add a foot ostinato underneath! In the video, I play a 3:2 son clave with my left foot on the hi-hat and Lam-Block.
  4. Be sure to add changes in dynamics and experiment with orchestration around the kit!

Here’s a chart showing the first four measures as an example:

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Print out the PDF and write in the stickings for initial help, if needed. Something I like to do is laminate charts and use a dry erase marker. However, you should strive to be able to superimpose counts and stickings over any chart without writing them in!

sf_downloadpdf Download the PDF Chart

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  2. […] on the skills we developed in Part 1, the independence will stay the same for Part 2—keep time with one hand on the “&” […]