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Ostinato drumming
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Where do I start ?

New revised version  : )
as always I try to keep all these sections in real world terms :P
a bit like a crazy email !
 
 
Ok This like the rest of this site is only my opinion,
so if you find your way works go for it!  :)

When you have chosen your (ostinato)

it's time to do something with it,you cant just sit there and smile.

HOW  ?

Baby steps one step at a time

For your first ostinato i would recommend keeping away from odd time patterns
also keep the ostinato pattern simple

OK

Play the ostinato you have chosen (say its feet) Play this pattern until you have a very soild idea of the exact motions involved.(you have to know what you are doing!)

Next
play the pattern with out looking at what your doing stare at a point on a wall in front of you.
Try to let your attention fix to the point on the wall letting the pattern run in the back ground keep this up for 20-30 min.

At this point you may run in to a problem !
if your pattern is (RLRRLRLL) and you cant play the double on the left foot you will need to work on that before you can move on.

(you cant play a part on top of  a part you cant even play by its self !)   EEK !

**Be honest with your self :P**

if you can play the basics of the pattern but its a bit rough don't worry after the time spent working though all the patterns ahead you will have had a lot more practice at it!  

Next

if you have control over the pattern close your eyes while playing the pattern

Think about an highly imaginative image,

make it as clear as possible in your mind  the more crazy the idea the better !

 (go nuts...think of riding a giant frog or what ever takes your fancy)

think of all the strong colors and all the sounds to go along with the crazy image try to feel like you are in the image and not sat on your stool playing .

WHY?
Doing this distracts the conscious mind and helps to program your pattern as
motor memory.you learn a shorter time span than with normal practice thinking

.....in normal practice you just go over and over till get bored and your mind goes out to lunch yawn...and thats when it sinks in ((top tip))

after a long session of this visualization exercises you should start to feel the pattern fall in to place then you can play it at quite a speed without thinking to hard about it (feels like sort of keeping check on it as it runs )

**also you could read a page of text !! **    


Next section
Play 16ths or 8th or 16th triplets*depending on the subdivision*,
(on the snare) over your foot pattern

get used to the feel of the ostinato against the constant time.
This is what i call the "Master TIME GRID" that everything will fall in to.

 (you have to have this nice and solid)
 

When you feel comfortable with that still playing 16ths over the feet
 
Next move your right arm on to the first tom to hear beats (1)e(&)a(2)e(&)a(3)e(&)a(4)e(&)a  over the pattern
this will make the 8th notes very clear to hear ( now you can pick out how the pattern falls against 8th notes)

Next
Using the same system above

(1)e(&)a(2)e(&)a(3)e(&)a(4)e(&)a

Now  play the right hand part between the first tom and a ride cymbal  so
 (1)is ride - (&) first tom--- (2) ride--   (&) first tom--- (3) ride--  ect  
its still 16ths but right hand moving from ride to tom.Listen to the ride for a while
This will make the quarter note count easy to hear also the off beat 8ths on the first tom( how you hear this will depend on what you focus on-up beats or down beats )

The more you focus on these top kit patterns the more the feet have to
act on fixed memory.When i play this kind of stuff im thinking of just the hands and the master time grid

( no way can you think of it all at once ! ,,,are you nuts! )


Next
just play 8ths 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & without filling in the left hand 16th notes
 
and then play just the single crochet beats 1 2 3 4 
ect.
Then back to the 16ths.1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a

Now you have all the main divisions covered,
all the "Prime divisions" as i like to call them.
4th  8th 16th

Next stat to break up the subdivisions
Crochets  eg play "  "  ....1  "2"  3   4   1   2   3   "4"   "1"   "2"   3    4
*next do a similar thing with 8ths and 16ths*
get these down and you can start to solo in 4th  8th 16th phrases

(you will know where all these subdivisions land against your Ostinato )

**TIP***
 you are half way there with your ostinatio if you can play
  (1)e&(a)2e(&)a3(e)&a(4)e&(a)1e(&)a2(e)&a(3)e&a4e&a

*ONLY playing the bracketed notes*


after all this your into the "sweat it out section"

Work though the"All variations list" on this site.
you have worked out the singles so start on the

the groups of 2 notes then groups with 3 notes
going back to the earlier groups if you get in to trouble.
: )

for some of the strange 16th note groups
try moving between 2 sounds to high lite the notes you need to hear 

eg  1(e&a)2(e&a)4(e&a)4(e&a)

put a rolled up towel on one half of your snare
play 16ths over the ostinato and 
tap the 1 2 3 4 on a towel! you can now hear a clear version of how the (e&a) pattern sounds over the foot ostinato
hearing how it will sound as a mixed pattern is half the battle :)

Once you have a lot of these patterns memorised you can start to stack them

its like drumming lego.....say if you have a pattern 5/8 set in memory you can stack that on top of other preset patterns eg 7/8 with out a big fight about it.

while playing this type of stuff the trick is to not think to much and just let it loop

.... dont force it or panic, let the patterns run and trust it to be right ...use the force lol

 

Ok im out of here again... all this stuff is not super simple but you can get though it so dont panic

Im as freaked out by it as much as you are : ) lol

but you have to keep trying ,i hope this helps someone

see ya

with time and effort you will be able freely play any of the broken divisions over the ostinato.
 
Then there are doubles,paradidles,groups of 3,its endless and to much to cover here.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

SLOW IT DOWN
Give your brain and body chance to 
understand what is going to happen).
Motor memory, your body will repeat
things almost by reflex, but it's like a
computer you have to  program it.

WORKING PARTS OUT
 
Try the best you can to hear the parts
and play them on top of each other
but if you get stuck its not a bad thing to work
it out on paper *you have to understand what
you are  trying to do*

Most importantly:

        REPEAT AND REPEAT  
         OVER AND OVER      
 
And then you will get it!
This can take along time to sink in so don't worry      

Words of wisdom

TERRY BOZZIO:
"I get an idea for
a piece or an
ostinato;I usually
have to work through the co-ordination and permutations in order to get free enough to improvise over this accompaniment pattern or pull of my idea."
"I'll work on somthing for anywhere from three days to two years,and when it's ready I'll go out and perform it."                                      Terry Bozzio:2000 RHYTHM