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Elastic Subdivisions: Tools to Develop a Great Feel

MARK WESSELS’
ELASTIC SUBDIVISIONS

Everyone knows how important it is for a drummer to develop a great “feel” – but what does that mean? Can you play perfectly with a metronome, yet still not have a great feel? Of course! What many drummers miss is how to play with a “LOPE” subdivision – somewhere “between straight and swung.” All the great drummers throughout history have that lope to their groove.  It’s not straight (which sounds stiff), yet it’s not swung either (which in many cases, doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the band).

So, how do you develop that lope to your playing? Mark Wessels has developed these practice tools for you! In each of the play along videos, the feel (subdivision) gradually moves between straight 8th notes and flams and back again – with every subdivision between!

HOW TO PRACTICE WITH THESE PLAY ALONG TRACKS:

• Play with both hands on one surface, along with bass drum / hi-hat on downbeats.

• Play with a sticking pattern (such as double strokes, paradiddles, inverted paradiddles, etc.)

• Play subdivision in the hi-hat while you play bass on 1&3 with a 2&4 backbeat

• Vary the groove as much as you like – always keeping the feel consistent to the track!

EXERCISE ONE: ALL SUBDIVISIONS - SLOW TEMPO

Each subdivision is repeated for FOUR measures using the sequence:

1. Straight 8ths

2. Halfway between straight 8ths and triplets

3. Triplets

4. Halfway between triplets and dotted 8th/16ths

5. Dotted 8th / 16ths

6. Halfway between dotted 8th/16ths and flams

7. Flams

– and backward through the sequence to straight 8ths again.

EXERCISE TWO: JUST THE 8th NOTES - SLOW TEMPO

 

Alternating between 4 measures of straight 8ths and 8th notes with a “loped feel”

EXERCISE THREE: STRAIGHT 8ths TO 8th NOTE TRIPLETS - SLOW TEMPO

Each subdivision is repeated for FOUR measures using the sequence:

1. Straight 8ths

2. Halfway between straight 8ths and triplets

3. Triplets

– and back to straight 8ths again.

Here’s some great practice tools from Vic!

  • Free
    sih1
    sih1

    Stereo Isolation Headphones

    High quality stereo headphones which reduce overall noise levels by 24 decibels. For live situations or playing along with recorded music at safe sound levels.

  • Free
    pad6
    pad6

    PAD6

    6" single sided pad with soft rubber.

  • Free
    pad12
    pad12

    PAD12

    12" single sided pad with soft rubber.

  • Free
    alt text test
    alt text test

    High Fidelity Earplugs, Regular

    The world’s highest fidelity non-custom earplugs. Developed in conjunction with Etymotic, Vic Firth Earplugs are configured to replicate the natural response of the ear canal so that sound is reproduced exactly as the ear would hear it, only quieter. Clarity of speech and richness of music are preserved rather than muffled. 20db sound reduction across all frequencies. Heavy-duty neck cord and carrying case included.

  • Free
    5BCO
    5BCO

    5B Chop-Out

    Rubber tipped stick with an elongated taper to simulate the balance of the 5B.

    • Diameter: .595" [1.51cm]
    • Length: 161/4" [41.28cm]
    • Taper: Long