7/8 meter – how to count and play freely in this meter?
Sticking precision – two extreme exercises
1. 7/8 meter
7/8 is an “incomplete” 4/4 meter, which has been “deprived” of one eight note. To comfortably feel this pulse, you have several counting options so you don’t have to count up to seven, here they are the easier possibilities:
1. Three quarter notes + eight – you count to “three and a half”.
Of course & means eight note, so this rhythmic value lasts half as much as a quarter note.
2. 6/8 meter + eight.
The 6/8 meter is much more natural than 7/8, so the next way is to count in 6/8 and add one eight note more in the bas, so:
1 2 3 4 5 6 & 1 2 3 4 5 6 & …
3. Syllabication – you have already know this method, it recommends arranging simple word sequences, based on syllables, instead of counting with numbers, e.g.
“I-want-to-play-more-and-more” – 7 syllables that will allow you to count easily without using numbers.
2. Impact precision – two extreme exercises
And now for a change I will show you two exercises that will allow you to work out more precisely hitting the snare and hitting exactly one point.
We will use props for this, one of which you will have to make and the other you probably already have.
The first prop for training the precision of impact is a bottle of water, specifically its cap.
Set the bottle to the correct height and hit the bottle cap with its stick.
Try to hit precisely, right in the middle of the cap, paying attention to the precision of both hand (sticks).
Practice any rudiments and play using the various stroked techniques discussed in this course – Moeller Techniques, Rebound Stroke, Up Stroke, Down Stroke and others.
At first, it will be difficult to hit exactly on the small bottle cap, but this exercise will allow you to develop amazing precision.
The second prop will help you build the right motor motion of the sticks movements of one and the other hand, i.e. a perfectly straight line along which the sticks moves.
To build a prop, prepare a properly sized piece of thicker paper (cardboard) and place it vertically, placing it between drumhead and snare drums’ rim. Then cut from the top almost to the very bottom (about 2 centimeters from the surface of the snare) side strips about 2 centimeters wide, on both sides of the cardboard, in the place where you normally hit with the right and left sticks.
These are the “rails” your sticks move along – the “corridors” you use to move, exactly in a straight line.
Your task is to raise and lower the sticks in such a way that they touch the cardboard as little as possible – thanks to this your hands will learn to precisely stroke exactly in a straight line, without “running” sideways.
Practice the different exercises of this course and the different stroking techniques described in this course.