The three pieces I have studied are:
1. Running Over Town-Terry Popple
2. A Little Time- Beautiful South
3. Sweet Georgia Brown- B.Bernie/M. Pinkard/K. Casey
I have decided to perform Running Over Town for my performance piece. This song is a country- rock. The main feature of this piece is the changing mood of the song. The drum kit makes an impact with the well- placed fills and the different beats used. The fills used paradidles and double strokes. The song has a good ABAC structure. The use of a rim click and the bell of the cymbal adds to the feel of the piece and makes it stand out. When I performed this I added three stroke ruffs in the fills and adapted them to how I thought would sound best. This is what the composer tells you to do in the piece Using a drum kit, bass guitar, lead guitar and a keyboard gives the song a fairly thick texture and a range of instruments. The dynamics used on the drum kit emphasise the main parts of the song, where the theme changes and where the song is developed.
In this piece I think that the range of my instrument is fully explored because a variety of fills are used. Also, more than one voice is played. These voices are:
* the cymbal – as well as hitting it normally the bell of the cymbal is used
* the snare drum – it is hit with the snare on and a rim click is also played
* the hi-hat – it is played closed and open.
Therefore the drum kit has been explored and various different sounds are produced.
Three special performing techniques are used in this piece. The first is the opening of the hi-hat which produces a splash sound which cannot be made anywhere else on the kit. The second is the playing of the bell of the cymbal which adds to the different sounds coming from the cymbals. Lastly the rim click is used which helps convey the mood and theme of the piece.
This piece is originally composed for the drum kit and has not been arranged for it.
My instrument relates to the others in the ensemble by playing the rhythm and keeping the time. It adds to the texture of the piece and influences the whole sound when all the instruments play as one. It is vital to the piece as it would not sound right with out it because someone needs to play the rhythm.
The links between my performance piece and the others that I have studied is that they all use rim clicks throughout the song to enhance the sound of the piece. This is also a performing technique that is required to give the desired effect while playing the piece. In my performance piece I also had to splash the hi-hat, use varied fills, play on the bell of a cymbal and add dynamics. All these are performance techniques that the composer has decided to use.
The first two pieces use regular eighth note grooves with a backbeat on 1 and 3. This is common of rock music. But the third piece is a jazz piece which uses an advanced jazz groove which involves triplets, as all jazz grooves do.
The expectation of the pieces affects the way they are composed. If the audience was expecting a slow piece performed by an orchestra then the composer would have to change his or her ideas and add more instruments. For example, the composer might slow the piece down and replace the drum kit or guitar with a string section of the orchestra. The pieces would also be performed differently in that the performers may feel like playing the piece faster because the audience prefers energetic music.
All of my chosen pieces are notated in the same way but not composed in the same way as they are all different styles of music. The first piece is a country- rock piece so is played with a jerky guitar and has quite a fast tempo (allegro). Also it has a piano playing the main melody.
The second piece is rock and sounds a lot like the first but it uses string instruments instead of the guitar and it also uses a keyboard to play the melody. Unlike the others the song has two singers. At the beginning it sounds like the first piece as it uses a keyboard, a rim click and a groove similar to the drummer in the first piece.
The third piece is a lot different as it is a different style of music. It is a jazz piece so the drummer uses a jazz groove which is played using triplets unlike the two other drummers. A keyboard is used in this piece but is used in a different way to the others, and it doesn’t play the melody all the way through. There is a double bass in this and a saxophone along with a keyboard and a drum kit.
When I performed my piece under exam conditions in front of the two music teachers I think that it went well, because when I played the grooves in the piece I played them smoothly and correctly. Also, when I performed I played confidently and made few mistakes although, to keep the rhythm perfect I thought that I would have played better with the backing track so I could hear when the rhythm changed by listening to the other instruments. I also think that I added the dynamics well and played at the right tempo. The fills that I added also fitted the piece and added extra to the overall sound of the piece.
I think my performance was played as the composer intended it to be played as I had played along with a backing track while practicing and this helped me to play the right sort of style. I also think that this was played in the same style and theme as the composer had intended.
There were a few special features in my performance piece. There was a rim click which was used in a certain groove which enhanced the piece as it suited the country style. Along with this I played the bell of the ride cymbal. Another technique I used was splashing the hi-hat. This is when you take your foot off the hi-hat and play it with your hand as the hi-hat is being released. I think that I handled the difficult bars with ease as I decided to play a piece that I could handle instead of one that I would make mistakes in because it was too hard.
I might have improved the piece by playing it with headphones to help me keep in time as I didn’t have the backing track on and therefore I could have enhanced the sound because I would be playing with a better rhythm and style. Overall, I think I performed my piece well and gave a memorable and convincing performance, but there is room for improvement.
My composition brief is to compose a piece that shows the different uses of a rim click in three or more genres of music. I also hope to show that the drum kit has been explored in my composition and that it has been used to its full potential. I am going to use rim clicks in: basic quarter, eighth and sixteenth note rock grooves; shuffles; Latin and jazz grooves. Along with the grooves I am going to add some fills. I am also hoping to add dynamics and texture to the piece as at the beginning it will start with only one hand playing the kit and then increase to using all my limbs. I am going to use techniques that I have studied and liked.
This brief relates to the pieces that I have studied as it uses a rim click which is what my three chosen pieces have in common. I am going to expand, develop and explore this technique in my composition. This is in all the three pieces I have studied but I particularly liked it in the first piece (Running Over Town).
I am going to use this technique in jazz and shuffle grooves which both revolve around triplet feels. I have used the jazz grooves from the third piece but have made them simpler and added my own style to them. The rock grooves are played straight and do not need as much care as the other grooves. These I have taken from the second piece I have studied as I think that they are very affective. Also, the Latin bossa nova groove does the same thing. This is just something I want to add because I think that it will give the composition a wide range of genres.
I intend to use a few special techniques in my composition which include using ghost notes (which is when you play a note quieter than the others), a rim click, splashing the hi-hat and hitting the bell of the cymbal.
Using these techniques would help me fulfil my composition brief as it would show how the drum kit is being used at its full potential.