Hear the way Ska/Reggae will sound. Listen closely to the cymbal rhythm. It is very difficult to hear it. The cymbal is only being played in-between the number counts or on the 'and' of, 1 and 2 and as the beat repeats.
Compare a bar of 8th rock to bar of Reggae or Ska. Visually notice, then listen for the similarities between these two beats! It may be difficult to distinguish the difference when listening to these midi files but there is a distinct difference in the cymbal line. Blame the midi files if you can't hear a difference. :>)
(These patterns are written in 2/4 for simplicity. We normally write them in 4/4.)
It would be easy to fill several books with variations of this style of playing. But, I'm not sure this would be the best way to progress. It seems the learning curve is greatly accelerated by simply jamming and improvising with this basic concept.
Begin with the basic Reggae (or Ska) pattern above, then try playing all of your routine 8th rock variations and syncs while maintaining this same somewhat spastic cymbal pattern.
I'll toss in a few 4/4 variations to get you started. You will quickly discover many more as you play along with your favorite Ska and Reggae recordings. Permutation theory will prove that 4.3 Billion possibilities exist here . . . it's the same as normal 8th rock. Give up on trying to learn them all. Just listen and jam with all your favorite music in this framework. The most important rhythmic possibilities should surface as you listen and play.
The following examples are written in 4/4.
Pay close attention to the cymbal as you practice these. The trick is to play all of your routine rock variations and syncs while maintaining the unique 'and' only cymbal.
Nobody said it would be easy! It's like learning all over again! C.
It will grow on you slowly! After mastering a handful of these patterns, the right (cymbal) hand will develop a mind of its own. Once you become accustomed to playing the cymbal on the 'and', it will gradually become a habit to maintain the odd cymbal pattern. Later, variations and syncs will come much easier than these first few.
Are you getting the idea? Get out a pen and scrap of paper. Write some interesting possibilities of your own, then try to play them.
To finish this lesson, Here is a string of Ska/Reggae variations and syncs played back to back.
VIDEO: Click here to 'Play', see, and hear everything in this lesson, at a moderate tempo.
You will need to 'live' and 'love' this music style to master playing it! Order up a new batch of Reggae or Ska CDs and get into it!
Your measure of yourself is VERY IMPORTANT! How do you measure up as a person? This may offer a clue!