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Mitch Mitchell Manic

This is lesson, a tribute to Mitch Mitchell, applies to his use of odd meter in the song Manic Depression.

On Wednesday November 12, 2008, drummer Mitch Mitchell, 61, died of natural causes. Born in England in 1947, John "Mitch" Mitchell who pioneered a fusion style of drumming known as “Psychedelic” or “Acid Rock” was the iconic drummer who provided the explosive heartbeat of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Notable songs “Fire”, “Foxey Lady”, and ”Purple Haze” are some fine examples of Mitch’s blend of jazz and rock drumming. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1992.

This lesson is in the “odd” meter of 3/4 time which is normally considered a waltz meter. Other notable drummers that have experimented with 3/4 time would include the incomparable Max Roach who explored “swinging” the odd meter on his album called “Jazz in 3/4 Time” released on the Verve label in 1957.

To me, Mitch’s playing here is more of a shuffle with a little mid-eastern flavor thrown in on the tom fill. The beat has a sort of hypnotic affect.

Remember that a shuffle is based on a triplet feel, meaning that the quarter note is divided into three even counts. One method of counting the triplet would be "1 an ah 2 an ah 3 an ah". To get the shuffle feel we would drop the “an” but still provide its space. So that would be "1 () ah 2 () ah 3 () ah". With this in mind study the beat below and count it as "1 () ah 2 () ah 3 an ah". The “an ah” of beat 3 are the tom fill. Note that bell of the cymbal is being played on beat 2 and 3.

We also have a legend in this lesson.

  • First is the note head symbol being used to represent when the bell of the cymbal is to be played.
  • Second you will notice the two eighth notes tied together then an equals sign (=) and then a quarter note and eighth note with a triplet bracket over them. This is what is know as a “Metric Modulation” marking and simple means that written eighth note (having two even spaces) should be interpreted as a triplet (have three even spaces) with in the same quarter note space as further explained above (the quarter note being divided into three even counts) as apposed to two.


Wow – I wish you were here so I could show you what I am explaining to help enforce your understanding.



Thanks and have FUN!!

 
 

 

 
 

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