Hand patterns are primarily used to give a rhythm momentum. They are somewhat similar to drum rudiments except that they are usually naturally derived and simpler.
Examples (rests are indicated by "-")
Alternating r l r l r l r l .....
Alternating r l r - l r l - ..... (inserted rests)
Alternating r l r - r l r - ..... (skips every second left)
Short Tertiary r l - r l - r l - .....
Full Tertiary l r r l r r ....
Broad Tertialy l - r - r - .... (polymetric)
Additional hand patterns may be found employed in specific rhythms.
Examples (Calypsos, two common hand patterns.)
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
|:, . , * , . ,:|
B t O B O
r r l r r (An alternating type pattern)
r l r l (An open pattern - no touches)
An alternating type pattern refers to the even spacing of one hand so that the opposite hand may be free to play between. This is a structure that permits alternation.
An open pattern is a pattern that adheres strictly to the sounded rhythm itself and has rests, but no touches.
With the alternating pattern, any note in a sequence can be struck. However, this is rather energy consuming because the hands are moving all the time.
The broken alternating pattern has built in hand syncopation:
1 & 2 & 1 & 2 &
r l r - l r l -
The second half is a 'mirror image' of the first. It also allows fexibility in timing. The following example shows the broken alt. pattern moving from an 8 to a 6 bit pattern:
1 2 3 1 2 3 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &
1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 2 3 1 2 3
r l r - l r l - r l r l r l
by squeezing the rests out.
The short ternary pattern can be used for hocketts, just the same as the binary hocketts
r l - r l - r l -... hockett, binary
The full ternary pattern is often performed with a stick in the right hand because it is very energy consuming.
© Copyright 1980-1994 James VanDenAkker
© Copyright 1997 Luis M. Nunez
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