Drum Track One for Fixed Form 50
For 1-to-1 students and for group settings, this drum track can provide the foundation for the songwriting process using FF50.
This track is in 4/4 time at 79 on the metronome, which is just over 2 and 1/2 minutes. The 50 beat form has 200 beats, so at 1 beat per second [60 on metronome], the tune would take 3 minutes, 20 seconds. Sharing this math with students is a good thing.
In a classroom, brevity can be vital. I started this form [and it can be expanded] with 4 times through the verse [which made it 66 bars], which is common. Yet, I changed it for the following reasons:
- The form was taking too long to perform. We have limited class time and to run through it “one more time” at the end of class just wasn’t working. And at our future performance, we may have 6 or 7 of these tunes to perform, across all of the age groups. 2.5 minutes is pretty good for this scenario. And, kids won’t get lost as easily.
- The longer form  didn’t have the ideal verse & chorus situation. This means that they weren’t the same length [8 bars] and that we lose the ‘inverted’ time-space [verse is 2 times, 4 beats per chord & the chorus is 4 times, 2 beats per chord].
Last thing: for preschoolers, we do only the verse, at this time. And, I use A B C D [really Am Bo C Dm, but they don’t want to know that yet – my 4.5 year old who is in my class saw another class and asked what the little m’s were, and I explained it, and she just shrugged]. Rhythm and single tone tracking is the main goal for the little people. The 5 year olds do pretty well with playing 3rds as well. And, sometimes triads. Note: we have a couple of 5 year olds that can play basic beats, which is a first in my classroom. “Do the right things long enough…”
For ages 6-7, we stick with just the verse and chorus. For ages 8 and above, we work the whole form, even if I’m shouting out where we are all the time.
Pre-band, we use bells and chimes to hammer out the form for all age groups. It’s well spent floor dwelling time. I have lots of audio of this process, as well as the full form, and will be sharing more of it with you as the waves roll on.