Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii keep on fallin’….. in love with… my drums! Alicia Keys’ Fallin’ is part of the Trinity Rock & Pop Grade 2 syllabus. Written in 12/8, this song provides a nice change of feel from all the other songs written in 4/4.
The 12/8 time signature means we are playing 12 beats in the bar and the 1/8th note gets the count. In a bar of 12/8 we can have twelve eighth notes, six quarter notes, four dotted quarter notes, three half notes or twenty-four sixteenth notes.
Normally when playing in 12/8 we play with a dotted quarter note feel. This means we emphasize the first, fourth, seventh and tenth beats of the bar. This gives us 4 groupings of 3 notes and makes it feel like we are playing 8th note triplets in 4/4. The two examples below will sound the same, it’s just the method of writing them down that differs. You can feel the beat either way. If you are more comfortable counting 8th note triplets in 4/4, you may wish to carry on counting that way.
Here’s my attempt at this version of the song, try counting along with the song in 12/8 and then try counting the 4/4 feel with the 8th note triplets.
Once you’ve got your head around the feel of the song and the counting, it’s a fairly straight forward song to play. The bass drum does get a good work out and there are a couple of places in the song where you need to hit the bass 6 or 7 times in a row; focus on getting each hit the same volume in these sections.
The drum fill towards the end of the song (around 1:20) starts on beat 4 (or 2 if you’re counting in 4/4) and consists of 9 eighth notes. It can be played as shown in the video – using alternating sticking – or you may prefer to use RLR LRL RLL to allow you to be more relaxed transitioning to the Ride cymbal.
The 2018 version of the Trinity Grade 2 Rock & Pop book is great to work through if you’re around 6 months to a year into your drumming career. You don’t have to take the exam to benefit from the book. The songs are great to work on & fun to play and will help to improve your drumming. In Singapore you can find the book at Robert Piano – Paragon Shopping Centre (and probably their other outlets). It’s also available from Amazon if you’re happy to pay the shipping!
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