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This proposal will focus on several performance and practice issues on the song called

Roller Coaster by Dirty Loops. This song was released on January 2014 and it is from

Dirty Loops debut album entitled “Loopified”. Roller Coaster is a track number 12 out of

14 songs in the album. It is actually a song cover was originally by a Canadian singer

Justin Bieber.


Dirty Loops is a band from Stockholm, Sweden formed in 2008. They were known for

their jazz reharmonized covers of pop song such as “Baby” by Justin Bieber, “Rolling in

the Deep” by Adele and many more. The band started their musical journey by actively

doing cover of pop song on Youtube beginning with their take on an American singer

song Lady Gaga entitled “Just Dance”. The video became wildly successful with over

100,000 views and 10,000 Facebook shares in the first two month of release. Dirty

Loops consist of 3 members which is Jonah Nilsson a phenomenal vocalist and

keyboardist, Henrik Linder a professional electric bass player and Aron Mellergardh as

the drummer and the backbone of the band’s pace energy. They are longtime friends

since secondary school as they studied music at Sodra Latin and became classmates,

then they attended Royal College of Music in Stockholm together.

They kept making covers of top hits which makes them gone viral that attracted the

attention of some of the biggest music producers such as Andreas Carlsson and David

Foster. Andreas Carlsson, a Swedish music producer and songwriter signed the band to

a management deals while David Foster, a well-known producer and songwriter signed

the band to his Verve Records and brought them on his tour of Asia in 2012.

Dirty Loops apply their fusion jazz skills onto their unique brand of pop, bringing

together their various funk, R&B, and electronic dance music influences. Fusion jazz

defines as a musical fusion genre that developed in the late 1960s when musician

combined some element of funk rhythms and blues rhythms. It is also known as jazz-

rock because of the amplification of electronic sound of rock music, electric instruments

such as electronic effect and synthesizers.

The arrangements differ in complexity. Some employ a looping of groove fixed to a

single key or single chord with simple or repeated melody. Others apply complex chord

progression, uncommon time signature or melodies with counter-melodies. Whether the

arrangement is simple or complex, usually will include improvised section that can be

vary in length much like in other forms of jazz.

According to AllMusic Guide, jazz and rock were completely separated. Electric R&B

and contemporary jazz were on opposite sides of blues centered African-American

music in the United States. Music experts highlight the British pop music that was

produce by a jazz musician Chris Barker. According to Wikipedia, John McLaughlin a

fusion guitarist played what AllMusic categorizes as a version of jazz and American

Rhythm & Blues with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames Group in the early 1962.
However, all of the above-mentioned musician was influenced by a jazz musician like

Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly and many more. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock & Mr.

James Brown were already creating this new sounds

Miles Davis is an American jazz trumpeter was among the creator of electric jazz or jazz

fusion and a lot of the music that we listen to. With his album entitled “Miles in the Sky”

released in 1968, he had a big-time influence on the evolution of jazz fusion. It was his

first album to include electric instrument and collaborated with other famous jazz

musician like Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock.

In 1968, Miles Davis continued the use of the electronic instruments on his album

entitled “Kilimanjaro” featuring Dave Holland as a bassist and brilliant pianist and

electronic keyboardist Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea. It is difficult to identify who and

when Jazz fusion song were originally created, but it is good to say that Miles Davis

1969 album entitled “In a Silent Way” is considered as his first jazz fusion album and the

spark to a new genre.


• Unison

In the term of music, unison is two or more musical parts or line that sound either the

same pitch or separated by interval of one or more octaves usually at the same time. In

music composition, composer creates a unison passage to bring out melodic lines that

need clarity due to extreme range or wide melodic skips or awkward-sounding intervals.

In this song, I have a problem to play the rhythm correctly and to play the unison part

together with the band as shown Figure 1 and Figure 2.

Figure 1
Figure 2

As shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, there is a lot of complex rhythm combination such

as triplets and sextuplet. Plus, it is more challenging for me to play this particular part

because the song tempo is around 126 bpm which is quite fast and I have to highlight

all the attacks part. Based on what I have seen at the score on Figure 1, the attack is

on 4 “a”, 2 “a” and 4 “n”. After analyzing the score, I gained visual understanding of the

song’s structure. In addition to that, the audio of this song helps me on getting an idea

of what the drummer actually plays on this part.

Based on the audio, I can hear that the drummer apply a six-stroke roll fill between the

attacks. There is some exercise on how to do a six-stroke roll that I found on the

internet as shown in Figure 3. This exercise helps me to play six-stroke roll correctly.

Figure 3
After that, I found a six-stroke roll licks which helps me on how can I apply six-stroke roll

as a drum fill. As shown in Figure 4, this is an exercise that I did for myself to gained

some ideas on applying six-stroke roll as a drum fill. Plus, the accented notes on

exercise number 1 helps me to play the attack as I mention.

Figure 4

After identifying the correct way to play the rhythm, instead of practicing it note by note,

I ignore the drum notation first then I take out only the rhythm and figure out the

subdivision. I also refer to the other instrument unison line especially Piano and Hey

Horns to find out what rhythm that they play. As shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, the

rhythm for Piano and Hey Horns look similar with my drum part. Then, once I am

comfortable with the rhythm, then only I practice the whole part with following the drum


• Rhythm

The term rhythm has more than one meaning, it can be the basic, repetitive pulse of the

music, or a repetitive rhythmic pattern throughout the music. Also, it refers as the

pattern in time of a single small group of notes. Subdivision is simply meaning to take a

large thing and divide it into a smaller part. There is a step to divide it starting with a

whole note, subdivided into quarter note, then eighth note to sixteenth note and so on.

Figure 5
I am facing a problem on that particular bar as shown in Figure 5. because it is a 32nd

notes drum fills with an attack at the end of the bar, 32 nd notes or demisemiquaver is a

note played for 1/32 of the duration of a whole note. At first, I struggle to play the 32 nd

notes fill as written because of the tempo. In order to overcome to these difficulties, I

found some useful exercise on how to count 32nd notes as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6
The exercise helps me further understand how to count and play the subdivision

correctly. Plus, I able to get the correct feel on how 32 nd note sound in a bar. Next, after

doing the exercise several time, I use the exercise as shown in Figure 7 to help me how

to play the 32nd note fill as I mention.

Figure 7