Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thad Jones/Mel Lewis - Norway 1974

Thanks to Danny Gottlieb who passed this rare footage along this morning:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ben Riley...

A brilliant little drum feature from Ben Riley (with Thelonious Monk in Paris, circa. 1964) to get us going on this Monday morning:

If this doesn't put a little spring in your step and put a smile on your face, you must be dead.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jimmy Heath on Drummers & Bass Players

As per always, when the Master's speak, we listen...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Clave Paradiddles

Today's lesson continues with the same concept from last week's post, dealing with how we can use Clave patterns as frameworks to create interesting rudimental combinations (again, thank you Billy Martin!)

Here's another one that I've come up with (another "wrist twister as it were...) that uses different accented paradiddle combinations to outline a larger 3-2 Son Clave pattern:

Obviously the sticking combinations are important, but to really make it musical and groove, one really needs to pay attention to the accents and really exaggerate them (or else the larger Clave pattern will be lost!)

A fun variation that I've been practicing is to replace the first two double paradiddles with two single paradiddlediddles, each leading off of the same hand.

Maybe you could add flams to each of the accents to increase the "chop buster" factor.

You could also get clever like I mentioned last time and apply the same concept to a 2-3 Son, 3-2 Rumba and Bossa Nova Clave pattern as well.

Again, sorry about the hand written notation. I'm still sorting out my new computer and notation program.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Newport 1974

Thanks to the poster over at cymbalholics.com who shared this mighty "percussion discussion" from the 1974 edition of the Newport Jazz Festival, featuring Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey and Max Roach:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Clave Singles

Today's mini-lesson includes a little "wrist twister" that I've been messing around with lately as a warm-up. This is an exercise that combines hand-to-hand single strokes in the context of a 3-2 Son Clave pattern:

Of course you could also play this pattern as a 2-3 Son Clave or 3-2 Rumba Clave as well. Try the same concept with any 12/8 or Bossa Nova Clave too.

You could even up the ante a bit and add flams to each of the accents:

As always, I'm a big proponent of not only practicing the rudiments and rudimental types of patterns but also playing them with some sense of a melodic structure and musicality involved as well. Using various Clave patterns (thank you Billy Martin!) will undoubtedly help you achieve this. At the end of the day, you'll get a lot more mileage out of your rudiments if you organize and think of them this way. And of course there are many of doing this as well...

*Sorry for the handwritten examples today but I hope these make sense. I'm currently upgrading my computer and my handwriting will have to do for now!