Monday, November 8, 2021

4-Way Linear Coordination Using Stick Control + The Jon McCaslin 4tet +1 appearing at the King Eddy!

Here are some simple but effective linear exercises that I've been working on with a student lately. I like practicing these because they put my limbs in different combinations and make me play things that I'm not used to (always a good thing in my opinion...)

These were inspired by some linear "flow" concepts that Matt Wilson assigned me when I studied with him in 2004 which, I believe (?), were derived from some exercises he had learned during his own time studying with Ed Soph and George Marsh (my apologies as it was a long time ago and my mind is a bit fuzzy with the details Lol). George is well known for his book Inner Drumming (highly recommended) and of course Ed Soph is a legendary drum set educator who taught at the University of North Texas for many years (see my previous blog post from Christopher Smith featuring both Ed Soph and Steve Houghton).

Anyhow, I digress (!) and the point of these exercises that I've come up with is to develop a connected and unified sense of flow around the drums, between the hands and feet.

Here's how it works:

Use the hand-to-hand sticking patterns from the first few pages of Stick Control as a template and apply the systems below, all while playing a steady stream of 8th notes. You could also use any single, double or triple paradiddle combination as well.

A few suggestions:

- Play all the Right hand parts on the ride cymbal, Left hand on the snare drum

- Play the Right hand on the snare drum, Left hand on the left side crash/ride

- Play the Left foot on the hi-hat both both closed and open (ie. splash)

- Take John Riley's suggestion and play through all of these variations not only as 8th notes but at a triplet rate as well 

*ed. note: the idea of using Stick Control as a template for different exercises also comes from my studies with John and I believe this was a concept used by Joe Morello as well (credit where credit is due, just saying!)

And don't forget:

Take it slow and make it groove!

And now a Four on the Floor Public Service Announcement

Hey everybody! 

If you find yourself in Calgary, Alberta this weekend please come check out my band and new project presented by the 2021 TD JazzYYC Canadian Festival:

The Jon McCaslin Quartet +1 
featuring Lisa LaTouche

Friday, November 12th - 830pm

Appearing at the King Eddy 
(Studio Bell - West Block)

438 9 Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta 


Jon McCaslin - drums & cymbals

Jim Brenan - tenor saxophone

Josh Krushel - piano

Jonathan Wielebnowski - bass

Lisa LaTouche - tap

I am excited to play with this great band on Friday night. We'll be performing my new original compositions, most of which were written over the past year.

Come on by and tell them that Four on the Floor sent you!

For more information and tickets please visit:

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