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!

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Welcome back. Here's the latest collection of things to check out this week:

- From Paul Motian's memorial service, here's Andrew Cyrille and Jabali Billy Hart playing together in a serious "percussion discussion":


Thank you to New York tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry for passing along this gem!

- Irish bassist and blogger Ronan Guilfoyle offers an excellent article with some pragmatic ideas about the idea of innovation and tradition in today's world of Jazz music:


- Brian Blade talks about his recent projects and outlook on music via offbeat.com:


- Toronto drummer Nick Fraser is interviewed over at Positively Underground:


- NPR features percussionist Cyro Baptista:


- Yoron Israel interviewed over at WGBH:


- Susie Ibarra featured on Roulette.org:


- Not a drummer specific column (although he DOES play great drums!), here's some wisdom from tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi via Steve Tres:


- A couple of interviews with Arizona's most recent resident, Lewis Nash:


- Quincy Davis returns with another "Q-Tip", this time demonstrating his transcription of Philly Joe Jones' snappy solo on the tune "Julia":

- Ari Hoenig demonstrates some comping ideas with the brushes:

And of course this led me down the YouTube.com rabbit hole where I came across this duo performance of "Togo"(of "Old & New Dreams" fame) with Chris Potter on tenor saxophone:

- Antonio Sanchez offers some wisdom in advance of the upcoming documentary feature entitled "The Art of Listening":

- Here's a couple of burning clips featuring Rodney Green on brushes:

- A nice demonstration of Vernel Fournier's classic drum groove on Ahmad Jamal's "Poinciana":

Fournier offers some personal insight into this unique drum beat here:

- Drummer/percussionist Lafrae Sci talks and demonstrates how to "make colours" on the drumset using sound and rhythm:

- What am I listening to these days?

Wayne Shorter "Schizophrenia" - Joe Chambers (drums)

Keith Copeland Trio "Live in Limerick" - Keith Copeland (drums)

Ellis Marsalis "The Classic Ellis Marsalis" - James Black (drums)

Jesse Davis Quintet "Live at Smalls" - Billy Drummond (drums)

Joe Lovano & Greg Osby "Friendly Fire" - Idris Muhammad (drums)

- And for today's Final Word, rather than leaving you with a one or two-line inspirational/motivational quote of some sort, here's two articles from upliftconnect.com that seemed to have resonated with me lately:

"A Japanese Technique for Overcoming Laziness"


"The Daily Routines of the World's Creative Geniuses"


That's all I've got. Thanks for checking in and have a great week!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nussbaum Way Up North

Adam Nussbaum has been up in Canada lately, touring with Canadian saxophone titans Pat LaBarbera and Kirk MacDonald. Apparently an album is forthcoming as well…(I even heard that a drum duet with Ted Warren may have occurred at some point???)

Lucky for us, here's a hint of their recent hit in Toronto (which features not only some very musical accompanying by Nussbam, but some stellar brushwork as well):