Thursday, December 29, 2016

Han Bennink exercises

Much thanks to Jon McCaslin for this.
I finally got to see Mr. Bennink play live in a small room in Guelph playing SNARE DRUM ONLY!
I was blown away by his commitment and creativity. Here are some exercises to tap into that creativity yourself.

Han Bennink :

"Play as fast as you can for 5 minutes without repeating yourself."

"Same thing goes for slow, loud, soft and any combination of them."

"Play one piece of your drumkit for 5 minutes and try to keep it interesting, do this untill you have played all pieces."

"Repeat the same beat for 5 minutes and try to keep it interesting."

"Play a crescendo lasting 5 minutes ending as loud as possible."

"Play solid time for 5 minutes, check with metrone before and after, repeat untill your time is really solid."

"Play completely free for 5 minutes, no time is allowed."

"When you think you have become good at these exercises extend them by 5 minutes each. etc. These exercises should last you a lifetime."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Drummers of Frank Zappa

I stumbled on this video a few weeks ago, but since this is Zappa's birthday, it seemed especially appropriate to post it.

And here's just the performances.....

A few takeaways.

The group drumming excerpts are wonderful, very musical.
It's great to see the love and respect all the people on the panel have for each other.
Sadly, it sounds like Ruth Underwood doesn't play anymore. I guess when one is challenged by a musical visionary like Zappa, it's probably hard to go back to regular gigs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ted's Warren Commission at The Jazz Room

Here's a video of my band playing "Dark Matter" from our new recording, " The Great Regina Pizza Debate". Sorry, my daughter filmed it sideways, and try as I might I couldn't get it turned around in iMovie. At least this way it can be watched while lying down.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two words

Chuck Thompson

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ted Diddly

I recently ran across Jon McCaslin's excellent entry on Shuffle Diddles from the Four on the Floor blog. I had an interesting ( but not rare, unfortunately ) experience where I realized that I wasn't satisfied with my execution of part of Jon's exercise. In particular I wasn't happy with my paradiddle diddle off my left hand. E.g. LRLLRR. So I kept working on playing this sticking and voicing it around the drums in different ways. I played it in 8th notes, triplets, 5s and 7s. I tried to articulate it in different ways using, doubles, buzzes, and dead strokes. I could write out a bunch of this stuff, but I think it's better if you go and discover your own vocabulary with this.

I think an even more important thing was reinforced for me during this process. I feel no one in drums, music, or even any art form creates in a vacuum. It's like Jon and I and every drummer who ever played are all in the same playground, trying ideas and getting inspired by each other. Very inspiring!