Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Odds and ends and flams between different limbs

First I'd like to say thank you to Todd at Cruise Ship Drummer for his posting of my brush patterns that I've shared so far (the book is still coming, honest!) He also mentioned something that I'd like to elaborate on. He talked about the importance of developing brush playing by playing with people. He's absolutely right. This is vital. I think also, once you get the basics of a pattern down and it starts to "morph" into something else, as long as it's comfortable and sounds and feels good, it isn't a problem. No one's going to sit behind you with a clipboard and say "Hey, you didn't play page 87 exactly as written!", and if they did, they definitely need to join a book club or something!

Also, I would like to direct you to Earl MacDonald's website. Earl is director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut. He's also a great pianist and arranger. I've been checking out some of his piano lessons at he's clarified things that I've been confused about for years! The vids are helpful and easy to understand, all delivered with Earl's particular brand of dry wit! A great resource.

Please people, if you haven't started getting your harmony chops together, please do it now! There's a real tendency among drummers (as well as other instrumentalists) to act as if our responsibility doesn't extend beyond our instrument. As a matter of fact, that's just where it begins!

Now here's some drum stuff. A quick vid of me playing flams between limbs besides the normal hand flams. These can create a lot of great effects. It can give things a nice jagged, loose quality. I do a few different combos, also sometimes playing double stops (both limbs at the exact same time) so you can hear the difference. It can also change up the feel. In the video example I employ a "lazy" hi-hat in a swing feel by playing it on the last part of a flam. I also play a rock beat with a "lazy" snare on the back beats then go to a four on the snare with the snare anticipating the hi-hat (flam with snare first) before going back to the lazy snare.

Happy trails!

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