Friday, June 22, 2012


.....A perfect time for a Block Party! So, here's Ted Quinlan's quartet playing his tune "Block Party" at a recent gig at the Rex.
Interestingly enough I felt like I was really struggling this particular gig. Some of the issues coming up were:
1)  A generally bad feeling about my playing in general.
2) The Rex drum throne was giving me grief so I had to sit way lower than normal.
3) It was so hot in the club I thought I was going to pass out a couple of times.

I don't mention this to air out all my neurosis in public but just to state this is stuff we all go through. Relationships are complicated and music has a lot to do with our relationship to ourselves. These things ebb and flow, and right now I am back feeling more positive and excited about music than ever. Also when I listen and watch the video now I go, "that sounds pretty good" because even with a week away from that performance I can look at it more objectively.

Let's all be kind and gentle with ourselves.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

...And to celebrate, here's some brief footage of one of the fathers of the modern drum set. Warren "Baby" Dodds!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Odd is everywhere!

I'm still super busy so this will be  quick. I was very inspired by the Cruise Ship Drummer post on tunes in 5/4. The cool thing about odd time signatures is when it enters the vernacular through Pop and Rock music. I thought I'd add one of my favorite 5/4 tunes, Soundgarden's "My Wave". Although it starts in 4 (on the + on 3) it switches to 5/4 for the verses after the intro. (What they're doing at the end, I've never managed to figure out!)
 Matt Cameron= YEAH!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Hey folks,
i recently got an email on practice and I thought I would share a few thoughts.
I need to head out to a session soon, so this will be in point form.

1. Don't be afraid to sound bad
Many people perform rather than practice, meaning they play stuff they already know how to do. Try not to get seduced by this. It's mainly an ego thing. if you're trying to improve a beat or something, fine bur remember, if what you're doing sounds lousy now it means you're getting something together.

2. A little practice can go a long way.
Let's say you don't particularly enjoy practicing sight-reading (guilty!). You don't have to do it for hours and hours, just 5 to 10 minutes will make a huge difference.

3. There are many ways to practice.
If it's not working for you at the drum set this minute you could try a) Learning a tune, b) writing a tune, c) learning some scales and/or intervals. All these things will help you become a better player.

4. Try creating a schedule
This will help if you find yourself not knowing what to practice. This will help you target your weak areas. gave the schedule go over several days, if necessary.

5. Be "zoned in"
If you find it hard to concentrate, try small amounts of practice (10 minutes or so) at a time. It's far better to practice mindfully than to be thinking about your laundry. Also, don't stress about the quantity of time rather than the quality. As you get used to your practice regime, you will find you will be going past the 10 minute mark without thinking about it.

6. Take your time.
This is true in several ways. Don't feel you have to get through tons of material (that's the ego talking again.) Rather, try to get the most out of anything you are practicing. I used to zoom through books that I couldn't even remember a day later. Now, that was a waste of my time!
Also take your time in terms of tempo. Again, your ego wants to play everything fast to shop how heavy you are, but ignore it! let your body and mind assimilate what you want to do.

Okay, see you soon.....

Monday, June 4, 2012

Up to my neck in.....

....everything except blogging lately, I'm afraid.
However here's some video from a fun gig I played on Saturday with Jason Raso. Between that, a gig w/ the squirrels on Sunday and a gig with Broadview today I'm lucky enough to be playing a variety of things where the only thing similar about them is the quality of the musicians!