Thursday, October 23, 2014

Florian Alexandru-Zorn brush technique

Hey there,
As well as my double pedal adventures, I've been working on this brush technique from Florian Alexandru-Zorn. What basically happens that's new to me is that we accent on the sweep up the drum (when the brushes are moving away from usas well as when the brushes are moving toward us. It's a little awkward for me, especially in the left hand, but it's slowly improving. Anyway, check it out and see what you think.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Couple of recent videos

The title says it all. This is a performance of my composition "Monksonic" filmed at a recent gig in Kingston with John Geggie's new band "Six Friends".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Muting the Bass Drum with Double Pedal

Hey folks!
I recently acquired a double pedal for my bass drum after many years without one.
As well as practicing single strokes between the feet (yes I know it's a serious cliche, but it's the most logical place to start ) I found that if I did the "normal" things with my left foot as if I was playing hi-hat I could mute the bass drum. In other words, if I keep the left foot pedal resting against the head I can mute and raise the pitch of the bass drum, which creates some interesting possibilities.......

Try this foot pattern with any bossa or samba beat. (Note: I've written the left side pedal on the hi-hat space.)

In the second example, which also works well with Brazilian style beats, the left foot is muting on beats 1 and 2, resulting in a quasi-surdo feel. Remember not to flam beat 1.
(Although you should work on foot flams as well.)                            

Example 3 is the same as example 1 except now we're swinging the 8th notes. I once heard Steve Gadd play this underneath a shuffle (during a shout section with a big band no less!)


Finally, example 4isusing quarter note triplets in the same shuffle setting.              Have Fun!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pete LaRoca brush pattern

Hey all, here's a right hand brush pattern I stole from Pete LaRoca. The lines represent brush sweeps from side to side (I prefer moving to the left first) and the dots are regular taps. You can play this with any left hand comping with cross stick. I found it a bit challenging at first coordination-wise but it's a nice groove that works at a lot of tempos. Plus it has us incorporating different motions into our right hand repertoire, which aids flexibility. Have fun!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two Brush Patterns

Just 2 brush patterns today. You'll have to figure them out between the description and diagrams only. I'm unable to film the examples right now, even in my lowly phone book form, because my house is being renovated and I'm up to me ears in (Barney) rubble!

Both patterns use the concept of the left hand moving back and forth in basically a straight line. In Philly In 3 , the left hand is doing this in a triplet rhythm. The pattern is basically Philly Joe Jones' Trill, but in 3/4. This creates an extra wrinkle because the left hand keeps switching which side of the drum it's on. In other words, if you start the triplet sweep moving towards you on beat 1, in the next bar on the downbeat the left hand will be moving away from you. This will take a little getting used to, but with a little practice you'll have a nice flow of triplets in the sweep.

Also I should mention that all the right hand does is taps out a standard 3/4 ride pattern.

In the second example, you're going to be doing the same motion with your left hand, but it's now not going to be in any particular rhythmic grouping. Think of the left hand in this case as "vibrato" rather than timekeeping. You can experiment with how fast or slow the left hand moves as well. The right hand will keep the time with the one big half note circle it makes.

I hope you enjoy working on these patterns and I promise I'll post again soon.