Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Absolutes. A drag? Absolutely

Well, I have a brand new excuse not to blog as much as I would like. I'm currently enrolled as a grad student in community music at Laurier. To say it's a lot of work would be a massive understandment, and I've just begun!

Anyway, It looks like it's time for another rant. There is a LOT of information online about drumming that presents as having the only answer, THE way of doing thing things etc. The latest issue I've seen this come upon is the jazz ride cymbal beat.

Some say you MUST play it with 4 equal quarter notes to the measure, a la Jimmy Cobb.

There are others who say you must accent two and four on the ride cymbal.

Notice in the former you can even see Ben Riley's hand lifting higher to accent two and four on the ride.

Others insist Elvin's accenting of the skip beat is the way to go.

Who is right? ALL OF THEM!

I haven't even gotten into making the ride cymbal more clipped ( like Kenny Clarke ) or more straight 8th ( like Billy Higgins ).

In short, how many ways should you learn to play the ride cymbal? AS MANY AS YOU CAN! Especially if you're a developing player, learning to articulate the ride rhythm a bunch of different ways will help you find out which way works best for you , and is usually tempo and style dependent.

Don't limit yourself, and play your heart out!

Now, back to qualitative analysis! :)

Friday, September 7, 2018

The best drummer for the gig?

Perhaps, it's Griffin,  the main character in The Invisible Man.

                   Anybody seen my hi-hat, or for that matter, my face?

This might be the quirkiest intro to this blog ever, but bear with me.  My band is playing at the Brampton World of Jazz Festival this Saturday. Because there was a sub in the band, as well as that I had written some new tunes, I called the dreaded "R" word! ( Rehearsal, shudder! ). After much hemming and hawing about where to rehearse, because the band all live in different cities, it was decided that the bass player's abode was the most central. After we agreed to this location, he informed me he didn't own drums anymore, and I would need to bring my own. I told him I would conduct instead. He thought I was kidding, but I showed up at the appointed time with the charts of my tunes, and I stick bag that I didn't end up using! Now, because I'm the leader I was able to get away with this. What was I going to do? Fire me?!

 Now because everyone in the band had lots of experience I knew they weren't going to be thrown by playing with no drums. It was actually a great way to hear the tunes and imagine what the drums should do to support what I was already hearing. So, if you want to rehearse new music of yours, fire yourself and you'll be amazed at what you might hear!

My only concern is if the band will sound even half as good with me on Saturday night!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Man of a Thousand Voices

Here's a great ( what's up ) doc on Mel Blanc. Why is this important to us? Because he painted in sound with his voice. Just as we paint in sound with our drums. Observe, and learn!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Gone Campin'!

Bonus points for the image looking like the cover of  And Then There Were Three !
Anyway, I'm off to teach at IMC near Parry Sound. I always have a great time. The food and accommodations are excellent, the young people are awesome to work with, and it's a wonderful chance to reconnect and perform with members of my extended musician family. I'm also going to be recording with Peter Hum's band near Ottawa after that, so the live-in cat sitters will be busy!

Here's an idea that has nothing to do with camping, except for the fact this hi-hat idea has been camped out in my playing and psyche since high school! This time I'm using the three four idea against a five BD/SNARE thing.

Have fun, and don't get too much sun!