Friday, November 15, 2019

Jimmy Cobb, Hi-hat 16ths and it's all Punk Rock

So, here's an interview with Jimmy Cobb that's part of the same series that the DeJohnette interview I posted recently was from. If they could manage to talk to Al Foster, Billy Cobham, and Billy Hart, I think they'd have all the surviving drummers that recorded with Miles Davis. (Just a suggestion.) Anyway, despite the fact that Kind of Blue is over emphasized, like it always is, there's a lot of good information here…….

Now on to the 16ths. I recently heard this tune by the late great Michael Jackson.

Now even though Bryan Loren is listed as playing "drums", I'm not sure how much live drumming is actually on this. It did though, get me thinking about 2 handed hi-hat grooves, although I'm not even sure that's what's going on here. Regardless, it reminded me that I'd like to be more fluid with this stuff, so I made up some exercises to work on it. In all examples, the sticking is alternating strokes starting with the right hand.

The notation is fairly standard except for the hatched note that's one leger line above the staff is the left side cymbal, and two leger lines is the right side one.As always, there are some extra wrinkles we can add to make it more challenging. We can do the following bass drum variations: 1) 4 quarter notes to the bar. 2) Dotted 8th-16th every quarter note ( pseudo samba feel ) , 3) ah of one and 3, + of 2 and 4 ( pseudo salsa feel ). Also try accenting the + of every beat with your right hand. This one seems to be particularly tricky in the examples where the RH isn't on the hi-hat for every +. True confessions, I've spent about 2 hours on this so far and haven't gotten beyond beginning example 6. But I view that as a positive. Why? Well, I'm working a lot harder to make sure the examples feel good and I can groove on them for awhile without stopping. One always knows how long to spend on something when we use our ears, not our ego! 

Here's the pdf

Finally, I wanted to post a link to a great documentary about the Clash, hosted by Chuck D of Public Enemy

As problematic as it is for me to promote something that Spotify is responsible for, it's a great podcast and contains a lot of information about one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Although he didn't say it here, it reminded me of a great quote from guitarist Mick Jones gave when he was asked if he though the Clash's experiments later in their career weren't " Punk Rock" enough. He simply said        " It's all Punk Rock to me ". To my ears, that's a variation on the Duke Ellington "good music and bad music" quote. Why put limits on ourselves when we're sculpting in sound?

See you soon. :) 

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