Saturday, October 10, 2020

Jeff Watts Clinic: Some Takeaways

 Recently I was able to attend an online clinic of Jeff Watts' put on by the Drummer's Collective in NY. it was hosted by fine drummer in his own right, Ian Froman, who did a great job, fielding questions for Mr. Watts, and asking some very intelligent ones of his own. I was only able to attend the first hour, but I came away with some concepts and exercises that I will "share with the class" for those that missed it.

1. On speaking generally about playing metric modulations, Watts stressed the idea of really knowing where own is in the home tempo, and creating a strong resolution when the modulation ends. Without this, he said it would be better to have played strong time rather than any resolution at all.

2. Specific idea for working on modulations. Play any sort of time feel, then the pulse off the half note triplet, halftime, and then dotted 8ths. 4 bars for each modulation (including the original groove/tempo) Play it while singing/hearing a blues form, and whatever modulation you play will show up in a different part of the form because it's a 16 bar cycle over a 12 bar form.

3. Play every rhythm/beat you play in its 8th note and triplet form. Playing Songs? Play it as shuffled 8ths. Triplets? Play the closest str. 8th rhythm you can figure out. 

I'm sure there was lots more but, as I mentioned, I had to leave partway through. 

I would recommend anyone check out the many online clinics being offered in our current environment. Inspiration is often just a click away! :) 

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