Author: jparker7810

Free Online Lessons | Steve Gadd’s Paradiddle Groove

I was scrolling through some old posts and came across this one about Steve Gadd using paradiddles in a groove.  I had some fun dusting off the groove and I felt like the post deserved an update.  So here you go!

Step 1

Watch this clip of Steve Gadd playing some nice paradiddle-based funk.

Step 2

Learn the groove:

Steve Gadd Paradiddle groove

Step 3

Apply the groove to this tune (language advisory)

Free Drum Lessons | Swing Independence

It’s been waaaaaaaaay too long since I posted a lesson.  So here’s a little nugget for ya!  Try this one out the next time you need to develop your jazz comping skills.

Swing Independence

A couple of quick tips:

  1. Take it SLOW!
  2. Work each measure by itself, then try to chain them together
  3. Focus on the ride cymbal, let it be the center of the time, not the snare and kick.

Merry Christmas!

I believe that God has gifted all of humanity with a love of music.  It’s that love and that belief that fuels my passion for drums and teaching.  But God gave us another gift, even more precious and joyous than music: the gift of a savior in his Son, Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus, all mankind has hope for redemption and forgiveness of our sins.

This time of year, it i so very, very easy to get caught up in shopping, parties, presents, and sappy music.  Or worse, so many of us can be stricken by thoughts of loss or past mistakes.  But, by focusing on Jesus, we find all the goodness, joy, and reverence that Christmas is all about.  Linus said it best:

Merry Christmas.  God Bless Us, Everyone!

Free Drum Lessons | 4 Steps to a Successful Drumming Career

A couple weeks ago I put this video on my Facebook page with the following caption:

I pray that this is what colleagues who have worked with me would say about my playing and professionalism.

Listen to the comments made about Nate and his drumming, 4 things jumped out at me as the things Nate does to be a great drummer.  Here’s my list:

Be a Quick Study

There’s another way to think about this one:  Be prepared!  There’s no such thing as a quick study that hasn’t practiced or perfected their craft.  Easily picking up new songs or ideas with a band is the byproduct of paying your dues in the practice room.  Being able to play in multiple styles and sound authentic is essential to a mainstream gig like the Voice or to make yourself as employable as possible in all sorts of bands.

Also, you notice that the musical director mentioned that Nate makes his own charts for each song.  Perfectly notating a complete drum chart on the fly isn’t reasonable or efficient.  Instead, do your homework ahead of time, know the tunes you’re playing, and make quick notes/charts that tell you all the important information. For some easy chart writing ideas, check out Liz Ficalora’s site and book.

Minimize Mistakes

What’s a mistake?  A misplaced stroke?  Hitting the wrong drum/cymbal?  Probably not.  No one else on the stage or in the audience is going to notice those kinds of things.  The things that will get noticed are missing a transition in a song, getting the tempo wrong, or missing a major cue in the song.  Those are the kinds of things that can get a drummer fired.

To minimize those types of mistakes (1) always play with your charts (or practice with them enough that you KNOW you have  them memorized), (2) stay focused while you play (ADD is so frustrating!), and (3) communicate with the band.  Be very very weary of just putting your head down and drifting into your own little world.

Play with an Edge and Joy

“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong!” ScoJo nailed it with that statement.  Bring your joy and passion with you every time you sit down to play (even when you practice).  Take chances!  Play without fear!  And don’t forget, that people are paying to see you.  So don’t forget to bring your showmanship with you (so long as it doesn’t get too over the top and distract from what the band is doing).

Be Inspiring

People will hire/fire you based on your attitude and how easy you are to work with as much as how well you play.  Be someone that the band wants to hang out with.  Your positive vibe will be infectious to the people around you.

And don’t forget to keep studying and keep getting better.  As your skills grow, you’ll naturally inspire the rest of the band to get better too.

Here’s another video of Nate playing on the show.  Watch what he brings to the band and see what you can take away.

Phatman joins Mapex!

mjrhPdayhPTLJ4pEPYfwVQQI’ve been holding on to this news for quite a while . . . mostly ’cause I was waiting from someone to come to their senses and realize just who they were partnering with!  But I think it’s safe to announce that I  have officially joined the Mapex family as an endorser.  I’ve played Mapex since 2000 and have absolutely fallen in love with their drums. Check out the video below for more details!

Oh, and check out this rad Armory kit that’s on its way to Phatman Studios!  Really really cool stuff.  Of course, I’ll post a review as soon as I can!

Mapex Armory Drums in Photon Blue Finish

Mapex Armory Drums in Photon Blue Finish