Check out these videos of me playing with the NewSpring Band a coupla weeks ago when we broke out the latin rock!
Two pieces of media have recently come across our desks here at PDS and they've really been enlightening and encouraging.
The first is this article about Harry Conick Jr.'s experience on American Idol. Please read the entire article, but the jist is that Connick wasn't amused in the least at the Idol singers' lack of knowledge or respect for the songs they were singing.
Allright, let’s wrap up this recycle session. For those of you who haven’t been following this little series, we’re taking a basic exercise from one of the first books I ever worked out of, Combination Study 5 from Understanding Rhythms by Michael Lauren. So far, we’ve worked on our stick control by playing the exercise as softly and quickly as we can and we’ve gone to the other spectrum by playing the exercise on double bass drums while playing a simple groove over the top with our hands. Now, we’re gonna travel to the R&B world and get a little work done on our hi-hats.
So, here’s the two ways we can work this out. In either case we want to go at a silky smooth tempo around 75-80 bpm, and we’ll just play a simple groove of kick on 1 and 3 and snare (or cross-stick if you’re really feeling the R&B vibe) on 2 and 4.
- Our first way to work this exercise is to use two hands on the hi-hat. This brings a little more complication into the groove, ’cause you have to remember to bring your right hand down to the snare. But, I’ve always felt that two hands on the hi-hat put a little more “air” or space in the groove. If you want, you can even try swinging the 16th notes to get that sweet click-a-click-a-click sound. Also, don’t be scared to use a cross-stick on the snare with this version. It can be a little tricky, but it can be done (check out this video from Carter Beauford for evidence).
- The second option is to play the exercise with just one hand on the hi-hat. You’ll probably need to slow the tempo down just a bit for this one. Playing with just one hand gives a straighter feel to the groove and makes it easier play around with different accents in the pattern. Be sure, when you do this method, that you do it once with your right hand on the hi-hat and then with your left hand. Open playing (using the left hand on the hi-hat) can really change the way you view the drums and present some new possibilities to you that you hadn’t thought of before.
Well, there you go. Three lessons on three vastly different drumming ideas all based around one tired old exercise. Have fun folks!
You ever find yourself wanting something to practice, but you’ve already worked through all your book and don’t want to go buy another? Here’s some ideas to recycle your old exercises into new ideas for the drumset.
I’ve been working on this deal since last August, so please believe me when I say that I am majorly stoked to announce that I just signed a deal to be an Educational Endorser with Sabian Cymbals! The reason I chose Sabian is almost the exact opposite of why I chose Vic Firth for my drumsticks. I’ve always played Sabian. Since 1998, I’ve a very few other cymbals. I’ve even tried to get away from Sabian before. I looked at all the other cymbals companies out there and I never found one that had everything I wanted. Some had great hats and rides, others had great crashes, and still others made killer effects cymbals. But I’ve never found another cymbal company where I could build an entire set-up and love every cymbal I put on the kit.
But that’s exactly how I feel about Sabian: I love every stinkin’ one of my Sabian cymbals. I love the dark, raw energy from the HHX. The cuts-like-a-knife quality of the AAX. The old-school sound of the AA. And the classic, mellow vibe from the HH. And then there’s the Signature and Vault cymbals that get really crazy cool! I just love everything I’ve ever played with a Sabian logo on it. Heck even the entry-level stuff like the B8 or B8Pro have a great quality to them! It’s just awesome.
If you’ve got questions, I’d be glad to answer ‘em. I’m just pretty humbled right now that two major percussion companies think this kid from Wichita is worthy of a business partnership!