It would be nice if we all could just hear complex rhythms and then play them. Most of us have to find some way of counting them. For example, I learned to play quarter note triplets with 'Pass the gol-durn butter'. I use 'serendipity' to count 5-lets. Doesn't really matter how you count things, as long as it works for you.Read More
"Musical intensity will come from being able to play subdivisions with great specificity and control" - Peter Erskine.
Here's an interesting application. We think of funk as being very 8th note or 16th note oriented, but a lot of funk actually gets its groove from relaxing the 'inner inner line'. You may think you hear 16th notes on the snare leading into the down beats, but if you listen carefully you’ll notice that those aren’t 16th notes at all, but are based on a 16th-note triplet shuffle played within the 8th note structure of the rhythm. That’s why those beats are so relaxed and funky -- and a challenge to play properly.
From country to Led Zeppelin to funk, it’s all in the inner line … and the line within the inner line.
I recently watched an interesting and entertaining movie called "The Wrecking Crew". It's the story -- with lots of interviews -- about the coven of ace studio musicians who created almost all of the pop and rock music that came out of California in the ‘50s and ‘60s.Read More
I like to use a billiard analogy. You can just whack the cue ball and hope for the best, but serious pool players put a lot of effort into controlling where the cue ball ends up. It's important to make the shot, but if you're not preparing for the next shot, your game will suffer. Same with your strokes.Read More
Self-esteem is what gives you the courage, the confidence you need to make it through life. Confidence helps you ask for a try-out for a band you admire. It’s also what enables you to play your best.Read More
One of the most important, interesting and powerful rhythmic tricks available is groupings of three. I don't mean playing 3/4 or 6/8 or quarter-note triplets. Almost every music style uses three-beat figures played in a four-beat environment. In fact, it's rare to hear a tune that doesn't use this concept in some way.Read More
Articulation - Miss Manners would certainly advise that you shouldn't talk with your mouth full. There's the visual aspects, to be sure, but there's also the issue of garbled speech with the attendant lack of actual communication. Better to have your vocal system free of debris if you want to be heard clearly and be understood.
Whenever the discussion turns to click tracks, drummers like to cry foul (usually accompanied by a sour face). For many drummers, the use of a click track is unnatural, cheating, insulting, or all three. I'm afraid I can't agree. A drummer's prime responsibility is to keep time. Unfortunately, keeping steady, unwavering time is hard to do.Read More
Researchers played music for groups of subjects and then asked them how much they ‘liked’ the rhythm. In one group, the drum part was played by a drummer (Jeff Porcaro unbeknowst to the participants): in another test group, the same rhythm was played by a drum machine. Although subjects could not quantify their answers, they somewhat preferred the 'real' drummer.Read More
Shortly after I bought a set of budget tabla, I came across an important bit of advice: Do not buy cheap tabla; it's too hard to get a sound and you will be quickly discouraged. OK, there are other reasons my tabla playing is serious limited, but the sound quality of the cheap drums dampened my enthusiasm. Still, we ought not to blame our tools for a job poorly done.Read More
The Drum Yoda's Totally Awewome Dictionary of Drum Terms - compiled by Richard Best.
What I wanted to offer was not curt definitions but reasonable explanations