Friday, May 25, 2018

TDB featured on

Rachael Sprague at Tutorful, has put together a nice collection of drumming reference material ranging from YouTube channels, books, apps, forums and *ding* blogs.  It appears that there are people out there who enjoy what I do here at That Drum Blog, and Rachael was kind enough to include the blog in her editorial.

Do follow the link and check out the article.  There's a lot of great stuff, some of which I wasn't yet familiar with and am looking forward to checking out.

Many thanks to Rachael for her efforts and for including my little slice of the internet, and to all of you who read the blog.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Dig This - Curb Your Enthusiasm with drums

Drummer David Dockery has been gaining quite a following on YouTube with his incredibly clever videos in which he writes rhythmic parts to clips from his favorite movies and shows.  And just the other day he posted a new one with a great scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm:

David is very creative in the way he find groove and rhythm in speech.  Another one of my favorites is a clip from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Head over to YouTube and check out his channel.  In the meantime here are a couple of other particularly good ones:

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Linear Samba Funk

Here's a fun samba funk groove that I derived from some Marcio Bahia ideas.  Marcio tends to play a groove very similar to this but with a busier left hand.  As I was playing through some of the different variations today I noticed that it can be simplified down to a linear pattern that still grooves hard and is fun to play.

I'm going to go into more detail on samba funk in a future post, but simply put samba funk has pretty much all of the same characteristics as a "regular" samba groove but with a backbeat on beat one of the second bar (if you're counting in 2/4).

Marcio's funk pattern very cleverly has what you might notice as the bossa nova pattern (also known as the Mocidade caixa pattern) in the right hand on the hi-hat, and a common third surdo pattern on the bass drum.  As I mentioned, Marcio gets a little bit sexier with the *left hand, but if we just fill in the gaps between the hi-hat accents and bass drum part with some ghosted snare notes it becomes a cool linear groove.  Just remember to accent the snare on beat one of every other measure.

*most people's left, but Marcio's right.  He's a lefty.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

That Triplet Drill

Here's a little triplet sticking thing I was fooling around with today when a student didn't show.  Back in my drum corps days the kids used to call these "pub-duh-duh's".  Regardless of what they're called, they feel nice to play and make a good warm-up.

E-mail me for a PDF

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

John "Jabo" Starks

It appears as though the drumming community has lost another one of it's greats.

According to his Facebook page, John "Jabo" Starks has passed away.

Spin a little James Brown or B.B. King today and play some grooves to thank Jabo for all the great music.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Dave Tough's Advanced Paradiddle Exercises

Here's a great book that I stumbled upon a few years back and use quite often.  I generally don't give away stuff that isn't mine to give, but Dave Tough is no longer with us and this book has been out of print for quite some time.  So I figure the only people getting ripped off by not sharing it are other drummers.

If you know your jazz history and remember the Austin High Gang, who are credited with playing a big role in the formulation of the the Chicago style of jazz, Dave Tough was one of them.  His bio over at Drummerworld describes him as "a subtle and versatile drummer who hated to solo".  Truly my spirit animal.

The book is nothing but different combinations of single, double and triple paradiddles.  But you never realized how many different ways you could play these damn things until you spend some time with this book.  Tough, himself, says of the book in the foreword:

"I have designed this book for the advanced student who has a knowledge of the rudiments of drumming.  The book deals with the three forms of paradiddles - single, double and triple, each form represented and mixed in each of the two hundred exercises.This will assure him of improved coordination, technical development and fluency of sticking in his practical day to day playing.  It will be invaluable to the individual, while practising these exercises, to play two or four foot beats to the bar.To my knowledge, this is the only book published that is devoted entirely to varied paradiddle exercises.In conclusion, I have found that too little time is devoted to the practising of varied combinations of paradiddles, and it is my sincere hope that this book will prove to be an aid in acquiring a well-rounded system of drumming."

You can download the book here.  That link redirects to Mark Feldman's Bang The Drum School blog.  If that link is no longer working by the time you discover this post just drop me an e-mail and I'll happily send you a copy.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Groove Transcription - Eric Harland, "Karma"

The other day I mentioned that I went to see Eric Harland give a masterclass, which of course made me pull out some records with Harland on them and do a bit of playing.

As I've been doing a lot of 6/8 stuff lately I transcribed this groove from a small section of the Aaron Parks tune, Karma, from the Invisible Cinema record and spent some time with it this afternoon.

And speaking of this record, if you're a fan of it, it just so happens that Aaron gives away the charts to every tune on the album completely free over at the NextBop blog.  Do check it out.

Groove starts at 1:05

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Wisdom

I had the great pleasure of seeing Eric Harland give a masterclass last week at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where I teach part-time.  It ended up being a lot of Q&A not just about the technical side, but also the conceptual and mental side of playing.  And one of the things that really jumped out at me was a quote that Eric mentioned by Teddy Roosevelt which is:

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

Right away the quote seems obvious.  Don't compare yourself to others because we're all different and you'll just make yourself miserable.  But while this is true, Harland went on to talk about a different type of comparison that I hadn't thought of.  He said that not only should we not compare ourselves to others, but we shouldn't compare ourselves to ourselves.

On one hand I don't necessarily agree, as I think it's important to look back to see how far you've come, and to look ahead to see where you want to go, but what Eric was getting at was that we shouldn't waste our time thinking, "I'd play this much better 6 months from now", or "I wish I could go back and play that gig from last year now".

The gist of it was, when you're playing, gigging, practicing whatever, don't waste your mental energy thinking about what you could have done better before, wish you could do better now, or what someone else can do better than you.  Rather, put that focus into the music you're playing right now, and make the best music you can make with the skills you have today.