Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Just some shameless self-promotion for a few exciting upcoming projects I'm very proud to be a part of:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Rakalam Speaks

Some playing, teaching and words of wisdom today from Rakalam Bob Moses:

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Thanks for checking in and thank you to all of those who contributed comments to my previous Stick Control posts this month. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. I have several more fun, interesting and practical little applications of George Lawrence Stone's essential text to come soon.

Here's what's on the go for today's MMP:

- A very nice column on Shelly Manne over at Scott Fish's excellent blog:


Max Roach also offer's some comments on his influences via this article also found on Scott's blog:


- An interview with Carl Allen:


- Allison Miller speaks with WBGO:


- Ari Hoenig interviewed via the Iron Curtain:


- Antonio Sanchez is interviewed over at the ever resourceful Drummer's Resource Podcast:


- The BBC offers their "Desert Island" Buddy Rich picks:


Here's a few more interesting things to check out (well, I think so anyways!):

- Kenny Clarke with Lucky Thompson:

As far as I'm concerned, studying Klook's cymbal beat and comping is a MUST for any aspiring Jazz drummer. You can't go wrong. Now get to work.

- Some rare footage of Britain's Phil Seaman with Al Cohn & Zoot Sims:

- What's better than one super grooving pocket drummer? Well, that would be TWO super grooving pocket drummers playing together! Here's Steve Jordan Jim Keltner laying it down:

- I loved this demonstration of the Ghanaian drum groove Kpanlogo:

- Quincy Davis is still up to great things with his "Q-Tips" over on his YouTube page:

Lots to learn here so check back often.

- Rob Hart offers some fun Tony Williams hi-hat combinations thanks to the nice people over at VicFirth:

- What am I listening to these days?

Hugh Fraser & Jean Toussaint "Back to Back" - Keith Copeland (drums)

Hugh Fraser "In the Mean Time" - Blaine Wikjord (drums)

David Braid "Set in Stone" - Lorne Nehring (drums)

Sonny Rollins "Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders" - Shelly Manne (drums)

Duchess "Duchess" - Matt Wilson (drums)

Terry Gibbs "Dream Band, Vol. 5 " - Mel Lewis (drums)

Kristian Braathen "Tempus Fugit" - Kristian Braathen (drums)

- And today's Last Word goes to Daniel Glass who has this sage advice to offer via the Facebook:

"I once heard Bruce Springsteen say that music is the only “business” that has no rules; that those who become successful are the ones who create their own set of rules. What Springsteen's statement means to me is that it's paramount for each of us to follow our heart and our inspiration, regardless of the naysayers or those who confidently assure us that it can't be done."

Alright, that's all I've got for today. Thanks for checking in, stay focused and have a great week!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Tootie on Brushes

Just a quick, over-the-shoulder, brush demonstration today from Albert "Tootie" Heath:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stick Control Around the Drums: Part Deux

Just a quick variation to my previous post which (hopefully) offered a simple way to develop some interesting patterns around the drum set using Stick Control.

In my previous post the patterns incorporated the snare drum, small tom, floor tom and ride cymbal (with the bass drum). Today I was messing around with this exercise and discovered even more practical variations if I actually LEFT OUT some drums.

Let me explain…

To review, here's my previous exercise (check out my other previous post for a more comprehensive explanation):

1) Play each line of Stick Control as eighth-notes with the hi-hat on beats 2&4 (or on all four quarter notes)

2) Divide each bar into TWO equal parts (ie. beats 1 & 2 and 3 & 4) and use the following orchestrations:

Beats 1+ 2+ : R = ride cymbal & bass drum, L = small tom

Beats 3+ 4+ : R = floor tom, L = snare drum


Okay, so as you practice the first few pages of Stick Control you should come up with some fun things to play (and as I discovered, some very melodic ideas as well).

To come up with a wealth of other variations, leave one hand on one instrument, essentially leaving OUT one instrument. For example:

Beats 1+ 2+ : R = ride cymbal & bass drum, L = snare drum

Beats 3+ 4+ : R = floor tom, L = snare drum

* Or the reverse

Beats 1+ 2+ : R = floor tom, L = snare drum

Beats 3+ 4+ : R = ride cymbal & bass drum, L = snare drum

Try this one, which leaves the snare drum out all together:

Beats 1+ 2+ : R = ride cymbal & bass drum, L = small tom

Beats 3+ 4+ : R = floor tom, L = small tom

* Or the reverse

Beats 1+ 2+ : R = floor tom, L = small tom

Beats 3+ 4+ : R = ride cymbal & bass drum, L = small tom

If I wanted to get really "ride cymbal" centric I might try playing all the R's as ride cymbal + bass drum with the L's orchestrated between the other two or three drums accordingly.

Have fun with it and see how many other combinations you can come up with.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Morning Gospel: Jamey Haddad

If you've been following my blog you know that I'm generally a big fan of different combinations of drum + other instrument duets.

Fiddler Casey Driessen has an interesting project on the go, exploring the rhythmic and percussive possibilities of the fiddle. In this clip he teams up with the multi-dimensional drummer/percussionist Jamey Haddad, coming up with some pretty interesting sonic results:

And here's a longer one also featuring the two of them:

This all, of course, led me to several other great clips of Haddad demonstrating his super interesting approach to blending drum set and percussion instruments: