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The Philly Joe Jones “Gallop”

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Technique | 0 comments

Ever wonder how great drummers like Philly Joe Jones can play brushes so freakin’ fast?? Well, he’s got a little secret.

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Rolls Part 2: Press Roll

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in Technique | 0 comments

Now that we’ve looked into the buzz (or “closed”) roll, the next step is to apply some pressure. Hence, the “press” roll. Blakey did it best…

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Rolls Part 1: Buzz Roll

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Technique | 0 comments

There’s lot of confusion about the difference between a buzz roll and a press roll (are they the same thing??). I’m gonna break down the differences, and how to execute them. First, let’s start with the buzz roll:

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Footprints, Part 2: Metric Modulations

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

Tony was one of the pioneers for introducing metric modulation into jazz. Footprints provides an excellent platform to do work on some of the more common ones.

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Footprints, Part 1: Approaching the Groove

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

This Wayne Shorter classic can be interpreted in dozens of ways. That can create some confusion and second-guessing when it comes to the pocket. So let’s identify some of the defining characteristics of this tune.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 9: the Finishing Touches

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

This last part can make or break this search for new “modern” vocabulary. It’s what I hear in Tony’s playing, Gadd’s playing, Blade’s playing, that I don’t hear in most people’s playing who attempt this.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 8: The Tony Williams Filter

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Let’s take a look at a series of approaches he would often use to come up with this unique language. I call it the “Tony Williams Filter.”

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 7: Extended Phrases (Feet)

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

After the lengthy and detailed breakdown of how to approach inserting vocabulary with the hands, this one’s short and sweet: How to incorporate the feet into all that work with the hands.

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Directional Brushes: Vertical, Diagonal, & Horizontal

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Technique | 0 comments

Brushes afford us the opportunity to create 3-dimensional (as I like to call it) sounds with phrases we already know. And it’s all about direction.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels part 6: Extended Phrases (Hands)

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

This is a long, detailed look at how to develop phrases in this style. I address vocabulary, application, and how to turn those rudiments into music.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 5: Freeing the Hi-Hat

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Getting that hi-hat to stop chunking away on 2 & 4 can be challenging. Here’s one of the ways I was able to free my hi-hat…

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 4: Phrasing Around Figures

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

Once you’ve worked through some various rhythmic patterns, the next step is to phrase “around” figures that are written into the songs (a common trait of ECM and Modern tunes).

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Jazz Ballads: Double Time (“Feel”)

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

When does a ballad go to double time? How does our approach change? All that and more on the final episode of Jazz Ballads, Season One…

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 3: Creating Flow

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

This next step is crucial. To be able to speak – or “flow” – over the cymbal ostinatos while playing phrases is how this turns into the improvisatory music we hear on these great records.

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Jazz Ballads: Walking Ballad

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

Notice I didn’t use quotes around Walking. That’s because real people actually use this term…

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Comping Grid

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Technique | 0 comments

Here’s a sequence I use to either work out a technique issue, or to run through a new ostinato.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 2: Cymbal Ostinatos

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

One of the greatest mysteries of these kinds of feels is the struggle to find some “go-to” patterns or grooves. It almost sounds like their aren’t any. Well, good news: there are.

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Jazz Ballads: The “Slow Dance” Ballad

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

This is the most common type of jazz ballad. When in doubt, this is a good bet to work on most ballads.

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“ECM” & “Modern” Feels, Part 1 – Intro to ECM

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

ECM. Modern. Straight 8th. Latin-ish. Composers and leaders use all these titles to describe a similar feel. One that can seem elusive to us. So let’s go back to the one of the main hubs in terms of the origins of this groove.

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Jazz Ballads: The “Concert” Ballad

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

This is a long one, but I get into several ballad strokes and ways to add color and texture without losing the pulse.

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