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Flam Buzz Lick

Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Here’s a lick I’ve been playing a lot lately. It’s fairly common, but I’ve really been having fun with it. Easy to grasp if you’re looking for a Quick Hit.

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Applying Bird’s Language

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

As we round the corner and head home on this Charlie Parker course, here’s a look at a practical application of taking one of his licks and applying the stickings, voicing, and phrasing ideas discussed in previous lessons.

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Bird on the Drums: the Third Hand

Posted by on Sep 12, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Incorporating the bass drum as a “third hand” adds an important layer of depth to these Parker phrases.

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Bird on the Drums: Common Stickings

Posted by on Aug 7, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

When working on Charlie Parker’s language, there are a handful of great rhythms he relies on. Here are some stickings to accompany those rhythms to help you apply them more easily to the kit.

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Bird on the Drums: Ornithology

Posted by on Jun 24, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

I’ve done a ton of talking about all the different elements involved in applying Bird to the drums. So this time, I shut up. And just played “Ornithology” at several tempos.

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Elvin’s Triplet Brush Lick

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

This is an easy one to add, and at the right tempo (medium), it swings like crazy.

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Bird’s “Cheryl:” Full Kit

Posted by on May 20, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Let’s move this to the kit and see just how much mileage we can get out of Charlie Parker’s 12-bar melody.

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Bird’s “Cheryl:” Snare Drum

Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Now that we’ve taken a simple Charlie Parker melody for a spin, let’s crank it up just a notch. This is a great blues head with some nice twists and turns.

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Intro to Bird on the Drums: Cool Blues, Part 2

Posted by on Apr 18, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Now that we’ve worked on each phrasing choice separately on the snare, let’s open it up to the whole kit.

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Intro to Bird on the Drums: Cool Blues, Part 1

Posted by on Apr 9, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

So much of our solo language comes from Charlie Parker. Drummers like Kenny Clarke, Max Roach, and Roy Haynes were applying Bird’s rhythmic and melodic innovations to the drum set, and this revolutionized the drum solo, as well as fills, setups, and comping.

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5 Minute Jazz Hands @ 120 BPM

Posted by on Mar 19, 2018 in Technique | 2 comments

This is the goal tempo. This takes exactly 5 minutes to complete (minus my yapping at the intro, yada yada yada).

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5 Minute Jazz Hands @ 110 BPM

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Technique | 0 comments

We take another trip up the metronome to 110 BPM. It’s basically 6-ish minute jazz hands at this tempo, but we’re almost there…

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5 Minute Jazz Hands @ 100 BPM

Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Technique | 0 comments

Let’s bump the metronome up 10 clicks as we march toward 120 BPM.

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5 Minute Jazz Hands: Intro and 90 BPM

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Technique | 2 comments

For years I’ve been struggling to find an all-encompassing warmup that doesn’t take too long. So I created one that gets me fully ready to play in just 5 minutes, and also warms me up using language and rudiments I’ll end up using on my gigs.

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Ruff into Bass Drum Lick

Posted by on Feb 10, 2018 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

This is my favorite way to play a Charlie Parker “turn” on the drums.

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Rhythmic Anchors

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Vocabulary | 5 comments

We practice our coordination, and play the patterns out of the great jazz drum books, but when it comes time to play something on our own….

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Brush Flourishes

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Vocabulary | 2 comments

These sounds are important to playing brushes, and they have lots of variations. These are some of the most common ones.

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The Dribbling Game

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Technique | 4 comments

Finger control is one of the hardest things to develop. It’s the final frontier of hand technique. But before worrying about working through pages and pages of 16th note exercises, try approaching it like you probably approached your favorite sport as a kid.

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The Lamer the Gig, the Better I Get

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

We’ve all played them. The gig that seemingly never ends, and is torture on our very souls. It’s not fun, nor creative, nor inspiring, and it makes you question how you ended up here.

I love those gigs.

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Quick Hit: 3 Comping Levels

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

This is a philosophy of mine that has helped me separate my comping phrases into paths that serve the music better. Pretty easy to apply, and can make each tune breathe more.

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