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5 Minute Jazz Hands: Intro and 90 BPM

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Technique | 0 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 | 2 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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Brush Comping Within the Time

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Technique | 5 comments

Toni is one of our members, and he’s struggling with how to comp more on the brushes with it messing up his brush pattern. Here’s how I solved that riddle

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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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