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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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Jazz Ballads: Intro – 3 Common Types

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Grooves | 0 comments

I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure out ballads. I was so into fast, energetic stuff. Once I really dug into them, I was amazed at all the stuff I discovered.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 15: ii V to the vi

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Another common harmonic move in jazz standards is to reference the Relative Minor, which is the vi chord. Let’s check out a few popular tunes that showcase this move, so we can learn to hear it.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 14: ii V to the IV

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

As we get into identifying some of the common progressions (so you can learn to hear them), we’re gonna start with one of the most common moves.

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Quick Hit: Philly Joe “Locomotion” Lick

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Here’s another “Quick Hit” (something easy to pick up and use), this time it’s a Philly Joe Jones lick.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 13:Turnarounds

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

Now let’s get into learning to identify some of the most common harmonic movements in a jazz tune. First up: The Turnaround. What it is, what it sounds like, and a few of the most common variations.

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Practical Jazz Theory For Drummers, Part 12: Minor Keys

Posted by on Feb 28, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

I want to touch on minor keys briefly so you know what to look for that is different than major keys.

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Hey Blade, Shut the Front Door!

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Here’s an easy but highly effective comp I picked up from Brian Blade.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 11: Tonicization

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Tonicization. That’s a mouthful. Basically, it’s how and why there are so many chord changes in jazz songs. Understanding – and hearing – changes as setting up and resolving to different places allows us to phrase around them. That’s what the horn player and pianist and bassist are doing. So should we.

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Medium Tempo Soloing: Changing Rates

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Uncategorized, Vocabulary | 0 comments

This is a pattern I noticed when transcribing a bunch of medium tempo drum solos. These tempos can be quite challenging for us, and once I picked up on this little creative approach, it allowed me to tell a better story when I solo.

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 10: Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Now let’s order all these chords in a manner that tells a story. You might recognize some of the “lingo” I use, because your jazz musician buddies say these all the time. Now you’ll know that they are talking about. And can start to hear them yourselves.

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Elvin on “Deluge”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Vocabulary | 2 comments

Got a lesson request for a closer look into what Elvin is playing on the Wayne Shorter tune “Deluge.” It’s on the album “Juju.”

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Practical Jazz Theory for Drummers, Part 9: Alterations

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Performance | 0 comments

Here’s a short lesson on what all those little things like “b9” “#11” and “b13” mean, and how important they are.

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