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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 8: Odd Time Clave

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Grooves | 3 comments

Now that we’ve been learning the “who, what, when, why, and how” of clave, let’s look at the “huh?” of clave…in odd-time signatures.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 7: Calypso

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Grooves | 2 comments

This is a groove that is based in Afro-Cuban rhythms, but with a Caribbean spin. You hear this groove down in the Caribbean Islands, but you also hear versions of this groove in dance halls around the world.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 6: Rhumba Clave Exercises

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Grooves | 2 comments

This week Chris Burroughs tackles some fun and challenging exercises based on the rhumba clave. He explores ways to voice it around the kit using paradiddles, and an accent game that builds some serious independence.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 5: Bembe

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Grooves | 1 comment

This week’s edition of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer features one of the most important and fundamental grooves at the heart of this Afro-Cuban style: the Bembe.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 4: Switching from Latin to Swing

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Grooves | 1 comment

The fourth and final installment of the interview with Chris Burroughs. We discuss – and Chris demonstrates – switching from Afro-Cuban to swing, funk, and Brazilian, as well as some more cascara patterns, how to play the cowbell and more. Dig in below…

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 3: Feel and Phrasing

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Grooves | 1 comment

Our Afro-Cuban study continues this week with a look at how to turn the rhythms on the page into something that grooves and swings.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 2: Clave, Cascara, Tumbao

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

In part 2 of the interview, we get to some playing. We discuss the different roles/responsibilities the drum set player has when there’s no one else to play these parts. We cover Clave, Cascara, and Tumbao (and much more)…

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Primer, Week 1: History and Listening

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

To get us started, I did a lengthy interview with Chris, where we covered clave, bass drum patterns, important musical groups, dealing with uninformed bass players, and Led Zeppelin (trust me, it’ll make sense when you see it!), and many other topics. He plays some, we break down common misconceptions, and some practical advice for the bandstand.

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The Train Beat

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Grooves | 2 comments

Another member request, this one is all about the “train” beat. We hear this groove in Bluegrass, Country, Pop, and Gypsy Jazz. And there are a few things that separate good train beats from bad ones…

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The “3” vs. “6” Dilemma: Hi-Hat Patterns

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

As we delve into the similarities between 3/4 and 6/8, I want to address some of the popular hi-hat patterns for each so you can make more informed, sophisticated groove choices on the bandstand.

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The “3” vs. “6” Dilemma, part 1: “Henya”

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Grooves | 1 comment

Mark Lesson as Viewed This content is for members...

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 12: Small Beat Time Check

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

Welcome to the final week of our 12-week course on Upping Your Tempo! We finish up with the “inner beat” version of the last exercise. This is what I call: Small Beat Time Check

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 11: Big Beat Time Check

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Grooves, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here’s an exercise I have done for years to keep my time sharp. I think of it as a game. Makes practicing more fun. I’ve even kept score!

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 10: Bass Drum

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

In this lesson we take a look at a few different approaches to playing the bass drum at a fast tempo. This, combined with the “Economy of Motion” lesson, should give you more stability and control at fast tempos but low volumes.

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 9: Pacing Your Comping

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Grooves | 1 comment

In this lesson, I show you guys some ways of balancing out your comping – a crucial step in interacting at a fast tempo without disturbing the groove.

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 8: Variable Stickings, Part II

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Grooves | 2 comments

This week, I’m expanding the “Variable Stickings” concept to include another “family” of stickings: the Right Hand Lead concept.

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 7: Variable Stickings, Part I

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Grooves | 2 comments

In this lesson, we deal with a group of stickings that are interchangeable and flow easily from one to the other. Why is that important? Because the faster the tempo, the less time we have to think.

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 6: Target Practice

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

We’re halfway Home. Week 6 of our 12-week course on Uptempo Studies builds off the “Economy of Motion” concept by applying a little accuracy drill to the whole kit. I call it “Target Practice.”

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 5: Economy of Motion

Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

The Silent Killer. We can’t see all that excess motion because we’re too busy trying to keep up! But we can’t break the laws of physics. The less motion you waste, the quicker you will be (think Bruce Lee). And the more you can focus on making music, not just trying to survive. Here’s some ways to do that…

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 4: Wrist/Finger Drill

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

In this lesson, we’re going to focus in on snare drum comping at faster tempos, and a drill to make your comping, “crispier.”

Or “crisper.” I can’t make up my mind…

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