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Understanding Form: AB, Part 1

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 in Performance | 1 comment

The old guard called these “tunes.” They’re short and sweet, and were really popular in the 50’s and 60’s. Let’s look into the things that define this form, and the one target we should be aiming for.

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Understanding Form: ABAC, Part 2

Posted by on Aug 7, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Now that we’ve checked out the main structure of ABAC, let’s look at 2 forms known for giving musicians trouble that are variations of the ABAC:

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Understanding Form: ABAC, Part 1

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

It’s the cousin of AABA, so you’ll notice lots of similarities. However, those similarities have a way of making us miss the few parts that are different…and important.

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Understanding Form: AABA Analysis of Joshua Redman’s “Remember,” Part 3

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

In this lesson, we’ll finish out the saxophone solo and make some connections about how the whole band starts, develops, and finishes a conversation by using the form.

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Understanding Form: AABA Analysis of Joshua Redman’s “Remember,” Part 2

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

In this lesson, we dive back into the Joshua Redman recording of “Remember” and dissect his group’s use of the AABA form to converse. Brian Blade is his usual dominant self on this cut.

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Understanding Form: AABA Analysis of Joshua Redman’s “Remember,” Part 1

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

I break down how Joshua Redman’s quartet (with Brian Blade on drums) converses by using the AABA form. In this lesson, I cover the first 2 choruses, which are chock full of info.

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Understanding Form: AABA

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Hopefully you’re starting to feel good about hearing different ways to approach the Blues form. Now let’s dive into a more complicated form (and some of its common variations)

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Connexions: Soloist and Drummer, Part 4: Scrambling Eggs

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

This sound can be a lot of fun for the drummer to explore when a horn player goes there. Elvin, Tain, Blade, Harland…these guys all eat this up.

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Connexions: Soloist & Drummer, Part 3: Sustain, Suspend, Stir

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

In Part 3 of the “Connexions” series, William and I demonstrate how the soloist can use certain devices to allow us to stir up some trouble.

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Connexions: Soloist & Drummer, Part 2: Rhythm is Language

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Here’s part 2 of the series I’m doing for both drummers AND soloists. This time we focus on speaking the drummer’s language: Rhythm.

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Connexions: Soloist & Drummer, Part 1: The Purpose of Space

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

A good friend and great saxophinist/educator named Bob Reynolds asked me to try and break down what saxophonists and drummers could be doing to better communicate.

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Time Wars: Pushing vs. Pulling

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Ever had someone turn around and say “can you get on top of the beat?”
What about when you and the bassist can’t “lock up?”
If so, then mastering the art of “pushing” and “pulling” the time can help.

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Avoiding the “1” Part 5: Delaying to “2”

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Our last landing spot in this series is to play THROUGH the downbeat and resolve to “2.”

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Avoiding the “1” Part 4: Predetermined Phrases on “4”

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

Now that you’ve taken some time to practice just aiming for beat “4” as your resolution point, let’s look at some predetermined phrases that you can rely on so that you can be sure to resolve to “4” in a way that swings well.

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Avoiding the “1” Part 3: Resolutions on Beat 4

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

So hopefully you are comping phrases that resolve on the “&” of 4. But there’s no “ART” – no mystery – if you ALWAYS resolve to the “&” of 4. So let’s back it up one more 8th note…

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MD Series: Avoiding the “1”, parts 1 & 2

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Performance | 0 comments

A few months ago, Modern Drummer published a series of articles of mine called “Swing Style 101.” I was asked to expand upon that idea on a more advanced level here, so here are Parts 1 and 2 of a multi-part expansion on each of the 3 articles.

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Ride Cymbal Variations 1

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Performance | 1 comment

Paul – One of our members – requested a lesson on ways to vary the common ride cymbal pattern. While there are tons of ways to vary it, not all swing well. So here’s a simple way to vary the pattern that has continuity, swing, and flexibility.

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Time Wars: Off to a Good Start

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Performance | 2 comments

I’m calling this series “Time Wars” because it seems like we are in a constant battle to keep good time: with ourselves, with the bass player, with the bandleader… A lot of time issues actually occur before the band has played a note.  Here are some things to help get everyone (including YOU) on the same page with the time before beat one.

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8ths-Triplets-16ths

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Performance | 1 comment

This is a warmup exercise that gets the creative juices flowing while focusing on rhythmic accuracy.

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Comping: A series of Ups and Downs

Posted by on Nov 30, 2013 in Performance | 8 comments

Here’s a fun exercise that can instantly help you create more interesting comping phrases.

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