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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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“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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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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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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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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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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Quick Hit: Clack Tinga Da Boom

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Kind of a weird one. I was shedding and stumbled across this lick. I wanted to capture it for myself, and then figured “Hey, why don’t I share it with my students?”

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Triplet Brush Fill

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

This one comes from my lessons with Vernel Fournier. He showed me this little move on the back of a magazine cover.

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Four Stroke Roll Stick on Stick Lick

Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Double-feature: This lick is a warmup and vocabulary.

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Alan Dawson’s Comping, Part 3: 3-Beat Phrase

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

In this last installment of the lesson request sent in by Doug, I’m gonna break down another phrase Alan demonstrates. This one is a cool foot-foot-hand pattern.

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Alan Dawson’s Comping Vocabulary, Part 2: Practicing

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

“Oh great. MORE licks that I don’t know what to do with.” If that was your reaction to me telling you it’s all about who you apply it as a language, then this lesson is for you.

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Alan Dawson’s Uptempo Comping, Part 1

Posted by on Aug 13, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Doug asked me to check out an audio clip of Alan Dawson demonstrating some ways to use the hi-hat by playing the songs “Oleo.” In this first lesson, I break down the core cells that make up the vocabulary he’s using – and explain how they’re all related.

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Rolls and Fills within the Time, Part 3: Extensions & Elvinisms

Posted by on Jul 30, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

In this final installment of the series on dropping in some rolls without disrupting the time, let’s look at adding a beat and investigating why it sounds different when Elvin does it (like everything else he does).

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Rolls and Fills within the Time, Part 2: Phrasing Tips

Posted by on Jul 9, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

Once the stickings are comfortable, it’s time to make them sound like music, not like an exercise.

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Rolls and Fills within the Time, Part 1 (Lesson Request)

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

One of our JDR members Leonard recently emailed me:

I still can’t get the hang of these little fills jazz drummers pepper their comping with, and which I think could be particularly useful when trying to vary/increase the intensity of my playing.

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Elvin: Ruffs and Flams Part 2

Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Vocabulary | 5 comments

Now that we’ve absorbed some of Elvin’s favorite triplet sequences and his approach to adding ruffs and flams to his sound, let’s look a PRACTICAL APPROACH to this language.

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“8 Up Front”: 3 Secrets to a Great Drum Intro

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

If you’ve ever played a gig with a leader who loves bebop, you’ve likely heard this phrase (right before the tune starts): “Gimme 8 Up Front.” If you’re like me, the first several times I heard that, I had a mini-heart attack. After much listening to the masters, I discovered the 3 secrets to a successful Drum Intro. Here they are…

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