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Elvin’s Triplet Brush Lick

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

This is an easy one to add, and at the right tempo (medium), it swings like crazy.

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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 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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“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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“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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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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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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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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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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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 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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The Elvin “Sweep” (Lesson Request)

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Technique | 0 comments

Jim asked for some more Elvin. That’s a request I can’t ignore!

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Philly Joe vs. Tony: Style Analysis (Lesson Request)

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Grooves | 0 comments

Will writes, “I worked on some uptempo Tony Williams stuff…but the Philly Joe uptempo is kind of a different vibe entirely. I’m not sure how to pinpoint the differences.”

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Avoiding the “1” Part 6: Brian Blade Comping Analysis

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Listening Lab | 0 comments

We wrap up the “Avoiding the 1” series by studying some comping of a modern master: Brian Blade. How does he employ this style of phrasing? Let’s find out…

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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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