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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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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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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 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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Elvin’s One Beat Phrases

Posted by on Jun 24, 2014 in Grooves | 3 comments

Elvin Jones gave us all a new language to swing with. It’s equal parts very complex and very logical. As with any study of language, there are no “rules” that can’t and aren’t broken, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to define some of the characteristics of any language – Elvin’s included.

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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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Jazz Secret #4: Left Hand Hi-Hat Comping

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Technique | 1 comment

Ever see those old masters whip the stick around under the hi-hat and play all this cool stuff? Here are a few of those moves.

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Hi Hat Comping, Part II

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

Here are some tools to develop longer phrases when comping with the hi hat, plus a few one-bar phrases you can start throwing in your bag of tricks

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