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Phoning It In: Pad Work on the Road

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Phoning It In | 2 comments

You’ve all heard me preach about taking a pad with you when you go out of town. Well, here’s a little window into the kind of stuff I’m doing while I’m out. A little bit of practicing what I’m preaching.

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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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Uptempo Practice Log (PDF)

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I know I’m throwing a lot at you at once with this uptempo course. Comping! Now Soloing! Now Listening!

So here’s a practice log to help you stay organized and focused.

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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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Upping Your Tempo, Week 3: Halftime/Doubletime Exercise

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

It’s one thing to play fast. But THINKING fast, and HEARING fast…now THAT requires some effort. Here is an exercise I use to slowly acclimate my ears and brain to the faster tempos. I start by just dipping my toe in the pool…

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 2: Over the Bar Phrases

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

In this lesson we’re going to tackle some comping and timekeeping rhythms that loop over the bar line. This allows us to create longer stretches of syncopation by using odd-grouping of phrases.

Check it out…

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Upping Your Tempo, Week 1: A Practice Plan

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Grooves | 0 comments

Welcome to the 1st lesson of our 12-week course on Uptempo playing. Let’s discuss a thorough practice plan that encompasses every aspect of playing fast. and every TEMPO.

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Rudimental Ritual, Part 10: The Complete Rudimental Ritual

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Technique | 0 comments

This is the final segment of the Rudimental Ritual. We cover the end of the Chops Builders section with a flurry of flams. Like, 15,000 of them. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!

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Rudimental Ritual, Part 9: Chops Builders

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Technique | 0 comments

FINAL SECTION!! We break this up into two parts (as usual) so that leaves us on the cusp of completing the Ritual.

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Rudimental Ritual, Part 8: Innovations 2

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Technique | 0 comments

For this segment of the Rudimental Ritual, we’re finishing out the Innovations section.

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Rudimental Ritual, Part 7: Innovations 1.

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Technique | 0 comments

Part 7 of the Rudimental Ritual. Here we break into the “Innovations” section. Long sequences of stickings but there’s good reason: These rudiments are very flexible and useful!

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Better Singles

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Technique | 1 comment

Here’s an exercise I use to keep my Single Stroke Rolls sharp. Playing singles requires the fast twitch muscles of the fingers and the endurance of the wrists. Blending those two can pose problems, and this exercise helped. It also helped me overcome that fear of “I hope these fast singles come out OK!”

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Rudimental Ritual, Part 6: All Swiss Rudiments

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Technique | 0 comments

Part 6 of the Rudimental Ritual. Here we tackle the rest of the Swiss Rudiments. Lots of flams, kids.

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