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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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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 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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Great 8 Bar Drum Intros

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Listening Lab | 0 comments

In the “8 Up Front” lesson, I addressed some of the keys to a great 8 bar drum intro. Let’s listen to and break down some great intros:

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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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Creative Rudiments: Swiss Army Triplets

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

Here’s another rudiment we can get creative with: the Swiss Army Triplet. I first heard Hutch use this and I love how fat it sounds at a medium tempo.

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Creative Rudiments: 5 Stroke Roll

Posted by on Feb 2, 2014 in Vocabulary | 1 comment

If you’ve spent any time learning rolls, you’ve most likely played the 5 stroke roll hundreds of times. Ever tried to make it swing?

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Creative Rudiments: Ruffs and Drags

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Vocabulary | 0 comments

If you’ve ben following the Rudimental Ritual series, then this is right up your alley: we’re gonna find ways to use the 1st 3 rudiments from that exercise.

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52 Licks, Week 15: Elvin Jones Lick

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in 52 Licks | 2 comments

Here’s an Elvin lick that I love and hear him use all the time. As always – short, simple and easily applicable. But so hip.

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52 Licks, Week 14: Jimmy Cobb

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in 52 Licks | 3 comments

Week 14 of a series I’m calling “52 Licks.” 1 new jazz phrase each week.

This week’s phrase comes to you via Jimmy Cobb.

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52 Licks, Week 11: Greg Hutchinson Lick

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Week 11 of a series I’m calling “52 Licks.” 1 new jazz phrase each week for 2013.

This phrase comes from Greg Hutchinson. He plays it on an uptempo arrangement of “Smile” off of Michael Karn’s album, “In Focus.” Compared to some of the previous licks, this one is a bit more challenging to play at a bright tempo and will require a little more work to get it down. But what’s the fun in just throwing you guys softballs all day??

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52 Licks, Week 9: The Roy Haynes Lick

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Here’s a peak at the quintessential Roy Haynes lick. This embodies everything we love about Roy: it’s hip and it has that “pop” that he plays with.

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52 Licks: Week 7, Lewis Nash Brush Lick

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Week 7 of a series I’m calling “52 Licks.” 1 new jazz phrase each week for 2013.

This one is a brush lick by Lewis Nash, featuring a “Sweep-Tap” motion. It’s off of a Bill Mays CD called “An Ellington Affair.” The song is “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart.”

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52 Licks, Week 6: Bill Stewart Lick

Posted by on Feb 9, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Week 6 of a series I’m calling “52 Licks.” 1 new jazz phrase each week for 2013. This is one of my favorite Bill Stewart phrases. I’ve heard him play this a handful of times, and was able to find a solo on YouTube where he uses it.

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52 Licks, Week 5: Eric Harland Lick

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

This phrase comes from Eric Harland. It’s off a Jacky Terrason record called, “Smile.” Eric plays it on the title track toward the end. It’s an easy phrase to execute and it hits hard.

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52 Licks, Week 4: Brian Blade Lick

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Week 4 of a series I’m calling “52 Licks.” 1 new jazz phrase each week for 2013.
This week’s phrase came from a gig I went to with Brian Blade, Sam Yahel, and Peter Bernstein. They used to have a trio at Small’s every Wednesday night, and I went there like Church.

Brian played this one night and I never forgot it. It’s essentially a New Orleans phrase, just spiced up a bit. Turns out, he’s not the first to play it, as with most good phrases – it’s been around awhile. But as you’ll hear, there’s good reason for it to last this long

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52 Licks, Week 3: Max Roach Lick

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in 52 Licks | 0 comments

Here’s a phrase I lifted from one of max’s famous versions of “Mop Mop” or “Blues for Big Sid” (same tune). It’s a fairly common hand/foot pattern, but with a twist, and some important phrasing.

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52 Licks, Week 2: Paradiddle diddle Lick

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in 52 Licks | 2 comments

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52 Licks, Week 1: 9 Stroke Phrase

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in 52 Licks | 3 comments

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