“Play As You Are: A Collection Of Essays – Picking A Drummer’s Mind” was released five years ago, in September 2015.
Thanks to everyone who read it and a big shout-out to those who left a review on Amazon!
To celebrate, the title will be available for only $3.99 for a few days.
Half Time Shuffle variations for the intermediate/advanced drummer.
Last September I recorded drums for the band Executive Order at Honolulu’s Blue Planet Sound recording studio.
The first single “All Bleed Red” was released today on all digital platforms.
I had a blast getting into character and playing some Rock again… back to my roots!
If you like some good rocking tunes, big guitars, a strong hook and in-your-face vocals, check it out.
Produced and mixed by Michael Cutting in Brazil, mastered by David Zaffiro (Nashville).
Here’s a Timing/Coordination Groove Exercise I like to do.
- The bass drum plays a “Bo Diddley pattern.”
- The left hand plays the 2 + 4 backbeat.
- The right hand moves through all the 16th note variations of a 4 note grouping on the Hi-Hat, e.g.:
X… = Quarter Note (ONE e and a)
.X.. = 2nd 16th Note (one E and a)
..X. = the off beat (one e AND a)
…X = 4th 16th Note (one e and A)
2nd run through is BOTH hands in UNISON
This might be incredibly boring to watch (LOL), but it’s an exercise I’ve found tremendously helpful to develop coordination and good timing.
Wanted to share.
I’m excited to play my first show in three months with the JayKeyzProject at Theatrix Hawaii, on Wednesday, July 1st!
The concert is virtual and will be streamed live on Theatrix Hawaii’s Facebook page.
Jason Laeha‘s set is from 7:00-7:45 pm HST, and we go on after, from 8 to 9 pm, HST.
Hope to “see you” there.
I’ve always loved the half-time shuffle feel, a la Bernard Purdie.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different Hi-Hat variations while keeping the rest locked in.
Needs work, but there’s for some interesting vibes …
Here are three variations:
This one might be for the advanced drummer, because it does require a certain level of coordination and technique.
The short groove idea is the result of a “happy accident” while playing around. I broke it down and transcribed it. It’s a three bar pattern that repeats itself. Check it out.
I sometimes get the question on how I come up with combinations/melodies/fills around the kit. That’s a tough one to answer, because when I play, I play, and try not to think (in concepts and combinations).
Having said that, there are exercises that have helped me develop dexterity around the kit, and that allow me to move around the drums with more freedom.
Here’s an exercise I learned years ago, but I took it further and “put it through the wringer.”
I take a 4-note grouping (RLRL) and systematically substitute one hand with one bass drum (K), which gives me four variations:
Substituting two hands with two consecutive bassdrums also gives me four variations:
I recommend working on these combinations slowly, until you start to hear the rythmic melody in your head, and your hands and feet can execute the patterns effortlessly, even and relaxed. That’s very important. Don’t worry about speed. Instead, focus on relaxed control and playing “clean.”
Drop your shoulders, don’t hold your breath, and eliminate all unnecessary tension when you practice.
When I first started working on this stuff, I had a hard time staying focused, so I practiced on a practice pad and tapped my feet on the floor. That cut out the temptation to immediately play something else and focus on the basic mechanics of the exercises.
Start playing them as 8th notes first, and step quarter notes on the Hi-Hat.
I find it important to switch between the rates in a very systematic way in order to internalize the ways the rhythms feel in our body and how the melodies sound on the drums.
To get the most benefit from the exercise, play it in different rates, e.g., 8th notes, 8th note triplets, and 16th notes — Mark Guiliana calls this “The Loop:” 8th notes – 8th note triplets – 16th notes – 8th note triplets.
If the pattern is 8th notes, it gets played twice, triplets three times, 16th notes four times.
Time to break out the metronome and start s l o w.
Continue to play quarter notes with your left foot on the Hi-Hat.
You can download the free PDF here.
Here’s a short video, demonstrating the exercise. First run through is on the snare only, then I orchestrate the patterns around the toms.
I hope you find this helpful and inspiring. If you’re interested in drum lessons on Oahu, or would like to schedule a lesson online, please get in touch.
GET “PLAY AS YOU ARE”
I can’t believe this record is almost twenty years old.
It’s packed with great beats by Questlove and others. The track “Heat” samples Tony Allen, Fela Kuti’s one-time fellow band member and co-founder of the Afrobeat genre.
Here are some beats from the record. – Beck
Download the free pdfs HERE.