Sugar Soul Wednesdays @ Hawaiian Brian’s

In January, The Project (@jaykeyzproject) started to host a weekly Neosoul/Funk/HipHop flavored jam session at Hawaiian Brian’s, in Honolulu. We usually open the night at 10 PM with a short set, and then invite people up to jam and improvise. It’s a great opportunity to hang, vibe, network, and play with some of Hawaii’s top […]

Get a Grip

Other drummers have asked me about my (default) grip. Just flip a stick and catch it. That’s it: The brilliance of simplicity. Note: I use a middle finger fulcrum as my “home position,” the index finger comes in to close the hand, add control and pressure, only when necessary (fast doubles, press rolls, etc.). This allows […]

16th Note Hi-Hat Variations Loop

Here’s a cool exercise one of my teachers shared with me, a long time ago: You play 14 different 16th note variations on the hi-hat, one per measure, while keeping a continually repeated pattern (ostinato) on the bass drum and snare. The bass drum syncopation includes a note on the “a” and “&” of the […]

Drumming Videos

  Here are two simple, yet cool triplet combos: ||:Left Right Kick:|| (Gadd is a master at this!) and then something I’ve heard Bonham do a lot: ||:Left Right Kick | Right Left Kick:|| In this songo improv I play open handed, aka left hand lead (I’m not crossing my sticks), which allows me to […]

Jazzy Snare-Tom Combo

Been listening to a lot of Hard Bop lately. Here’s a triplet-based lick that’s fun to play and gets you around the kit. Might have heard it from #BillyHiggins or #MaxRoach, not sure.

#Quicktip

When you learn a new lick or combination, make sure you can play it in different rates, e.g., 8th notes, triplets, and 16th notes.  

16th Note Hi-Hat Variations in a drum beat

Here’s something I like to practice: I’m improvising grooves while working my way through different 16th note variations on the hi-hat. I’ve found this to be a great way to come up with new ideas, strengthen my coordination, and improve my timing on the drums. Too often we drummers forget about the endless possibilities seemingly […]

Time Feel Exercise

This is great exercise to deepen your pulse and improve timing on the drums. I start playing a beat at the downbeat, then move it to the “e” of the beat, then the “+” and the “a.” I’m basically moving through the 16th note grid, using each 16th note as a new starting point.  

Online Lessons

Aspiring drummers! Depending on your level and interest, topics include hand and foot technique, grooves, timekeeping, phrasing ideas, sight reading, odd time signatures, fills, soloing and studio techniques, etc. Lessons are conducted in English or German. Things you need: A Skype account. A PayPal account. A laptop with camera and mic (can be built in) + […]