Rates & 16th Note Variations

As a drum teacher I’ve noticed that one of the most difficult things for beginner drummers is to switch rates, e.g., to go from triplets to 16th notes, and moving between different 16th note variations. This short exercise is designed so you can play along with me (or the click only), get comfortable with counting,Continue reading “Rates & 16th Note Variations”

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 topContinue reading “Sugar Soul Wednesdays @ Hawaiian Brian’s”

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 allowsContinue reading “Get a Grip”

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 theContinue reading “16th Note Hi-Hat Variations Loop”

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 toContinue reading “Drumming Videos”

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.

Celebrating the Godfather of Soul

Had a blast playing a James Brown Tribute show at Blue Note Hawaii. Clyde Stubblefield & Jabo Starks have been a major influence in my drumming, from an early age on. #ThankYouFortheGrooves

#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 seeminglyContinue reading “16th Note Hi-Hat Variations in a drum beat”