In the age of flashy YouTube and Instagram drumming stars it’s easy to forget that it’s surprisingly hard to play slow beats with lots of space between the notes. It makes sense to me: The more notes you pack into a beat, the easier it is to get away with sloppy placement or bad timing.Continue reading “Leaving Space Grooves”
This quarantine has me practicing stuff that’s out of my comfort zone. Good. That’s the only way to grow and get better.
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”
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”
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”
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.
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
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.
I’m on Dana Montero’s latest single “Reunion.” (Maxwell cover) Check it! Available on most digital outlets!