Showing posts from June, 2020

Summer Strategies

The vast majority of students will find their primary musical activities taking place at home this summer. If you are having trouble feeling inspired and/or motivated, here is a quick list of suggestions for summer projects. This list is definitely drums and percussion oriented although many of the general concepts here can certainly be applied to other instruments. We will explore these concepts much further in my class on Thursday, June 25th at 4pm EST. The class will be posted on YouTube. 1) Brush up on fundamentals - Rudiments and Scales!!! 2) Learn new drum set styles Use this Vic Firth/Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials Poster to get started. Expand outward into "Groove Essentials" by Tommy Igoe. 3) Continue your work in Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone or work out of any book in the Simon Boyar Drum School suggested library: Accents and Rebounds by George Lawrence Stone Syncopation by Te

Shellacked - Drums vs Mallets

Listen to Shellacked HERE A substantial part of my career has been lived out as a mallet player but at my core I'm a drummer. It's how I got started and basically what got me interested in music. For years I didn't even know how to read in treble clef and some of my most important mentors worked with me prior to my even touching any of the mallet instruments. Due to the playing opportunities available growing up. I began studying classical music and it wasn't until then that I really picked up and pursued mallets. This culminated with my attending Juilliard Pre-College in high school and ultimately The Juilliard School itself in college. Although upon graduation I continued working in the classical music world both as a soloist and a section percussionist, in many ways I shifted back to my roots. It didn't happen all at once. It happened in phases but today I don't even view myself as a mallet centric musician. However, I don't really think of myself as

Pound The Ground Blues

Watch Pound The Ground Blues on YouTube!  Language This is a basic blues in Bb. Nothing fancy although I would argue that in giving it a voice I stretch out quite a bit on the vibraphone. Even so I'll always be a classically trained player and former drum corps fanatic so playing clean (even while playing dirty) is important to me. Musically it has everything to do with communication. I always want to push my ideas through in a clear and concise way. Dirty is good but I want to be clear about the fact that it's dirty. On and on we go in the labyrinth that is my mind. Lessons I learned something important in making this song. It hits at something that's been dogging my composition for awhile. At first I couldn't get it to happen. I then put on a drum shuffle loop and it really grounded me. I often use loops as tools. I both make my own and sometimes even use the Logic loops. I realize that for many of my colleagues this is taboo but I disagree. Many arti