MSC Video Series

1. The Overlay Concept

The Overlay Concept’s roots can be found in common applications of Ted Reed’s Syncopation.  One of the best examples being found in Steve Houghton’s Studio and Big Band Drumming, where he overlayed 8th note triplets on big band figures.  Watch all MSC videos to discover new concepts inspired by their genius.

2. The Clear Melody Concept

In Melodic Stick Control, I have modified traditional overlay methods with “The Clear Melody Concept”, which I have found to be more musically versatile in two ways: 1. It brings more clarity to the melody, and 2. it makes it possible to execute the overlay concept at much faster tempos.

3. Phrasing

There are three key elements for developing interesting and musical phrasing; varied lengths of rest between musical ideas, varied idea lengths, and varied beats that our ideas begin and end on. I have incorporated these elements in all of the exercises of Melodic Stick Control in an effort to make your stick control practice time more efficient and musical.

4. Sticking Concepts Overview: Part 1

Learning to apply various overlays on simple melodic ideas will give you the ability to think simply, yet still sound interesting.  Most importantly, take time to improvise ideas from Melodic Stick Control (or any book you are working out of), because you won’t have exercises to read in front of you on the gig!

5. Sticking Concepts Overview: Part 2

The Bass Drum Fill-In variation of each exercise will strengthen your command of each sticking concept, and add to your vocabulary by improving your coordination to treat the bass drum as it’s own voice/color.  This video also exposes the  sneaky way Melodic Stick Control exercises will have you learning your rudiments too!

6. Sticking Concept 1: Alternating Singles

Alternating single strokes is the most basic, but probably the most important sticking concept to master for developing creative freedom on the drum set. It is also a necessary foundation for playing Diddles, the 2nd sticking concept in Melodic Stick Control which you can learn about in video 7 of this series.

7. Sticking Concept 2: Diddles

The Diddles sticking concept will have you embellishing melodies with both tap diddles and a paradiddle based concept.  You will also find an exercise in this video that I use to help my students isolate the timing and motion of developing good diddles/double strokes.

8. Sticking Concept 3: Ta'diddles

Ta’diddles is my favorite sticking concept to work on because it can sound amazing even with simple melodic ideas.  It is also an important foundation to have in place before moving on to the Swiss’diddles and Stick Shot sticking conepts.

9. Sticking Concept 4: Call and "Right"sponse

Try the Call and “Right”sponse experiment in this video to test your ability to move your melodic ideas to the right side of your kit.  For a greater challenge and benefit, make sure to use this same concept and reverse sticking manipulations for moving all of your melodic ideas to your left hand!

10. Sticking Concept 5: Swiss'diddles

Swiss’diddles offer an innovative approach to incorporporating flams drumset improvisations.  They use a consistent sticking concept guided by the melodic ideas, as opposed to the more traditional approach of trying to decide on the fly which of the many flam rudiments to use/combine.

11. Sweeping Warm-Up

The “Flams & Smalfs variation of the Swiss’diddle sticking concept requires a lot of stick sweeps.  This video will give you some suggestions and exercises to make the “Flams & Smalfs” variations more manageable – they are challenging enough without having to think about sweeping techniques!

12. Stick Shots

Stick shots add a very distinct color to your drumming “palette.”  Check out the basic double stroke exercise in this video to get you started with stick shot techniques, and then watch the solo demonstration at the end to discover some of my favorite stick shot drum set applications developed from exercises in Melodic Stick Control.  

13. Adaptive Overlays

Despite my best efforts to explain the Adaptive Overlay concepts in the Melodic Stick Control text, this video will undoubtedly fill in some comprehension gaps, and hopefully inspire you to enhance the groove of the MSC exercises in the process!  The concepts from this chapter can help provide groove and elasticity to rudiments and other sticking methods as well!

14. Combined Exercises

Before working out of any book, it’s always good to have an idea of the potential results and what you are working towards.  In the final video of this series, see how combining all of the concepts presented in Melodic Stick Control will result in some incredibly interesting Drumset ideas that can be applied to a variety of tempos, in any genre of music.