Must Know Grooves
This month I busted my butt to transcribe the 28 must know grooves according to Gregg Bissonette. While I have studied with Gregg several times, I was again inspired by him when I ran across his “must know grooves” YouTube video with Rick Beato. Hence why you will find it (and the link to the transcription) on the DrumFillosophy #Inspired page!
New Groove Page
I have been wanting to get many of the grooves I teach my students more organized, and also give them easy access to play along with them. Well, I finally got off my busy butt, and started this project! The page is entitled “Groove Etymology” (you can read more about my philosophy behind the content of this page next month when I add it to the Lesson Materials page). But for time being, you can head over to the Groove Etymology page and download the first pdf (Rock 101), and listen to the accompanying YouTube playlist.
Comp with the Greats!
While there are some great jazz comping books out there (my favorite being The Art of Bop Drumming by John Riley), my students are having way more fun working on their jazz comping when playing along with the transcriptions on the Jazz Grooving page — and who better to get comping ideas from than two of the greatest jazz pianists of all time: Oscar Peterson and Horace Silver. Head over to the Jazz Grooving page to check out the 2 new transcriptions and play alongs:
- Blowin’ The Blues Away
- Willow Weep For Me
The Best Jazz Comping Exercises?
After reaching my goal last month of 40 Melody Rhythm Reading exercises, I have moved on to a new goal of 30 jazz coming play along exercises on the Jazz Grooving Page. You will find three new 2-Part comping exercises there:
- If We Never Meet Again (Slow Swing)
- My Groove, Your Move (Medium Swing)
- Blues For Philly Joe (Medium-Up)
These exercises have you comping the rhythms of melodies and comping rhythms of some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time (not just drummers!) Are they the best exercises ever created to work on your comping, feel, and developing your ears to hear jazz form all at the same time? Yes. Yes they are!
Small steps will eventually lead to big achievements!
This month I have reached my goal of 40 Melody Rhythm reading exercises. These transcriptions and play alongs have not only made reading fun for my students, but have been implicitly providing them with a better sense of rhythmic phrasing and feel. While I have done a little shuffling of the sequence of the 40 exercises to better organize them by difficulty, the two new reading exercises to look for are:
- Estela va a estelle – a very cool Cuban melody written by Chucho Valdes
- Sunny Side of the Street – Sonny Stitt solo
Check them out on the Melody Rhythm Reading page.
This month I celebrated my 30th anniversary with my beautiful wife Tina. We spent 3 weeks in Italy together, and it was incredible. However, it was not conducive to adding more website content! I did however have time to relax, and within that relaxing/mindfulness time, I was inspired to give some much needed love to the DrumFillosophy 101 page. In the “Crosstraining” book, I have added “The Inner Game” tab, where you can read some of my philosophies in regards to the importance of mental training, and some of my favorite resource suggestions to start/enhance your own inner game of drumming.
Hey guys, I am finally getting around to updating the Index pages for all of the free content available at DrumFillosophy.com. With roughly 100 pages containing over 150 pdf’s, 140 audio play alongs, and 40ish videos, it’s gonna take a “minute”! I have also repaired several broken links – there are a lot to keep tabs on, so I greatly appreciate those of you have let me know when something is broken!!
Work on your reading and feel!
I am just a couple of reading exercises away from completing my goal of 40 total exercises on the Melody Rhythm Reading Page. These reading exercises (transcriptions) have been incredible for demonstrating how great musicians interpret rhythms with feeling – and they have made learning to read fun in the process! Bill Withers vocal rhythms on “Ain’t No Sunshine” is a prime example of soulful rhythmic styling, and is one of the new additions to the Melody Rhythm Reading Page this month.
New content added in May:
2 New Melody Rhythm Reading Exercises
- Ain’t No Sunshine
2 New Big Band Reading Charts with Play Along Recordings
- Wind Machine
- Road Time Shuffle
I was feeling nostalgic with my kids coming home for my birthday this month, and was going through some old family home videos and stumbled across me playing some solos in my first full time gig at Disneyland Circa 2001! Check it out HERE.
Other new content added in March:
4 more charts and play along recordings added to the Big Band Reading Page:
- Li’l Darlin’
- Hay Burner
- Warm Breeze
Big Band Reading - New page!
A good friend of mine (and a fantastic jazz drummer), Dean Koba, provided some big band charts and youtube links to me that he uses for his students, and I have finally gotten around to housing those materials on a new DrumFillosophy page. Hopefully you find these resources as helpful as I have for my students (and me!) to more effectively work on your big band chart reading. While I currently have 5 charts and play alongs uploaded to the Big Band Reading page, but look for more to be added in next month.
Other notable March additions:
- A new jazz comping play along: “Bye Bye Blackbird” added to the Jazz Grooving page.
- A SoundSlice for “Wonderful Tonight” added to the Melody Rhythm Reading Page.
Genius! (Not me - Jim Hall)
Have you ever had an idea that seems so simple when it comes to you, that you can’t understand what took you so long to have it in the first place? It happened to me again as I was looking for a new example to add to the Jazz Grooving page. This page has jazz independence exercises with play alongs designed to enhance drummer’s comping feel by playing along with great artist recordings. My epiphany was that since these are essentially jazz comping exercises, then why not use the comping rhythms of some of the greats as play alongs…duh!! The exercise I added on the Jazz Grooving page this month uses the comping rhythms of guitarist Jim Hall, on Sonny Rollins’ recording of “John S” from his album The Bridge. It is fast, long, with a challenging form (34 Bars)…but highlights Jim Hall’s comping genius (I will be adding some easier comping play alongs soon!).
Other notable February additions:
- A SoundSlice for “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” added to the Melody Rhythm Reading page
- A video of me performing with the Trash Can Trio a couple of weeks ago
Happy New Year!
If your resolution is learn to read, you are in luck, because I just uploaded a SoundSlice (video play along) of the first reading exercise I start all of my beginning students with — the rhythms of Ahmad Jamal playing the melody on the song “Poinciana.” Click HERE for a direct link to the SoundSlice, or go to the Melody Rhythm Reading page to find other reading exercises and SoundSlice links.
Other notable additions to DrumFillosophy.com are:
- SoundSlice for the Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” Intermediate Melody Rhythm Reading exercise.
- A new Slow 2-Part comping exercise on the Jazz Grooving/Comping page: “Moonglow” sung by Diana Krall (slow does NOT mean easy here!)
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash