Issue #3_____\__\__\__\__\__________/__/__/__/__/03/05/97 ___________________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS What is in this issue? Contents: 1. Feature Article: SOLO TIPS & FAQ 2. Bass Player joke ___________________________________________________________________ *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** For March 97 DRUM SOLO TIPS Drum solos' are a very popular topic at the website! It seems that the most frequently asked questions come from students who want to improve their solo techniques. I usually reply in the following way . . . Learn from the best, by doing! Begin a collection of drum solo recordings. Listen to all the great players old and new . . . everyone from Baby Dobbs to Neil Peart! *** TIP: *** *** How to get drum solo recordings for FREE! *** Many public libraries will let you check out records, tapes and CD's for free. Our local library here in Daytona Beach, has a great collection of drum solo material. It is possible to dub all the various solos' onto one tape, then keep that tape for the purpose of study. I have done it . . . and would sell copies, but this is considered an illegal practice, because of copyright laws. Sorry! Visit your local library. Maybe you can dub your own study tape. The point is a simple one. Before your solos' can develop, you will need *INPUT* . . . and a lot of it. You will need to absorb a heavy diet of the very best drum solos' the 20th century has to offer. THE SECRET TO DEVELOPING AWESOME SOLOS' ACQUIRE THIS HABIT: ( Do it every day . . . It works!) Put your favorite drum solo on the sound system. Put on the headphones, sit back a relax. (Grab a sandwich and a cola). Listen with all your concentrating ability . . . FEEL the solo as it plays. Replay it several times, let it soak into the soul. Make this a 15 minute project . . . Now ( 15 minutes later) when you are ready. Do not pass go! Do not collect $200 Dollars! Do not go to the bathroom! Take a seat behind your drumset immediately while the rhythms are rolling around in your brain! Begin to thrash at the drums. Play what you are thinking! Hit 'em! Let it go! Feel it! This is YOUR solo! Do anything you want to do! Get frantic! Do not try to copy what you have just heard . . . simply imitate! Aim for generalization! Go at it for long periods of time. Challenge yourself to play longer and longer solos! You may not sound anything like Buddy Rich or Neil Peart at first, but I guarantee eventual results! The solos you play will be uniquely your own and each should be somewhat different from the last. There should be no reason to do anything in a specific way. This is CREATIVITY and the objective is to be different . . . but better . . . ALWAYS BETTER THAN BEFORE! Try recording your solos' on tape. Hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised and amazed to hear how good you sound! Within a very short time your solos' will come alive and a new drumming genius will take aim at the big time. Yep! That's YOU! You can do it if only you think you can! So, think positive! If you will do this every day, the solos you play will improve tremendously within a relatively short time frame. Your confidence, technique and finesse will soar beyond your wildest expectations in only a matter of weeks! Studying solos in this way will help perfect those rudiments you have been struggling to master, too. After a few wild solo sessions there will be marked improvement in all your rolling techniques. The fingers, hands, arms, legs and feet will strengthen from all the strenuous (but fun) exercise. You will grow by leaps and bounds effortlessly and it will not seem like work! You should be having the time of your life! I might add that this is great therapy too! Now you can fire the shrink! Good luck! ============================================================ *** WEBSITE E-MAIL *** Frequently Asked Questions & Answers The website generates a ton of E-mail questions every month. I have decided to focus on a few of the more common topics as a portion of this months feature article. *** FAQ *** 1. TUNING TIPS: One of the most common questions to grace my E-mail 'in' box pertains to tuning the drumset. This question has been asked so many times, I have decided to put up a special webpage of tuning tips. So, if you are needing a little help getting that new drumset sounding just right, you can simply visit the following webpage. Tuning Your Drum Set. ************************* 2. SEATING ARRANGEMENT: Students often ask for advice about positioning themselves at the drumset. This question then leads to a short discussion about kicking the pedals. ANSWER: The way you sit at your drumset is a personal thing. Much will depend on the way you attack the pedals. Most of today's younger more modern drummers are attacking the pedals with a 'toe kick', rather than the 'heel down' style of playing. This requires the player to move in a bit closer to the drumset. Place your toes (only) on the pedals with your heels in the air. Your shins will be on (or near) a 90* angle to the floor. Be your own judge here . . . find your own 'most comfortable' position and the style that suits you best. Most of today's drum instructors will recommend the 'toe kick' because it allows the greatest speed and power. The 'heel down' style of playing requires the player to sit further back from the kit. This will put the shins at an angle to the floor. 'Heel down' tends to develop calf muscles while the 'toe kick' develops upper leg and thigh muscles. Try both methods then make your own decisions. Keep in mind that the 'toe kick' style is most popular with modern rock players while the 'heel down' style of playing was favored by the older jazz players. ************************** 3. PERIPHERAL DRUM ARRANGEMENTS: The question of arrangement tends to come up quite a lot. This can be a very opinionated topic. Go with your own logic here. ANSWER: 'Time in motion' . . . or . . . 'ease of transit' . . . These are thoughts to keep in mind when positioning the individual drums in your kit. Personally, I like all the drum rims 'flush' but not touching. This allows for quick and easy movement from drum to drum. It is a 'common sense' thing. Continue to experiment until you find what you like. Be aware however, if the rims are touching . . . this can transfer vibrations and undesirable tones from one drum to the next. ************************** 4. WEAK HAND: Another common topic of concern is the 'weak left-hand' issue. Most of us will favor one hand over the other. This is an on going aggravation for all but a limited few. ANSWER: 'Alternating' rudiment studies will definitely help with this problem. Repetitious rudiment studies are probably the best remedy for sluggish hands. Also, as you learn the more complicated beat patterns like syncopations and Independence, your weak hand will gather more control. Sometimes, it is a matter of learning to do things VERY slowly, one note at a time, then gradually build speed over long periods (hours) of boring repetition. *** TIP: *** How To Take The Work Out Of Boring Practice! I do most of this boring stuff during the day while away from the set. Learn to study while watching tv, websurfing or riding in your car. Simply get an idea (rudiment or beat) in your head and focus on it as a study item. Practice it as you go through your day, anytime you have a few idle moments. Then when you sit down behind the kit, you will be ready to burn those drums to the ground. When I am at the drumset, I prefer to just jam and have fun with solos' and recorded music. It is amazing how the techniques that have been studied during the 'idle moments' will find their way into your playing style this way. ************************************************ *** SPECIAL NOTE: *** ABOUT RECORDED MUSIC! Playing with recorded music is ESSENTIAL to your overall development! Wait . . . that hasn't been stated strong enough! Maybe I should *SCREAM* it this way . . . "PLAYING ALONG WITH RECORDED MUSIC IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR DEVELOPMENT!!!" This is very important! You need to discover the FUN of practicing with recorded music very early on. You will notice that the lessons at my site are structured from the top down with this sort of 'ear' training or 'jamming' in mind. If you are not playing along with your own favorite recordings already . . . you are missing the point entirely! START DOING IT TODAY! Take the first three lessons at the website if you are having trouble. You will hopefully, be having a terrific time one hour from now. This will create total addiction to the instrument and a hot new drummer. (THAT'S YOU!) THE FIRST THREE LESSONS AT THE WEBSITE: DRUMMERS APTITUDE TEST: READING DRUM NOTATION: BASIC DANCE BEATS: Jamming with recorded music should be a regular part of your daily practice routine. Drum lessons, techniques and method books are ALL virtually worthless, unless the knowledge can be applied to 'REAL WORLD' music every day, in a practical, common sense way. Forget discipline and have some fun! :>) If you can't seem to make this happen . . . well, uuh. . . don't quit your day job just yet! :>) ================SPECIAL NOTE==================== It isn't unusual to experience problems with some songs. Very often the drum parts are far too complex for the average beginner. Other songs may not present 'enough' challenge. This is normal! However, If you know your basic dancebeats by heart, you should find that about 80% of the music on the radio is a snap. Play only the songs that come easy to you at first and graduate into the more complex music later. Your confidence and ability will increase proportional to the amount of fun you are having. If you are not having fun, it may be a real bad sign! After memorizing all the basic dancebeats, if you still can't do it, please explain your specific problems to me in an E-mail note and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org I will try to provide a little 'high test' fuel to get your motors running. ________________________________________________________ |________________________________________________________| BASS PLAYER JOKE There was a poor ragged bass guitarist panhandling for spare change on a street corner. One day someone came by and threw a brass lamp into his guitar case. Upon rubbing the lamp, a genie appeared and offered the bass player three wishes. "I wish I was a better musician", said the bass man. Next thing he knew he was in a band that was cutting its first CD and had a loyal following. He was pretty happy, but he wanted more. "I wish I was an even better musician", said the bassist. Before long he was playing on an extended world tour in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans. He was ecstatic, but he wanted even more. "Genie", he said, "make me an even BETTER musician!" Poof! He found himself standing on his old street corner . . . playing drums. ________________________________________________________ |________________________________________________________| Your future career may LITERALLY depend on THIS IDEA.
CYA NEXT TIME! END OF TEMPO DISPATCH #3 3/5/97