How To Play The Jazz Ride (Swing) Pattern

Here’s my latest YouTube video demonstrating the way I play the swing pattern on the ride cymbal. I learned this approach from the great Ralph Salmins and find it’s a great way to play an even, relaxed and swinging jazz ride. The key thing is to spend plenty of time working on the two-for-one rebound stroke so that you produce the “ga-dang” part of the the rhythm with only one movement of the hand. You then get three sounds with only two hand movements.

When playing the ride, I recommend using French Grip, i.e. with the thumb on top. The stick pivots over the forefinger and middle finger and if you persist, you can get two even sounds from one hand movement.

Please be aware there are several approaches to playing the swing ride pattern. This is the one I use most of the time and the way I teach my students to play a swing.

Thanks to my colleague, guitar teacher, recording and videoing guy Rodrigo Lemos for filming and editing this video.

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Loving The Bad Plus

I must have listened to this twenty times today. Delicious and nutritious!

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This Is The Second Groove Of Afrobeat According To Tony Allen

Having watched the whole Tony Allen Masterclass wot I posted about here yesterday, there are two beats drummers need to know and you’re OK with Afrobeat. The first one I wrote about in this post –

So I’ll call this the second groove of Afrobeat. Play until you make them smooth with a crispy hi hat just like Tony does it.

Tony Allen's Second Groove Of Afrobeat

On the masterclass video you can watch it demonstrated here –

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Full Tony Allen Masterclass on YouTube

Wow, this is brilliant, an hour long masterclass with Tony Allen giving loads of detail about his playing style and approach to music. Wonderful, wonderful. What a treat.

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Mark Guiliana’s Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset

Mark Guiliana - Exploring Your Creativity On The DrumsetMark Guiliana’s new book, Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset is the second drum education publication I paid for via crowdfunding. Before that was Benny Greb’s The Art & Science Of Groove. It’s rather fun to be involved in funding a new project. From Mark Guiliana I got the ebook first and a week or so later the physical book with DVD with a signature. You can download the video content using a code that comes with the book. The ebook works through an app on iOS which works pretty well on my iPad mini. On my Windows computers there is Hudson’s ebook reader which I don’t particularly like using, it has this pointless page flipping effect.

In a world with far too many drum books and DVDs to be useful (I have a disturbingly large collection), Mark Guiliana’s book adds something useful and different to the subject. The book and video present a system for developing ideas on the kit that incorporate the full breadth of rhythms and sounds we could use in music making. The creative elements we use are broken down in to the DROP system – Dynamics, Rate, Orchestration and Phrasing. Dynamics are dealt with pretty briefly (hey guys, don’t forget to use dynamics when you practice) but the other areas are developed in great detail. Each section evolves from simple to complex and we get to work through the building blocks of how to use Quarters, 8ths, Triplets & 16ths (notes and rests, of course) to develop new and exciting rhythms, how to mix up those rates, how to move the rhythms around the kit and how to move the phrases we create into different permutations.

If you work through the exercises in the book as they are written, you will improve your sense of time and rhythm, you will discover new abilities to improvise and invent new grooves. Once you understand the concepts presented (and memorise the handy DROP acronym) you’ll be able to apply them to whatever you’re working on.

The material in Exploring Your Creativity On The Drumset is style-agnostic and would be useful for any drummer who would like to strengthen their rhythmic awareness and precision, who would like to learn techniques for evolving original and interesting patterns and who would like to gain more freedom on the kit.

The video is really well made with loads of examples of the exercises and some clips with Guiliana’s band.

I would highly recommend this book/video to all drummers, regardless of how indulgent their existing collection of educational materials.

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Gig at Clery’s Clock Bar In Colindale With The Groove Crew 5th Of November

I will be playing at Clery’s Clock Bar in Colindale with the Groove Crew, a new piano based soul/funk/pop/jazz trio featuring Norman on piano and vocals and with Rodrigo on bass. Admission is free and we should kick off around 21.30. We’ve had great fun playing at Clery’s Clock and this should be a great night out.

Date: 5th of November
Time: 21.30
Venue: Clery’s Clock Bar
Address: 225-227 Edgware Road, London, London, United Kingdom

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Learning Charley Wilcoxon’s Rudimental Swing Solos – Rolling In Rhythm

Charley Wilcoxon - Rudimental Swing Solos CoverI haven’t done much by the way of learning drum solos such as those written by Charley Wilcoxon. I started learning Rolling In Rhythm and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I intend on working my way through the book slowly but surely. I’m not exactly sure what the end result is meant to sound like. There are a few examples on Youtube.

This guy has the speed down, I guess this is how the marching drummer would execute it:

This guy has speed and great feel and fluidity (and cats):

Here’s a post on the Cruise Ship Drummer blog with an excerpt from Modern Drummer about learning this etude with Philly Joe Jones:

Finally, here’s my effort. I want to improve my speed and articulation and learn to play the Samba and Bembe foot ostinatos to go with it:

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50% Off The Kinks Musical – Sunny Afternoon

Sunny Afternoon - Kinks Musical 50% OffI got an email from a chap called Cameron at who wanted me to let you all know that after two very successful years, Sunny Afternoon, the Kinks musical, is closing. If you’d like to see it before it closes, you can get half-price tickets by following this link –

If you like musicals and the Kinks in particular, this looks like a great deal.

See my review here –

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Afrobeat Drumming – Beats Of Tony Allen, Book Review

Afrobeatt Drumming - Beats Of Tony AllenOK, I think it’s obvious by now that I’m really in to the drumming of Tony Allen and Afrobeat in general. When I got into Afrobeat, I looked for teaching materials to help me develop my Afrobeat chops. There weren’t many resources available so I had to start writing my own. Over the last couple of years I’ve managed to get a good sense of Tony Allen’s drumming and have been lucky enough to see Allen live on two occasions. I hope my recent series of posts presenting a range of exercises for developing Afrobeat coordination reflects my understanding well.

I was very excited when I discovered the book Afrobeat Drumming, Beats of Tony Allen by Turkish drummer and educator Anil Sahinoz. The book contains transcriptions of the grooves from 54 of Tony Allen’s tracks including music recorded with Fela Kuti as well as his solo recordings. Each groove is broken down into its component parts to help you learn the patterns by working through a series of simpler steps. The grooves are laid out very clearly with one bar per line and wherever it helps the process there are detailed descriptions of what the student of Afrobeat drumming needs to look out for to get the feel and details right as well as some nice insights into the author’s process in learning these beats himself.

I highly recommend this book to any drummer interested in the music and drumming of Tony Allen and to any drummer who would like to grow their vocabulary and learn a new idiom which will develop feel and coordination. Learning to play like Tony Allen is a great way to enrich a drummer’s set of possibilities in terms of general facility and in particular for developing new perspectives applicable to funk and jazz playing.

I think Anil Sahinoz has made a great contribution to drumming literature in covering a topic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves among drummers. It’s encouraging to see someone independently producing music education material of such a high standard.

I bought the ebook version which is an unrestricted PDF download. An old fashioned dead-trees version of the book is available too.

You can get more information about Anil Sahinoz’s book and buy it here –

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Developing Coordination With Afrobeat Drumming Pt. 4

Check out part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this series of exercises based on Tony Allen’s first groove of Afrobeat. Now let’s get stuck in to some bass drum variations. As with the previous exercises, work on each example individually until you feel very comfortable. Then try playing through the sheet in sequence. Finally, you should play along to some recordings. Play each groove for a time in the order they appear on the page. Then pick grooves in a random sequence. Once you can comfortably play any of the variations, forget the sheet music and try improvising.

Download the Variations On The First Afrobeat Groove – Bass Patterns.

Variations On The First Afrobeat Groove - Bass Patterns-1

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