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  1. J

    has anyone switched from matched grip to traditional grip after many years of playing?

    I began by playing matched. I was in ock bands, couldn't read a note, etc. Then I studied with a teacher, who encouraged matched. But since I was going to learn to read, I might as well hold my sticks with Buddy Rich. That must be the grip. I continued with it until just a few years ago. Matched...
  2. J

    Elvin Jones

    I first saw him in '69, with his trio. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I was 16, didn't read music, and the music--and Elvin!--just baffled me. He broke a Gretsch bass drum pedal in half during the show. After the show, I asked him if I could have it. He nodded, but some other guy had...
  3. J

    Thoughts on playing with a light touch

    Good points made. But what about Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Philly Joe? They were heavy drummers who often experienced hostility in various musical settings. Club owners used to tell Miles to fire Philly Joe. Miles said, "I don't care if he has one-eye and red breath. I need that fire up there."...
  4. J

    “Drive the beat!!”

    Here's a tip that can help you when you're having an issue with a bassist. It takes courage to do it, but it almost always succeeds. I was playing a gig decades ago, with an electric bassist that kept rushing. I didn't go with him; I held him back, On the break, I asked him what the problem was...
  5. J

    Dave Garibaldi

    David Garibaldi is one of the greatest drummers in the world. I'm a 100 percent jazz drummer, but Garibaldi introduced time concepts in funk that expanded the funk playbook. On top of that is his control, and taste. yySee Tower in person and watch all the people who can't resist dancing. My...
  6. J

    Playing jazz and rudiments

    If you drop a stick on a hard floor, that's a flam. A series of single strokes is a single stroke roll. Double strokes enable doubling your 16ths, and play 32 notes with ease. Flams allow you to make a bigger sound for a note. A press roll allows snare sustain. Paradiddles and mixed sticking...
  7. J

    Sustaining very fast Hi Hat singles for entire songs

    Don't stomp on the hats. Dance on them. Tony Williams--check out the album, Miles Smiles--who innovated that approach, played with a super fast, yet llight, foot. Check out that Zildjian Day video. Tony also used a swivel technique that helped him keep dancing on the hats. You can do it; just...
  8. J

    TrackTalk: Kenney Jones on "I'm Losing You" and "Stay With Me"

    That was Rods best group. That was a real rock and roll band. I heard them in person, and they were terrific. The Faces were a raucous, rockin' bunch, and Kenny was the perfect drummer for them: Hard driving, decent chops, who had a terrific, yet sloppy, groove. The "sloppy" part supplied the...
  9. J

    I'm retiring from gigging. How did it effect you when you did it?

    I've been gigging for 50 years. Earlier this spring, I folded my band. These guys were terrific musicians, but they had to take work anywhere they could find it. No blame. But I'd grown tired of begging club owners, getting no call-backs, being told a quintet is too big to afford. I called off...
  10. J

    Open Mic Nights - How To?

    I knew a drummer who was the was ambidexterious. Paul Lagos had played with John Mayall and Sugarcane Harris. He set his kit up lefty; but could jump up on a righthanders kit, and you could hardly tell the difference. He could ride with either hand. He went throught the Chapin book right-handed...
  11. J

    What is jazz drumming?

    Jazz is sum made up stuff dat real mewsitions would never play. Dey can't read moosic, dey take drugs, den make passes at chur girlfriend--or even da wife!
  12. J

    Ever told someone their music was awful to help them?

    "Foist, ya oughta be arrested for posing as a drummer. You couldn't swing from a rope. Your groove is a grave. You must tink Time is a magazine. What're ya doin back there? Buildin' a house? That aint drummin' that's carpentry, son. Feel bad? Why? I'm just tryin' to help ya.
  13. J

    Jazz Drumming Rudiments Where to Start

    Another thing. The guys who're are realy serious about rudiments and hand development, can benefit from having an accomplished instructor. When I was studying Wilcoxon's Swing Solos, I went back to my old teacher, Ellliott Fine, and had him assign a solo a week. That way I had a deadline, along...
  14. J

    Jazz Drumming Rudiments Where to Start

    Rudiments are stickings that result in a particular sound. Learning them is helpful. But--and too few do it--improvising at the drums involves practicing improvising. Choose a tempo, a feel, or a style, and improvise for an hour. Let your imagination take over. Put your cell phone on record...
  15. J

    I need help on like an 4-bar solo/break

    You sound good and solid here. I'd avoid always hitting the ONE for all of your cymbal crashes. I would hope that you get to the point where you wouldn't have to plan a fill. When playing music, it's best to have your intuition to the point where you can express yourself according to how you...
  16. J

    Being told what to play

    It happens often. My take is, if he's the soloist, you want to back him up as is his preference. In my band, the trumpeter grew tired of how worked up I got during his solos. He was an Art Farmer type trumpeter, and I was pushing him into playing outside of his personal style. When someone is...
  17. J

    whats the best source to improve on disco drumming?

    That is so true. I'm old enough to have had it happen, often. You had to roll up your pants past your knees. I even saw it happen to Elvin Jones in '69.