Traveling Drum School & Freelance Drumming
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|Posted on 17 December, 2012 at 20:17||comments (39)|
|Posted on 10 December, 2012 at 14:09||comments (318)|
|Posted on 3 December, 2012 at 14:29||comments (201)|
|Posted on 19 November, 2012 at 13:58||comments (0)|
Getting Started on Cajon with Michael Wimberly (Book / DVD combo package)
Recently a few of my current <Traveling> Drum School students purchased cajons as their first piece of hand percussion. Not long after, I had a new student contact me and she exclusively wanted to learn the cajon. All of them started asking questions about this cool little box drum and wanted to learn as much as possible about it. So I began my normal percussionist curriculum as I’ve done many times before, adjusting it a bit to accommodate the cajon and it’s tonal possibilities. I already knew quite a bit about the cajon but last week while picking up drum supplies I came across this instructional combo package. Looked like pretty basic stuff based on the front cover description. I also didn’t totally recognize the percussion instructor at first, but his name did sound familiar. Upon reading the back cover, I came to the conclusion this could be a great purchase to get more acquainted with the instrument.
I was right on the money with this purchase! Not only does this package give an excellent background on the cajon, but it introduces the main tones and how to achieve them properly. The content is definitely intermediate to advanced. The book contains a great variety of traditional rhythms and how to apply them using all the tones. You definitely have to have a minimum intermediate level of reading notation to fully grasp the book concepts. In the video, Michael performs all of the rhythms, as well as playing along to music and providing ideas for how to use the drum in all types of music.
Michael’s teaching approach is concise and his playing is top notch. Upon reading his bio, I realized I did recognize him from some of the artists he’s worked with.
I really enjoyed this entire package and would recommend it to any percussion instructor or aspiring drummer.
"The Positive Spin on Drums" weekly blog will resume on Monday December 3rd. I'll be away on 11/26 visiting the always musically inspiring city of Chicago, IL for the holiday weekend. Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! -Chris.
|Posted on 12 November, 2012 at 14:18||comments (101)|
This week’s blog features the new music video for “Wild Child” by The Satin Hearts. This is the official first single from our album “Living On Overdrive”. I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs about this song receiving lots of radio airplay throughout the United States and parts of Canada. The worldly buzz is still going strong, plus some college stations have started to play other songs from the album. There are multiple album reviews posted online. Top40-charts.com said "Wild Child is a standout tune with a ska-tinged beat, jangly guitars, mesmerizing feel and satin smooth vocals”.
This video was shot this past Friday at Peter B’s in Sarver, PA, which is a really cool music venue for those who are unfamiliar (link below). Andrew Obenreder from I4eye Media did an awesome job yet again of capturing us. I really all dig all the work he’s done for us. Andrew did the artwork for the album as well as group and individual band shots. His site link is also below.
“Wild Child” is a special song for me as I got to play conga in addition to drum set on the track. The song was in our set list for quite awhile prior to the recording. When we went into the studio to track the parts, it was a smooth process to lay down what we down live. Marci played shakers just like she does live. Felt really good and sounded great, but the proposal came up to add some more percussion. Immediately I wanted to add conga, to flow with the vibe of the song. It’s purposely in the background but if you listen real close it’s there, just adding a little flavor!
The Satin Hearts
|Posted on 5 November, 2012 at 23:20||comments (418)|
|Posted on 30 October, 2012 at 12:43||comments (0)|
This week's blog features a video by The New Mingle. Matt Calvetti and I just finished the edits which highlights our recent August performance at the “Run Around the Square’” event. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a 5K event with a separate walk & run held in the Edgewood/Regent Square area of Pittsburgh, PA. It’s a beautiful area of the city, and there are musicians featured throughout providing the soundtrack. The following clip highlights our performance. Hope you all enjoy!
The Story Behind This Year's Theme
This is our third consecutive year performing at this event. The first year we were unsure of what it would be like so we just planned it as a normal New Mingle gig; a set list with original compositions, a few select covers, and most likely some live improvisation. We had so much fun the first year and such a great crowd response (even though most of them were running past us!). We were psyched when we got asked back for the following year. I then proposed to Matt for our second race gig that we do a song from the Rocky movies. We chose Bill Conti's "Gonna Fly Now", from which we received some great post show feedback.
One event that spawned this years idea occurred on the 2nd show. While I was playing I looked up and noticed <Traveling> Drum School student Kenny Brown, who stopped and gave a thumbs up (captured in clip below!!). After that, I proposed to him he should stop and play a tune with Matt. He previously learned 'Seven Nation Army" from the White Stripes and I had played that tune with Matt years ago in a previous band. Everyone agreed and refreshed the tune. Kenny proposed we do it like a relay. I thought that was awesome! I definitely had intentions of running around the block but the blocks were long in that area. So I just ran down to the the end of the street and back. Felt good to stretch my legs mid set!!
|Posted on 22 October, 2012 at 15:12||comments (204)|
Bright and early this morning, after a late night of catching an amazing Fiona Apple performance, I did a session for JG Boccella, laying down the drum tracks for his upcoming single “Unstoppable”. JG emailed me the file for the track roughly two weeks ago and I’ve been working out ideas since. This is the third official studio track I’ve done for him, but I’ve been a long standing member of his live band since 2005. We’ve had many great times together and this morning / afternoon was another one of them. After a great conversation over coffee & pastries, we got down to business.
For the drum kit, I went with my typical live show kick / snare combo; 13X6 10 ply birch snare and 20X18 8 ply birch bass drum. Usual cymbals as well; K custom darks including 13 inch hats, 18 inch crash, and 20 inch ride. I added some subtle muffling to the crash & ride. For the floor tom, I borrowed a vintage Royce 16X16 from my roommate. It’s an “almost vintage” model with a mostly mahoghany wood shell. I found this gem at Music Go Round in Monroeville for $5! The drum has a nice warm tone but doesn’t have a bottom head, or all the parts for that matter! The top head is an Evans hydraulic which gives the drum a super low end. It was a little too much low end so I tuned it down a bit. I also placed a small pillow underneath the floor tom, which helps to dry up the sound and eliminates some resonance. This drum wasn’t dominant in the track, just used occasionally for single hits. Worked out awesome!!
I’ll be posting updates on track completion and release details, but in the meantime please check out his site for more info; www.jgboccella.com
|Posted on 15 October, 2012 at 14:09||comments (0)|
This week’s blog is all about Shazam and how it’s greatly impacted me as a music fan and professional drummer. I've been using the app regularly for a couple years now and it's revolutionized the way I discover new music.
For those who are unfamiliar, Shazam is an application that gives you song info on almost any song imaginable. All you have to do is open the app, press the circle in the center, then hold your device near an audio source. It will then recognize the song and display info, including title and artist, plus an iTunes link where you can immediately purchase the track. You can also scroll down the screen and find artist bio, lyrics, video clips, tour info, etc. There is even a history section where you can look at your past tags.
I’ve used this at red lights, in clothing stores, and even at concerts when really cool pre-show music was being played over the PA. Shazam normally just recognizes original studio recordings, but hopefully someday it will consistently work during a live performance. It can be used pretty much anywhere and everywhere, as long as other background noise is at a minimum.
For all you drummers, this is an indispensable tool for advancing your playing. I’ll Shazam songs that have great patterns I want to learn or stuff I want to use for lesson plans. I'll be listening to Sirius radio and discover an amazing shuffle variation I've only previously learned from a book so Shazamming it gives me a great audio example I may have never come across. Or i'll hear a tune based around a rhumba clave pattern and really dig what the drummer is adding to it. I've gained a ton of drum knowledge from having Shazam.
The days of missing songs is over...for the most part! There have been a few instances where it wont recognize a song, but that’s few and far between. Plus there are always updates to this app that continue to improve it. www.Shazam.com has all the latest info including devices it’s compatible with.
Lastly, the app is currently FREE! Music fans, you have nothing to lose!!
|Posted on 9 October, 2012 at 0:09||comments (105)|