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Showing posts from January, 2013

The Death of the Paradiddle

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This post was inspired by a spam comment to this blog a while ago where somebody posted their info & links for their paradiddle method. Ironically, they posted their random spam in a post called, Sound, Texture, Options & Imagination:
A paradiddle is the name of a percussion rudiment. In percussion, a rudiment is one of the basic building blocks of words. This is actually blocks of drumming. You can think of it as a letter being a good analogy, because there are about 26 letters and there are about 26 rudiments. 

My response was: 
How ironic this comment is. Obviously this person has NOT followed my blog at all, if they did, they would realize how the paradiddle has very little to do with "Sound, Texture, Options & Imagination." The paradiddle comes out of military drumming, which is all about regimen and repetition, NOT creativity. While I feel that the 26 rudiments do have their place, I also think that that place is often in the past. Time to get a new alphabet a…

New Series of Videos on Gongs & Metal Percussion

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Here is the first of a new series of videos on playing Gongs & Metal Percussion. 
Part 1: Exploring the sounds of different mallets on a single Gong. 

I look at 15 different types of mallets/brushes/sticks played on a Paiste 32" Symphonic Gong. The Gong is struck in both the center and on the edge with each mallet for a sound comparison. 


This is the 1st in a new series of videos covering Gongs & Metals (Bells/Bowls/Sheet Metal/Bell Plates/etc). Coming up are such topics as: vibrato, bowing/friction mallets, extended techniques, and other such madness. Stay tuned...

It's Not About Winning (or Whining)

Today in our society the idea of winning has become paramount. This may be fine for sports, or similar activities, but is it the right sort of attitude to have in the arts? It's now become prevalent for artists to want to become bigger, faster, more popular, sell more, have a bigger show, be more outrageous, etc. But at what cost?

Let's look at drumming. So many drummers today seem to be focused on being faster and playing more notes. While there's nothing wrong to aspire to technical mastery, technique for its own sake is a rather empty vessel. I'm all for playing faster, but when it obscures the music, what is the point? 

I'm reminded of something the great studio drummer/producer, Ndugu, said at PASIC this year, "The less notes I played, the more money I made!" While he has amazing technique, most people hire him to keep a fantastic groove. Just listen to Michael Jackson's Billie Jean to hear why he gets so much work. Ndugu plays the most basic of dr…