Archive for January, 2015

new song > i go up i go down

Monday, January 26th, 2015
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sooo just so you know I am not a real “blazing” drum solo kind of guy… my favorite drum solos are the ones where there is a band playing – or there are “exchanges” of jams between musicians… I have seen countless drum solos – and many are amazing feats of human dexterity – but they eventually leave me kind of cold – same with the guitar, piano, horn solos ad nauseum … it eventually feels like a typewriter thing. Now, before you get your guns out, I would heartily agree there are many and musical / lyrical solos that bear repeated listening and study. It just seems to me that if solo-ING is your thing, it tends to become acrobatic. Funny thing is, I like songs, words, grooves and melodic hooks. And even though I know what I like – I still don’t always hit the target. It is just what I like. I like spicy food. I like water with lemon or ginger. I like strong beer. I like bacon. Taste buds. So what does that have to do with today’s song? Not a heck of a lot except it is a kind of drum “jam”. The main lyrical underpinning (chorus) actually holds the rhythm down while the bass, with a busted string :-), and the drums kinda improvise “up and down” and all over. Not all songs are autobiographical – but hey – I do go up and I go down – don’t you? This song (sketch really) is kinda punky / ploddy, I left it with errors in the lyric, occasional distortion and a scream of desperation. In the giant seas of musical effort – with the battleships and aircraft carriers of the megapopstars vying for attention – this is a small paper boat floating down a tiny backstream of life. Peace.

i go up i go down


there once was a time in a land far away

where i tried and i tried so hard every day

just to get myself through this little thing they call life

i was wrestlin with blood and sweat and with strife


i go up i go down


well the truth of the matter is easy to see

when you flail and you fail and your beaten like me

this world will curb stomp you tell you to sit

don’t matter how many times they tell you rise don’t quit


i go up i go down

can I get an amen…umm…break beat?

Monday, January 5th, 2015
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absolutely, and you will soon see why…but first let me explain. In case you did not know,  the “amen break” is a drum solo / groove of about 6 seconds long. It was performed in 1969 by Gregory Cylvestor GC Coleman. The song he did this drumming on was called “Amen Brother” and it was performed by the Winstons. Although the song itself did not get much attention – the drum groove became a staple in sample based break beat music, and inspired several subcultures of music, largely derived from permutations of this one beat. If you want a fascinating insight into the history – you can see this very interesting video for more information (it’s about 18 minutes long but worth it). Old news, right? A tired overused sample of drums, already cliche and boring 10 years ago, right? To some, maybe – but not to me. To me, as a drummer, it’s another word in my musical vocabulary, it’s another tool in my musical toolbox. I mean, this sample of 6 second drumming may be the most sampled drum beat of all time…why not learn it? So I did. And then – why not record it? So I did. After recording it I thought it might be fun to embellish it. So I ended up with what you hear below. Since the original is 6 seconds long – I basically duplicated the original sample for about 3 minutes in length in my DAW and played the whole thing live with the sample as the reference. I did check the tempo and it is about 138.9 beats a minute straight / unedited.  Below you will find the original 6 second sample. Then you will find my version +/- 3 minutes long. Then you will find my experimental blush at adding the music direction (bass etc.)… you will hear some variety on the beat, extra kicks, fills etc for the simple reasons that 3 minutes of this groove straight and my mind wanders, plus it is still an interpretation – knowhatimean? Anyway – I pictured a somewhat relentless, fervent, musical drum, percussion bombardment… I know it is kind of spazzy, but I hope the energy translates in a positive way…can I get an AMEN?

amen brother original sample

here is my extended version redo

amen brother drh version

here I am just messing around with some sounds (percussion, bass / synth effects etc)

amen brother drh2 version