IVANYI TOUR WITH CALIGULA'S HORSE + TUTORIAL VIDEOS

I'll be hitting the road with my prog buddies James Norbert Ivanyi and Liam Horgan in August, this time supporting the always amazing Caligula's Horse. Also joining us on the mini-tour are mates in Opus of a Machine. C-Horse will be playing their latest album in it's entirety as well as a second set of fan requests, while we'll be playing the track 'Terraform Diminution' for the first time live. There's some very tricky parts in there but I'm looking forward to laying it down on stage!

CH ivanyi tour.jpg

A couple of months ago I put out the below tutorial video which demonstrates a few different linear 32nd note paradiddle fills. The PDF is available to download for free in the Transcriptions section of my website.

Over the past few months I've been working on a series of tutorial videos which go through different broken 16th note rhythms and fill in each rhythm with kick drum in the gaps. I combine each rhythm with every other set of broken 16th note rhythms and apply them around the kit to form fills. Essentially these form the fundamentals of linear drumming. I'll be releasing these videos in the next week so keep an eye out!

VOROS STUDIO FOOTAGE & PSYCROPTIC/ARCHSPIRE SUPPORT

Howdy all! I recorded the drums for the new Voros EP last month - 4 flat out tracks of death/thrash/prog metal! Here's a snippet of one of the songs which channels a bit of a Mastodon/Brann Dailor vibe. Lot's of busy fills! There's also some metric modulation happening in this track where the the 16th note feel morphs into a triplet feel without changing the underlying speed of those notes. This gives the illusion that the actual tempo of the song has changed. Check out the Voros facebook/instagram + my instagram page for more studio footage.

On the 25th of August we'll be playing this massive show as part of the Psycroptic/Archspire (US) Australian tour. The EP will be released in October with the launch shows to be announced soon.

Psycro archspire.jpg

NEW IVANYI PLAYTHROUGH VID + DRUM TRANSCRIPTION!

I'm very proud to release this pro-recorded Ivanyi playthrough and associated drum transcription! The video features 3 camera angles plus kick cam, recorded at Moon 33 Studios.

I chose this song because it is one of the most varied and challenging Ivanyi song with changes in feel from straight to swung, plus 4/4, 6/8 and odd time bars.

 

If you're interested in learning this song, grab the transcription here: http://liamweedalldrummer.com/transcriptions

The download includes a guitar pro file so you can hear the parts being played and slow down the tempo, as well as two PDF files, one of which includes written notes to help you learn the song more easily. 

Thanks for the support!

 

WHAT I’VE BEEN PRACTISING RECENTLY (FOCUS ON INDEPENDENCE)

I definitely don’t get as much time as I would like to practise without having to work on band stuff, but here’s what I have been working on over the past few months:

I’ve been trying to improve my independence between all 4 limbs, which I’ve generally been doing by picking a foot ostinato (repeating pattern) between kick and hi-hat, then running through various rudiments and sticking patterns while keeping the ostinato going. For example, I could be playing HKK (H=hi-hat foot, K = kick drum) either as triplets or 16th notes, then run through singles on the snare matching the sub-division of the feet, first on the snare, then moving around the kit. Then I would play double strokes with the hands, followed by inverted doubles (RLLRRLLR), triple strokes, single, double and triple paradiddles, para-diddle diddles, then groups of 5 and 7 with the following stickings – RLRRL & RLRLRRL. Then play them all again but leading with the left hand! Then of course try to improvise around the kit with different stickings and rhythms. It’s tedious as hell but the payoff is pretty satisfying!

Sometimes to be able to play one of these exercises, I’ll have to start with just the first few notes on the hands while playing the foot ostinato, then literally add one more hand at a time. It’s also been necessary to write out a few of these exercises so I could actually see where the feet and hands line up.

I learned this approach to working on independence from a lesson I had with Sydney drummer Peter Drummond late last year. He is an absolute king when it comes to playing creative solos using 4 limb independence and the lesson was hugely benefical. I would highly recommend seeking out the best drummers in your country and hooking up a lesson whenever they are in your town or vice versa.

Pete Drummond (currently plays with Dragon and Thirsty Merc)

Pete Drummond (currently plays with Dragon and Thirsty Merc)

You can also play a groove on the ride and snare while keeping a foot ostinato going - see the below video from my Instagram feed to see an example of me demonstrating this. In the video, I change the hands so that the groove changes from a triplet feel to a 16th note feel, all while keeping the foot pattern the same. This is called implied metric modulation, where it sounds like the tempo has changed, but really you have just changed to a different feel within that tempo i.e. changing the sub-divisions. 

The simplest way of trying these independence exercises is to just play a ‘walking’ pattern with your feet – kick on 1 and 3, hi-hat foot on 2 and 4. Once you can play different stickings and/or rhythms with the hands over this kick pattern, try playing the bossa nova/samba foot ostinato – K HKK HKK HKK etc. The rhythm is 1 2+3 4+. If you haven’t played a bossa or a samba before, start with these rhythms as it will help make you more comfortable playing the foot pattern.

Some books worth checking out on this concept include Creative Control and Creative Coordination by Thomas Lang and Extreme Interpedendence by Marco Minneman. Thomas and Marco are the masters of drumming independence along with Virgil Donati.

Other things I’ve been working on:

Improving my dynamics and ghost notes on the snare, especially while keeping 16th notes going with my right hand on hi-hat or ride. Having to keep the volume down to neighbours is a good incentive to work on this!

Working towards better improvisation at different tempos. Trading fours with myself (soloing for 4 bars then playing time for 4 bars), keeping the same sub-division i.e. 32nd notes, 16th note triplets, quintuplets, playing linear phrases only i.e. only one drum/cymbal at a time. Maintaining the same sub-division is actually pretty difficult as I have always placed an emphasis on rhythmic variation while soloing.

Nick Bukey fills (www.nickbukeydrums.com) – This guy has online fill lesson packages available to purchase along with free videos and PDFs which you can download. I’ve learned a bunch of the 32nd note and 16th note triplet linear fills that he has available on his site. The longer fills can be quite challenging!

Exercises from Instagram – Drummers like Sebastian Lanser, Anika Nilles and Elliot Hoffmann all post excercises which I like to try. As well as exercises, every now and again I’ll try and copy solo/fill/groove ideas from drummers on Instagram as well.

That’s it for now, stay tuned for some new drum videos coming very soon! 

Don't forget to subscribe to be notified whenever I post new content (about once or twice a month).

Name *
Name

EFFECTIVE PRACTISING - WHAT HAS WORKED FOR ME

Efficient and effective practise. This is a huge thing to consider when you play an instrument. You may be practising for hours every week, but if you are just ‘noodling’ and playing what you already know, then you aren’t going to make much progress. I’ve always said to my students, if someone can hear you practising and it sounds good most of the time, then you’re not practising the right stuff. I’ve been practising difficult independence exercises lately and I know that anyone listening from outside would assume that I was a total beginner! More on the independence stuff and what I’ve been practising in my next post.

In order to get the most out of your time in the drum room, it is important to plan out your practise material in advance and try to stick to it. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t improvise and have free practise time; a large proportion of my practise in the past has undoubtedly been based on playing ideas that have come into my head and just following the flow of these ideas. But, this should be done in between planned exercises that have the objective of improving weaker areas of your playing.

I always found that I would make the most general progress when I would have sheet music on the music stand which I would work on, then once I became too frustrated or antsy, I would just play whatever came into my head for a few minutes. This would have a similar effect of leaving the room for a few minutes, then coming back with a clearer head better able to continue attempting the difficult exercise. I invariably found that I would be able to play the exercise better once taking my mind off of it for a while. Repeating something difficult over and over again when you are not quite getting it is not really beneficial for your playing or your mindset.

Obviously you need to be careful with not getting distracted with the ‘free playing’ for too long and try to maintain your focus on the planned exercises for a decent amount of time, as you won’t end up getting much done otherwise. On the other hand, you could stumble upon something really compelling during your ‘free playing’ that could form a part of a new song or something that you could call on regularly in the future when playing other material. If you end up playing and developing a cool beat or fill of a relatively high level of difficulty which you haven’t played before, make sure you write it out. If you can’t read or write music, learn!! Assuming you can already play the drums reasonably well, I can teach you to become competent at rhythmic theory within a matter of weeks (as long as you practise it regularly).

Here's a fill idea you can try using 16th note triplets. The arrow things are accents (play loud) and the notes in brackets are ghost notes (play softly). Practise only on the snare to start with (still playing kick drum). 

Here's a fill idea you can try using 16th note triplets. The arrow things are accents (play loud) and the notes in brackets are ghost notes (play softly). Practise only on the snare to start with (still playing kick drum). 

Another thing that I attribute a fair chunk of my improvement to is regular rehearsals with bands over the years. I confess that I have not been very disciplined when it comes to private practise in the past, but scheduling regular rehearsals means that I have it locked into my calendar and I have to do it because it’s been arranged with the other members of the band, so if I cancelled I’d be letting them down, not just myself. That accountability factor is not to be undervalued. Plus, rehearsals are usually more enjoyable than private practise as you’re actually creating music with other musicians or rehearsing songs for an upcoming show.

Then there is the act of booking a rehearsal room where I have to drive to the rehearsal studio, set up my drums then pack them up at the end of the session. Because there is such an output of time, effort and money involved, you better believe I’m going to try and get the most out of that rehearsal. There’s no way I’m going to go to all that effort to play a few songs. Whereas if you are just at home playing drums, then the incentive to continue playing and get the most out of that session is not as pronounced as the rehearsal room situation.

Here's a fill using para-diddle-diddles and a para-diddle accenting the single strokes. Practise only on the snare to start with. 

Here's a fill using para-diddle-diddles and a para-diddle accenting the single strokes. Practise only on the snare to start with. 

Still be careful not to be the drummer that commits to too many bands so that you hardly have any time left for your own practise. I have certainly been guilty of this and still am really! But with the bands I play with, all of them are challenging in different ways and allow me to maintain my skills across different genres. This is key. Learning songs by acts like (James Norbert) Ivanyi, Obsidian Aspect and Dyssidia have all been a huge challenge and forced me to play in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered if I had just stuck to collaborating on new music with Voros and coming up with my own drum parts. Finding that balance between creating your own parts and learning other people’s drum parts (with the option of changing some bits) is a very important factor in becoming a well-rounded drummer.

That’s all for now – thanks for reading and please check out my next post in which I run through what I am currently working on in the practise room :) 

If you want to be notified whenever I post new content (about once or twice a month), please subscribe below. 

Name *
Name