Rudiments CAN be used for cool sounding stuff. Nasty Lick #49 is proof of that…because really, Nasty Lick #49 is just a Paradiddle – Diddle.
I’ve always loved Gadd’s and Colaiuta’s hi hat licks. My favorites usually included some kind of 32nd note ideas, and they always flowed within a rock solid groove. That’s what I was thinking of when I worked out some of the ideas here using Nasty Lick #49.
Everything here is based on Paradiddle – Diddles (arguably my favorite rudiment), and in the video above, I demonstrate all of the ideas included on the PDF worksheet (downloadable below).
The worksheet has only three voices: hi hat (x’s above the top line), snare drum (second space from the top), and bass drum (bottom space). Here’s the PDF: Nasty Lick 49. Have at it.
This time it’s about getting around the drums in a hurry. No, I don’t mean rushing the time, but I mean roundhouse type licks that make me think of Buddy Rich or Steve Gadd. Each of these three licks will get you around the drums in triplets.
Licks #40 and 42 are played as alternating single strokes beginning with your right hand, while #41 begins as alternating singles, but throws a paradiddlediddle in for good measure.
The first lick, #40 is one I’ve heard Gadd play. Repeat it a bunch of times continuously. It will sound great that way. Notice the repeat signs around the measure. The lick itself is two beats long and the one measure example shows the lick played twice…but keep it going even longer.
Moving on, #41 is kind of Max Roach-ish.
Finally, #42 is one I came up with to go around the drums clockwise, and then come back in the other direction. Repeat the two measures over and over. The trick here is to play one additional note on the floor tom in order to allow you to come back around the drums counter clockwise (see beat 3 in measure 2!). Have fun and please use them for good instead of evil (ie use them musically and in good taste).
Print out the PDF here: Nasty Licks 40 through 42
A while back I posted the footage of Tony Williams killing it from a Japanese video on You Tube that can be found by simply searching for “Awesome Tony Footage.” It is Tony in all his bombastic glory. He’s playing with Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespe, Herbie Hancock and others, and he takes eight eights in the video, followed by an extended solo.
The “low hanging fruit” of the eights is the 7th one. It is considerably less dense than anything else he plays during the performance. But for me, it is proof of the notion that one can play simple but appropriate vocabulary when soloing and sound amazing doing so. I love this break so much that I memorized the entire eight shortly after stumbling on the video. The 7th Eight can be found at 2:10 in the video, which is embedded below. Check it out.
The transcription is here: tony williams awesome footage eights number 7
It truly is sublime–reminiscent of the solo Tony took on the studio version of “7 Steps To Heaven.” Not fancy, but pure jazz drumming language through and though. One of the only Tony Williams solos that could be called easy; yet it sounds amazing. Hope you like it. And yes, I’m working on the rest of it too.
A Great Lick, Courtesy of A Great Rock Drummer, Eric SingerHere is a lick that I heard Eric Singer play with KISS. If you don’t know Eric Singer, check him out. A great drummer who is not as appreciated as he should be.
Presenting Nasty Lick #39This is a variation on one of my favorite hand foot combos, RLRF. It will be easier to follow the video below when you look at the transcription, so why don’t you print it out so you can have a look. Here’s the PDF of Nasty Lick #39: CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE PDF of Nasty Lick 39
VIDEOGot it? Good. Now, take a look at the video, below. After that, you should have all the tools you need to get this lick together. Have at it!
Ever since I wrote the piece about Gadd’s playing with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, I’ve been itching to give you my transcription of his fours from “Jordu.” Steve takes eight fours on the tune, which is from the “Autumn Leaves” album released in 1985. It turns out that the transcribing of these mini solos is a bit more difficult than I thought, and I’ve been revising my original transcription….polishing the details and making sure that it is worthy and ready for publication on the world wide web.
Since I’m still tweaking it, I decided to whet your appetite a little by posting just the first two fours. I’ll follow up shortly with the rest, but these are both great and there are good lessons to be learned from checking them out.
First, get your hands on the PDF by clicking this link: Gadds Fours on Jordu Part One
Proof That The Rudiments Are Worthwhile
The first lesson is that rudiments are useful! Check out the first four. The first lick Gadd plays is a combination of a single paradiddle and left handed paradiddle-diddle. It sounds amazing! So don’t listen to anyone who says the rudiments are a waste of time. This is a great example of why they are not.
Repeating A Phrase is a Good Way to Hook Your Audience
The second lesson, which you can learn by checking out the second four, is that repeating a great sounding lick or phrase is a good strategy to get your audience excited. Steve is great at doing this, and it is one of the things that I believe makes him such a strong soloist. Sticking with a single idea for a number of measures will give your audience something to latch onto. Musicians who play complicated patterns that change every few beats may think that they’re being slick, but I think they are losing an opportunity to build exciting solos by playing to other musicians rather than to the “layperson.”
That’s all for now. I’ll return shortly with the rest of Gadd’s transcribed fours from “Jordu.” Until then…
Are you ready?
I am about to give you one of my Nastiest of the Nasty Licks!!! Nasty Lick #38 is one of my favorites. It pretty much ALWAYS gets a reaction. Just check out the screams from the audience when I launch into it in the video below. It’s a live video of my rock band MANCIE playing at Spike Hill in Brooklyn, NY in November of 2011.
It’s a cool song and the band is great, so check it out. But if you want to go right to the drum solo, it begins at around 2:52 in the video.
I begin with some rudimental type stuff on the snare, work in some hand/foot combinations, and then launch into Nasty Lick #38. You can skip directly to Nasty Lick #38 by going to 3:03 in the video.
The Video: MANCIE, Live at Spike Hill
Alright! Want to know how to do that? Just print out the PDF by clicking here:Nasty Lick 38 PDF
Analysis of Example #1
The lick as played in the video is written out in example #1. The pattern—three groups of five notes–is played a total of five times. I move counter clockwise around the drums, with the first note of each group of five on a different drum: 1) snare, 2) floor tom, 3) high tom.
That accented note is followed by two ghost notes with the left hand and then two fast bass drum notes. Note that at this part of the solo, the time is “free.” I’m just going off, playing the lick a bunch of times and then improvising as I see fit. It’s an open solo, so playing “freely” is always an option. I cue the band to come back in, so I don’t have to worry about the pulse.
Analysis of Example #2
Example #2 is another way to use the lick that I rely on frequently. This time, we play completely in time. In this case, each group of five takes up the space of three 16th notes. I’ve included a measure of accented 16th notes below the lick so you can see how the phrasing lines up. The first note of each group of five lines up with the 16th notes shown below example #2 as follows: 1) the “1,” 2) the “a” of “1,” 3) the “and” of “2,” 4) the “e” of “3.” Finally, you can easily resolve the lick by playing an accented note on beat four with your right hand.
Let Me Know What You Think!
I want to hear from you! Please leave comments here on the blog so you can ask questions, give your opinion, or tell me how you are using this lick….
This Nasty Lick is based on a six stroke roll, but with some bass drum thrown in. It comes from something I’ve heard Dave Weckl do a lot, but I’ve added an extra triplet at the end of the phrase to make it a nine note grouping….I like the way that makes it move around and over the barline when it repeats.
There are two versions of the lick shown, but the difference is only about the accents: in version A there is one less accent than in version B. I use B more often, so I chose to illustrate the lick in context (see examples 1, 2 and 3) by using B. Note that although the pattern is shown as played only on the snare and bass drum you should try moving the accented notes from the snare to the toms. My favorite orchestration of the lick is to move the left hand that follows the two bass drum notes up to the high tom and leave my hands on the snare for the rest. But try different stuff out….you’ll find something new that works for you.
The sticking is given, and the lick is transcribed note for note, so there’s not much more to say…..except…have at it!!!
Download the PDF here: Nasty Lick 37
Whoever says that the rudiments or technique is a waste of time needs to check out this Nasty Lick. NL36 is a right handed paradiddle tap and when played up to speed, it rips. A paradiddle tap is simply a paradiddle followed by one single stroke and repeated. In this case, we have a right handed paradiddle, RLRR, followed by a single left, so the sticking is: RLRR L.
The video included here features me playing example #3.
The worksheet included here provides several ways of phrasing the pattern, either based on triplets (exercises #’s 1A-1C), sixteenths (exercises #2A-2C) or thirty-second notes (#3). When playing the lick as sixteenths or thirty seconds, I prefer to start the pattern with the left hand stroke because of how the phrase works out. The tempos that I think make the lick sound good are as follows. For exercises #1A-1C, shoot for quarter note equals 120. For exercises #2A-2C shoot for 192 to 200. For #3, shoot for quarter note equals 96.
Pay careful attention to the accents and the orchestration on the drums….you’ll find that simply moving the pattern around to different voices on the kit will make the lick sound very different. There are certainly many other ways to play the lick that aren’t illustrated on this worksheet, so feel free to come up with your own ways of playing it. I’m simply showing you some of the ways that I like to play it.
You can download the worksheet here: Nasty Lick 36 PDF
As always, feel free to ask any question you may have.
Nasty Lick #35 has arrived! To get us started, here is a video of me soloing, with heavy reliance on Nasty Lick #35. It’s the lick that I keep going back to again and again.
Cool! Now that we’ve seen and heard the lick, let me tell you a little about it. It was inspired by a triplet “roundhouse” pattern that I heard Buddy Rich play in the “At The Top” DVD. The pattern I’m playing is a combination of a left hand leading six stroke roll (LRRLLR) and some single strokes. The transcription of the entire solo you heard/saw above, is available for download here: PDF Transcription of Drum Solo Featuring Nasty Lick 35
Nasty Lick #35 is the lick I play at the very beginning of the solo. Initially, I play it three times (measures 1 – 3; the lick is one measure long). Then I play some jazz time and then I return to it again and play it four times (measures 12-15). Back to some more jazz time and then I play some jazz type phrases and return to the lick again, playing it four times…..(measures 26 through 29). I try to bring the solo to a climax by playing some combinations of left handed six stroke rolls mixed in with triplets played as LLR with the Rights accented (measures 33 through 39), and then, return to the lick one last time, playing it six times.
Besides wanting to show you how this lick can work in the context of a solo, part of what I want to convey here is that it is OK to repeat a phrase during a solo. If you have a great sounding phrase that works for you, feel free to repeat it. During this solo, I play Nasty Lick #35 seventeen times.
Now that you know where Nasty Lick #35 is in the first video, and you have a full transcription of the solo (with the exception of the time playing sections, which I did not feel were important to transcribe note for note), have a look at and listen to the video below, which breaks the lick down very slowly and shows you how to play it around the drums. Here it is:
OK, I think that’s all for now. Have fun with this one, and feel free to ask questions via the comments section.