Thursday, February 22, 2018

Groove Transcription - Eric Harland, "Karma"

The other day I mentioned that I went to see Eric Harland give a masterclass, which of course made me pull out some records with Harland on them and do a bit of playing.

As I've been doing a lot of 6/8 stuff lately I transcribed this groove from a small section of the Aaron Parks tune, Karma, from the Invisible Cinema record and spent some time with it this afternoon.

And speaking of this record, if you're a fan of it, it just so happens that Aaron gives away the charts to every tune on the album completely free over at the NextBop blog.  Do check it out.

Groove starts at 1:05

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekly Wisdom

I had the great pleasure of seeing Eric Harland give a masterclass last week at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where I teach part-time.  It ended up being a lot of Q&A not just about the technical side, but also the conceptual and mental side of playing.  And one of the things that really jumped out at me was a quote that Eric mentioned by Teddy Roosevelt which is:

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

Right away the quote seems obvious.  Don't compare yourself to others because we're all different and you'll just make yourself miserable.  But while this is true, Harland went on to talk about a different type of comparison that I hadn't thought of.  He said that not only should we not compare ourselves to others, but we shouldn't compare ourselves to ourselves.

On one hand I don't necessarily agree, as I think it's important to look back to see how far you've come, and to look ahead to see where you want to go, but what Eric was getting at was that we shouldn't waste our time thinking, "I'd play this much better 6 months from now", or "I wish I could go back and play that gig from last year now".

The gist of it was, when you're playing, gigging, practicing whatever, don't waste your mental energy thinking about what you could have done better before, wish you could do better now, or what someone else can do better than you.  Rather, put that focus into the music you're playing right now, and make the best music you can make with the skills you have today.

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Steve Gadd Book

I try my best not to be a "re-blogger", but I was over at Cruise Ship Drummer! the other day and saw that Todd posted about a Steve Gadd book that is now available as PDF for free, so I figured it would be irresponsible not tell you about it.

This is a very cool book by Danish drummer, Hans Fagt, that features some of Gadd's best stuff.  And, to be honest, there were a couple of recordings in here that I was unfamiliar with and got to discover for the first time.

The format is great as well.  Rather than multiple page layouts of whole tune transcriptions, Fagt has broken everything down and gives us the main grooves of each tune and a handful of fills. 

It was originally published in 1985 and apparently has been out of print for awhile.  Hans is now giving it away if you simply sign up to his mailing list.  As he is so kindly handing it out essentially for free you should do him the courtesy of actually signing up to the mailing list to get it rather than just sharing the PDF.