Monday, January 31, 2011

Student Video

Had someone that checks the lessons out on You Tube send me a video of them working on one of the hearin' from you guys and seein' how you're progressing!

E-mail Question: Samba and Mambo Song Examples

Had a question come in wanting to know some good examples of the samba and mambo. These are by no means the best, they're just what I dug up on You Tube as examples.


"Hey man ! Recently I've been living off a healthy diet of your youtube lessons, I've spoke to you a couple of times about the Mambo when I was struggling with it, but I've nailed the Basic Mambo with the cascara patterns 1 & 2. I've played around with switching between the two patterns and also switching the parts of each ride cymbal pattern. I still feel a little stiff and I need to start incorporating some basic fills.

I'm actually struggling to find any good mambo music to play along to, I'm having the same trouble with Samba. I've got an app for the iphone with allows me to tune into various south american radio stations, but the groves I've been practising rarely seem to fit to the music, especially with the Mambo rhythms. They either seem too slow or I can't quite find a grove to lock into. I was wondering if you know any good music I could check out, to play the Mambo/ Samba along to. Any particular artists or websites or drumless music tracks. Anything !?

Thanks for your help, and thanks for all the endless help with the drumming, I've started to improve so much more since working my way through your videos and expanding my drum skillz."

And my short answer...

Dude, I'm so glad the lessons are helping you...I love knowing that you guys are getting something out of them!

You're tackling a HUGE can study for years and never get to the end of latin rhythms and their many different mutations...mambo in particular. That being said, it's one of the best things you could be studying...not only does it take you out of your comfort zone, it drills you on four way coordination.

To the topic of listening...One thing you should know is that when we learn and dissect rhythms, they tend to be isolated and by themselves. When you place them in the context of a song, however, that song could have many different sections, all calling for different grooves, particularly latin styles. I dug up a few of my favs and a few that I thought illustrated the styles. These are just a few examples though, and by no means are they even the best ones...their just the ones I dug up on the fly.

Chick Corea

"Spain" Go to the 1:15 mark and it'll pick up to samba speed...

"Samba Song"

This is also a GREAT video for sambas...several different genres and styles, ranging from electronic to traditional (the samba is traditionally played by a group of people in parades...think of a latin drumline)


"Mambo No. 5" (The original 1950 version)

Tito Puente- "Mambo Diablo"

"Hong Kong Mambo"

I hope all of this helps man. I can't tell you how much it makes my day to know you're improving so much...and that I had a small part in it.



A Drum Cover...

I'm always amazed at the people that watch my video lessons on You Tube...on Friday, before 8 in the morning, I had already emailed and responded to questions and comments from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Scotland, and the U.S.A....seriously, never in my life did I think I would be talking with drummers around the globe like that! Such a cool thing.

I had someone that watches my lessons message me last night and let me know about the drum cover he had just put up. Now yes, there are TONS of drum covers on the ol You Tube...but here's the deal...If you're a young drummer, you used to have to find somewhere public to play in your town (church, local bar or club, festival, etc). Now, with the internet, you can immediately start playing in front of people...which is what EVERY new drummer needs to do! It's the absolute BEST thing for your playing. So in case some of you are wondering why I would post a drum cover on this blog, that's why. Because these younger drummers need the opportunity to have their playing seen and talked about...I mean, come on, how much better as a player did you get between your very first gig and your second one...and third...and so on. It's alot of work everytime you take the time to learn a new song well enough to video yourself playing to it. Just like it was a ton of work to learn songs for your first gig...but after years of practice and stage time, I can listen to most songs on the way to the gig and learn 90% of what I need to know to play it.

So, let me know when you post one of your gigs, or you put a drum cover up, or you discover something cool and make a video explaining it...because I want people to see it. It makes you a better player, and that's why I'm help drummers become the best musicians they can be. I'll be posting more of these in the future, because more and more of you are letting me know when you put one up.

Here's the one I got in's from You Tube user Hoyenwey...check it out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beginner Beat Displacement

Here's a lesson on something that every drummer has fun doing...confusing the band! Just be sure you know where the "1" is, lol!

This is a beginner lesson on how to begin to displace the groove.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Double Paradiddle Around the Kit

I've had some requests for lessons on incorporating rudiments around the drum kit. Here's one using the double paradiddle...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Drum and Bass

You asked for it...and I finally figured out a logical way to break it down for ya...hope it helps...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Huapango

Had a request to do a lesson on this style...I actually really enjoyed doing it. It's been a while since I've had the privilege to jam on some Latin stuff...hope this opens up some things for ya...