Friday, May 30, 2008

Hotel Room Post

It's 12:41 a.m. here in Littleton, Colorado and I have just finished rehearsing the material that I will be presenting at the clinic tomorrow at noon. Hotel rooms are interesting places to practice drumming! You have to use a practice pad and try to play very quietly. I was at Tony Chadwick's house earlier this evening checking out the new Po' Boy line and I must say it was a lot easier to practice there. I am excited to show these things off tomorrow. The Venus is excited too because she knows I'm going to play her favorite song: TVOWA (that homage to art history and anthropology that everyone loves so much). I wonder if it's obvious that I'm wound up and may have trouble getting to sleep? I sure hope I hear that wake up call I scheduled!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Couldn't Resist

I just couldn't help it. I had to post another picture. A little bit closer in and you can see the grain better. Mmmmm.... grain...

Oh My!

I just got this picture from Tony at Po' Boy. The eight inch tom hasn't arrived yet so this is still just a progress report. But wow! I so can't wait to play this kit. I love the look of the 20" bass with no tom stand. I've always wanted that look. I'll have a pic of the full setup soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Progress Report

Wow. Here's a pic Tony sent me of the new bass drum. Very different look on the lugs from other Po' Boy stuff. I like it a lot, and look at that grain. Once you see this with the rims and heads and the toms, you'll drool. I'm so stoked about this. This is the new line and I guess I'll be premiering it next weekend... in what I'm told is going to be a good sized turn out. Hey, no pressure! Damn that's a beautiful drum!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Another pic from back in the day. If you don't know John Weathers, you need to check him out. He's the unsung hero of the Prog band Gentle Giant. These guys really did set a Prog precedent. They were on the scene early and this guys drum parts were really fantastic. Talk about navigating some twisted meter and crazy arrangements. I just listened to the song Cogs In Cogs and I'm still knocked out by it. Really, if you think you know Prog but you don't know Gentle Giant, you need to rethink.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Wow wow wow. Crazy but true, we're almost there. Just 10 days. I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am about this thing. I think this will be the first time I've taken the stage by myself for a set. It's kind of daunting but, you know what? I love the stuff I'm going to talk about. I think the material I'm going to present is fascinating. I think the instruments I get to play are fantastic. I'm going to get to hang with a bunch of drummers and hear some great music. I am completely amped about the Dave Nezat clinic. I've been listening to some stuff on line and I think it's gonna be great. I love the cajun, zydeco, jazz drumming and I'm hoping to pick up some slick tricks from this guy. I just know this is going to be one great weekend.
You know, in a way this is going to be a great relief for me. I live down here in Arizona and it was 110 degrees yesterday. Colorado cool sounds real nice. Also, I'm going to take a final in Ed Psych just before I leave and I'll be done with that class, so this trip will be a nice little vacation for me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Some time ago I installed a function on my blog that gives me information (mostly stats) about my blog visitors. I can see how many visitors I've had on a certain day, what country/city they came from, whether they're a new or returning visitor, how much time they spent on the site, how many pages they looked at, what key words they searched for, etc...

I think it's interesting that most of my visitors have come from searches on two topics: The Black Page/polyrhythms and Mind Maps (I'm sure you can understand why I lumped The Black Page and Polyrhythms together). Obviously there is considerable interest in both topics. I wonder if the people interested in Mind Maps are interested in polyrhythms and vice versa. Who knows?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Zane Map

Okay check it out. My son Zane has been watching me make mind maps. He thinks they're "awesome and cool". He has to do an oral presentation on a president. He's allowed to use props so he decided to make a mind map instead of using note cards. (I think Zane is awesome and cool)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Kit

Okay, here's the fininsh I'm getting on my new kit. This is a birch/maple hybrid with natural finish.
The bass drum will be virgin, i.e. no tom mount on it. The rack toms will be on seperate stands so that I can change configurations easily to accomodate various canon and fugue ideas. The 20" kick should bring everything down a little bit for ease of movement while still providing a good bottom end. I'm told it should be ready in time for my clinic. Fingers crossed.

The sizes are:
20 x 18 kick, 10 lug
8 x 8 rack, 4 lug
10 x 8 rack, 6 lug
12 x 9 rack, 6 lug
14 x 12 rack, 8 lug
16 x 16 floor, 8 lug
14 x 5.5 snare, 8 lug

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Yet Another Prog Drum Pic

Yes, this is Bill Bruford, another of the drummers who had a profound impact on me. Of course this is the cover photo from his disc Master Strokes. Great pic. Stylish white tee-shirt. You can see the Simmons Drums in there. Wish I hadn't had such a bad experience with Simmons Drums! Oh well. I had a bad experience with a Bill Bruford "Drum God" clinic too. Whatever. The guy has created some of my favorite music. None the less, this is a great prog drum pic. You know, if you look at my collection of prog drum pics, you'll start to get an idea of who my favorite drummers are.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Prog Drum Map

Okay, obviously there's much more that could be here. I'm not even remotely saying this is it. This is just a brain storm. I said, "what can I think of off the top of my head" and this is what hit the page. I think it's interesting. I do think that Prog is to Rock what Fusion is to Jazz. Both Prog and Fusion sought to integrate multiple influences into a hybrid or aggregate with rock as a key element. Certainly there are phenomenal bands/drummers who are an integral part of the Progressive/Fusion movements that I have not mentioned. Again, this is just a brain storm, i.e. what comes to mind first. That's probably considerably influenced by my personal preferences.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yes, Another Mind Map!

Okay, again, I know this has nothing to do with prog drumming but this is my blog and I get to do what I want here. This is a mind map about my favorite film director. This map explores Alfred Hitchcok, some of his techniques, themes, and characteristics. If you know Hitchcock, some of these things will jump right out at you. If you don't, some of this won't make sense. The point is, it makes sense to me. The puropose of the mind map is to organize my thoughts... to depict what I know with reminders and esoteric references that will enhance my recall through a pictorial representation

New Fugue (with ostinato) 2.

Okay, so how do you write one of these things for the drumset (or the piano for that matter)?. Here's what I've done. I created a melodic phrase. Then I figured out a number of variations on it, i.e. inversion, retrograde, augmentation, diminution, and stretto. I put it on top of an ostinato. I played it in one voice. Then I played it in another voice and stuck some counterpoint against it. All of that is in my last post. Then (as you can see on this page) I just played the ostinato for a couple of measures. I'll improv over those measures later. Then, at measure five on this page, I wrote the fugal subject in the primary voice as an augmentation. In this case I doubled the note values, so the phrase that previously took only four measures to complete now takes eight. That subject is played entirely with the right hand, so I've started to put some counter point against it with the left hand on the upper staff. You can see where that starts up at measure five. I will continue this process - writing a few bars of ostinato to solo over, then re-introducing the fugal subject in one variation or another and putting some counterpoint against it. At some point I will probably introduce stretto, where one voice will introduce the subject and before it's finished, the other voice will jump in on top of it. Sooner or later all of those empty measures will be filled in but, for now, I will just concentrate on the occurrences of the fugal subject and the counterpoint I Will play against them.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

New fugue (with ostinato) 1.

Follow the process. Whatcha' got here is yer exposition in two voices.

Bottom line=double bass drums/pedal. Bottom stave = right hand: floor tom, low tom, snare drum (snares off). Upper
stave = left hand: low tom, mid tom, hi tom.

If you click on the picture it will open in a larger window and will be easier to read. Note the use of a form of contrary motion in measures 10, 11, and 12. Who else invites you in to watch like this, huh? Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fugue Map

I get bored and I doodle. There are sharpies and hi-lighters at my desk. This subject has been on my mind a lot lately. The ed-psych class I've been taking has talked a lot about mind maps. Andy said he enjoys these. If you mix purple, green, and blue you get brown (sheesh, you'ld think a guy with an art degree would know that, eh?). If you misspell the word clavichord with a sharpie, you can't fix it. Yes, more composers than Bach, Pachelbel, Buxtahude, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven have written canons and fugues... I just like them. That's a little hard to read over there so if you click on it, it will appear in a larger window.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Another Prog Drum Pic

Here's another great prog drum pic. He used to be such a nice boy. I don't know who the photographer is, but if I could give him an autographed picture of Punky Meadows I would just for taking such a marvelous picture. The first time I saw Zappa, Bozzio was drumming. They played all of Sheik Yer Bouti and Terry played The Black Page and Punky's Whips. My impressionable teenage mind was forever warped.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Outstanding DVD

In the history of music, I have two favorite composers: Bach and Zappa, not necessarily in that order. Bach died before the invention of video, Zappa died before the invention of this video. You need to see this video before you die. Scheila Gonzalez's saxaphone solo on Eat That Question is mind boggleing. Aaron Arntz is a keyboard madman. Billy Hulting is a fantastic percussionist. I could see this whole band being a Zappa band. Hooray for Dweezil. If one of my kids did something like this for me, I would probably need a beach towel to wipe my eyes.