Red House

My most recent song I am working on is Red House, Jimi Hendrix. Although this 12/8 blues song is played with triplets I am working on my shuffle and fills to this beauty. Not a small feat. My old lady brain wants to play the triplet it keeps hearing but luckily with practice, practice, practice I am in override mode and it appears to be working.



Had a lesson this past week. Spent a lot of time on “music theory” and trying to understand correct terminology and ways of writing down drum parts to songs. (read: eyes glaze over and brain short circuits) It is befuddling to my old lady brain no matter how much I try to make sense of it. Sometimes by about the fourth or fifth time the light bulb goes on but other times still lost.

Still on Steely Dan but now have a new fill to learn and unfortunately I am not getting it. My hands are getting tangled and transitioning from the fill back into the groove is waaaaay more tricky than my abilities. Counting helps but not there yet. May need an intervention from the Professor. He did make a recording for me to play with and that is a great tool.

Tone-Loc still on my plate for improv practice. Slightly improving but doing the actual groove has stilted my ability to transition into fills easily. It literally feels like my brain just stops and hands and brain out of sync.

Ahhh, the shuffle groove…Ten Long Years…this is my happy place. This is one that is making me feel like I am accomplishing something and I can see how far I have come along over these five long years. I cannot wait until I can play the shuffle faster!

Still trying to pick up bpm in reading exercise…105 appears to be my max. 110 the goal by next lesson. I keep trying but again I feel like my hands and brain out of sync!


Next practice plan

So after this week’s lesson I have a lot on my plate. Unfortunately for me my teacher took my improv song and turned it into a challenge. No longer free form for me! Have to do the actual beat and stops all while holding onto 3 measures and 1 measure improv fill. Sometimes my head and hands can’t keep it all going. Who am I kidding? A lot of times! This is a fast one. Note to self: don’t pick fast improv songs anymore in case the Professor pulls this stunt again.

Steely Dan: Black Cow: This is one I feel I have the beat down; verse vs chorus but once those fills get added in and I know it is coming I believe it will not be so easy.

Massive Attack: Teardrop: Off the hook? No mention this week but I am sure I am supposed to be clinging onto this one. (weird coincidence; out with a friend for lunch this week and this song came on…fairly obscure one, surprised-haunting me)

Reading exercise to the metronome still. Picking up speed. Relaxed is the key here people.

New to the roster this week: Shuffle groove to a song and none other than two of my long time favorite musicians together-BB King & Eric Clapton: Ten Long Years. This is in blues form which is a whole different ball game. It is measures of 12  with fill although there are a few tricks in there. Or at least I think so…where it is 4/fill & 8/fill and then the reverse. Drummer making sure we are paying attention. The one thing I wish I was able to conquer because there are a few in this song…faster rolls.

My music teacher from elementary school had to ditch today’s fun but I will continue on the duet in hopes we can finally catch up soon. My dynamics need work!


Lesson Day TMO

Tmo a lesson day for all three gals in this house. I am currently working on a few things: one of the exercises I am given by the Professor involves listening to a song of his choice (sometimes his choice not one I can bear to listen to repeatedly and we haggle for one I can live with that fits the bill!) figuring out the bpm (beats per minute) on the metronome app on my Ipod, general beat/groove and fills. This is a challenge for me. I am currently on Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” and Steely Dan’s “Black Cow.” One is insanely fast and one is ridiculously relaxed. Can you guess which?

I also have been working on increasing my speed on a reading exercise from 90-95 with a goal of 100. Not there yet. 90 decent, 95 mostly decent, haven’t even tried 100.

My favorite right now because I am so hoping I will be solid on this soon; the shuffle groove. I am in the baby step phase right now but I am dying to get this one. It is in A LOT of songs I want to play! John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” So lucky to have seen him perform many moons ago in CA. I never tire of this song. It is often my reward after practicing the more technical items on my homework list.

I am also revisiting a snare duet in advance of hanging with my elementary school music teacher, Steve Calentropio later this week. I sent him a copy at the beginning of the summer so we could play together once we met up again and Friday is the day. Goodness knows we have enough snare drums. 🙂

Improv! Another challenge for me. I am not an improv girl. A mimic yes, but coming up with my own stuff, WHOA! I freeze. I am always trying to find songs to work to so that I will be inspired to challenge myself and keep this work up. This is helpful. This week’s choice; Tone-Loc , “Funky Cold Medina” and Lucinda William’s, “Righteously.” One a bit quicker and one a bit more relaxed.