Beginning the final stretch

Second recital complete and after some brainstorming, it is full steam ahead into the final project of the course. Throughout the previous modules I have developed my technical skills on the drum kit, along with my ability to learn and transcribe complex pieces of music. I have developed my drum technique, specifically looking at my hand technique, rudiments, timekeeping, and feel and knowledge of different styles and grooves. However, it has become apparent that whilst I have improved in these areas of technique, feedback and reflection on the previous recitals indicates my performances did at times lack consistency. So the plan is to expand on the areas I have been looking at, whilst developing my ability to lead and to be a solid consistent performer within a group.

The artistic intention with this project is to perform a number of songs which push towards the peak of my technical ability and musical creativity on the drum kit. Unlike the first two recitals, this project is genre specific (primarily jazz/funk/fusion) and will focus heavily on my ability to attain musical continuity and stability amongst a group of performers. Previously, stability has been at the expense of the difficulty of the tracks. I fully intend to push on with more difficult songs, whilst developing my presence and control within a band situation.

We are using a four piece band line up (Kit, Bass, Guitar 1, Guitar 2). I thought this line up would suit the type of material we intend to play. From what I have found previously, the smaller groups come together quicker than the larger ones, so I’m hoping by the time we begin performing the material we will be a musically tight ensemble. The final performance(s) is still to be decided, but I’m hoping to get a few gigs done with this line up before the actual assessment to help settle any pre performance anxiety.

So that’s a general outline of the project. So far, we have had a couple of rehearsals which have gone quite well. Below are some of the songs we have been rehearsing so far:

  • Billy Cobham – Red Baron
  • Billy Cobham – Stratus
  • Herbie Hancock – Chameleon
  • Matias Damato Band – Tuken
  • Earth Wind and Fire – Getaway
  • Chick Corea – The Sorceress

Over the next few months it will be interesting to see how we grow and develop as a band. The improvisational sections within this genre of music will not only allow everyone in the band to demonstrate technical flair, but it will no doubt improve confidence and communication – the two main areas of my performance that I wanted to focus on.

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