I thought it was apt to end the week with another track I’ve been looking at called ‘Seven Days’. The track is by Sting, and it appears on his album ‘Ten Summoners Tales’. The whole album features some great drumming by Vinnie Colaiuta, but this track is one of my favourites. The track is in 5/8, but the way he moves the hi-hat accents makes the groove flow without feeling disjointed as you would expect. Vinnie uses this same technique on the track ‘St Augustine In Hell’ from the same album. Here is the track, and a transcription that I managed to complete over the past couple of days:
I didn’t get much chance to do some drumming today, but I did manage to transcribe another song and create another lead sheet. This time it is for the track Sorcery by Billy Cobham. This track again is quite funk-fusion-jazz orientated, and would link in well with ‘Proto Cosmos’. In the process of transcribing these, I finally managed to work out how to get Coda repeats to play back in Sibelius. I had given up, putting it down to one of the world’s unsolved mysteries, but I’m glad to say I’ve cracked it! Again, no midi files or transcriptions anywhere so I did this all by ear. The next step I suppose would be piecing together a band that will play all of this! (Click to enlarge)
Today began behind the kit in one of the booths, working away at some ideas. I’ve narrowed down some songs that I may possibly play in the first recital. I played through the track ‘Proto Cosmos’ a couple of times before deciding that it may be worth while doing, and I decided to go with it for a number of reasons. The track (more specifically the version I looked at) combines elements of technical flair, whilst allowing the space for some good flowing groove. The song itself is pretty much just a head, followed by solos from guitar/keys/bass etc, but there is a lot that can be done with it. So anyway, I sat down and transcribed the version below. I’d seen another transcription online, but I’m not sure if it was all correct, so I just sat in front of Youtube / Sibelius with a guitar and keyboard. I’ve no doubt some chords and notes will be changed along the way, but this gives you the general idea of song.
Here they are, track and lead sheet (click to enlarge):
Since the last update I’ve been quite busy. I’ve been finding my feet again in terms of writing and referencing correctly in APA. One of the tasks set was to review a journal article, and I found a great one that I thought would help with my studies:
Butterfield, W, M (2010) Butterfield, Race and Rhythm: The Social Component of the Swing Groove. Jazz Perspectives, 4(3),301-335.
An interesting read, and gave me a good few things to think about. The article aimed to analyse the correlation between the swing groove and race, and it also broke down the actual mechanics of the swing groove. Very interesting and worth reading, but it still leaves the question ‘What is Swing?’ wide open.
I also looked at the performance aspect of Joshua Redman’s ‘Jazz Crimes’ within a compositional context. I managed to pull most of the chords off the internet, which seem ok, work some out and notate a chord sheet for the two main vamps. It’s a great song with a lot of chromatic phrases within the chord changes, melody and improvisational sections. The track itself is very groovy from the drums, whilst still keeping that loose jazz feel within the solo / breakdown section. Below is the transcription I pulled together and worked out:
Other than that, I’ve been away rehearsing and also going through ideas with Bryan during my instrumental lessons. One thing I’m now starting to consciously think about and develop is my ability to actually think about ‘points’ within a piece of music, and use them as a reference for keeping time and consistency within my playing. That, and my actual technique are things I’d never really thought about before I started having instrumental lessons again. As a musician when listening to a piece of music that I want to play, I analyse what is actually going on and think about what tools I need to use in order for me to play that piece. I feel that now, I’m trying to extend that ‘toolbox’ and arsenal of techniques to improve my playing. I can see that the way I think about music is changing, and this seems to be helping my playing a lot. All I can do really is keep heading in that direction, and I see no reason why I wouldn’t be a better musician at the end of it.
Yesterday was my second drum lesson with Bryan, and I can feel my playing improving. We touched upon the ideas from the previous week and also focussed on some new exercises to work on my stick technique and independence. Below are a few examples of ideas that we were working on. I didn’t have much trouble playing those ideas straight off, but the focus was on applying correct technique and stick control throughout.
There were many variations of the examples, moving accents, changing bass drum patterns etc. The final bar is a groove we worked on, with the hi hat accents creating a bossa feel.
For the research methods module this week, we had a task of using an archive and posting our experiences. I used JSTOR which is an academic resource, containing journals and articles. You can read my thoughts on JSTOR in the Word document here: JSTOR.
Other than that, I’ve been trying to recover from a cold. Currently listening to Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – “Moaning”, Art Blakey & Theolonious Monk and Miles Davis – “Kind Of Blue”.