Tag Archives: Drummer

Appreciating Denzil Best

SKF NOTE: Denzil Best has always been somewhat of a mystery drummer to me. In all my studies of drummers, Denzil Best was always praised by drummers and other instrumentalists as a swinging, supportive drummer. Best was a trumpet player … Continue reading

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Hearing Drum Beats as Melodies

SKF NOTE: Will learning to play a melodic instrument make you a better drummer? On balance, yes. The most common melodic instruments drummers play are piano (keyboards) and guitar. I also know drummers who played trumpet or trombone. Learning to … Continue reading

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Nice to Meet and Hear You, Smokey Johnson

SKF NOTE: There’s always one more drummer to learn about, isn’t there? This morning, scrolling through online news I stop at this provocative headline about New Orleans drummer Smokey Johnson: “His playing wasn’t just hot; this New Orleans drummer was … Continue reading

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Triplets, a Hi-Hat, and Ears: Perfect Art Blakey

SKF NOTE: Art Blakey shows us on the title track from Lee Morgan’s 1964 Tom Cat album, that perfect drum accompaniment doesn’t require a bazillion notes played on multiple drums and cymbals. No. Quarter note triplets, a hi-hat, and ears … Continue reading

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Joe Morello Drum Clinic Mid-to-Late 1970s – Part 1

SKF NOTE: Relying solely on my sketchy memory, I taped this Joe Morello drum clinic at the Long Island Drum Center. As of this writing I am unable to pinpoint the clinic date. I’m guessing it was in the mid-to-late … Continue reading

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Learning from Singers to Be a Better Drummer

SKF NOTE: Paging through books from my music book collection, reading again the passages I underlined, I remember I did so because all of these passages — or almost all of them — helped me become a better drummer. Breathing … Continue reading

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Art Blakey on Chick Webb’s Drum Lesson

SKF: Here’s Art Blakey recounting his drum lesson from Chick Webb. Down Beat: [T]he public in the swing era always looked to the drummer for a wild solo. After that, as time went on, people began to appreciate the drummer … Continue reading

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