Tag Archives: SKFBlog

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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Songs as Time Machines

SKF NOTE: Songs are time machines. In an instant (a heart beat?) a song can carry us back to faces and places, experiencing emotions, just as we did fifty years ago. I was reminded of music’s mysterious power this weekend … Continue reading

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Manna from Heaven: A New Coltrane Quartet ‘Lost’ Album

SKF NOTE: Well, what do you know! The classic John Coltrane Quartet recorded an album in 1963, “two years before A Love Supreme, and then stashed it away,” writes the New York Times. The family of Coltrane’s first wife, Juanita … Continue reading

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Fife and Drums: 18th Century Communications Tools Rattling Windows

SKF NOTE: Newspaper reporter Rodrigo Arriaza makes an important point: drums are communications tools. Not always, but most often, in all music styles, the best drummers think of their instruments as communications tools. Think of a situation where most people … Continue reading

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Horace Silver: Highest Marks for Billy Higgins

SKF NOTE: I’ve always thought pianist Horace Silver‘s left hand comping makes great fodder for drummers’ left hand comping. That idea first came to me listening to Blue Note’s classic albums, A Night at Birdland Vols. 1 and 2. Recording … 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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Anka: The Secret to Song Writing is Simplicity

SKF NOTE: Paul Anka‘s autobiography had been sitting on my office bookshelf since buying the book on April 5, 2016. Yesterday I began reading it. My experience reading biographies and autobiographies of successful musicians (and other music industry people) is: … Continue reading

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