Category : Dynamics

This category includes lessons that focus on intense playing to soft playing.

Blue Whale/Los Angeles Residency Featuring Steve Coleman & Five Elements December 14, 2016

During our second residency since our first appearance in Downtown Los Angeles at the club Blue Whale in 2014, our band conducted daily three hour workshops followed by two sets of nightly performances.
15391294_10154929316364284_6313977484603794744_oThe workshops allowed musicians as well as anyone merely interested to get an insider’s look into how Coleman’s approach to composition works. Coleman led lengthy explanations that were more like briefings on a specific subject that usually tied into another such as harmony and leading tones. Or another example is rhythm concentrating on triple (ternary) feel versus duple feel. Workshops were as spontaneous as performing onstage because the main goal was to cover as much material as possible on any and all subjects involving music composition. So, in a sense, workshops never really end.
The performances were a way to express and demonstrate the material covered in workshops.

Triplet 7 / That’s My Cord

This song uses the triplet feel with a nod to reggae. Written long ago and put in vaults of instrumentals, I realized years later this is a great tune to feature the triplet shuffle. The left hand propels the groove with ghost notes emphasizing the second beat of the constant triplets. This is a fun tune to play pocket to and experiment with the world of triplet based phrasing. The title is actually “That’s My Cord” from a demo I recorded years ago.

Duple Chant in 9 #1

This chant is styled after what I call the James Brown Backbeat. There’s nothing technical about the word “Backbeat”. It’s just something I associate the snare drum phrase with. When performing this with the Play Along mp3, the music helps bring this style out. It’s limiting to instruct and demonstrate the odd meter of nine without music. As I always suggest, perform this chant at a slow tempo and eventually increase tempo as you feel comfortable through repetition.

Triplet 6

I always try to find an excuse to write music within the triplet feel. Some people call it a six or twelve. I like to refer to it as the triplet feel because that’s the basis for the general rhythms everywhere in this particular style of music. I performed all the backing tracks that are just bass and guitar. It’s good to be familiar with another musician’s playing that is relaxed and not pushing or dragging. I have the luxury of demonstrating this repeatedly and I hope it serves the purpose of everything sounding relaxed.