This is basically what it’s all about. Being creative no matter the style or genre of music. This is a live version of an original song off my latest solo album Zoom. There’s a lot of pressure recording and capturing all the instruments in front of a camera but, the key is to have fun. During the technical process of audio and video engineering I always remind myself of the final vision.
I moved the studio to a bigger location allowing me to do one man live performances. This is not something new in film and video, yet still very affective especially when the audio is the live feed. My daughter Ronni assisted me in producing this video which was crucial because she saved me a lot of time helping me with camera angles and she ran the audio desk while I performed. Drums went down first. I didn’t play to a click or music. I used complete memory. I knew every part of the song. Memory is one of the prime areas a good musician must have, especially drummers. Being that this is a stripped down simple rock tune, there are still areas that require as much focus as anything requiring technique. The accents, the phrasing, the type of drum fills along with the camera angle editing all matters. The drummer is the one that sets the feel of the song and supports that first and foremost.
Every time I sit behind the kit immediately after setting up for a gig, I do this warm up exercise to loosen my wrists and ankles. This is not something I practice with a metronome nor is this something I am very technical about. For the sake of explanation and clarification, I demonstrate with a metronome at 80 BPM, 120 BPM and 180 BPM. The pedaled hat demonstrates the spaces the doubles fall into. This happens to be in 3 but like I said before, this is not the point. The point is to play this figure loosely and very fast to loosen the wrists and ankles.
I had a great time playing and teaching this chant as it came out a lot more organic than I first intended. There will be more on the word “organic” later. The things to notice are how the kick and snare mirror each other. The phrases are identical. This was highly influenced by the music of James Brown. “Say It Loud I’m Black And I’m Proud” is a reference now that I think about it. I listened to that cut a lot as a very young boy watching the turntable spin as the funk took me over. Boom, bap, bap, boom, bap is how “Say It Loud” begins. Boom, boom, bap, bap is how this one begins! The pedaled hat/ride helps to establish the landmarks between kick and snare. There are many areas to consider where the spaces occur which is the center theme of all chants. The point is to always keep track of the shape in order to keep place and make music. One more point is to realize how easy it is to slip into a duple feel while learning this chant. It can be played in duple with the slightest shift in feel so be aware of keeping the triple feel bounce.