Category: general

Groove Workshop: The total Funk of Nate Smith – “Barbara”

 

This bonedo drums workshop-series  is called “Legendary Drummers and Grooves”. So it is pretty obvious, that a drummer, who is commonly known as “The Legendary Nate Smith” needs to be featured here at some point.

This is part 4 of the series, and Nate has been all over social media in the past years; his infectous and explosive mix of Funk-Jazz-Rock-Loop-Style-Drumming has earned him his well deserved “legendary” nickname and status amongst fans and colleagues.

Now Nate has caused another big stir by his involvement with members of the  beloved “Vulfpeck”: Bassist Joe Dart, guitarists Corey Wong and Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) together with Nate formed a Vulf-Records-project named “Fearless Flyers”, and what they play is some serious Funk!
In their hard grooving track “Barbara” – featuring Ghospel-Icon Sandra Crouch on tambourine – Smith lays down an irresistable high-energy-groove-improvisation, which I here would like to bring to your attention in greater detail.

In this further bonedo-exclusive workshop we will take a look at transcriptions of he impressive Drum-Intro and the track’s main groove as well as some re-recordings, all done with great admiration by your’s truly.

I personally found it extremly inspiring to take a close look at this special drummer’s very individual and unique approach to our instrument – i hope you feel the same!

Have a look, have a listen, enjoy!

 

 

Groove Workshop: The magic of Manu Katché – “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”

 

This third edition of my little workshop-series “legendary drummers – legendary grooves” – exclusively for bonedo drums – is dedicated to another true drumming hero of the eighties and nineties: Manu Katché, french top-player with westafrican roots. Manu has proffered quiet a few legendary grooves to the world in the course of the years, for example while working with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Dire Straits, or for the 1987  Song  “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”,  a release on selftitled Album “Robbie Robertson”.  For the dark, atmospherical track, Katchè created a dense,  mysterious Groove, which leaves a heavy impact on the composition and stronly shapes it`s overall appearance.

The creative combination of tom-accents, snare-off-backbeats and touchy ride-bell-work  casts a spell over each groove-loving listener. When I heard “Somewhere Down The Crazy River” for the first time many yeras ago, i was  instantly drawn to it`s unique feel and was really intrigued.

In this bonedo-workshop you will find, as usual, transcriptions, simplifications and re-recordings by your’s truly, which should hopefully help making this extraordinary beat more transparent and explain, how Manu built the legendary groove.
Have fun checking out another drumming masterpiece!

Groove Workshop: How John “JR” Robinson created Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love”-Intro

 

Sometimes you hear a piece of music – and feel instantly intrigued. Intuitivly you know, that you just stumbled over something magic. When I heard Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” featuring John “JR” Robinson on drums for the first time as a fifteen year old, it was exactly like that for me. The percussive, dense and atmospherical feel, created in a mix of lively tracked drums and programmed percussion simply blew me away – and confused me. What’s the ingredients? What’s the patterns? And: Where the funk is the “one”?

Today, many moons later, I take the opportunity to write yet another groove workshop for bonedo drums exclusively, this time shedding some light on the mystery of this grammy award winning groove masterpiece, created  by one of the greatest players in the history of the modern drum kit.

You can find the original recording, a video with John explaining the process in the studio plus my re-recordings and transcriptions of the “Higher Love” -Intro right here at the bonedo workshop (sorry, german language only).

All you can do in one day – if you are Vinnie!

 

We all know, Vinnie Colaiuta is a scary monster on the drums. There is no doubt that he is amongst the very greatest of all time – and this recent session-video gives an insightful impression of his true mastership. Vinnie is tracking for Brian Eisenberg Jazz Orchestra , playing elegantly relaxed, tasteful, musical and overall impressive beyond belief.. He recorded the whole album within one day – and at 2:24 introduced this hilarious (but also helpful) brushes-to-sticks-move. His black shirt helps to “support the illusion” in forefield. Damn.


Here is the full Vinnie-in-the-studio-video from Brian Eisenberg.

Ableton Live 10 – Overcoming the recording blockage with „Capture“

 

On November 2nd Ableton Live 10 was announced and will be available to the public from early 2018. The full update features countless new improvements, a sharp new 60 frame look, some brandnew devices and even a spectacular wavetable synth – plus it has tons of workflow improvements, such as the longly begged for ability to group-in-groups. But there is one new feature, that i immediatly fell in love with, as soon as i first got an early beta version of Live 10 a couple of months ago: „Capture“.

What is Capture?
We all have encountered the phenomenon of mentally choking, as soon as the „red light“ turns on. While playing around with ideas, you might find something you like (a beat, a bassline or chord progression) and then want to record it – but as soon as you try to make the recording, you cannot reproduce the exact, original idea. This is where Capture comes into place. In Version 10, Live is constantly monitoring, i.e. memorising all Midi notes played into the programm with a computer keyboard, Ableton Push or whatever inputting controller you use.

 

How to use Capture?
It’s actually really simple: just play music and don’t worry about preparation and the eventual pressure of recording. If you start a new set, song or project in Ableton Live 10, you now don’t have to priorly decide on a tempo, turn on the metronome and then start recording. No, all you do is play. The necessety to define a tempo up front was something i always didn’t like; especially since Ableton brought us Push, it seemed kind of counterproductive to the actual concept of the controller being an integrated musical instrument. Now you can just jam beats or other ideas and whenever you are am happy with what you played, simply click the „Capture“ Button next to Live’s Transport or press [Record] + [New] on Push. Live will create a new, looped and timed-up clip, which contains the Midi-Notes, that you have played since you selected that track and record-armed it, respectively turned it’s monitor to „in“.

 

A few rules with Capture.
Even though Capture is really easy to use – to fully benefit from the feature and don’t get confused with the results, let me quickly explain Capture’s behavior a bit more in detail:

– To make Capture define the global set tempo by a captured clip, simply play the notes – while Live’s transport is not running. Capture will define the tempo of the set as it interpretates the input.
– When adding another captured clip to the track or set, Capture will then interpretate this clip and again adjust the global tempo, if Live’s transport is not running.
– Opposed to Live’s transport running: Here, Capture will not set a new global tempo to the set, but stay where the tempo was set last.
– Capure will deliver the best results, if you play one more note landing on „one“ after your x-bar-long idea.
– Capture’s range of tempo-analyzing lays between 80 and 160 bpm. If you are looking for a faster or slower tempo, you will need to adjust it afterwords.
– If your first clip has a length of f.e. four bars, Live 10 will assume, that the next clip on another track that you are jamming in, will also be four bars long. If that second clip differs in lenghts, you will have to adjust it to your needs.
– You can always tell, if Capture still has something memorised by looking at the Capture button: if it’s greyed out, Capture’s memory is empty, if it is white, it indicates „press me and i will create a new clip or overdub.“
– Yes, Capture also allows overdubbing: if none of the clips in a track are playing, a new capture will create a new clip in that track containing that last jam-idea. If a clip in that track is playing while you are jamming, it will add those new notes to the playing clip.
– If you have f.e. jammed on track 1, but did not make use of the memorised notes by pressing either Live’s Capture Button or [Record] + [New] on Push, and then jam on track 2 and do capture that idea, the previous idea on track 1 will be deleted from Capture’s memory. This means, Capture will only remember what you played on a track as long as you do capture it before you capture another idea on another track.

Those „rules“ feel logical and one gets used to the mechanics of Capture quickly. In my workflow the use of Capture is implemented already and i hardly ever go „old school“ and press „record“ to lay down a spontanious idea.
Capture is a groundbreaking new feature in Ableton Live 10, which significantly supports the Idea of spontanious music-creation and helps to eliminate the known phenomenon of „red-light-anxiety“.

* Capture will be available for all Ableton Live 10 users, from Live Intro to Live Standard and to Live Suite.

* Note: Ableton Live 10 is still in beta at the time of this blogpost, features may differ in detail at final release.

Groove Workshop: Michael Bland in the studio with Vulfpeck.


 
During the last weeks a youtube clip of american funk combo Vulfpeck drew a lot of attention from the drumming community. Firstly, because the Michigan based band once more demonstrates their exceptional feel, tightness and funkyness, what, in my eyes, makes them one of the most interestings acts of these days; but also because of their guest drummer`s extraordinary performance: Michael Bland, mostly known for his long year engagement with Prince & The New Power Generation, nails the supposedly simple and “unclicked” groove for their new track “Hero Town” in such a relaxed and yet impressive way, that it brings a smile to every dedicated groove connoisseur. “Deep pocket drumming” at it`s finest – including Michael`s rather unusual stick-holding-technique. I wrote an exclusive workshop for bonedo drums with examples of some of Bland`s typical grooves and fills as well as a transcription and re-recording of the eight bar drum-solo. Check it out on bonedo drums!

Bum Tschak Groove Lab: Creating fun loops from a simple 2-mic-drum-recording

 

this two-part video workshop shows, how simple drum recordings, done with just a laptop-mic, a smartphone or one or two drum microphones, can be manufactured to create individual and fun loops. the (video)-series, produced exclusively for bonedo, is in german language only (sorry abou that..) and has corresponding text-info for part 1 and part 2, which you can also find at bonedo.

Drumtrainer Berlin is online

 

since a couple of weeks drumtrainer berlin is online. at drumtrainer.online there is tips & tricks & performances by many outstanding drummers – and i am happy to be one of them. i recorded a three-part lesson on concepts interpretating musical phrases at the drumtrainer studio (german language only). you can watch the course-teaser for free, all course-modules are available for just a few bucks – if you are a member (from € 1.- / month). come on and explore the all new drumtrainer online and find out about the fine national (rubow, pfennig, lehrmann and many others) and international drummers  (carlock, lewis, robinson …) sharing their knowledge.