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I feel like I’m doing clinic things left and right for the past few months, and here comes another one this weekend. Saturday morning I’ll be at Hope Community Church in Minneapolis for a seminar on playing drums in a church environment.  This event will be very similar to the clinic I did at New Hope Church last Spring, but I’ve expanded and updated a few ideas since then.  And I always just wing it anyway with these kinds of things, so who knows what will happen.

10am-noon.  There’s no cost for the event and it’s open to the public.  Details here.

I was discussing “hook fills” with a student the other day.  The term “hook” refers to a melody or part that really grabs the listener, in a way that the melody/part becomes the song’s identity.  It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a particular song, and it’s the thing you hum to yourself to remind yourself of the song.  That’s what a hook is… and it’s a big part of the pop music world.  Like I said, hooks are mostly found in the melodic side of things, but a fill can be hooky too.  In fact, it’s not a bad idea to try and be hooky with every fill you play, because it will help you avoid drummer disease.

Anyway, I always immediately think of Dave Grohl when I think about hooky drum parts.  The guy just knows how to grab a listener with a fill (and grooves in general).  Nirvana’s stuff is obviously a great example of this… like the intro fill for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  Everybody recognizes that fill, regardless of whether they’re musicians or not.  Another great example in the Nirvana catalog is that tune “In Bloom.”  That’s the example that came to my mind in the lesson the other day, so I quick looked up the song on Youtube so the student and I could listen to the fill in the lesson.  I had never seen the official video for that track, and it’s pretty funny…

Do you hear what I mean about Grohl’s fills being super catchy and “singable”?  So great.  Long live Dave Grohl.


HT: William Michel

My friend and talented producer/musician Nate Sabin hosts periodic “worship music” conferences at churches in the region. This weekend we’ll be at his home church in Maplewood, MN… Apostolic Bible Church (ABC).  Worship service on Friday night (tomorrow) and clinic/workshop on Saturday morning.  Details are on Facebook.

I can’t get enough Matt Chamberlain, as many of you already knew.  Here’s a great audio interview from a Seattle music scene blog (Chamberlain is based in Seattle).  It’s a few years old but still totally relevant and helpful.

HT: Brett

I just got done reading this great interview with drummer Keith LeBlanc, a seminal figure in the development of hip-hop drumming and subsequent rise of drum machines. Keith played with the Sugar Hill Gang (Rapper’s Delight), in addition to releasing a solo record attributed as the first sample-based album… which is a pretty big deal given the sample-heavy nature of the current Pop world.  He’s got tons of interesting stories about hip-hop history, and a great perspective on the relationship between a drummer and drum machine.

HT: Tony Renaud


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