A month ago I posted the opening tune from the fall tour I did with Sara Bareilles, and the response was super encouraging! I’m pumped about everybody’s kind words. Thank you.

And so… here’s another one – the closing song of the show.


– Her exclamation at 0:15 is because all the fans at the Electric Factory in Philly had brought printouts that said “Brave” on them, and they held them up as soon as the tune started. It was a pretty cool moment.

– The Ableton tracks on this tune are just string-based, so all the synthetic drum sounds are samples on the SPD. My main point of focus while playing this song is locking in with the backbeat sample throughout the song. The sample has a 16th note slapback on it, so if I hit the sample at all late or early then the slapback is correspondingly late/early. The whole groove of the song relies on me placing that sample at the proper spot in the pocket. This is most difficult at 2:21 when I bring in the left hand marching pattern. Sometimes I lean against the click a little during this section, but it’s because I’ve learned to key into the sample slapback instead of the click, so as to keep the left hand 16ths locked with the sample.

– I have the Brave sequence set up for an undetermined length on the intro. Every night Sara talks over the SPD hook groove and I try to gauge when she’s going to be done and play a rest in order to cue that the verse will start. At this particular show she gave me a nod for the cue (0:48) and it was a little sudden. I would’ve landed that rest a little differently had I not been surprised. Oh well.

– Brave, like Chasing the Sun, uses a trash can lid vibe instead of crash sounds in the album version. So I’ve got the ride stack happening (21″ Dark Energy over a 22″ Trad light), and the snare tone is my RD 5.5×14 nickel-over-brass with a donut dampening ring.