Week 4 at BIMM

November 1st, 2009

So it’s week 4 at BIMM, next week is half way through the first term. I have been put into a BIMM band this term so I am trying to arrange for everyone to meet, looks like this will be on Tuesday, so that will be interesting.

Really messed up in Session Styles this week. I thought I have the beat to "Get on the Floor" by Michael Jackson, went up to the kit and was out of time and messed up the off beat groove part, this was really frustrating as I really throught I had it.

The really big thing this week was the jam session I had on Thursday night. Having had a bit of time to reflect on this, it was the first time I really just played the drums without thinking about what I was playing to much - playing by instinct - the problem was I have a limited number of things I can play by instinct. But to borrow a line from a film “I could almost see the remote” (i.e. In Star Wars when Luke is learning to beat the remote by instinct with blast visor down)

I also had an extra lesson with a private tutor, this was to get a little extra help. Really I learned one important fact about sticking and how this works. Sometimes you see sticking on drum patterns as RLRL or RRL, the alternate stroke (RLRL) is the most common. It is used when the notes follow each other in time i.e. without any rests. So when you have RRL, for example, I learned that there is a rest in between the two right hand sticking - i.e. the its RLRL but with the first L not played - R_RL. I have no idea if this applies on all sticking patterns as I have been shown other approaches. But I have also be told to do what sticking is best for me, and at least this approach seems logical. We also learned in Music Theory about eight basic Rhythmic Patterns, so I will be applying this sticking approach to them, playing each day so that I can play them by instinct. Wish me luck.

Have tried to show the eight basic Rhythmic Patterns with the sticking.

We also look at a basic shuffle beat which was interesting, I really like the shuffle and am looking at this with a fresh approach since the lesson.

Jamming Session

October 30th, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I placed an add on the Gumtree advert site looking for other musician to jam with and possible form a band and tonight I meet up with a some people for a 3 hour jam session and it was amazing, I held my own and helped create music :D:D it was really fun and exciting. The people were really nice and welcoming to what I did, I just kept things simple and solid and it seemed to work.

Confidence knocked

October 24th, 2009

It’s been another full week at BIMM. The week started with a look at the history of Motown, which was interesting. It was amazing to learn some of the musical concepts they used in songs – like vocal response – and that Motown was the first “Hit Factory”.

Pre-Production was frustrating as usual, although I had spent hours on the song I just could not quite get the fills right playing in class. What’s more annoying is that when I got home and sat behind my drums I managed to pull it off using my short hand rather than the music score. I’m developing this short hand to enable me to ‘see’ the sounds. Its just written letters to identify the sound, feel, and timing of the rhythm or fill.

In Style Sessions we looked at Mitch Mitchell, and played along to Bold as Love and Foxy Lady. The key thing I picked up in this lesson was to play with dynamics, lightly and with confidence. We also looked at some triplet fills, which I have seemed to get the hang of relatively easily. I also worked on my own triplet fills and building them into my own routines, but this requires confidence that this week has been knocked a bit. I cannot really put my finger on this but it may have to do with the amount of new stuff that I am learning and my ability to assimilate this information. I think one of my problems is that I over analyze things instead of just learning and having fun but I do feel the pressure to do well on this course.

In Performance Prep I did get to play on stage with a band! My instrument was not the drums but the Tambourine, which I found incredibly difficult. Not only was this my first time on a stage but it was the first time playing a tambourine. The song was The Beatles Day Tripper, which has a great tambourine part, and I didn't get it perfect but I had a go. I want to play the drums on stage!

The second full week.

October 17th, 2009

The second full week here at BIMM and it has been full on, classes have proceeded a pace, I have had a couple of tutorials to discuss various things.

The week kicked off learning about Bob Dylan, I am not really a fan but I came away thinking he was in the right place at the right time, although for someone so young in the early sixties he did have a wise head on this shoulders, his lyrics seemed to have inspired a generation.

In this weeks style class we looked at Keith Moon, the main thing that I got out of this was to enjoy every minute on the drums, really use them to express my freedom, just put a record on and play along to it, go on try it!!!! One key thing we were told was to try and lean back before performing the fill as this may help relax you while executing the fill.

Performance Prep was weird, we watched video performances of three songs by different bands with the idea of trying to establish what made a song work on stage. The weird thing was I had not heard of any of the songs unlike most my classmates. And this coming before the week we are supposed to pick a cover song to work on and perform with people from the class, some fun times ahead I see..

In music theory the key message was that I have to get away from counting the beat (as in 1+2+ etc). Funny thing was that that same night I was jamming with Ramon while he was working on his song and he also told me to stop counting the beat in my head. I find difficult to not count, so I worked on this for the rest of the week and am trying to verbally sound the beat in my head (do-dah-dah-do), this seems to be coming along, apparently you have to see the sound!

The highlight of the week has to be having a master class with Pete Thomas, petethomasdrummer.com this was very inspiring.

He really did impress on us the need to work hard, practice but above all have fun.

Its been crazy so far this week

October 15th, 2009

Its been crazy so far this week, with Dave over from Canada for the weekend and the days at BIMM have just flown by, not really had time to check in on my blog but will write a post on Sunday covering the week, will try and focus on picking up on things not covered in the books, titbits from the tutors, if you like.

I did play in front of the class again this week, which was cool but the real test is on stage in LPW, so I thought you might want to see a picture of the BIMM House; I have Live Performance Workshop here on Wednesday’s.

BIMM House