Anyone interested in playing a drum machine like a real kit would love to see this one:

It’s a video of bassist Alvin Mills and an un-named drummer playing what looks like an old Alesis HR-16. They are doing a burning version of “Actual Proof” from Herbie Hancock’s Thrust record. Pretty cool. I am sure some DJs would love to work with this guy. Judging from his finger chops, he would be able to play some nasty break beats.

Special thanks to my good friend MAZ for the link! Maz also came up with the MySpace goods. The drummer’s name is D. Haynes:

http://www.myspace.com/dhaynesakafingerrs

[Please stand]

The Lord is my drummer, I shall not rush.
He maketh me to lay out in tasteful places
He leadeth me beside cool meter changes
He restoreth my “one”.

Yeah man, though I read through the trickiest of charts,
I will fear no train wrecks.
For You are with it.
Your ride and Your snare, they comfort me

You setteth up a solo for me
In the presence of mine guitarists.
You annointeth my lines with drive.
My groove overfloweth.

Surely good feel and swing will follow me
through all the tunes of each set.
And I will dwell in the pocket
the whole gig long.

Amen. 😉

The Winstons
The Winstons

Here is an interesting mini documentary on the “Amen Break”, which is a drum loop created from a 1968 record by The Winstons called “Amen Brother”.

Amen Break Documentary

The drummer is GC Coleman. You’ll know it when you here it:

[audio:amen_brother.mp3|loop=yes]

The documentary chronicles the history of the “Amen Break” loop. This loop made its way from that copywrited funk record into hip hop songs by Third Base, NWA, and a slew of others. It then leaked into the drum & bass scene in the UK where it was actually copywrited and sold by a UK loop CD company who claim the loop was created especially for them.

Eventually, it was embraced by corporate America to help sell SUVs and blue jeans to suburban America. Interesting take on sampling and copyright laws. Where’s the RIAA when you actually need them?

Hi Hat Placement
Hi Hat Placement

Over the years I have noticed something when I sit in with a band on another drummer’s kit. Drum and cymbal placement is such a personal thing, but what I noticed most is that many right-handed drummers place their hi-hats far off to the left(see figure A). To me, this is a little limiting in that you need to cross your arms a fair bit to play the hats and snare together, unless you play lefty on a right-handed kit.

What I find that works for me is placing the hi-hats more in front of you, to the right, closer to the hi-tom(see figure B). The benefit of this is you free up your left hand to do more work on the hi-hat. Using this hi-hat placement allows me to throw in extra grace notes and syncopated hi-hat accents, which works well in the right spots. It makes spicing up a groove a lot easier. Give it a try sometime.