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Tag : GoPro (2)

The Return of the Professor…

Categories: Media, Video
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Published on: July 10, 2013

Two days from now, (July 12, 2013) Rush will return to Halifax for the first time in 26 years. I was disappointed when the show was announced because I knew I would have to miss it on account of my having to perform that night as well. Thanks to an outpouring of support from the Halifax community, they added a second show which I AM able to attend. I am so excited! Getting to see Rush will fulfill a life-long dream. I am not the die-hard fan I once was, as my tastes have broadened a little since the days of putting Signals on repeat in my basement and air-drumming along to Subdivisions. Still, I always purchase their albums whenever they are released, and spin some of their older albums from time to time for equal parts nostalgia and inspiration.

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend alerted me to the fact that my local Long and McQuade music store was giving away five sets of tickets to those daring enough to post a Rush cover on YouTube and send them the link. They would choose the five best out of the submissions. I had already purchased tickets, but I knew some family members who had mentioned that they would love to go, so I decided to give it a go for them. Also, I had never really entered a contest focused on drumming before, so I thought it would be kind of nice to see where I stand so to speak. I should note that the contest was open to all instrumentalists and singers, so that presented an added challenge.

After some time sifting through my favourite songs, I had made a short list of possibilities. Whichever song I chose would have to meet some requirements – it would have to be something I thought I could play reasonably well – it would have to involve relatively little preparation time – it would have to involve relatively few drums. While pondering these requirements, I was reminded of a recent cover of Anthem done rather well by Anthrax. Anthem has always been one of my favourite songs, period. The first track from the album Fly by Night, it marked the arrival of Neil Peart into the band. Anthem has a certain energy and ferocity I have always enjoyed, so I decided it would be perfect as I was already somewhat familiar with the drum part, and it didn’t involve too many drums.

After two full days of practice, I was beginning to worry that I had bitten off a little more than I could chew. There are a couple of sections toward the end that proved quite difficult. But I am nothing if not stubborn, so after many hours of woodshedding and bloodletting, I had it to a point where I was comfortable recording it.

I attempted to play it as close to the original as I could, paying close attention to detail. Performing a cover in this way requires incredible focus, as it is easy to let the mind wander and miss a part. Another challenge that arose as a result of playing along to the track was that there was no count-in, so once I pressed play on my iPod, I had to guess where the first note was going to be. After a few tries, I had got it so I could reliably do it every time.

Below is my winning entry into the contest. Thanks to Long and McQuade Halifax for putting on a great contest that was very fun. Thanks also to all the contestants for the wonderful entries. Special thanks to my girlfriend Andrea for her encouragement and for making me aware of the contest, and my family for their continued support.

Brought to you by the letter ‘eh’.

Happy Belated Birthday Steve Gadd! Two Drum Licks Demystified…

Categories: Media, Video
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 1, 2013

Yes, this post arrives three weeks late, but there are several good reasons why. Over the past month, I have invested in some new equipment and software in an attempt to improve upon the videos I have posted to this point. I purchased a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition video camera to complement my Zoom Q3HD, so I can now do multi-cam videos at home. I also acquired some better lighting which I think you’ll find boosts the picture quality considerably. Lastly, I’ve been working with a new video editor called Pinnacle Studio for iPad. Pinnacle has proved to be the biggest culprit in this post’s lateness as it has taken a great deal of time to wrap my head around it’s idiosyncrasies. Though I have to say I am quite pleased with it overall.

In the eleventh instalment of the ‘Drummer’s Birthdays’ series, we celebrate the 68th (April 9th, 2013) of one of the all-time greats, Steve Gadd. Three weeks have passed since his birthday, but I couldn’t let more time pass without acknowledging one of my biggest influences. Steve is constantly in demand because of his impeccable time and monster groove, and has performed with artists as diverse as Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and Chick Corea.

In the video, I demonstrate a couple of his most famous licks. The first section is a 32nd note pattern played between the snare, bass drum and hi-hat. I begin at full tempo, then slower, and finally playing it in a groove context. The second section is a rim click/hi-hat lick that gets much the same treatment as the first pattern.

Playing wise, this project came together quicker than I anticipated. It was the new equipment and software additions that proved my undoing. There are still some kinks to iron out, but I hope you’ll enjoy this first effort.

Mike Carroll endorses Blue Camo Socks.

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