Mike Carroll archive

Tag : zildjian (5)

…At Last!

Categories: Media, Uncategorized, Video
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: January 18, 2014

This is my first video post in several months. A busy summer and fall schedule, and some much needed time off prevented me from producing any new videos. Now that I have recuperated and have some free time, I can start posting on a more regular basis. That is not to say that there isn’t much going on; The Dan Doiron Band is hard at work preparing for the International Blues Challenge taking place in Memphis, Tennessee. Back in October, we won a regional competition put on by the East Coast Blues Society, giving us the opportunity to represent the Maritimes in Memphis! We are very excited and can’t wait to give it our best.

On to the video! I did one on Steve Gadd for his Birthday early last year, but I focused more on licks and failed to capture the grooves for which he is best known. To remedy this, I decided to dedicate this project to his work on two Paul Simon tracks – ’50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ and ‘Late in the Evening’.

’50 Ways’ was recorded in 1975 and appeared on the album ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’. The groove Steve plays is unique, creative, challenging, and perfect for the song. There are many other videos on YouTube showcasing this groove, so I wanted to do so something a bit different. The studio track has a tambourine playing on the offbeats that gives the song forward momentum. After some experimentation, I found a way to incorporate the tambourine using an extra pedal to the left of the bass drum pedal that I played with my heel. This method proved to be a coordination nightmare, but one that I eventually conquered.

There is another point about the coordination obstacle that I’d like to make. After practising the groove for a time, I felt that I had got it to a point where I could record it. I set up my gear, pushed record, and 53 takes later, I had nothing useable. The problem was that I didn’t spend a sufficient amount of time committing the groove to muscle memory. I had to think too much to get through it, and when I have to think too much, the groove suffers. There is NO substitute for practise! I practised hard, took a few days off to let it sink in, took an inordinate amount of time to tension the pedals correctly, and tried again. The extra time I took to really nail it paid off as I got the footage I needed in seven takes.

‘Late in the Evening’ was recorded in 1980 and appeared on the album ‘One Trick Pony’. The second clip came together much quicker, as it didn’t involve as much coordination issues and I was already quite familiar with the African ‘Mozambique’ rhythm on which the groove was based. I did throw in an extra challenge for myself by switching the roles of my hands partway through. Another aspect worth noting is that Steve used four sticks to play the groove. The four sticks technique lends a certain percussive flavour the the groove, but is a killer on the wrists! Luckily, I got what I needed in two or three takes.

On the technical side of things, I used my Q3HD for the overhead view and the GoPro as the foot cam because the Q3 captures better sound. Unfortunately, the Q3 doesn’t have as wide a field of vision as the GoPro. Compounding this problem is that I neglected to notice that I had it zoomed in a bit. A good take always trumps a good camera angle I always say! Because I only needed an overhead view for the second clip, I was able to use the GoPro for that, with the Q3 positioned just below it to capture the sound only. The video was edited with Pinnacle Studio for iPad; an excellent program with which I am slowly becoming adept.

Still here? Apologies for the long-winded preamble. Enjoy!

Happy Belated Zig!

Categories: Media, Video
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Published on: February 1, 2013

Joseph ‘Zigaboo’ Modeliste turned 64 on December 28th, 2012 so I’m a little late posting this one. I’m still trying to catch up after an extended hiatus during the holidays. Zig is one of my all time favs and his playing with The Meters epitomizes New Orleans funk. He has influenced countless drummers, most notably Stanton Moore, who is a New Orleans funk expert in his own right. The video consists of demonstrations of three grooves including – ‘Cissy Strut’, ‘Just Kissed My Baby’, and ‘Hey Pocky A-way’, in which Zig uses a swampy second-line groove. I’ve added a little left foot cowbell in the latter as an extra challenge for myself! Zig’s playing is a perfect example of how to play ‘in between the cracks’.

The Evolution of Tony Williams….Part 1

Hello everybody and Happy 2013! I apologize for the extended hiatus but I am finally back up and running. I have been busy rearranging my drum room to accommodate more drums – more on that in a later post.
Having missed Tony Williams’ Birthday, I have decided to do a series of videos instead. The series will focus on Tony Williams’ development from child prodigy to the upper echelon of jazz/fusion drumming. The video below will be the first of likely three videos, each representing a specific time in his career. This one demonstrates a solo he played on a tune entitled ‘Seven Steps to Heaven’ from a Miles Davis record of the same name released in 1963 when Tony was the tender age of 17! Incidentally, I began to learn this solo when I was 17 in preparation for an audition to get into music school. The difference is that I STILL don’t have it mastered! : ) The video begins with 8 bars of time followed by the solo. Analytically, it is a very interesting solo as it contains some early evidence of Tony’s genius – polyrhythmic variety and unique interplay between the hands and feet. To me, it is not a typical drum solo in that the phrasing is very advanced, especially for the time – almost like that of a horn player. I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for part 2 of the evolution of Tony Williams!

Ali Jackson Drum Intro to ‘The Next Step’ by Kurt Rosenwinkel – Multicam

Categories: Media, Pictures, Video
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Published on: October 15, 2012

This little project came about thanks to my friend and colleague Matt Gray (Matt is the George Harrison to my Ringo Starr), who lent me a cd by jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel entitled ‘Deep Song’. The entire album is genius, but I was particularly inspired by the final track, ‘The Next Step’. The drums are played by Ali Jackson, whom I had never heard of before listening to this cd, and he kills it. I had to rewind the first 30 seconds and listen to it over and over because it had so much energy and creativity. I was in Fredericton at the time staying at Freake’s place recording some multicam stuff for this site and I decided that I would learn the part and record it for inclusion.

The process was an interesting one because I felt that the drums themselves would have little weight without context; for this reason, I committed myself to learning not only the drum part, but the piano and bass parts as well (in hindsight, I wish I had recorded video of the keys and bass, but I wasn’t thinking at the time). Learning all three parts proved to be challenging, but extremely rewarding! I actually played the piano and bass parts first and the drums last, which is a terribly backwards way to record, but I’ve had experience doing that sort of thing. After the keys and bass were done, I stayed up late transcribing the drum part and got up early to practice it.

All the parts were recorded to a click using Reaper and were painstakingly synced to the video captured with four cameras by Freake. A curious sidenote is that during the recording of the drums, we discovered that the click I was using through Freake’s Ipad was faulty. We couldn’t get the drums to sync with the other instruments and soon realized that not only was the click off by a good 10bpm, but that it was also inconsistent. Nice! We also noticed when trying to set a tempo, that the original track speeds up by about 10bpm once the drums come in – not a bad thing in this case because it creates so much forward momentum and still maintains a great feel. For our purposes though, because I was playing all the instruments, it was important to stick to one tempo.

A couple performance notes worth mentioning: Ali Jackson plays a five-piece kit on the track and I adapted it for a four-piece. Many of the ride accents I play can be substituted for a crash cymbal. Lastly, the first piano chord you hear is on the ‘and’ of beat 4.

Jay and I had so much fun creating this short little video and we hope you’ll enjoy it (rudimentary piano and bass skills included). Special thanks to Jay Freake for his technical wizardry and to Matt Gray for introducing me to some very cool music! The transcribed drum part is below the video for those interested. All eighth notes are swung.

For an informative rundown of the technical specifications, including gear and software used, please click here.

Happy Birthday Art Blakey! Shuffle 1 – Multicam

Categories: Media, Video
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Published on: October 11, 2012

Jazz great Art Blakey would be 93 today! (Oct.11, 2012) This is the third video in the ‘Drummer’s Birthdays’ series and demonstrates Art’s signature jazz shuffle. It is a little tricky co-ordination wise because the snare is kind of a mirror image of what the ride cymbal is doing. The bass drum and unaccented snare notes should be played quietly. I have included notation below. I will be posting videos of other shuffle rhythms from time to time so keep an eye out!

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