Some advice please

Nina

New member
I've only been playing drums for 2 years now and i started at contemporary music school last october anyway they've taken in applications for the degree and i applied and i have to audition, i have no problem with any of the required beats or reading i.e. they'll ask for a swung 4/4 beat (i'm doing really well on the technical and musical side of the course) I just sound like i've been playing for two years and i need to impress with the prepared piece part of the audition. I haven't developed the natural ability to just play loads of cool beats with cool fills, i dont know enough.
Are there any good songs with some great drumming in it that i can play for my piece. No super fast double pedal please but maybe jazz/funk/fusion with some great fills. I have no problem with learning songs so bring it on.

Thanks in advance
 

The Heel

New member
Do you have an example of you playing? It would be good to see your style before guiding you in any certain direction.

Why learn something that contrasts what your strengths are right now? You need to learn chops that work with what you've already become familiar with.

If you could give us an mp3 or a video of you playing, we could probably dissertate a direction you could go in that would focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses at this point.

If you cant get any material on here... give us your influences. Who do you like to listen to? Who do you base your style after?

You see where I'm coming from?

You arent going to learn a latin beat if all you listen to is Pearl Jam. You arent going to quickly adapt to learn a solid funk beat if you've only played Metallica.

There are thousands of cool pieces you can learn... but what one is right for me might be wrong for you.
 

Gaddabout

New member
Nina":3guvdvdq said:
I've only been playing drums for 2 years now and i started at contemporary music school last october anyway they've taken in applications for the degree and i applied and i have to audition, i have no problem with any of the required beats or reading i.e. they'll ask for a swung 4/4 beat (i'm doing really well on the technical and musical side of the course) I just sound like i've been playing for two years and i need to impress with the prepared piece part of the audition. I haven't developed the natural ability to just play loads of cool beats with cool fills, i dont know enough.
Are there any good songs with some great drumming in it that i can play for my piece. No super fast double pedal please but maybe jazz/funk/fusion with some great fills. I have no problem with learning songs so bring it on.

Thanks in advance
Oh man, you have a chance to really blow the judges away by showing your TASTE, not just your techinical ability.

I tell you what I'd do ... I'd work up a half-tempo funk beat to show my good *feel* as well as work in some licks and other technical components ... beat displacement, metric modulation, playing over the bar, etc. Now that I think about it, Hilary Jones has a great example of this type of solo at Modern Drummer a few years ago.

You can see it here in QuickTime format.
 

Nina

New member
thanks for that especially the last one. you totally get the way i was feeling. Its just hard considering i've been playing for two years and going to do a performance degree course thats a huge leap for me. And if my audition judge turns out to be who i think it is. its going to be tough to impress cos they know how long i've been playing. I just need a shining perfomance part of my audition because all the other requirements are based on my exams throughout the year and im doing well in that.
 

devilspain

New member
practice practice practice. play songs you like you know you can show off in. i played a muse song- time is running out. and i just added extra fills but not overplayed!. also did a funk song the same one thats in jackie brown. well its the music from the main menu of the dvd.
also i played a 1/2 time shuffle groove thats was fun. tho i did have backing tracks. i dunno what you allowed. but good luck you'll be fine.
 

Dale

New member
Nina":33ap7vk0 said:
I've only been playing drums for 2 years now and i started at contemporary music school last october anyway they've taken in applications for the degree and i applied and i have to audition, i have no problem with any of the required beats or reading i.e. they'll ask for a swung 4/4 beat (i'm doing really well on the technical and musical side of the course) I just sound like i've been playing for two years and i need to impress with the prepared piece part of the audition. I haven't developed the natural ability to just play loads of cool beats with cool fills, i dont know enough.
Are there any good songs with some great drumming in it that i can play for my piece. No super fast double pedal please but maybe jazz/funk/fusion with some great fills. I have no problem with learning songs so bring it on.

Thanks in advance
Just play. Play within yourself, use taste, and have faith in yourself.

There are no easy answers. Trust the work you have already put in and go out and enjoy yourself.
 

The Heel

New member
I guess my post is invisible? Heh.

My point is that you would have to play to your strengths. Saying: "I'd lay down a funk beat" is great if you play funk well.

With the information Nin's given us... how could anyone possibly come up with any sort of advice that could help?

Good luck either way.
 

Gaddabout

New member
The Heel":thd6lhbl said:
My point is that you would have to play to your strengths. Saying: "I'd lay down a funk beat" is great if you play funk well.

With the information Nin's given us... how could anyone possibly come up with any sort of advice that could help?
Which is why I said, "I'd tell you what I'd do ..." The point wasn't to tell her what she should do, rather, offer something practical (and reasonably attainable technique wise) in hopes of inspiring some creativity.
 

soliddrummer

New member
Don't pick a piece that is so hard you could never see yourself nailing it in time, but also don't pick one that's so easy you could play it in your sleep. Pick something you will have to work on, but that will be attainable. Judges want to see that you've put in the work to learn the piece. Also, once you've nailed it you can throw in a few stick tricks from Thomas Lang's Creative Control DVD, or John Blackwell's DVD if you're up for it. Just make sure if you do it that you have practiced enough to pull it off well.

Through the years, I've found that the most important thing is to be SOLID. Hence, the screenname. lol. :lol: Hope that helps! 8)
 

zen_drummer

New member
soliddrummer":2tq99q3e said:
Also, once you've nailed it you can throw in a few stick tricks from Thomas Lang's Creative Control DVD, or John Blackwell's DVD if you're up for it. Just make sure if you do it that you have practiced enough to pull it off well.
Stick tricks at a music school audition? I'm not sure that is the best advice...

Here is what a music school adjudicator wants to see...

1) Your actual musical capability.

Nothing more, nothing less...

Decide what you're going to play, practice hard and play it well. Be enthusiastic and confident.
 

Zim

New member
start w/ a real layed back soul groove like the beat from James Browns "The Payback" and go from there move solid into some other kids of styles I suggest listening to some Dennis Chambers w/ Mclaughlin stuff .
 

Nina

New member
Hey yeah sorry, i know its a tough question to ask especially no one knows how i play and its understandable. ha ha stick tricks i wish :p
I had this idea of playing some jazz/fusion because i would like to show off that i can groove more than do amazing fast double roll fills with insane cymbal etc. not that its a bad thing.

maybe i should ask this.

Does anyone know any good jazz/fusion songs that i can play along with and gather ideas from? I'll go from there, i can pick things up pretty fast and i have time to really get some confidence going, its strange im actually really excited to be auditioning, feels so right
 

Gaddabout

New member
Nina":3t10pj4m said:
Does anyone know any good jazz/fusion songs that i can play along with and gather ideas from? I'll go from there, i can pick things up pretty fast and i have time to really get some confidence going, its strange im actually really excited to be auditioning, feels so right
This is a loaded question. First, by "play along," does this mean you'll need a play-a-long track to accompany you are your audition? Or are you just looking for some unique jazz/fusion tracks for inspiration?

My thinking here is you really need to be working with an instructor or educator on this. Do you have a private instructor? Auditions really aren't something you should prepare for alone. If you've never put together a bit of solo work, an instructor will be able to provide an extra set of ears and give you feedback on what's working and what's not working (the player doesn't always have the best perception of that). I would really encourage you seek help for this.

In the meantime, if you're just looking for some unique playing (shredding, in this case), here are my suggestions. Some of it is what I would consider "high technical," and some of it is what I consider "high concept." Either way, the better parts of the playing I'm about to present you aren't easily acquired and taken ownership of. Listener beware:

- Steve Gadd w/Chick Corea, The Leprechaun. You will find no shortage of ideas here, but I think his stuff on tracks Lenore and Nite Sprite are actually notated in Rick Latham's book Advanced Funk Studies.

- Omar Hakim w/John Scofield, Still Warm. On the first track, Techno, Hakim solos over the outro vamp for about 64 bars and just kills. It's better than his solo over the vamp on the Sting movie.

- Tony Williams, Lifetime, Emergency. You could study this the rest of your life and still not compile everything.

- Vinnie Colaiuta, Karizma, Document. It's hard to take a drummer like Vinnie and name his best work, but this one would have to be up there. All the Vinnie stuff is on this CD ... the odd meter work, the hand-to-foot stuff, the metric modulation, the over-the-bar playing, the tricky left-foot hi-hat work, the neo-swing, the forceful groove. It's just really good playing, with Vinnie featured on every track, if not the most inspiring musical moment as a group of players.

- Dennis Chambers, John Scofield, Loud Jazz. Just really busy funk. Fun to listen to, fun to play. I think there are some limitations here as solo ideas because it's really heavy on the funk, but you have to mention it if only because Chambers made this more credible as an improvisational effort than your average jazz-funk outfit.

- Terry Bozzio, Brecker Brothers, Heavy Metal Be-Bop. This one was a classic drum moment the day it was released. It's also the last time I think anyone's ever heard Bozzio in this kind of context. As it's told to me, Bozzio was taking criticism for sounding too much like Gadd, so he made a concious decision to go another philosophical direction.

- Dave Weckl & Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Beal, Three Graces. Supremely tasty playing with a little bit of shedding in what was one of the better nu-jazz efforts of the late 90s, IMO. The strong songwriting really elevates their playing, I think.

This is what I'd call a starter kit to jazz fusion. There's plenty more where that came from, but these are what I think are most accessible. I would wait on, say, Mahavishnu Orchestra because it's much more dense, more complicated music to compile.
 

The Heel

New member
Nice list.

Let me add just one.

Its off the Jeff Beck - Wired album and the track is the first track on the cd and is called "Led Boots".

The drummer was Michael Walden and he plays a very slick part thats both clever and will allow you to show off your chops.

Its an intermediate piece, and one of my favorite fusion parts to play.
 

zen_drummer

New member
Most music school auditions that require a prepared piece are looking for a written solo work that you perform while reading the music. The Adjudicators will read along as well and judge your performance on the execution of the written work.

I've never heard of a play-along type of audition, though I suppose it's possible.

Once again, they want a demonstration of your actual musical ability.
 

Gaddabout

New member
zen_drummer":r71rqq91 said:
Most music school auditions that require a prepared piece are looking for a written solo work that you perform while reading the music. The Adjudicators will read along as well and judge your performance on the execution of the written work.

I've never heard of a play-along type of audition, though I suppose it's possible.

Once again, they want a demonstration of your actual musical ability.
I remember a Gregg Bisonette interview and him talking about the rigors of being a performance major at North Texas. It seemed like all the solos he played were solos from other drummers (i.e. Crazy Army, Drum Also Waltzes, Moby Dick, etc.). Perhaps it's because the instructors want the solo to be a piece of music they already know? I would never question the methods of someone like Ed Soph.
 
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