Hey, we haven't done a podcast in some time, have we? I've been doing most of my drumset practicing along with recordings recently— book exercises and everything— and I thought I'd share some of the things I've been using, along with a few notes about them. You'll probably want to download the mp3, and cut it up into individual tracks using Audacity, or whatever, and then load them onto your mp3 player.
You can just play along with these normally in the style of the tune, but I also recommend using them for your technical/book stuff; hearing those materials in context will help you move them into your regular playing. You can also play along in any style you want, if it sort-of fits— most often I'll play stuff from funk or rock books along with Brazilian recordings— hopefully it will give you a little bit of a different take both on how you play the style of the recording, and the style you are playing “against” it.
You can listen on the embedded player, or at the podomatic site, or you can download the mp3:
Here's a list of the tracks, with some notes on them:
Funkadelic — Can You Get To That
I've been doing two major things with this: pp. 11-22 of the Burns/Farris funk book, and the “harmonic” coordination section of Dahlgren & Fine. You can also just learn the actual groove from the recording.
Nara Leão — Nanã
I used this when I was first starting to crack that section of Dahlgren & Fine because I like the song, and the tempo is nice and relaxed.
Milton Banana — Linha De Passe
A nice bright samba. You should notice a big difference in feel between playing with this vs. a group of American jazz musicians playing a similar-tempo samba; the authentic rhythms make more sense— and are pretty much unavoidable— when playing with recordings of Brazilian musicians. Try using my page of Brazilian rhythms, playing both hands in unison on the cymbal and snare, over the samba BD/HH ostinato.
Milton Banana — Acquarela
A modern baiao type of feel, with a samba on the B section. I've been using this to work on my baiao, but you could play any funk material along with this. I think in general people overplay their funk stuff, and this will give you an avenue for lightening your touch.
Batacumbele — Se Le Fue
I've been using this to work on my songo, with the workout from Ed Uribe's Essence of Afro-Cuban Percussion and Drum Set. If you don't have that, or another good book, you could use my songo page o' coordination. Clave is 2/3 son, and is consistent all the way through the piece.
Eddie Palmieri — Vamanos Pal'Monte
Mambo— maybe someone with better knowledge of salsa songstyles than me can give a more precise ID of the style. There's a tempo change towards the end, which will give you a little test on the material you played through during the first part. I've been using the mambo workout from Uribe's book, but any mambo, Latin jazz, or cascara materials you have should work with it. Clave is, again, 2/3 son.
Continued after the break:
Azymuth — Linha Do Horizonte
Embrace the light. This should encourage a different kind of touch, don't you think? Any funk materials at all are nice to play along with it. Do try to play your fills with a similar feel to the recording— simple and big.
Roberto Menescal — Cinco Por Oito
Samba in 5/4. For what to play, see my post on odd meter samba, or get yourself Ed Uribe's Brazilian drumming book. The band rushes a little bit through this, so hang on.
Caetano Veloso — Baby
I've written several things about this track, and here's your big chance to learn them. Notice that there's a 4:3 polyrhythm built into it— the bass is playing quarter notes in 3, and the guitar is playing dotted 8th notes, making a slightly faster 4. You can play off either part; using either 16th notes or even 8ths playing off the 3, or triplets when playing off the four. Follow the link.
Steve Swallow — La Nostalgie De La Boue
A slow, triplety, swing feel, tending to modulate towards a jazz waltz later in the track. Good for practicing your slow tempos, obviously, and learning how to open them up. In addition to just playing along with the thing, I will use my Chaffee linear patterns for triplets in 3/4, playing one measure of exercise for every beat of music on the track.
Miles Davis — Stablemates
A medium swing tune which Portland musicians tend to play a lot. It's easy to get lost on this, and George Colligan regards it as kind of a test piece for drummers, which should set off some alarm bells.
Ella Fitzgerald — Night And Day
Playing along with the Ella “songbook” recordings is a great way to learn tunes, and to learn to swing in a real way.
Dave Brubeck — Take Five loop
This is a loop I made of the main section of the tune, minus the drum solo. Any swing materials in 5 are good with this. I also use my Chaffee linear patterns as triplets in 5.
Funkadelic — Hit It And Quit It
In a similar feel and tempo to our first Funkadelic entry, but with a meter-within-meter figure, and a few chopped-off measures, which you'll have to adapt to. If you're working out of a book while playing with this, try catching the figure, then going back to your book exercise. Or you can just continue your exercise through the figure, but play around the chopped measures. If you just want to play through the song normally, here is the groove for it.