Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Keith Copeland lesson plan

This is the type of thing I like to share on the blog— a little piece of oral history posted someplace obscure, that could easily be lost, or extremely difficult to find again. This was posted in response to a question on the Cymbalholics forum, which, after a hiatus, is operational again. Someone wanted to hear from people who had studied with Keith Copeland, and someone else responded with all the things he had worked on with Copeland. It's the most concise description I've seen for what you have to do to become a jazz drummer— coming from the Alan Dawson sphere of influence, anyway.

1. The Ritual by Alan Dawson [see John Ramsay's book The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary]. With a metronome on the floor tom. Played soft enough so you can hear the click, with the bossa nova pattern in your feet. 
2. Creative Coordination [Copeland's book, highly recommended] played with a metronome. 
3. Wilcoxon Book with bass drum feathered quarter notes, HH two and four. 
4. Play appropriate exercises in his book with Miles Davis Quintet— Coltrane, Red Garland, Philly Joe, Paul Chambers. 
5. Play with that album and play all the comps that Red Garland played with your left hand. 
6. He made me sing Oleo while playing time then I had to solo over it and keep the form. Had to do that with a bunch of tunes. If I didn't cut it he was like “hey man you gotta learn those tunes.” He was sweetheart but came down on me in a nice way like... this is the shit and all the good players do it... 

8. He loved the Philly Joe Jones brush book and he made photo copies and we used that as well.

Thanks to Tom Killian for sharing this.


Jon McCaslin said...

Good thing I asked! ; )

David Cavendish said...

Nice to remember Keith, I studied with him at Berklee and made some great progress under his guidance 76 through 78. Not forgetting he taught using the Fred Albright Contemporary Studies book. Miss him and his legendary drum set coordination ideas. R I P