I’ve been dreading recording a video for this month again, with no painting anywhere near ready, not much else to write about otherwise, and having fleshed out an idea for Rabbit Hole part 5 already, that is however exactly what I did.Continue reading
Rabbit Hole, part the 3, is what happened when I altered the Double Paradiddle rudiment, from RLRLRR to RLRRLR and LRLRRL, then orchestrated it 20+ different ways around the drum kit, playing triplets over a 4/4 (RLR-RLR-LRL-RRL).Continue reading
Here it is:
There’s a few spots to touch up then a semi-glossy finish coat or two. If I find more of these boxes I might do some more. No clue as of yet what I’m going to stuff in there, but if you want to send me some amount more money than what it’ll cost to ship it to you, I’ll stick some bubblewrap in it and send it out. Leave a message through the site’s contact page with at least some vague description of your whereabouts to start the conversation.
Right, so over two years now. Reliably executing this track correctly, with all the right parts in the right places, it’s not a thing. I’ve tolerated the bumps and blocks as my kick leg and overall independence improved. Seems like I could, still was rough and needed polish, but the snares felt soggy and boring so I rewrote them. Almost what, 1 year now since I dropped back down to training wheel speed 60bpm grinds. Staying there (excluding the occasional 90bpm full tryouts or section looping) to flattened out all the curves and wrinkles instead of progressively increasing by 1-2bpm each time as I improved, even while overall other exercises and tracks have gotten better and faster. I’d like to get a good enough recording done by now and move on. Move the fuck on already. Anyway, but which part to leave un-good-enoughed?
Dividing it down into 4 main sections, an intro, two halves each further split into 4 parts, and an outro, it’s difficult enough to play a take exactly like I wrote and learned, at 60bpm, not to mention its intended bpm of 90, wanting to have it hold some dynamics and groove without falling of the click just makes it a nightmare.
In this one: forgetting the 2nd section snare/hi-hat pass that throws back to the outro and doing a double instead, playing the b version of the kick pattern instead of the regular one in the mid-section of the 6th part. Otherwise feels kinda okay really, sounds like it should. The triplets on the hi-hat bang on, as in off-beat.
Or ‘Why is this so difficult?’ Trying to bury the click, and the… and, and the 1 e & a or the 4 ti ta? 2 3 4 go.
So over a year after revisiting Liquid Volts Pi with some extra snare and improved flam, and I still can’t play it anymore at its preferred tempo of 90bpm. Even playing it dozens of times a day, that speed bump just keeps moving around. It’s all over the place now and no way I can go back to the limited snare version I could manage decently without tripping all over myself.
At least it’s a good improvement. I can try it once in a while and only butcher like half a dozen bars or so, although it does sound much tighter as a whole, more even, feeling much easier and controlled around the doubles, flams and such, but I’d rather keep on flattening that bump… literally, as you can no doubt tell in this, one of my better takes recently, where almost looks like I’m having hiccups. I’m just trying to hold on to the sticks and stop all the bouncing.
I recently moved (again) and the space is (finally) a much needed improvement this time, despite it being doubtful on the long term. All that moving around was expensive, and it’ll take me a long time to recover from the debt and stress of these past few years… which were suppose to be a mandated rest from the events of the previous few others, and so on mostly. Hopefully things stay stable at least long enough to get better some.
All that aside, in an effort to get back better organized I’ve returned to keeping track of things with renewed motivation. There’s two more tracks pretty much rounded out I just need to settle with a metronome beep for, and a third one that just needs a title, which I could ‘mlog’ a post about. I’ll focus more on those in the coming weeks as well as some other rabbit holes I’ve been gravitating abouts without much reason or structure.
Today was essentially a somewhat planned procrastination day, spent listening to the better recents takes on a loop, uploading and selecting words to send out to the internets in this specific particular order so as to thereby assemble themselves into this content which you might be reading right now, and pondering over the next possible entries in this, my log of music and mostly art-related activities. While on that note, I’ll wrap up by mentioning that the next posts lined up for the site are probably going to be about painted art pieces (mostly the decorated cigar box I’m putting the finishing touches to), maybe possibly another digital bda (I’d like those to get back to being a monthly thing at the least) too, and also mention that you can help me get out of debt by clicking that button at the bottom of the page. In addition to instantaneously having nothing delivered right to you, you can also print out any of the works on the gallery page as an extra thank-you for your support.
A track I’ve been working on these past few weeks. This mp3 of the midi version is pretty much its final form and an accurate transcript of what I’ll be recording in the coming days. I have some ideas for bass, chords and whatnot, but unlike Molten Dry Bips which sounded perhaps a bit too dry without the extras, drums only seems fine this time so not going to risk another disaster and shelve that thought. They’ll end up on my bandcamp page at some point. Feedback is welcomed, so are any tips and support sent.
August Tom Groove, bleedleaf 2020 (CC BY-NC-SA)
The cymbals are close but not quite like the same as what I have setup on my drum kit. The hi-hat is mainly played half-closed or so most of the time, but here I don’t delve into the editor enough to give it more variety in sounds. There’s some more snare and floor tom rimshots and assorted accents here and there too that’ll come out once I get around to recording. 80bpm is my overall maximum currently, but it’s not quite the same at that speed. Although I think it sounds best around 72bpm, it’s where I’m at in practicing my triplets on it, it holds up okay at 60bpm too, like a similar feel despite a somewhat different personality to it. Haven’t decided for sure yet, though I’m leaning towards recording it at 60bpm.
So here is the result of one of the practice pad exercises I’ve been working on these past months. It will no doubt go through a few more transformations in the times ahead as I move over to practicing it on an actual drum set. It does use a few more cymbals and toms than I currently have on my kit, and obviously my original practice pad sticking will need to be modified slightly to accomodate for the fills, and for the toms’ and cymbals’ physical setup (no point in trying to fast-switch hands on the ride bell in-between snare hits, for example, when you can paradiddle them instead… duh). The placement of kick-bass hits might get tweaked a bit as well as I get comfortable with the groove, but mostly the main bass line’s modulations is where I’m thinking it could use additional changes.
In a no-doubt overambitious plan that’ll never get done, there’s also a few ideas for extra instrument add-ons floating around in the back of my head (like flutes, whistles, horns and trumpets or other wind/brass, etc), potentially making it much longer. I’m open to suggestions, so send your collaboration ideas, comments, feedback and such. It will be greatly appreciated.
In any case, it’ll join the other tracks in my experimental drum album on bandcamp sometime in the not-so-distant future
Molten Dry Bips:
Morsels of specialty engineered V-Drums and E-Bass carefully melted dry, and meticulously blended together in self-contained bips to strengthen the teflon in your brain and keep it safe.
like most of my work this track is licensed CC BY-NC-SA, so you’re free to do with it as you like as long as it’s not for commercial purposes. Just drop me a message if you do end up using it in any of your own projects
if you enjoy my content, please consider leaving a donation to my tip jar to support me in my endeavours
So it’s been over a year now since I started to learn to play drums and I wanted to revisit Traffic Jam, a track that basically got it’s start when I was hitting various objects laid about in my living room. With some relative success I managed to transcribed the beat, melody, or whatever it is, into a midi file to use as a trainer for the drum kit I had by then already decided I was going to be getting. Never did learn it on the actual drums though, beyond the basic groove and trying out bars a couple at a time.
Listened to it repeatedly these past weeks. At some point I was thinking of fixing it up, rearranging parts here and there, but one year later I’m still stumped. This’ll remain its final form I guess: the same track, basically identical but for a few details here and there, repeated five times at different tempos pasted together starting fast and slowing down to the middle section (the part with crickets and such in the background, the speed at which bar by bar I was trying it out on the drums) before then speeding back up again and fading out. Traffic Jam, the full commute.
Apart from rudiment practice, exercises, basic motions and licks, fills and whatnot, most of my time spent playing on the drums has been dedicated to Liquid Volts and, to a lesser extent, Ride Muffins. The mid section of Ride Muffins is a tad (cough cough) out of my reach right now, to say the least, so I’m not putting that much effort into it. I do very much enjoy its feel though, and playing around looping its variations much fun.
Liquid Volts Pie (or Liquid Volts π) has in 3/4 a target tempo of 90bpm – actually I initially wrote it in 120bpm, using triplets and the odd shuffle on the bass. So far, I’m quite consistent and very comfortable with it at 72bpm, reading off the 3/4 notations, and getting better at 80bpm although that pretty much seems to be where I’m capped out for now. Warmed up and in good shape I can manage up to 83bpm, slowly bumping up the ticker as I repeat it over and over. I still have much ways to go for a tight and smooth take at 90bpm. Not so much in the first half which is very much in my reach, but particularly in the second half where… eh…. yeah. Getting better and better however, every time I feel up to the challenge.
This is the best record I got for so far, not bothering with the slower tries. Beside the obvious timing issues, my by problem is with loudness and hit detection on the cymbals, which is why I’m peaking at around 80bpm where I’m currently having a hard time keeping their hits consistent and even, with appropriate accentuation while also keeping the snare crunchy. I’ve tried tweaking the kit’s sensitivity since I seem to find myself often riding the mid point between soft and hard hits (seeing as they are an electronic drum’s virtual cymbals), but it’s mostly just a question of practice.
Speeding up the video by about 15% would produce the result I’m looking for here, as in a 3 minute 14 second playtime. Getting there, 1 bpm at a time :)