Jer’s Drum Shed is my newest venture – a YouTube channel full of free drums-only tracks for musicians to practice and create with and drum covers to get your booty shakin.’ Come hang!
One of the keys to getting a quality electronic drum take is for the musician to have a good feel on the kit. Is she hearing the snare nuisances envisioned? Does her hi-hat foot create just the right wash? While Steven Slate Drums does an exceptional job out of the box when mapping your Roland kit. Sometimes, things can be “out-of-whack.” You will likely need to re-map your MIDI notes To fix that snare sound that isn’t triggering… the ride that sounds like a splash… etc.
Here is a “down and dirty” way to achieve these results right from the Roland Drum head.
Note: The following article is copied from my LinkedIn feed. Follow me by clicking here.
While on, what I call a drumming sabbatical, in 2005. I traveled four to five hours by bus every month from Berlin, NH to Boston, MA to study with legendary drummer Kenwood Dennard.
The hour-long events turned out to be MUCH more than just lessons on how to become a better drummer. Kenwood is a highly spiritual individual who views drumming, and the world around him, in a very metaphysical way. After each lesson, I would ride home for four hours in a state of intellectual brain drain.
After reviewing my homework from our first interaction during our second lesson, he explained his grading system something like this.
If you prepare accordingly and nail the parts, I will give you a 90. If you prepare accordingly but present the material in a new unique way, say use your feet instead of your hands. I will give you a 95. The only way you will get 100% is if President Bush calls me up and says. “Jeremy’s drumming was so good that I am pulling the troops out of Iraq and declaring world peace.”
At the surface, Kenwood’s grading system seems comical, but I assure you it is not. Rather, it is an important life lesson – you ALWAYS have room for improvement and you should be striving to better yourself every day.
I have carried that lesson with me across oceans and careers. I pushed myself as a drummer bettering my technique, knowledge of music, and reading ability even writing my own book in the process. And while I no longer drum professionally, I still hit the kit six to seven days a week working on these skills.
As for my career as an entertainment and venue manager, I continue to study. I read books on everything from leadership to sociology, marketing, management, and finance every day. I watch YouTube videos on stage design, rigging, sound, and lighting among other subjects. I use LinkedIn’s premium service to study new skills in areas such as Machine Learning, Tableau, and Executive Leadership. I even spend ten to thirty minutes a day learning Spanish.
It was reported that when one of the greatest leaders of our time, President Theodore Roosevelt passed away. They found a book under his pillow. A man who is the only president to receive both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Medal of Honor was still learning up until his last breath. While I would NEVER compare myself to Teddy, I encourage those reading this to not dismiss the power of being a lifelong learner. You may not change the course of history as he did. However, you WILL change the course of your life.
I receive comments from drummers asking me why I use an electronic drum set? Well, sometimes life throws you a curveball and you are forced to make tough decisions. For me, it was either playing an electronic kit or possibly not playing anymore.
Plus, I am getting really good with Final Cut Pro X and it is fun to share those experiences as well. 😉
Well, here it is. I have been working on this track for a few weeks. It is from a GREAT play-along Series called Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Play-Along. This was from Volume Two. I highly suggest you pick-up this play-along.
Personally, I feel pushing a big band is the toughest gig a drummer can do. Reading, timing, color, and setting up the hits for around seven minutes is a real workout. It is even harder on an entry-level Roland Td-11… I’m not gonna’ lie…but quite doable when you use some technology tricks, feel out the kit, and work within its limitations.