Reading and Technique

Reading & Technique

If you ever wondered how many different ways there are to read I page of music and you felt like your head is swimming in a sea of counts and black & white THINGS jumping at you from another dimension past the Outer Limits, than you’ll enjoy this one. PICTURED L to R Alessandro, our Technique Instructor Mark Flynn, myself and Costos

If you ever wondered how many different ways there are to read I page of music and you felt like your head is swimming in a sea of counts and black & white THINGS jumping at you from another dimension past the Outer Limits, than you’ll enjoy this one.
PICTURED L to R Alessandro, our Technique Instructor Mark Flynn, myself and Costos

TDS @ Drummers Collective Day 6

Back to school I went on Monday and I arrived early to get in some drumming before our Reading class with the incredible Fred Klatz. This Super Kat has a way of explaining the art of reading music so that you not only understand the notes on the page but more importantly, the notes not played and it forces you be in the now and it skyrockets your consistency and opens the mind to looking at reading music much more creatively. The most important thing Mr Klatz passed on was his enthusiasm for reading and sense of drum humor. He convinced me that reading is not some laborious task, but that’s it’s actually very kool and extremely fun and opens up an amazing world of possibilities.

Mr Klatz had each of us do some stretching exercises targeting our heart, arms, fingers and shoulders that had me feeling like someone released all the muscle tension and restored some long lost neurological connection that allowed more freedom of movement after it stopped hurting,lol. Our first reading exercise was “Basic Syncopation 4/4 Eight Note Rhythms #1”. Now before I break this down and talk about it, I must say that I’m very glad that I learned how to read music and before I arrived here I thought I appreciated my ability to read but after seeing Mr Klatz work his magic, I knew I needed a lot more work. The good part is, since I have a pretty strong background in reading, things made a lot of sense and I was able to have a large dose of gratitude for what I do know and a clearer perspective of where I can go with this vital musical tool.

When I get back, I’ll go over Mr Klatz concepts in detail. For now, I’m going to call it a night but before I go, I must say, I had the great fortune of being asked to participate in the Jazz Ensemble Workshop group. A surprise in that, there were plenty of the full time drummers in practice rooms but the Instructor ask me to come fill in. We played four awesome tunes,

Take the Coltrane – Noriko Tomikawa

Question & Answer – Pat Metheny

Leaving – Richie Beirach

Round Midnight – Thelonious Monk

Rhythm-A-Thing – Thelonious Monk

It was a pleasure to interact with some experienced players as we danced through all the tunes. My ensemble listening skills were put to the test, as we rearranged some of the songs into different styles from the originals. It was a very rewarding experience and can’t wait to find some Katz in the Franklin area to play with.

I’m going to call it a night and catch you up on today (Tuesday) tomorrow. In the meantime, keep it Jazzy.

Kris Russell