Friday, September 30, 2011

The Gig Log - Lokalgrown: USU Party at Hamilton's

This is probably the most common type of gig for us, a private party or "casual" gig. We played for USU's Alumni Association during homecoming week.*

Pics aren't great because the sun was bright and we were in the shadows, but I played my Yamaha Manu Katche Jr. Kit on this gig. I haven't posted any pics of that one yet, so I thought I'd put it up. Please note that the snare is a Pearl 3 x 13 steel shell, not the stock 4 x 12 that comes with the kit.

Seriously love this kit. With good heads and some time finding the sweet spot, the drums sound good. The kick has taken some work, but it sounds good for a 16", especially with a microphone. The most beautiful thing about this kit is that you can load in with only two trips. 

This one is the view that I had during the gig. It was a low-key, nice party, and the sound was pretty good. Honestly, it's like getting paid to hang out with friends and practice. LOVE IT.

I took this video walking into the gazebo, and Matt, the bass player, is sitting at the kit playing the kick and hat while playing the bass. It's not much, but gives you a little better shot of the kit and the setup of the gig.

*USUs football team is KILLING me this year! Talk about heart-breaking losses....   Can't we win just one of the close ones? Please?! Do I have to wait until basketball season to wear my Aggie gear AGAIN?!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A little 'timely' advice from an old pro!

Update 6-17-2012: The caller mentioned in this post is Sam Foster, former drummer for the Osmonds. I found out today that he passed away a few days ago. My condolences to his family for their loss. Sam was a kind, giving man and tried to help all that he came in contact with. My phone call from him is just one example of the way he lived his life, both personally and musically.

True story - I just got off the phone with a career musician, a drummer who studied at BYU, played in Synthesis, and toured and recorded with a very famous music group for over seven years.

Honestly, I didn't ask if I could quote him on my blog so I won't give you his name or more information, but he was really complimentary of my credentials and philosophy in my online ad (for teaching drum lessons) and - more importantly - asked that I teach my students two things:

1. "Make sure your students can read music very well." I completely agree! My caller said that one of the most important keys to his success as a pro was the ability to read drum music when it was given to him. It's common to have a short amount of time to prepare (especially on TV appearances) and that there was no way he could have survived without reading well.

2. This pro actually called me back after we had hung up to give this second piece of advice. Must be important, eh? He said to make sure that all of my students can play with a metronome. The first year he toured, he had a "really rough" time adjusting to playing with a metronome. It was the second most important skill he recommends to drummers who want to play professionally.

I was pretty happy to report to my caller that I teach both of these concepts religiously to my students (any of you want to comment below? Feel free!), but that I was grateful for the reminder and the endorsement of another professional, very accomplished musician.

So, to my caller: THANK YOU!! Your call made my night.

And, to my students: Read number 1 and 2 above again. Important reminders on two basic skills that will help to ensure your success as a musician.

Happy drumming!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Gig Log - Lokalgrown: Eagle Gate College

I'm not gonna lie, it never sounds very glorious to play a rock gig in a parking lot - unless it's the parking lot next to Eagle Gate College!

Again, I play all types of events, and this was the second year we played at Eagle Gate's back to school party. Probably the coolest part was the demonstration of police dogs. Scary cool.

Pics from the usual views. Feel free to comment and ask any questions.

The above photo includes one of the police officers (on the right), and a student in the Law Enforcement program at Eagle Gate (on the left). The student is THE BEST dancer we've ever had at a gig. Bust it, man!

Again, it's a little weird to set up in the parking lot, but at least we had trees and grass. I mean, it wasn't all pavement. 

As I mentioned in the last Gig Log, this is my favorite configuration of late. I need to get a splash added (maybe a cowbell or jam block, too) soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Gig Log - Lokalgrown: The Gateway for KSL Studio 5

Most of you are probably in school or at work at 11 AM, but there is a great tv show on Salt Lake City's KSL (channel 5) called Studio 5. You can check it out here. Lokalgrown wrote their theme song, which airs daily. You can check that out here.

On Tuesday, September 6th, Lokalgrown played at their Season Premier live show which was held at the Gateway in downtown SLC. We did some pre-show tunes, played a little bit live, and then played a short concert on the Plaza afterwards. The rain notwithstanding, it was AWESOME.

As always, you'll get some different views of the kit, the stage, and then an extra surprise today....

I always try to take a shot of the kit before it gets cymbals and microphones so that I remember which drums I used and in what configuration. This specific setup is starting to be a favorite. 10" tom up top, and the 14 and 16 off to my right.

The next shot is from the audience. It's a little bit of cool to have the KSL van off to the side behind the stage. At first we were talking about taking the tent down because it was really hard to see the people (us) under it, but when the rain came down we were grateful for the cover!

This was my view. There were a few more people out - and some dancers - when the show started. It was also cool to have people who work and shop the Gateway just stop and listen for a while.

The kit all wired up. Thanks to Trevor, the sound guru, who made us sound great both live an on TV.

And the view from the front of the stage. It's still not terribly clear, but this is what it looked like.

Now for the surprise. Check out the live TV footage from the gig.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Drums, drums, drums!!

With so many companies making drums these days, it's sort of hard to figure out what you like and don't like, and - more importantly - why you do or don't like a particular brand of drums.

Take me, for example. I really love the construction and sound of DW. LOVE IT. My main rig is a Collector's Series kit that was played at one of the medals concerts during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. It feels and sounds amazing, and I honestly believe I became a better player the day I brought it home (it actually went straight to a recording session from the store, but that's another story).

My other fave brand is Yamaha, especially their stuff from about 2000-2005. Their hardware is bullet-proof, and the YESS shell manufacturing series is as reliable on their entry level kits as their most expensive lines.

Other brands I've played and loved (and owned most of them) include Mapex, Tama, Pearl, Remo, Ludwig, Sonor and Premier.

So, go ahead and chime in. Feel free to leave a comment about which drums you play and why you like them.

Happy drumming!

Drummer's Weight Room: Tap Timing Exercise

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