Friday Night Jam is a kind of anecdotal, instructional how-to (and sometimes painful how-not-to) guide to group improvisation, based on the firsthand learning experiences of author and African drummer Nowick Gray in a weekly open jam in rural British Columbia, in the early 1990s.
African drumming was booming in popularity then but not well integrated into conventional Western music mixes. This chronicle conveys the challenge of merging diverse musical instruments, genres and personalities; of attempting to produce quality music in a venue that welcomes relative beginners, lifelong amateurs, and random drop-ins for the night. The elusive magic of group improvisation, so sensitive to the interplay of diverse factors, proves emblematic of all human relations.
The book offers advice to beginning drummers, or to longtime musicians who have not yet had the opportunity or courage to attempt improvisational collaboration with others. Nowick offers an experiential overview of the confluence and conflict of different musical styles and expectations: acoustic/electric, world beat/rock, drummers/guitarists, perfectionists/amateurs, safe/risk, stoned/straight, standards/improvisation, men/women, fifties/sixties, tight/free.
At the core of the journey is the learning of the limited individual ego, with its unique talents and limitations, to negotiate the free and structured spaces with others, to merge in the greater group striving for excellence and beyond, ecstatic union. In rendering this spirit and process, the words too can speak for themselves, players in the mix, jamming on the universal pulse.
Categories and subjects include: creative nonfiction, memoir, music instruction, jazz improvisation, drum circles, jamming, jam bands, African drumming, world beat, djembe.
Nowick Gray continued his study and practice of West African and Afro-Latin rhythms, instruments and styles, becoming an accomplished performer and teacher, while never losing the love of improvised music in eclectic combinations. He has produced three volumes of instructional rhythm studies, Roots Jam, with accompanying audio tracks, and a set of free djembe lessons available on YouTube. He still enjoys jamming whenever possible with the improvisational band Strange Moon. Nowickâs other writings are available from Amazon; or see http://nowickgray.com .
(DVD). Gil Sharone's Wicked Beats is a complete guide to the Jamaican drumming styles of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae. Gil Sharone takes you on a musical journey through these styles and explores some of the earlier styles that helped shape them including African Nyabingi and Burru drumming. Gil introduces and demonstrates classic "riddims" that are essential for achieving an authentic sound. With instructional breakdowns, stellar performances, detailed eBook and in-depth commentary, you will be able to fully grasp what these highly influential styles have to offer and apply them to your own playing! Special appearances by: Reggae historian Roger Steffens * Jamaican drumming pioneer Lloyd Knibb of The Skatalites * Reggae drumming legend Carlton Santa Davis * Adrian Young from No Doubt. Also includes: over 11 performances * classic beats and variations of each style * segment on achieving the right sound * detailed transcriptions.
This book covers the essential foundations and grooves that will prepare the drummer for a variety of musical situations encountered on the average professional gig. Designed to be an encyclopedia of many drumming styles, The Drum Set Crash Course covers Afro-Cuban and Brazilian, blues, country, hip hop, jazz, reggae, rock, and much more.
Funky Beats & Breaks was written with the intermediate to advanced drummer in mind. All the exercises and concepts in this book were conceived within the author's personal lesson program. The benefits of this book are many; the student will expand his or her rhythmic and conceptual vocabulary. Audio available online.
Destined to become a classic, School of Bongo is the author's fourth bongo book for Mel Bay, but first to seriously explore a variety of bongo patterns in contemporary music. This text begins with the basic Afro-Cuban patterns (Martillo , Afro, Bolero), but demonstrates over 300 rhythms including jazz, blues, rock, R&B reggae, bossa nova and samba. This book is ideally suited for the intermediate-advanced player. Rhythm patterns are demonstrated on audio CD and audio downloads.