Complete setlist

Below is my full list of 8 songs for my solo recital. They have been arranged into a suggested order, although this order could possibly change closer to the time.

 

  1. R u mine by Artic Monkeys
  2. Anna molly by Incubus
  3. That golden rule by Biffy clyro
  4. I miss the misery by Halestorm
  5. My hero by Foo fighters
  6. The imperial march by John williams
  7. Electric worry by Clutch
  8. Welcome to the black parade by My chemical romance

I chose this order because the first couple of songs are going to ease me into the setlist. Even with there difficulties, they are not the most difficult part of my set, and pulling them off will bring me more confidence, which will relax me when playing the more difficult songs. The third song is my first show stopper, once i’m relaxed and ready, I can pull out the big guns to impress the audience.This song seems like it has lots of time signature changes, which will impress the audience, but it actually only has two simple ones. This doesn’t make it easy for me, as the rhythms played within 4:4 and 2:4 travel across the bars in order to give the feel of more difficult time signatures. The fourth and fifth songs are moderately difficult, mostly showing off bass drum work, which will give me a break from the first show stopper to be ready for the next one. My sixth song is my second show stopper. This is a song which I have a lot of free reign over, so i can show off my creativity. It is also very big and imposing, which will hopefully make the audience react well. My seventh song is more about groove, and fitting in with a band. It has particular difficulties, but is very fun and has a big drum fill in it, to show off what i know best. The final song is almost another show stopper. It’s big, It’s iconic and It’s very finalising. It’s not quite as difficult as my other big songs, but I knew i wanted to leave the audience with a bang. My setlist is all about being big and showing off myself performing and entertaining an audience, therefore I needed to end big, or the setlist would have been a build up to a let down.

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Left hand practice exercises

As i stated in a previous post, I have created a set of exercises to improve my left hand control, in order to be able to play certain songs on my setlist. These are videos of each individual exercise. I played the first 3 at 60 bpm and the final one at 90 bpm. This is my starting speed for all of these exercises, after practicing this exercise every day, I will then increase the bpm by 5 for the next week, furthering the difficulty, and further mastering the skill and control of my left hand.

Anna molly – techniques for improvement

While practising the song Anna Molly by Incubus I noticed two parts in which i definitely needed improvement. These were; playing evenly with my hands at the high tempo of the sixteenth notes during the intro, chorus and bridge build up, and a particular fill which occurs frequently, consisting of sixteenth notes split between the snare or one of the toms for the first two beats and then the bass drum for the last two beats, going around the kit to complete the bar of 4:4.

I have already begun working on the Heel-toe technique for playing bass drum, so that i could play the bass drum beats up to tempo and in time, but the fill was still very fast to fit into the song. I found another Drumeo video that could help me develop this. This video uses a very similar drum fill, but played with another simple bar so that the fill was the focus. This video is used to develop the Heel-toe method of drumming, so i could see I needed to develop this technique in order to play this part of the song.

 

The next skill to work on was developing my left hand speed, in order to keep up with the high tempo sixteenth notes  within the song, as it would always end up being very sloppy when my left hand stiffened and struggled to keep up.

I found only a few examples of weak hand improvement techniques online, many contradicting each other. After doing some research using some of the examples at the bottom I created my own short workout to practice everyday, in order to improve my weak hand control.

Left hand drum workout.png

After practicing this for a while I should notice a development in the control I have over my left hand, and should be able to play solidly at the higher tempo of the song.

I have also included a shuffle rhythm using the left hand, as this will help with another song, Electric worry by Clutch. The chorus of this song requires a shuffle like pattern to be played with the left hand on the snare. Practicing this on its own will help me later when I am practicing the whole rhythm for that song.

 

Research I used:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/drumeoblog/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/01-building-the-weaker-hand.pdf

http://www.drumeo.com/blog/developing-your-weaker-hand/

Bass drum speed and control developmeant

After researching and practicing the different bass drum techniques, I decided that the Heel-toe method would be much more beneficial to me. This is because the slide technique focuses on getting 2 notes in quick succession, and the position your foot is left in, makes it hard to keep playing notes evenly and consistently. The Heel-toe technique can be adjusted for multiple beats to be played continuously. I needed this for songs in my setlist such as My hero, where as you can see in the images below, the bass drum can continue for up to seven times in a row, making it difficult and very energy consuming to play without developing this technique.

To develop this skill further and develop the speed of my playing so that it up to tempo, I have found some more drum lessons from the people at Drumeo. This contains several exercises that will help to develop bass pedal playing speed. The last pattern in the video also happens to be very similar to the rhythm for My hero in the chorus, playing two tom or snare notes, and then two notes on the bass drum. In My hero the hand notes are played with both hands at the same time, but as I am working on my bass pedal playing it is still very relevant. Jarek Falk, the tutor for this video and co-found of Drumeo, is also using the Heel-toe method to play this rhythm.

This training also applies to and can be used for I miss the misery as well, as it also uses multiple bass drums in a row, although only up to three in quick succession.

Bass drum technique research

Whilst practicing some of my pieces, specifically Anna molly, My hero and I miss the misery, I was struggling to place the bass drum up to speed, without it getting too sloppy, or just losing the timing with my foot. For Anna molly it more to do with working out a particular fill which occurs a few times, combining 2 single hand beats and a double bass drum beat. I will focus on that later, for now I am looking at the other two, which my problem was just playing the amount of bass drum beats there are in a row, without losing timing or being sloppy.

To improve this I have first noticed that I lack much proper technique, simply playing heel up. This works fine most of the time, but when your playing at high frequencies, my leg would get tired very quickly and then lose control. There are two main techniques for helping with this, so that your using less effort and have more control. These are the Heel-toe technique and the Slide technique. I have found videos explaining these very well from drumlessons.com which is a website run by the people from Drumeo, an award winning drum tutoring website. (see below).

I will be working on developing these techniques so that I will be able to control my bass drum playing and work towards playing those songs up to tempo.