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  1. JazzAcolyte

    Effortless Mastery

    Has anyone tried the practice method recommended by Kenny Werner in his book Effortless Mastery? I’m finding the book fascinating but wondering whether his method for getting into a meditative headspace and then practicing small things to the point of absolute mastery is really doable. And if...
  2. JazzAcolyte

    One year later…

    One year ago today I sat in on my first jazz jam. I got hooked, committed myself to jazz, switched to a teacher who is also a great jazz drummer, and got serious about drumming out of an intense desire not to embarrass myself every week. I could write a book about all of the embarrassing...
  3. JazzAcolyte

    OT: Generosity of Musicians

    Every Monday night I play at a jam session where I am the worst musician by far. I’ve been serious about jazz since October; all of the other regular drummers are professionals. I’ve embarrassed myself on that bandstand in every way possible, and one of the people who’s there every week to see...
  4. JazzAcolyte

    OT: Hearing chord progressions

    Anyone have any advice for jazz drummers who want to develop the ability to keep track of form by hearing chord progressions? I’ve been trying, but I just can’t hear them. I played piano all through my childhood, so I suppose I could buy a keyboard and start playing chords, but that would eat...
  5. JazzAcolyte

    Learning and re-learning

    Hope y’all don’t mind if I vent a little. Recently I put a lot of time into my brush playing and thought I was making good progress. Then I learned that I get a better sound if I hit with an elliptical stroke rather than straight down. So there went a month or two of practice down the drain...
  6. JazzAcolyte

    OT: Looping/slowing down YouTube videos

    Sharing this in case anyone else finds it helpful. To learn solos by ear I loop them and slow them down. Normally I do this using Spotify and the Amazing Slow Downer app, but I’m working on solos from an album that only seems to be available on YouTube and AFAIK ASD doesn’t work with YouTube...
  7. JazzAcolyte


    I finally managed to sit in at my weekly jazz jam without feeling like I totally embarrassed myself. (I’ve been serious about jazz for 6 months. Many of the regulars at this jam are professionals.) I kept track of the form by singing the tune in my head (Bye Bye Blackbird), comped over the...
  8. JazzAcolyte

    OT: Help with slow downer apps and iPhone

    I use the Practice Player app to slow down Apple Music tunes that I’m transcribing and practicing. This morning I upgraded to iOS 15.4 and the slowdown functionality stopped working. I tried the Amazing Slow Downer app - same deal. According to Amazing Slow Downer, as of iOS 15.4, “Only Apple...
  9. JazzAcolyte

    From the mouths of babes

    From my 14-year-old, this morning: “You know what your problem is with drumming? Your head is cluttered with too many rules. You don’t need to follow the song. It’s two sticks and five drums. You take the sticks and hit the drums. It’s not complicated.” (He also suggested that I drop jazz and...
  10. JazzAcolyte

    OT: What does “vibing” mean to you?

    I was having an exchange with another drummer in which both of us were using “vibing” to mean “disparaging a player on the bandstand during a jam session.” On a whim, I searched DFO for “vibing” and all of the instances that came up seemed to mean something like “grooving” or “being in sync...
  11. JazzAcolyte

    50 Snares in 5 Minutes

    I came across this and surprisingly, it doesn’t look like it was posted on DFO. Dylan Wissing plays a timeline of 50 snares.
  12. JazzAcolyte

    Buying drums that nobody will ever hear

    The only kit I’ve ever owned is the Pearl Export 22/12/13/16 with Zildjian A cymbals that I bought myself when I was 16. I stopped playing for 25 years and recently restarted, focusing on jazz. The drums and cymbals don’t sound great and I’m debating whether to get new ones. It’s highly...
  13. JazzAcolyte

    I need an intervention

    What are the signs that you’re officially drum-insane? A. You practice when your family’s not around so they won’t know how much time you’re spending B. You have to go from work to a wedding and you book a practice room in between so as not to miss a day’s practice C. You pay cash at your...
  14. JazzAcolyte

    Overcoming stage fright

    Sharing this experience in case there are any beginners out there who will benefit. In March I started taking lessons again after not having played in 25 years. In August I started sitting in on a weekly jazz jam. Problem was, I was completely paralyzed by performance anxiety. The thought that...
  15. JazzAcolyte

    Art Taylor trading fours?

    Someone suggested that I learn some of Art Taylor’s fours. I listened to several of his tunes but couldn’t find any with trading. Anyone know which they are? Thanks!
  16. JazzAcolyte

    Disoriented while playing?

    I’ve had an unpleasant experience twice while playing at a jam session, hoping someone can tell me what’s going on and what I can do about it. Both times I became disoriented as to time. Rationally I knew that I was keeping time (because I was locked in with the bass player, for example), but I...