Need help learning comping with brushes

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
Lead singer of a recently formed pop music acoustic sextet I‘ve joined is a brushes nut. He’s asked me to only play with brushes for almost everything we play.

The thing is, he’s asking me to comp with “fancy” brushwork but my experience playing with brushes is extremely limited.

Am very motivated to learn how to do this and have the time to spend several hours a day working purely on brush skills - starting with improving and consolidating in the basics of brush playing of course. Have already bought and am working through books and videos on the basics, and making good progress.

For the fancy stuff (creative, assertive, but subtle and not overpowering comping): I’m trying to find drum teachers with experience in this area, as well as other learning resources like books and video lessons.

Suspect my best bet may be to focus on creative jazz drumming teachers with experience playing with pop singers.

Would you guys and gals be able to offer any suggestions for a learning strategy and any specific “advanced” books and videos which might be useful?
 

pwc1141

DFO Veteran
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,544
Reaction score
414
Location
Pattaya, Thailand
I play brushes whenever I can and for a long time now. Not sure what is being asked here as to me brushes are subtle and while rhythm patterns can be varied, to be too "busy" or "fancy" with them is counter productive. They cannot be used just in place of sticks, it is a different technique and effect. But there are indeed many videos on YouTube and for advanced stuff, Clayton Cameron's rudiments are worth checking out.
 

cworrick

The BIG Bunny on the block
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
716
Location
Northeast Indiana
Youtube. Two names :
Ed Soph Brush Lessons 7 short parts.

Jason Sutter Drumeo Brushes.

I've gone through the Clayton Cameron and Ed Thigpen videos, and while helpful, they stuck pretty much to just the jazz idiom. ED and especially Jason's videos helped me think a little more outside the box with the brushes.
 

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
Youtube. Two names :
Ed Soph Brush Lessons 7 short parts.

Jason Sutter Drumeo Brushes.

I've gone through the Clayton Cameron and Ed Thigpen videos, and while helpful, they stuck pretty much to just the jazz idiom. ED and especially Jason's videos helped me think a little more outside the box with the brushes.
Thanks so much cworrick - your response is exactly the sort of information I’m after.

Ed Soph’s paradigm of playing “stick patterns” with brushes is extremely helpful to me. It means of course that with appropriate modifications I can in principle use stick playing rhythm teachings and analyses and apply them to my brush playing! The rest of the content of that video was also useful and clearly and succinctly demonstrated. Will follow him up.

Jason Sutter’s 3 and 1/2 minutes demo at the start of your second video is exactly the sort of drumming, excluding the short solo of course, that our lead vocalist wants me to do while he’s singing

So thanks again for a perfect answer to my request!

(Never imagined I’d be in a pop song band where the lead singer wants me to improvise the whole way through virtually every song - he’s a lot more convinced than I am that it will work and in a heart to heart with me said he’s in this project for the long haul. So I’m keeping an open mind and we’ll give it our best shot and see what happens - even if we can’t pull it off at least I’ll have expanded my skill set; my long term ambition anyway is to play in a creative improvising band.)
 

cworrick

The BIG Bunny on the block
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
Messages
6,843
Reaction score
716
Location
Northeast Indiana
Thanks so much cworrick - your response is exactly the sort of information I’m after.

Ed Soph’s paradigm of playing “stick patterns” with brushes is extremely helpful to me. It means of course that with appropriate modifications I can in principle use stick playing rhythm teachings and analyses and apply them to my brush playing! The rest of the content of that video was also useful and clearly and succinctly demonstrated. Will follow him up.

Jason Sutter’s 3 and 1/2 minutes demo at the start of your second video is exactly the sort of drumming, excluding the short solo of course, that our lead vocalist wants me to do while he’s singing

So thanks again for a perfect answer to my request!

(Never imagined I’d be in a pop song band where the lead singer wants me to improvise the whole way through virtually every song - he’s a lot more convinced than I am that it will work and in a heart to heart with me said he’s in this project for the long haul. So I’m keeping an open mind and we’ll give it our best shot and see what happens - even if we can’t pull it off at least I’ll have expanded my skill set; my long term ambition anyway is to play in a creative improvising band.)
Jason's video about the 34:00 mark on with his approach to pop/rock patterns and Latin beats really started my imagination going with new ideas. :thumbright:
 

JDA

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
12,723
Reaction score
2,115
Location
Jeannette, Pa.
forget books use your ears
do you have a starting point at all?
one hand (usu L) sweeps in a oval the other (R) taps the rhythm.
Can use a Stick (L) and a Brush (R) too
for the mambo italiano's
do you own brushes?
Get started
Use your ears
 

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
Ed Thigpen wrote a great book on the subject.
Thanks - just ordered it. Should go well with his excellent DVD.
Also own:
John Hazilla’s “Mastering the Art of Brushes”
Florian Alexandru-Zorn’s “The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes”.
 

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
forget books use your ears
do you have a starting point at all?
one hand (usu L) sweeps in a oval the other (R) taps the rhythm.
Can use a Stick (L) and a Brush (R) too
for the mambo italiano's
do you own brushes?
Get started
Use your ears
“do you own brushes?
Get started
Use your ears”

No man - don’t own brushes so on your advice tried using my ears. Not bad for slow smooth sweeps but gave me a bad neck ache.
 

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
Jason's video about the 34:00 mark on with his approach to pop/rock patterns and Latin beats really started my imagination going with new ideas. :thumbright:
Watching that part makes me feel free to try anything to see what works - I tend to play random stuff until something useful emerges. Looking forward to eventually reaching the point that you’re at as a musician, where you can imagine and think out new ideas away from your instrument.
 

hardbat

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
837
Reaction score
164
Location
Sacramento CA, USA
Watching that part makes me feel free to try anything to see what works - I tend to play random stuff until something useful emerges.
Truth is, no two people play brushes exactly the same. There are so many different combinations of which direction to sweep, where to start, etc. It's ok to find techniques that feel good to you. For example, I went through the Thigpen book, but I sweep in the opposite direction that he does, it just feels better that way to me.
 

Pibroch

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
14
Location
Australia
This DVD is great, even if you only want the play-alongs. It really reveals how there is not "right" way to play the brushes. The end justifies the means.


Thanks - looks great - just downloading the video now direct from Hudson Music. (Full video, over 7 hours, plus all the play-alongs, plus PDFs for $9.99.)
 
Last edited:

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
11,793
Reaction score
731
Location
Poulsbo, Wa.
Lead singer of a recently formed pop music acoustic sextet I‘ve joined is a brushes nut. He’s asked me to only play with brushes for almost everything we play.

The thing is, he’s asking me to comp with “fancy” brushwork but my experience playing with brushes is extremely limited.

Am very motivated to learn how to do this and have the time to spend several hours a day working purely on brush skills - starting with improving and consolidating in the basics of brush playing of course. Have already bought and am working through books and videos on the basics, and making good progress.

For the fancy stuff (creative, assertive, but subtle and not overpowering comping): I’m trying to find drum teachers with experience in this area, as well as other learning resources like books and video lessons.

Suspect my best bet may be to focus on creative jazz drumming teachers with experience playing with pop singers.

Would you guys and gals be able to offer any suggestions for a learning strategy and any specific “advanced” books and videos which might be useful?
Watch these. Best two videos on brush technique I've ever seen.....



Elvis
 

Latest posts



Top