These brushes are kicking my butt

Drum Play

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So i decided that I would finally learn how to play with brushes. Well so far they have been owning me and I was ready to cry the other day. I know everything takes time, but going to brushes from sticks is so weird, but I'm determined not to just give up and throw them back in the bag like I've done all theses years. On a positive note, I didn't suck as bad yesterday as I did last week...I mean I still sucked but I noticed some improvement. My goal is to be equally as good playing jazz as I am In Funk, R&B, Gospel,...etc. I know that I'm in for a long ride but I'm focused..lol
 

cworrick

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I really like Ed Soph's videos on brushes. He breaks it down very nicely and goes through a lot with them. Obviously it starts with jazz, but he demonstrates how to use them with other styles in subsequent videos.

 

Sprice

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I've played mainly low volume acoustic settings so brushes have become kind of my favorites. I think the most confusing thing about learning brushes at first is that everyone plays them so differently. There's no correct way. The important thing is getting the sound you want not matching someone's playing technique. Plus, until you're used to it the sound can initially seem kind of grating depending on your head/condition and won't be anything like the smooth sound you hear on records so you might be doing better than you think. If you mess around and record yourself in different ways you might be able to judge better.
Peter Erskine has a really nice series of 6 relatively short videos that do a good job of covering the basics.
 

JimmySticks

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Man, I thought I was just going to pick those ol brushes up and kick butt. I mean how hard can it be?

Haha! Was I fooled! Not easy at all, and I'm still struggling with them. I can't seem to figure out how fast my left hand should be sweeping on the snare to a given song. I mean, how do you know how fast you should be sweeping/brushing /turning that left hand?
 
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Skeet6

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I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this vid.
.

and maybe try a fiberskyn head
Yeah, this is a great video. I immediately incorporated some of this to my brush playing. (I thought I was already, but...)
Mike B
 

cruddola

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So i decided that I would finally learn how to play with brushes. Well so far they have been owning me and I was ready to cry the other day. I know everything takes time, but going to brushes from sticks is so weird, but I'm determined not to just give up and throw them back in the bag like I've done all theses years. On a positive note, I didn't suck as bad yesterday as I did last week...I mean I still sucked but I noticed some improvement. My goal is to be equally as good playing jazz as I am In Funk, R&B, Gospel,...etc. I know that I'm in for a long ride but I'm focused..lol
The greatest thing about your attitude towards the brushes and Jazz is what you will learn will put you over the top! You'll gain total dynamic control of your playing and a ton more. You'll be your own stinking v a r i a b l e compressor! YouTube is full of dynamic-control smash'n an' bashin' failures. A strong foundation in Jazz will pave the road to playing in any other genre, not the other way around. Like my old job, the secret to taking the shot is knowing when NOT to. The secret to playing is knowing when NOT to applies to your drumming too. Your educational ride will be worth it many times over!
 

Deafmoon

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I learned to play brushes by listening. I use sweeps, swirls, glides, whatever; in a weaving motion of the RH & LH around one another and pressure accent within the motion. I rarely ever lift a brush off the head. The accent is simply a pressure flick with the left or right hand within the motion. That continuous motion strives for a balanced legato sound. And a huge part of the sound is the surface you are playing on. Drums resonate, get off the drums. Learn to play on a cardboard box. You'll see what I mean.
 

marc3k

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I really like Ed Soph's videos on brushes. He breaks it down very nicely and goes through a lot with them. Obviously it starts with jazz, but he demonstrates how to use them with other styles in subsequent videos.

I agree - I learnt so much by watching Ed Soph's videos, he seems to be a really great teacher!

Peter Erskine has a really nice series of 6 relatively short videos that do a good job of covering the basics.
Just yesterday I watched that video where Peter Erskine shows his Bossa Nova pattern - that one is hard! And as others pointed out, it's even more complicated because it seems that everyone plays differently, like sweeping in the opposite direction as I'm used to etc.

There is this great video by Rick Dior about the "art of the switch", how to switch from brushes to sticks and vice- versa. I found that one also very helpful:
 

Johnny K

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Lots of inspiration and good brush playing in this one video. Just by chance I ran across it today on YouTube.

 

Matched Gripper

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I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this vid.
.

and maybe try a fiberskyn head
Great story about Vinnie Ruggiero.
I agree - I learnt so much by watching Ed Soph's videos, he seems to be a really great teacher!



Just yesterday I watched that video where Peter Erskine shows his Bossa Nova pattern - that one is hard! And as others pointed out, it's even more complicated because it seems that everyone plays differently, like sweeping in the opposite direction as I'm used to etc.

There is this great video by Rick Dior about the "art of the switch", how to switch from brushes to sticks and vice- versa. I found that one also very helpful:
Jeff Hamilton is one of my favorite drummers and a master of seamlessly switching between sticks and brushes. Check out this up-tempo samba:

 
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marc3k

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Lots of inspiration and good brush playing in this one video. Just by chance I ran across it today on YouTube.

I watched that Bill Evans Trio at Jazz 625 at least 10 times already: I really enjoy Larry Bunker's playing!
 

Drum Play

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I've watched a lot of the vids in the links above and has gotten a little out of each one, if not something physical it was something to consider, if that makes any sense. Anyways Its getting better, my first issue was being off balance as i feathered the bd and added the hats. But today I noticed a little more clarity and balance. I tried to add more accents but making sure to keep one brush on the head at all times..and trying that at ramdom was interesting..but fun too. At one point I almost forget that i was playing..in a zen kind of way. anyway thats it for today. i'll got through the vids again to get more stroke / sound ideas. i'm also working on some strokes of mine on..just what feels the most natural to me.
 


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