Episode 23 - Cymbal Orchestration

In this episode we dig into a short 3 minute recording of Mel Lewis with Dizzy Gillespie and notice how he used a variety of cymbal sounds to orchestrate and propel the music forward. Closed Hi-Hat, Open Hi-Hat, Ride, Chinese Cymbal, all effectively used in a short amount of time. You can easily introduce this concept into your own playing today!

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Episode 22 - Brian Blade Triplet Fills

In Episode 22 we check out living legend Brian Blade and his use of triplet fills. When Brian plays these ideas they are dynamic, musical, and exciting. While they are technically fairly simply, playing them with consistent subdivision and musical shape is a challenge. Brian Blade!! If you enjoy these free drum lessons, please shoot me an email and tell me what other topics on drumming and jazz drumming you'd like to see covered. Also private online lessons are available from me (not Brian :-). Thanks! Chris Smith


Episode 20 - Bill Stewart Fill

In this episode we check out an awesome Bill Stewart fill that uses groupings of 5, Antonio Sanchez also uses it frequently. It's short, easy to learn, modern, and feels great to play. Also, check out this amazingly compact Tama Club Jam Mini...your back will thank you! Online private study is available. Let's hang.


Episode 18 - Your Inner Drummer

"The noise isn't a result of their hands, their hands are a result of the noise... it's their core, their inner drummer" In this episode we check out the sounds of Ed Thigpen, Billy Higgins, and Elvin Jones' inner drummer. These master drummers, and all master drummers, have a core pulse and subdivision that we sometimes get to hear when they play. They not only played time, they breathed time...it's that deep!

Episode 17 - Rhythmic Foreshadowing

In this episode Mel Lewis helps us figure out Rhythmic Foreshadowing, i.e. the performance of a rhythmic figure to set-up or cue a subsequent performance of that same figure. Mel’s use of rhythmic foreshadowing was so subtle many people don’t realize he did it. This concept provides the band everything they need to play their parts with precision and can be utilized by drummers of any skill level. Check it out!

Episode 16 - Billy Higgins Solo Vocab II

Part 2 of Billy Higgins Solo Vocabulary. In this episode of we explore Mr.Higgins' use of Buzz Rolls, Straight 8ths, Ruffs, Double Strokes, and Crossover FIlls. This episode mentions a ton of items from Part 1, check that out first if you haven't already. These concepts sound great and are easy to use in your playing. 

Online premium lessons are available. Let's hang!

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Episode 15 - Ultimate GUide to Feathering the Bass Drum

The ultimate guide to feathering your bass drum! In this episode you gain 3 major concepts that will drastically improve your volume and swing feel when feathering the bass drum. These concepts will work for you because they work for many legendary jazz drummers including the great Louis Hayes. Get your feathering together today! Questions or comments, please reach out. Let’s Hang!

Episode 14 - Billy Higgins Solo Vocab I

Part 1 of Billy Higgins Solo Vocabulary. In this episode of The Drum Hang we explore Mr.Higgins' use of Moving Melodies (stickings), 6-Stroke Rolls, and Alternating Single Strokes. These concepts sound great and are easy to use in your playing. Higgins! Online premium lessons are available. Let's hang!

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Episode 11 - Switching Brushes / Sticks

In this episode of The Drum Hang I give you techniques for seamless switching of implements. Brushes to sticks to brushes to whatever! It takes thought and PRACTICE to be ready for anything on the bandstand. In this video I show you several methods and tips that work for me. This is the stuff that really separates the pros from the amateurs.

Episode 9 - Trading 4's Doug Weiss (Al Foster)

The launch of my interview series Trading 4's, this episode features Doug Weiss. Doug has been Al Foster's bassist for over 25 years and during this interview he gives insight into Al's playing, composing, and what makes Al such a special and nurturing human. (BTW, Doug and I also spoke at length about Bill Stewart, Brian Blade, Leon Parker and the special connection between the bass and drums, these conversations will be posted in upcoming episodes!)

Episode 8 - Hand to Foot Singles

In this episode of The Drum Hang we get inspired to play single strokes between our right hand and right foot. First we watch the masters Roy Haynes and Tony Williams utilize this idea. Then I give you some easy to use ideas, followed by Obed Calvaire showing us what is really possible by playing amazingly clean and fast singles during a great solo!

Episode 7 - Mel Lewis and Rub-a-Dub

In this episode of The Drum Hang we dive into the playing of Mel Lewis and specifically his use of a sticking called Rub-a-Dub. This sticking not only works for a comping/time pattern but also importantly it works great when playing written figures within a big band. Mel Lewis was a master of Rub-a-Dub and in this episode you can see him play it himself in some very rare footage.

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Episode 6 - Brush Patterns

In this episode of The Drum Hang I show you three brush patterns that will get you through any jazz gig. I also give my advice on how to successfully play matched grip brushes. This is the tip of the iceberg, online private study is available. Let's hang! chrissmithjazzdrums@gmail.com