Glints Collide Transcription

I’ve been listening to Meshuggah off and on since I heard Chaosphere in 1999 but haven’t broken any of their music down until recently.

Dan Weiss gets all the thanks for the inspiration. After attending one of his drum clinics I decided I would transcribe one of their riffs to use in my practice for a few days.

I started listening to the album Nothing while shoveling snow a few weeks ago and the first verse in the song Glints Collide kept grabbing me. It starts at about the 30 second mark and while it sounds complex at first, it’s pretty straight forward.

It makes the most sense to write out in 4/4 time, but the riff is just a repeating pattern of 7/8 (4 times) that starts on beat 2. This leaves one extra quarter note on 4 of the last measure. I placed an accent where the 7/8 pattern starts each time.

And here’s what it looks like adapted as an eighth note comping pattern against a swing ride cymbal beat. All eighth notes are swung. Play HH on 2 & 4.

This is just the beginning. Here are a few ways I’ve practiced with this pattern:

  • Work through various permutations to adjust where it starts or ends.
  • Play HH with left foot on quarter notes.
  • Play HH with left foot as dotted quarter notes.
  • Play HH with left foot on all upbeats.
  • Feather the bass drum and play the pattern between the left hand and left foot.
  • Improvise a ride cymbal pattern that compliments the snare and bass drum part.
  • Drop the ride cymbal and fill the space between the bass/snare on the toms.

Have fun and let me know if you come up with a more interesting way to use this kind of material in your practice routine.

Counting Stick Control

Here’s a quick post to promote a really great book, especially for those of us who haven’t spent too much time beyond the initial pages of Stick Control.

Barry James, the author of Counting Stick Control, is one of the last living students of Stone and has some valuable insights into the counting method Stone intended to be used with this book.

Barry is currently battling cancer and could use your support by ordering his book or donating to his GoFundMe.

To order a book, the easiest way is to reach out to Bart over at the Drum History Podcast. He’s helping Barry out with some of the administration and logistics.

Email Bart:

Best wishes to Barry and a big thanks to Bart for helping him out!

Elayne Jones Oral History

Thanks to Jonathan Singer from Third Floor Bazaar for ripping this CD and sharing on his YouTube page. I was not very familiar with Elayne and found this really fascinating. I hope you do as well.

Here’s a more recent article about Elayne with some photos.

Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame article and video.

Elayne Jones on Wikipedia.

Elayne’s New York Times obituary from December 2022.

Big Band Drum Books

The last couple of months have been very busy, but I’ve been finding some time to work on big band drumming. It’s something that I’ve never really put energy toward outside of high school and college.

Naturally, I went down a YouTube rabbit hole and found a great playlist by Rick Dior where he breaks down big band playing and mentions some books that I’ll link to below.

I’m not sure that I aspire to do much serious playing in a big band, but it’s been a good way to shake up my practice routine while working on many things at once: reading, setups, time/feel, and playing with recordings.

The books I’ll link to below are simply the ones that I’ve purchased and am enjoying. There are many others available and if there’s something worth checking out that I haven’t listed, please drop it in the comments.

Harold Jones Interpretation of Big Band Swing Drumming

I’ve talked to many drummers who consider Harold Jones their favorite of the later Basie drummers. He played with Basie from 1968 – 1972.

Danny Gottlieb has done an amazing amount of work to put this book together, working directly with Harold Jones to chart out 76 tunes and provide Harold’s notes for each. This is a gold mine!

Harold Jones Interpretation of Big Band Swing Drumming

Gottlieb has recently released two similar volumes that cover Mel Lewis’ playing with the Terry Gibbs Dream Band: Volume 1 & Volume 2.

The Jazz Drummer’s Reading Workshop

This book by Tom Morgan provides sequential exercises that gradually add new setup figures and longer etudes to help build a vocabulary for playing big band charts. All recordings of the exercises and play-along tracks are available as downloadable MP3s.

This has been a fun one to work out of.

The Jazz Drummer's Reading Workshop

And here are several more that I purchased based on Rick Dior’s recommendation.

Finally, here’s a great Count Basie performance featuring Butch Miles on drums. His energy is undeniable and will live on forever. Rest in peace.

There are two driving principles in my drumming. The first came from my teacher Mr. Frank Thompson who told me, “Always let the band know where ‘1’ is.” The second came from the great Count Basie who said, “LISTEN.”

Butch Miles