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.
I’ve been practicing Alan Dawson’s Rudimental Ritual for many years and return to it often. Recently I heard about Smitty’s Rudiment Ritual Warm-Up on Jon McCaslin’s interview with Thomas Wendt and Eric Binder (worth checking out).
I can’t believe that was my first time hearing about it! I figured that a quick search on Google would turn up a PDF and I’d have something new to practice. I was wrong.
I became obsessed with finding it and stayed up way too late scouring the internet. I ended up reaching out to other jazz drummers to see if anyone had a copy they’d be willing to share. When I woke up the next morning I had a PDF in my email from a drummer who I have never met. The community of drummers is amazing!
I’ve since sent Mr. Smith a message on Instagram asking if I could purchase a copy directly from him or send him some money for his work. I haven’t heard back, so if anyone is in contact with him please send him my way.
As much as I’d love to share the PDF here, without Smitty’s permission I don’t feel comfortable doing that. I hope he shares it more widely someday.
I’m still digging into Smitty’s ritual and taking it line by line. All of the ideas flow nicely and there are many challenging sections that have been fun to work up to speed.
In addition to the snare drum version, I also discovered a version for drumset that Karl Miklin has developed. It’s really fun and I usually play a page from it each day to get my shoulders and spine loosened up. There’s a link to download it on his YouTube video page.
I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram posts and want to start sharing some of my transcriptions. I’ll start with Dan Weiss.
I’ve been fortunate to take a couple of lessons from Dan Weiss and am a huge fan of his Patreon page. Every week I’m working on something new that’s fun and challenging because of an idea he sparked or a direct exercise he’s given.
I can’t remember how I first became aware of Dan, but this is one of the first Instagram videos I saw from him and I was obsessed with it. It took a couple of hours to wrap my head around it and transcribe. Once I had it I emailed Dan to see if I got it right.