#25 Introduction to phrasing–the floor tom mute

This is a very deep subject, phrasing. But before we delve into that, let me just say, I added the acoustic guitar to this weeks’ 5mm, just so you could hear examples of phrasing cutoffs. It’s not necessarily the greatest acoustic playing you’ve ever heard, but I think it’s safe to say, it gets the point across.

I use this little technique all the time in recording, as well as live. It just puts a polish on your phrasing.

Check out the amazing Jack Ingram (what a voice!) in his song “Measure of a Man.”  At around 1:02 in the chorus there is an example of our floor tom mute/stop.  Then there is one a few bars later.  If you also check out the last measure of the verse going into the chorus, there is an example of the band stopping (actually simply not playing beat 4), creating a hole for the drums to fill, and basically since there was just one beat to fill, I did the snare/floor tom fill.  Seriously powerful fill when you don’t have much time to say something.

And when you play the stop phrasing, make sure your phrasing matches the rest of the players.  Also, wait for the downbeat, don’t rush it.  The stop and the ‘air’ makes the next downbeat uber powerful.

This is a basic introduction to drum phrasing.  We’ll go into depth down the road.  Check out anything big band if you want to dig deeper into drum phrasing.  Check out Buddy Rich, Butch Miles, Anything Count Basie, and I could go on and on.  Big Band is a study in drums matching a band’s phrasing.  In the future we’ll have to dissect a couple o these tunes!

By the time this comes out, I will have been on the road for a week and half, with a week left to go.  I’ve got one more in the can, before we go back in.  As always, I love your ideas for what you want to talk about.

Tomorrow is going to be exciting!  We are flying to Moline, Il. and are rehearsing for 4 days, and I’m getting Billy Cobham’s kit that he just turned back in for our new tour.  I’m going to video as much of it as I can and I’ll make a video blog out of it.  Gonna be fun!



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