I am so glad to be back here with another post since my last one in February. Nope, I have not been under a rock or locked up in an ivory tower all this time. Instead, I have been having a great time accomplishing some stuff I always wanted to accomplish in my music work and in my part-time university studies, which I am about to complete the first year/first semester for.
2017 has been great to me so far, and I am so grateful for the new friendships I have forged through music, through my part-time studies, and through some interesting chance encounters. It has been certainly a more productive year than 2016. I have a good feeling that the new opportunities I have taken on this year will lead me down a richly rewarding path in my life – one that I think will actualize who I really am and what is truly my calling.
Some highlights from this year so far:
- Playing some really good gigs with some excellent musicians, most of whom come from overseas. These musicians include: Sean (SG – Gruv Therapy), Kevin (SG – freelance guitarist subbing at Brix. excellent and versatile), Manson (SG – bassist), Gavin (SG – The High Rollers), Paul (SG – The High Rollers), the two Patricks (SG – The High Rollers), Jasmine (SG – Sang with The High Rollers), James (SG – The Revival Band), Ricky (SG – The Revival Band), Martin (SG – The Revival Band), Peter (SG – The Revival Band), Christo (Australia – Stingray Martini), Harley (Canada – Stingray Martini), Daryn (New Zealand – Stingray Martini), Eirik (Norway – bass player I very recently connected with. Great Funk and Rock bassist), Phoenyx (USA – Brix resident band), Tre (USA – Brix resident band), Yendi (USA – Brix resident band), Inga (New Zealand – Brix resident band. Though I only did two gigs with her as she finished her contract after the 2nd gig), Kyle (USA – Brix resident band), Matt (USA – Brix resident band), Mark (Canada – Brix resident band, bandleader), Jocelyn (SG – actually I started working with her last year. Very good singer and multi-instrumentalist. Check out her work with The Dimension 5). Sadly I have to say goodbye to Fran (Belgium) who has to relocate to Geneva as her husband was recently posted there by his company. I worked with her on a couple of Top40/Rock gigs last year and this year. She was a great singer – versatile, powerful, and soulful – and her professionalism is something I greatly respect. I wish her all the very best.
- Part-Time University Studies which started on July 28th 2017. This is one of the best decisions I ever made in my life so far. It was not easy to get there, but I am getting to do it now because of help from so many sources, it is mind-blowing. Thank you!! You know who you are!! I have great lecturers and my fellow schoolmates are generally cool people who come from different professional backgrounds and walks of life to study this course that I am taking.
- My last NS Reservist training cycle!! 10 years completed!
- Making some important connections for future work.
- Some of my drumset students achieving some personal breakthroughs in their drumming studies, namely Paul and Kyan. Paul is a working adult with a young family and Kyan is a primary school student who has been taking lessons for about 2 years now.
- Last but not least, The Bellamy Brothers concert that I opened for with The Revival Band (Ricky, James, Martin, Peter)
What I have been practising lately:
- Jazz drumming – improving my time and sound on the ride cymbal, developing other comping ideas, soloing, and brush work from time to time.
- Basic Metric Modulation
- Refining my traditional grip – I was recently able to play clean rim shots with the trad grip in my live work. YES!!! I am now comfortable playing Rolling Stones’ songs for example using the trad grip like Charlie Watts does, and trying to cop his feel – which is not easy.
- Stick Control, Accent Control, Odd Subdivisions including Quintuplets, Septuplets, Nine-lets, Ten-lets
- Improving my Funk Grooves – mostly listening to some Funk drummers that I am focusing on like Steve Ferrone, David Garibaldi, James Gadson, and Bernard Purdie. I have been listening to alot of Steely Dan also – the whole discography – and have developed a newfound love and appreciation for their early 1970’s work and that of their original drummer, Jim Hodder (R.I.P). He had a heck of a groove.
So there you go!
I will be back soon for some more updates. Till then, take care and keep groovin’…