SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For years, the global drumming community has watched in awe as young urban drummers have found their place on the biggest stages in the music industry. From The Jimmy Kimmel Show to Jessica Simpson and Jay-Z, the hottest gigs in entertainment are choosing drummers with urban swag. GospelChops.com, a global leader in training urban drummers, recently released a few valuable tips that unveil the best kept secrets of Gospel/R&B drumming.
#1: The Best Gear is the Gear You Have
One of the most popular questions we receive from curious drummers is: "What is the best gear for gospel/R&B drumming?" The answer is simple. There is no such thing as the "best" gear. Don't believe the hype printed in magazines or product brochures. Listen closely to gospel recordings and learn to recognize similarities in the sound of different drummers. Different musicians use different gear. When choosing your gear, ignore specific brands and shop around for specific sounds. For example, many gospel drummers prefer a "tight" snare sound. Does your audience really care if it is maple, birch, or titanium? The best gear for the gig is the gear that sounds best on the gig.
#2: Learn the Power of Improvisation
An effective gospel/R&B drummer must master the art of improvisation and unstructured, spirit-filled church services are the breeding ground for building musical instinct. Song lists are often changed on the spot, tempos are altered without warning, and accents are often based upon impulse. In short, you never know exactly what to expect when you play drums in the black church. Gerald Forrest, producer of GospelChops.com and the highly acclaimed Shed Sessionz drum DVD series, explains, "The black church is the best place to build drum chops. You literally have everything thrown at you from mixed time signatures to improvised accents and rests." If attending a black church near you is not an option, Forrest recommends the training format of trading solos which GospelChops.com has popularized: Shedding.
The concept of shedding on drums is the act of trading improvised solo ideas with another drummer in sequence in order to learn new skills and share your own.
#3: Practice What You Preach
Urban drummers often say that their style is based on emotion and "feel." Essentially, if it feels good musically, it's the right thing to do. Musical feel is a skill that can only be acquired in the trenches. You can't master it by simply watching cool YouTube videos. Mastering musical feel requires that you play music constantly and learn to adapt to different pulses and musical contexts.
Practice finding rhythm in daily experiences and apply it to music. A good starting point is the 16th-note triplet. This pattern is the holy grail of urban drumming and can be found in many of the most popular gospel/R&B songs. Internalizing its feel will take you a long way toward mastering urban drumming.
#4: Use a Combination of Styles
Learning Gospel/R&B drumming does not mean you should forget what you currently know about drumming. Urban drumming is a combination of many styles merged into a soulful music experience. As you learn new urban grooves and drum chops, also implement Latin and Rock grooves that you already know. "Enjoy the journey," Forrest states. "As you grow in drumming, you grow as a person. Gospel and R&B drumming is the best place for any drummer to grow, beginners and pros alike."
Gerald Forrest originally came up with the concept for "Shed Sessionz" after developing the website, GospelChops.com as a vehicle to pay tribute to the numerous musical contributions of generations of gospel musicians. His original vision was to educate the world about this inspirational art form and its history. The site has offered free gospel music education, lessons and content since 2005. "I have always believed that gospel musicians were some of the most talented and most overlooked musicians in the industry," states Forrest.
A man on a mission, Forrest created the nonprofit corporation, GospelChops Foundation in 2010 as another extension of his vision. The organization is dedicated to enhancing the lives of at-risk children in underserved communities through music education. The Young Musicians Program, under its umbrella, is an after-school music-learning program in California, which has gained sponsorship from Marines Toys for Tots, Google, and Wells Fargo International Group. Proceeds from the video series support the foundation's efforts.
SOURCE GospelChops Foundation