Friday, September 21, 2018

Ulysses Owens Jr. 4s on Juicy Lucy

Here is my latest transcription effort. I tend to pick players who are both spontaneous and unique. I also seem to be compelled to transcribe playing that seems impossible to recreate (by me at least...). Ulysses 4s here are no exception. When I say recreate I don't want to imply that is my motivation. Rather, I am intrigued by the process of figuring out what exactly is being done on the instrument. Then I try to get as close as possible to being able to perform it exactly as the recording. Sometimes I can get it 98% sometimes 99%. The best playing cannot be recreated. The thing that makes great playing great is the individual's vibe, use of space, time, touch and sound. That last one percent is the most important and the least quantifiable. Reminds me of the scientific data that explains that chimpanzees share about 99% of our DNA (depending on what you are comparing). What a remarkable difference 1% can make!

Saturday, September 1, 2018


Here is another Alan Dawson variation on the Ted Reed Syncopation book, courtesy of a new friend and great drummer Jason Harnell. I've been looking for some more Bass Drum centered exercises to add to my study regimen. This variation really encourages maintaining a neutral position on the foot pedal. You'll know when you get there when you hear all of the voices as one line. Like all of Alan's variations, it just takes a little time to get the sound of the line in your ears and then your body does all the rest.