Rob Brown on odd times.

Saw this one from Rob Brown, and it needs a bookmark here.

Wow, quite a lot to unpack in there.  Of course, I’m not even a drummer, but just the thinking behind it, the approach, seems to be pretty universal.  Having spent so much time simply counting, I really like the suggestion of how to “fit the quarters” into the eighths-based time that Brown credits to Dave Weckl.  Gonna have to try that!

And I’m thinking about ideas for incorporating this into both one-and two-handed separation exercises on guitar.  We’ll see where that goes…



Steve Ball’s Airport Exercise.

Long-time Gaucho and general ace Crafty Steve Ball demonstrates his workhorse Airport Exercise, designed to stretch the fingers and otherwise provide a calisthenic challenge within a simple form.  Here, the brilliant addition of the moving bass line is a good reminder that exercises can also be musical, if we listen for it and respond in kind.

The tuning in the video is the Guitar Craft standard tuning, C2-G2-D3-A3-E4-G4, but obviously the core idea could be extended to any tuning with reasonably minor arrangement.

The exercise can be as simple as the core five-note pattern, which systematically stretches the fingers and provides a basic alternate picking challenge (the “1” alternates between an upstroke and downstroke), or as rich as what you see Steve doing here, adding parts, playing with muting, staccato vs. ringing notes, and having the exercise move against ensemble parts like Tony Levin’s added bass.

Bookmarked here for easy reference!