JP Bouvet: Tools For Creative Writing With A Band (FULL DRUM LESSON) – Drumeo

(drums) (music) – Yeah, yeah. Right on, welcome everyone. Let’s introduce
Childish Japes to Drumeo along with JP Bouvet. Thanks for coming out guys. – Our pleasure. – Yeah, yeah it’s wicked. – So let me introduce
the whole band. Right to the very far
end there we have Asher. Asher is a guitarist,
obviously as you can see. (laughing) And right beside him
we have Jed on bass. And then JP Bouvet. JP you are probably
one of our most requested drummers
to come on Drumeo so I’m very thankful that
you can find the time to come out here and grace
us with your presence here. – Well it’s an honor. – Yeah and today is
a really cool lesson. It’s the first time we’ve
actually brought in a full band for a live lesson like this. And what a better topic
than creative tools for writing in a band. We’re gonna bring
a whole band out and talk about that
with you guys all here. So thank you so much. – Of course. – Now if you guys haven’t
seen JP the day before you can check him out online. He is live on his
own website which is,
I believe. – That’s correct. – And also his Instagram
which is just @JPBouvet so make sure you
follow him there and if you guys like
what you just heard with Childish Japes find them
online basically anywhere that there’s online
presence for bands, right? – Yeah, you won’t find a lot
of other Japes out there. – Yeah, Childish Japes. J-a-p-e-s. – That’s right. – And you guys just
released an album a couple weeks back, right. – Yeah, it’s called
After You’re Born. – Awesome, you can find it on
iTunes and everywhere else. Very cool. So we’re gonna get into
the lesson very soon. Just one second to quickly
thank all the sponsors for helping make this happen. DW, Remo, Meinl, Vic
Firth sticks as well. Am I missing anyone? – No.
– I don’t think so. And for all you guys
watching us live welcome. I hope you enjoy it. If you do have questions,
submit them below. We might not get to all of them or many of them depending
on how long this goes. But we are doing a very cool
performance slash interview with the whole band tomorrow
which will be live as well. So if we don’t get to them today we can get to them tomorrow. So that being said,
creative tools. Yeah, creative tools
for writing in a band. Take it away. – Right on. Alright, so creative tools
for writing with a band. The reason that we
particularly were very excited about this topic on
Drumeo is that this band is a very collaborative
musical entity. If you listen to the first album actually all of the
track on that album were spawned from jams. Either me and
Asher or me and Jed or the three of us together. And then we had
this great chemistry as we were starting
to play together and we were thinking like. Yeah, maybe we should
make a band out of this and make it real. So all those are born from jams and us just improvising
and creating in the moment. Or being inspired by
something we heard recently. And although jamming has
this sort of like laid back like anything goes kind of
who knows what’s gonna happen vibe that goes along with it. There is a lot more intent
that can be put into the writing process and
the jamming process. And the creating
process in general. That will make those
sessions more fruitful. And that’s really the
goal of this next hour. Is to hopefully give
you guys some fuel. Whether you play
in a band or not. Actually just giving
you guys some fuel to expand your creativity and then just get you thinking
in maybe a different way. To bring some new
ideas to the picture. So that’s what
we’re dealing with. There’s one mental image
I want to plant here in the beginning of the lesson. That I’m going to refer
back to several times. And I call it the web of intent. Now the web of intent
you have to just use your imagination here. In the middle is something
I call the gray area. The gray area is not
particularly anything. It’s not too loud, too
soft, too fast, too slow, too busy, too empty. It’s kind of like what
you accidentally do when you start
playing the drums. It’s fairly uninspired
and it’s a dangerous area because if you
stay there too long things get very
old very quickly. And it’s just not sort
of remarkable anyway. So now, that’s the
center of our web here. And I want you to imagine
an arrow going out this way and an opposite arrow
going the other direction. And at the end of those arrows are two opposite adjectives
of your choosing, right. The easiest one here fast, slow. You can imagine
this way loud, soft. You can imagine this
way busy, empty. Another example could be all
of the instruments playing, one instrument playing. And this works for anything. One that I hope we explore. I hope we have
time to explore it in this master class
would be evil and. What’s the opposite of evil? Angelic, good yeah. Evil and good, right. That would inspire a
different musical idea. So in this case what
we’re thinking is okay. We’re getting together to play. We want to be creative. Maybe we have an
idea, maybe we don’t. But where ever we start
we’ll probably eventually become the gray area. So you want to be moving
these ideas in some direction or another. And that kind of
imagery really helps me not only in the performance
space but in the practice room. To think what could
I do with this idea to make it more interesting? Coincidentally you’ll
probably find as you do that somethings that you
could also go practice. If you’re taking a groove
and you’re thinking I want to make this busier. You’re gonna hit a
wall at some point and that’s where
you find the things that you can practice next. The web of intent we’ll
come back with but that’s a. This overarching idea there. And the first specific tool we want to deal with
here is subtraction. So this was the first
thing that came to mind when Dave and I were talking
about this topic for Drumeo. Now there’s a very specific
concert I remember watching. It was just a random band
from Finland that was playing at this little
club in New York. And it was a pop synth band. And I remember watching
an entire 45 minutes set and just being
exhausted by the end. And I realized at the
end that all I wanted the whole time was for one
person to stop playing. Cause synth is really in
your face and it’s constant. So you’ve got a synth
player, a synth bass player, a drummer and a singer
who’s also playing a synth. And if they’re all
playing all the time it’s just way too much. So the easiest thing you
can do to make an impact is subtract something. So in this case a simple
example on the drums without even a band is this. (drums) Alright, so I don’t
have to change anything. I just take one thing out. And it makes a pretty
big difference. So a couple different
types of subtraction that we can do here. And we’ll demonstrate
with the band. The first one is just
removing an instrument, plain and simple. Like no drums in the
pre-chorus, done. The other type would be
subtracting a frequency range. So saying between
the three of us, no low notes in this section. Or no high notes. And that’s gonna
affect what they play and or who plays at all. And it’s gonna affect for me
what instrument I play here. Cause the cool thing
about the drum set is we kind of have the lowest and highest things in the
musical spectrum here. But that gives us a
lot of responsibility to effect the music
in a certain way. So let’s first, let’s look
at subtracting an instrument. Alright so let’s
get into a groove. A fairly repetitive one and
then Asher you drop out. (laughing) Throwing the dart here. So yeah, actually let’s
improvise a song A, B, A. A, B, C and the B
section Asher’s out. – [Guitar Players] Cool. – Ready. (music) Cool, so two thing
happened there right. When Asher first dropped out. I kind of kept playing
the same thing. Jed kind of kept
playing the same thing but this space was creative. So you can imagine that
if there’s a vocalist. Or if there’s another
instrument playing a more melodic line. That would be a
moment for them to step up what they’re
doing and take more space. So that’s one thing
that happens right. There’s a change in dynamic
there of the overall band. But the other thing
that’s really cool is that when Asher comes back
in there’s a huge impact. So Asher playing all that time
and then changing his part is cool and impactful. But Asher playing
and then dropping out and coming in from
nothing into a part that you haven’t heard before
is that much more impactful. So that was really cool. And then we could say
let’s try the other version where we subtract the low end. Do we do this in like
After You’re Born? – Kind of. – Kind of. – The second verse. – Yeah, okay. Let’s try that After
You’re Born groove and then Jed and I
subtract the low end. So I don’t know if
that means either Jed’s gonna have to play higher or is he just gonna
have to drop out. And then I’m gonna
have to affect what I’m doing here as well. Just the verse. – [Man] Cool, let’s hear it. – Cool, this is a song from
the album that just came out. One, two, one, two, one, two. (music) Cool so I subtracted
the kick zone. I avoid tom’s, I keep it
very clickey and high notey. And Jed’s adjusting what he’s
doing in some higher notes or dropping out all together. And that’s just another
tool to sort of subtract a piece of the frequency range. – Very cool. – So that’s number one. – Tool number one, subtract. – Tool number one,
tool number two match. Alright so. Matching and this is
in it’s simplest form. Who matches with who? And what piece of
the kit matches with what they’re doing or even what piece in
what they’re doing. It maybe overly
common for us to think okay kick drum has to play
with the basses playing and that’s all. So it’s not necessarily the case and Asher came in
one day to rehearsal and we were jamming
and writing last year with a really cool idea. And he was like okay, I want your high hat to
match what I’m doing. But I want the rest of your kit to either match what Jed’s doing or just me playing a
groove that’s not related. And this already, once
you start shifting these who’s matching with who things. This leads you into starting
to break some of the groove rules if you will. Which we talk about in the
course that we did on Drumeo. But you’ll see what I mean here. So Space Jam? – Space Jam, Michael Jordan. (laughing) – So Asher came
in with this line and now the only thing
that’s important here. It’s in four, he’s playing
a thing that repeats every three bars. The count four four, it’ll
be a lot cooler if you do. And it will make a lot more
sense once Jed comes in. So Asher came in with this line. (music) So, that was such a simple idea but it created such
a unique groove. Like we’re going between two
chords, maybe not two chords. Two chords and he’s playing
one rhythm the whole time and all that happens
is they change rolls which is something we’ll
talk about in a few minutes. – And register. – Yeah and register and
so Jed starts playing. (mouth music) And instead of Jed
holding down the chords in the moving notes,
Asher’s doing that. So, who’s matching with
who is not just which are you matching with the bass
player or the guitar player. You can divide up your kit
to start thinking okay. Do my hands match one number and does my kick
match the other? And then it’s
important to realize you don’t have to match anyone. Which is something that again we talked about in that course. But let’s quick play that groove
we were doing before just. (mouth music) Two or four chords or
whatever you want to do. – Do you need a minor? Do you need a minor? – And for those wondering
we just did a film the Chorus right before this
on creating unique grooves and we talked a lot
about this in more depth so you can check that out there. But this is a little
excerpt from that. – Totally so here I’m
just emphasizing the point that you don’t need
to match anyone. So when I say that
matching is a tool. It’s not saying you have to do, it’s saying that it’s an option and then that not matching
then therefore is also a tool. So I’m gonna play a
kick drum pattern first that matches what they’re doing. And then I’m gonna play
a kick drum pattern that completely ignores
what they’re doing and actually doesn’t
play any of the notes. So they’re gonna play. (mouth music) And the second groove
you’ll hear me switch to avoid both of those notes. But I think it works pretty well and I think it’s pretty cool. (mouth music) Let’s do that. One, two, three, four. (music) So I’m playing. (mouth music) Which has nothing to
do with their rhythm. But it works cause
it’s repeating so it’s clearly intentional. And I’m avoiding the notes
right next to what they’re doing because that can sound like
you’re making a mistake. So yeah, got subtraction,
got matching. Number three is contrast. And this is pretty
broad idea here. But this is where we can
call back to that first mental image we had
of the web in intent. And we can as individuals or
as a band together think okay. Where are we moving
on that spectrum? If what we’re doing is fairly,
I don’t want to say boring. But common or boring
for us, sure boring. Maybe one of us needs to take
a step in some direction. Maybe we all need to take
a step in some direction. Maybe we need to move
in different directions on the same scale. So let’s explore this
idea a little bit. One that I have in mind here is the difference between
busy and empty. Because everything being
busy is just gonna be a lot to handle in most cases. Which isn’t bad, it has
it’s place in music. But what I think is really nice, is one of my favorite
vibes is when the drums are quite busy and the rest
of the band is just playing longer, prettier
sustained things. So let’s embody that
contrast between us and we go different directions
on the spectrum here. And see what it sounds like. Ready? – Same thing? (laughing) – One, two. (music) Now let’s see what happens
if we switch those rolls. Or if, here’s a better idea. Tie in what we talked about
with the last two actually. So we’re thinking about the
different frequency ranges here in the drum set. What if we say high end stuff? Or say high frequency stuff. So high notes are busy, low
frequency stuff is simpler. – Cool. – Cool. – Let’s try it. And I’m gonna, I’m
gonna start simple and let them blaze
their own trail. And then I’ll jump
on board there. (mouth music) One, two, three, four. (music) Sick, sick so. Clearly Asher’s focusing
on higher parts. They’re moving more
quickly, they’re active. It’s doesn’t mean it’s
insane like shredding and soloing, right. It’s a beautiful part
but he’s just playing at a higher subdivision. At a faster subdivision. Jed’s holding down
a beautiful line. My kick drum is just going one. Maybe something else
but mainly just one. And then the idea
that came to me and I think is worth
mentioning is that with adding these
upbeats on the high drum. (mouth music) Cause remember we’re
on a sliding scale from empty to busy. So moving towards
busy doesn’t mean immediately shedding chops. Right, so one step more busy
on the high end of things. So like the high notes
like we talked about. One step more busy is
just adding somber notes. So in this case, those upbeats. Cause initially in my
mind I was thinking okay, I got to add some
crazy stuff here. But it just felt, like what Asher came
in with was so cool and needed to just be a feature. So I was like I should
definitely stay clear of playing anything melodic
because that’s covered and that’s very cool. So for me it was just okay. I’m just gonna add
one more texture here that makes it a little
bit more interesting here. And it makes the, I don’t
know how to word this. But the digestible content
a little broader right. Just one more thing to hear. Which just adds a
little bit more interest to the whole equation. So yeah, yeah. – Very cool. These were all tools that
you guys use actively when you’re writing
in the shed room or in you’re practice
room or wherever? – Definitely and it’s not like
we came together as a band and we were like here
are our set of rules that we follow when
we’re creating. A lot of it becomes
instinctual at a certain point. And that’s personally
why playing with Jed and Asher is so
musically rewarding because they are listening
and they are aware. And whether we are
thinking of now it’s time for a subtraction method or not. Sometimes it just feels
like okay, this needs space. Like there’s too much
tension built up. It needs to just dissipate now. – Right. – Those kinds of things
are really important when you’re dealing
with other musicians. – Very cool. – Yeah and I still maintain
that one of the coolest things that you can do is drop out. And if you’re in
a band or you jam and you’re thinking
man if I drop out everybody is gonna stop playing and they’re gonna look at me. That’s pretty easily avoidable. You just go hey guys, if
I stop playing keep going. Before the jam and
then you’re good. – Right. – And that could just be the
coolest thing you guys do, you know what I mean. So yeah. We’ve got subtraction,
contrast, matching and the next thing I
want to talk about is using a less common rhythm. Now, this is a fairly. That’s a pretty broad statement. Like use less common rhythms. Like what would be
the common rhythm? I mean that’s gonna be
different for everyone. But all I’m really asking
you to do is pay attention to what you always do. And what everyone
else always does. And just register it as
okay it’s not good or bad. You don’t have to
continually play new patterns constantly. I was once obsesses with
not repeating myself. That’s a depressing
path to go down. But just know what you always do and start to tune in
to what your band mates or your fellow musician. Your friends that you play
with, what they always do. So that you can. Only so that you
can push yourself and them into new territory. I told this story in
the course we did but there was a band that
I was in previously where one member of the band
brought a lot of the ideas to the table for
the writing process. And then we realized at
the end of a four song EP that all of the songs were
within two BPM’s of each other. So that’s a classic example
of people having habits and they’re not
necessarily aware of. And that’s a perfect
opportunity for someone like you who’s a little bit more
in tune with those things to say huh. That’s really cool. To add some significant
variety to this album. Why don’t we slow those
chords down 20 BPM and now we’re in territory that we’ve never
wrote in before. And some people will love that. Some people will be
resistant to that because their chops may not
work at a different tempo that they’re not used to. But it’s just an
important thing to do. So in the same vein as drummers
we all have myriad habits. And when I talk about
playing unique rhythms. A great example to
start with is if you ask a 100 drummers to
just play any groove. Like 90 of them will play. (drums) Something that starts with that. Because it feels good
to play something we learned early in drums. We put that kick drum
before the back beat so we don’t have to
put a ghost down. There’s a lot of reasons
that it make sense but it’s important to know. Okay, that’s the most
common rhythm in music. And give me 10 guitar players, singer songwriter guitar players and bring in a song. And they usually start with. (mouth music) Right, like some
rhythm of that sort. A couple dotted notes in there. So even just identifying that
alone is huge because okay. Let’s not play that rhythm,
let’s play any other rhythm. And then we’re good. And then the other thing, I didn’t want to talk
about this here right. Okay yeah, perfect. So, well before we go to that. So there’s that. Be aware of what there
is and what you always do and try to move away
from it if necessary. And then there are just. I recently just stumbled
upon this treasure trove of patterns that
are all super cool. Inspired by a friend of
mine named Ian Barnett who’s a great drummer and
everyone should check out. He’s really into this type
of music called Footwork where there’s a lot of like. (drums) There’s always really
active kick work in these really odd
kick pattern rhythms. And what I’ve realized
in analyzing some of it is that a lot. If you just take this pattern. (drums) And permutate it on a grid. You’re gonna have
seven patterns that you probably have never ever
played weirdly enough. And that are fairly
simple to understand but make what you’re
doing sound super unique. Right so the first
permutation is. (drums) The second one is. (drums) And so forth, they’re
all pretty cool. But you can imagine if you take the right hand of a paradiddle. Just the first four notes,
start shifting that. You’re gonna have the same
phenomenons and be like oh. These are rhythms I
don’t usually play. And then in line with that I want to throw in this idea
of extending your phrasing. So this is another. This is another one of these,
in my opinion, magical tips that just all of a sudden. Like you have so much more vocab than you might have realized. I want to demonstrate this
point in six eight actually. So if I’m playing in six eight
all I want you to try to do. The next time you play
drums or with a band is don’t hit one every time. It might be worth
practicing a couple of times before you go in with a band. Don’t hit one every
time cause six eight is one of the those things
that we’re all like. Yeah, I’m cool in six eight and then you start
playing in six eight and you know two grooves. And you just can’t escape them. And what we realize is that. What I realize in listening
to a lot of people do this is that it’s really hard to
not hit one in six eight. Because we need it. We need to know where one is because it’s an odd
time in my opinion. You know for a four
you don’t need it. It doesn’t matter we
all know where one is but if I start
playing six eight. I can be as creative
as I possibly can and if I keep hitting one it
all kind of sounds the same. Listen. (drums) So no matter what
I do it feels like it’s just the same thing because you only have
six beats to work with. If I only hit one
every other beat listen to how much it
opens up the space. (drums) Then you can say okay if
I hit one every four bars now I have a four bar phrase. (drums) Cool right? So that is just gonna open
up a whole bunch of doors for you creatively because
not only will you now have more than twice as many
options of melodies to play. Your band mates will have so
much more space to work with. Way less limiting. – Cool. – That’s all I got for that one. – No that’s a great plan. I just love being aware
of what you commonly play but also what your band
also commonly plays too. Their go to licks, their
go to rifts that they do. It’s not just you in
the band situation that you got to worry
about sometimes. It’s the whole band,
the whole song. – And what’s so cool
which you’ll find as well. If you play with any musician
and playing one on one. Like jamming one on one
is one of my favorite things to do because
there’s no limits. If there’s three of us
we have to determine what the chords are and
kind of follow each other down whatever path
we’re gonna go down. And things have to be made
a little bit more obvious so that people can catch them. But if you’re one on one
drums and an instrument that plays harmonies
and melodies. Then they can go
anywhere they want to go at a moments notice. Alright and you can go or push it anywhere you want
to go at a moments notice. Yeah the art of
reacting to people and just listening is at
the core of everything. So yeah, that’s that. The next tool which we’ve
kind of hint to that here and there throughout this
is establishing rolls and changing rolls. And maybe changing rolls
away from something that’s very typical. The typical rolls, drum
set keeps the beat. Plays the back beat
on two and four. Plays the kick drum
that matches the bass. Bass plays the root notes
rhythmically that match the guitar part who’s
playing the chords or taking a solo or something. Those are the super
standard rules and again they
exist for a reason. Because when we start playing
we need somewhere to start. We need some kind of guidelines. But at some point
in your playing there’s a point where you
can start to think like hmmm. I don’t know if I need to do
all these things all the time. And there might be some gold just on the other
side of that mountain. Lets play a little
bit of Gorbis. That’s a good example. – So you mean just
establishing the rolls or changing the rolls
up you’re talking about? – Changing the rolls up and
sorry let me explain something. So this song you’ll hear
Jed play the chords. Like Jeds part is very much like what a piano or guitar
might more typically play. Asher essentially turns
into a percussion instrument and I’m playing. To call back to the tool
that we just talked about playing more unique rhythms. I’m playing some
fairly unique rhythms and it’s actually one of the
ones I was just talking about. Permentating that. (mouth music) One of the permentations
is the root of my group. – Cool. – And then within the
drums we can sort of nerd out drum lines for a sec. The rolls here are usually
high hat keeps the time like I said standard
drums to two and four. The only rule that I’m really
breaking kind of hard here is that the right
hand is actually gonna play a secondary melody. At least that’s how I see it
underneath what Jed is playing. So it will be. (mouth music) On the tom. So the orchestration is weird. You’re kind of keeping
time on the tom and it’s rhythms that
you don’t usually hear. And it can be seen
as a sub melody to the more important one
which is what Jed’s playing. – Alright, let’s hear it. – Yeah, yeah just an A. Let’s just hit the A. (music) You were right. – Very cool. – Yeah and then Jed 5,000
that’s a good example too. – Sure. – Yeah, let’s play Jed 5K. – Okay. – Cause again here, this
is a song seed that we’re working on for our next album. But again Jed’s handling. Jed’s actually
handling a lot here. More than bass typically does. He’s kind of handling the melody and a lot of the
rhythmic responsibility in the beginning too. He’s really like
in a sense like 80% of the music going on here. And then Asher and I
are really just sort of more textural layers
more than anything. Asher starts to develop a
little bit more than that. But I’m sort of no longer
playing a beat at all. I’m just a texture here. So I’m thinking like stay
out of the way kind of and at least to maybe have
it build a little bit. But yeah, let’s try that. This one’s in five in
case it’s a little weird in the beginning. (music) (laughing) – Nice. – Yeah so I mean that leads
into other things in the song but we can call that back
to the web in intent there. And I’m thinking on
the soft to loud scale I’m extremely soft and
only getting a little bit louder as it builds. And then I’m adding
a little bit of business as we go here. I’m moving like this direction. Asher is kind of
doing the same thing and Jed is really
just holding it down. But yeah we switch
rolls up in a way that I think is sort of fresh. I mean you can offer
a fresh perspective if you’re doing that. – And not only just within
the band switching rolls but even we talk a little
bit more in the course which if you guys. We’ll be releasing soon on
Drumeo inside the members area but it talks about
this more in depth. About even the
roll as a drummer. You know with the
rolls of what your hat and your bass drum and
your snares should do. So it’s a very cool tip. Experiment with that next
time you’re with a band. Switch up those rolls. That’s how creative
unique songs come up. So they’re not all
the same, right. – Amen. – Cool, one more tool
you got you said. – Yeah, the last
one is a quick one. It’s seek inspiration. And it seems a little obvious but I think is what’s
important to mention here is that seeking implies
making some kind of effort. A lot of people sit and
think that inspiration will just strike at some point. And you’ve seen
time and time again. If you have friends
waiting for that to come it really doesn’t come. If you only act in moments
where you happen to be super stoked for no reason then it’s going to be few and far
between the opportunities that you have to
create something. So what you’re doing when
you’re seeking inspiration is looking for something
that lights the fire in you. So not waiting for it to
come but actively seeking the things that
make you excited. There’s a little bit of. The only thing I wanted
to mention about this is seeking inspiration
doesn’t mean you’re coping people’s ideas. There’s a song in the
first album of ours. The first song called
Don’t Own Them All that was inspired by
a Zenure Abino song that sounds like nothing
like what we were doing. But me and Asher
were jamming that day and he was like man listen to
this cool song, check it out. And we listened to it and
it was indeed very cool. And the next thing we
played was the seed that turned into the song. And thinking back to that song. It’s really like the tone. I mean what was it about
it that stuck with us? – It’s just like interesting
rhythm unison line and then a couple
displacements here and there. And just like balls to
the wall rocking in there. – Totally, totally. And it stick out to me too. Like the sort of tonal indie
tone, you know what I mean? It is definitely a
indie vibes of the song. And we didn’t, all we
took was sort of the tone and this idea that
there’s rhythms that we’re playing
together made something completely different. – So it is cool to have
that in a duo setting. – Yeah. – Cause everything else is
just Herb rocking it out on keys and the drummer. – Yeah it’s a duo as well. Yeah, that’s really
relevant too. I’ll let you listen
to the album there because we don’t
have that much time. So we won’t play that one. But seeking inspiration
is the last tool. And doing it actively
and then taking whatever you find
super inspiring and saying what are we
gonna take from this? You can’t take all of it. But you can take the tone
or you can take the rhythm or you can take the harmony. And you can take whatever, you can take a piece
of it and slow it down. Or it could be at a tempo
that you just never play at. And you’re like well let’s
write something at this tone. That’s cool it’s got this
high energy vibe or whatever. So seeking inspiration
is the last tool left. – Love it. Tons of great tips there. And the cool thing about
it is just watching you is this is all kind of improv. A lot of the stuff, the
jams you guys threw at them. You can even see
them talking through what chords you’re gonna play. So it’s cool seeing just
from an insiders view of how you guys kind of work. And how these tools
fit in with the band cause you know one thing
that we do at Drumeo is we teach these drummers
how to play the drums. But you need to take
that to your band and create music with them. And that’s why stuff
like this is so valuable. And you know all the stuff that
you were just talking about even if you just take
one sliver of that and just apply it to
yourself as a drummer. And then maybe
into a band setting and you can go so far with it. Do you guys want to jam
something out for us? While we’re talking about that. – Just gonna make
some stuff up here. Yeah, see if we can. – This is not a job, this is something you’re
just gonna make up I guess. – We’re gonna make
it up right now. See if we can practice
what we preach here. – [Man] Let’s do it. (laughing) – And again guys, Childish
Japes, the name of the band. Check out their full album. The first song that they
played was on that album and they’re also gonna close
out with one of those songs on their album as well. But this is just an improv jam. (music) (clapping) Very well done guys. – Nice yeah, thanks. – That sounds great. – Maybe it could be cool
to, there was so much going through my head that I was
like it would be nice to tell them what we were
thinking right now. While we were doing that. Maybe we could do that. – Briefly, what was
going through your mind? – I mean a lot of the
things we talked about and then a lot of tools that
I really briefly mentioned. Like building tension
and building suspense and then some kind of release. And as a drummer one thing
that I am usually conscious of and was hyper conscious of there is committing to the
instruments that you’re using and letting that
become the sound scape. So the last section ride, kick and snare with high
hat keeping time. So every sound I add to
that requires more CPU power for you to process. Which sometimes is
good but in this case I just want to create
this layer of intensity that isn’t taking a whole
lot of your attention. It’ just making you feel a lot. So I’m committing
to these instruments and just sticking with them and seeing what I
can do with them. Then there was another thing
that was worth mentioning when we talked
about subtracting. I remember a part
where Jed dropped out and I was quite busy
and Asher was playing. And then there was a
moment where I know Jed was coming in cause he looked
like he was coming in. And when Jed came in I
dropped out for just a moment. So just on one. It was like. And what that does is it
highlights the fact that he is entering, right. So we’re sort of shifting
the spotlight in a sense. And all these, there’s an
infinite number of things like that that one
could consider. And you don’t have to be
overly cerebral about jamming. It’s supposed to be fun
at the end of the day. But the more you do
it and the more you think about what works
and what doesn’t work. The more you’ll
have these ideas. These ideas like at the ready. That are useful. – That’s cool, just diving
into your brain there while you were doing that. That’s a really cool
benefit for us to watch and that sounded really cool. Sounded like you guys
rehearsed that before, right. So that was really cool
just to see you guys improv something that
comes together like that. Do you have any
last minute tips? We’re almost at our time here. – Any last minute tips. Is it a choice between
one more song and tips? Or can we do both? – No, we’re doing both. – Alright well quick tips. The last things I
wanted to tell people. If you’re jamming, if
you’re playing with people don’t be afraid to
make big changes. Just go ahead and change
the time signature and the tempo and
just stop playing. So some crazy stuff because
there’s a real tendency in jams to kind of
go uhhhhhhhhhhh. And peter out. So it’s okay to do that. The next thing
avoid lam grooves. I know that’s
extremely general but avoid the grooves
you always play. Try to get creative,
try to break the rules. You don’t have to avoid this but if you’re trying
to write with a band. Maybe avoid 10
minute guitar solos. Cause that’s not
typically productive part of the writing session. People just get
stuck in their groove and someone starts
soloing and you’re like. Well, I guess we’re soloing now. You don’t have to do that. Another thing is end the jam. There’s so many times in my life where all the good ideas
were right at the beginning and it was a really cool thing. And it built up
and it was perfect and it was ready to be done. And then like 10 minutes
later we’re still playing kind of like BS stuff that
we thought might be cool. We’re just kind of out
of ideas but no one’s got any conviction to end it. End it when it’s meant to end. You can just stop playing
and be like that was cool. (laughing) And the last thing
is which was an idea that Asher brought to
my attention a while ago when we were writing was
to try to improvise a song. And try to consciously
play an A section change it to a B section. Remember what the A section
was and go back to it. And have some kind of song form. And you know at the end of one
or two or three minute song end it and you’d be
surprised at how good you are at writing songs
when you do that. Think that’s all I got. Anything else? – One kind of general
thing to always think about and you touched on it a
little bit with the contrast. But a great teacher
of mine once said always think about what
you’re creating the need for. Like if you’re doing one
thing for a super long time that creates the need to
do the opposite of it. So that’s always a directional
thing that you can do. Create the contrast
within your own part and also think as a producer which I do a little
bit of as well. Try to think about
the bigger picture and if this one five has been
happening washy let’s say. Then try to do tight afterwards. You know, create that contrast. Bold moves when
you’re improvising,
it’s the same thing. – Awesome, well thank
you so much guys. This is great. Just hearing you guys play
and hearing your insights and you Asher as well
and Jed your playing on the bass is great. He was in here jamming before
we were live on the drum kit. He’s a killer drummer too. In fact you guys are
all great drummers. – Can’t complain,
can’t complain. – Yeah all Berkeley students. I guess that explains it right. – At Berkeley you learn drums. Everyone learns drums. – Start with drums
and you’re good. (laughing) Anyway thank you so much. You guys if you’re
watching this live. We’re trying to
have like get more into the musical
side of lessons. We do so many lessons on
paradiddles and technique and all that kind of stuff. We’re trying to bridge
that gap with music. We have two sister sites, I guess you can call
them sister sites. You have which
is all about the piano and also
known as Guitareo. Both of those are very similar
to what we do in Drumeo but they share so
many similarities. So I’m glad you guys can
come here and share the songs to Drumeo and if you
guys are guitarist or you know any
guitarist friends. In one hour from now if
you’re watching live. On our YouTube
page Asher is gonna be live with the band Childish
Japes and their gonna do a whole live stream with a
lesson on chords I believe. – Yeah and a little bit
of composition as well. – Chords and composition
which is gonna be awesome. And if you guys are
Drumeo members here and you’re watching
this in the archive or you’re watching
this on YouTube. And you guys have
guitarist friends and stuff make sure
you check that out. It will be on YouTube eventually but we have a whole website
just like Drumeo for guitarist and featuring Asher
and Childish Japes. Anything else to add, anything
that I’m missing before we wrap up with you guys? – That’s it, yeah. – Cool, what was the
first song you guys played and opened with
just so we all know? – What did we play
in the beginning? – Seed 73. – Yeah that’s not a song yet. – [Man] Working title. – Oh that’s not on the album? – That’s not on the album. – Oh so you got a sneak
peak of something coming up. – Yeah, that will probably
be on the second album. – Very cool, very cool. Well, be sure to follow
Childish Japes online. Make sure you follow JP Bouvet and I forgot to mention this but JP Bouvet has made
quite a name for himself. He won the Guitar
Center drum off in 2011. Amazing, amazing video. Check that out. You also play with
some heavy hitters. Let me just refresh
my memory on the name. Sorry, Steve Vai, Zakk
Wylde and Tosin Abasi from Generation Axe. You play with them
quite regularly on tour with them all the time. So you’ve gone quite a long way and I’ve been following
you for quite a long time so it’s an honor
to have you here. – I appreciate that. – Awesome, okay. So I’m gonna stop talking. I’m gonna leave and I’m
gonna get you guys to play one more song. What is this song called? – I came up with it yesterday. (laughing) – Oh this is not on
the album either. Oh man. – We’re kind of really committed
to the creative process so whenever we can
be playing new things and creating new things that’s
what we’re trying to do. – Put your money
where your mouth is. I love it, I love it. Well, we’re gonna hear
them jam one more tune. And if you guys
are watching online check us out at Sign up we have a whole
course that dives into this from more of a
drummers perspective on creating unique grooves. It’s really cool. And with that being said. Play us out. (music)