A quick sit down interview with master banjoist Mark Unruh about the instrument and his inspiration. You can attend a LIVE masterclass with Mark at grooveKSQ on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 7pm.
One things that grooveKSQ students will learn is a lot of rudimental drumming and technique, as that informs almost every other musical drumming style. In this video, we see student Tommy M, who is playing a 12/8 rolls exercise at a high level.
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One of our younger students, Finley, plays "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin at the grooveKSQ Student Recital in June 2019! He did a great job holding down “2 & 4” through some very tricky changes that sneak up on you when you begin to learn this song.
Listening to it, and playing it are two very different things!
There is a massive difference between playing in an ensemble, wether it is an orchestra or a rock band, and performing a solo piece in front of a live audience.
The soloist has no safety net whatsoever. There is only him or her and the audience. It is one of the purest forms of communication. Whatever that soloist is thinking, it travels directly through the instrument and into the audience’s ears. No filters. No editors, or managers, or artifice of any kind.
Structure is important in your rehearsal and your performances, and that is true of a performer on any instrument. Goals, lists, calendars are all tools to help keep you on a path towards achieving your performance goals.
But, one thing to keep in mind is the importance of freestyle improvisation on the drumset (or concert or marching snare, or piano, violin, etc., etc.). Letting your mind run free while your hands and feet create combinations seemingly on their own is extremely important to a musicians’ growth.
Freestyle improvisation is a great exercise for any drummer/percussionist out there building a solo piece for a performance or for an audition.
When you are pursuing any amount of technical ability on a musical instrument, there is no substitute for hard work. Hard work, though isn’t enough. Once you identify the skills you want to work on, you have to develop those skills through repetition.
After all, drumming has a huge physical component to it: the mechanics of the player’s hands, arms and fingers, posture, relaxation, grip…the list goes on and on. Those aspects of a student’s playing are refined through repetition, which is a decidedly unglamorous thing to talk about, but it is indeed the key to greatness.