woofus wrote:Was able to do as you suggest a few weeks ago, Suss. Had a lot of success, but still not comfortable with the heel down, fast heartbeat samba approach. It's a very basic thing and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but have been running from it for years. I will get there soon and be transformed . . . or I will never get there and be compromised!
Well all I can say Woofus is that you truly are your own worst critic! I remember when I first heard you play with the stellar folks in Florida (and courageously offered on Boomer's old website/forum), that you already demonstrate an open-mind when applying musical techniques to your performance. All you lack is getting out of your own way and becoming comfortable with whatever baby-steps you dictate for yourself. However, I will admit that its rather difficult for me to describe the production values anyone must determine for themselves, and themselves alone. That's the beauty of our artform, and I love it.
Specifically, when I play a salsa, I toggle between both heel-down and heel-up. The former when grooving; the latter when pulsing/driving (for the sake of dynamics). Officially (and as I have interpreted the contributions of so many fine and well known players is), DYNAMICS is the key, and disciplined TECHNIQUE is the road to walk before running. Clearly, this can seem rather daunting when applying "rudiments" to the kit, but think of it this way: RUDIMENTS ARE OUR FOUNDATION AND LEXICON. They provide the vocabulary for any serious drummer to translate impulses into music. When one masters even a smiggen of them, that person is well along the way to embrace the other subtleties the rest (rudiments) provide. But then I suspect that you already know this.
Don't be bored with baby-steps. After all, you're playing genres much different than what you might have ever been exposed to if guilty of being xenophobic (which YOU ARE NOT!).
I personally love your playing and your freedom/liberty to keep on keepin' on, I applaud you. We're all improving in our craft when (IMHO) we approach whatever we do with this attitude and appreciation. Heck, I'm doing things behind my kit that I wish I had known back in the day when recording for major artists and labels. The solace I experience now is that I'm still called upon to provide just what's recognizable from me when keeping others in mind/studio/art, etc. For me, that's the greatest blessing I can acknowledge and take into 2010. May it be the same for you and yours.
Respectfully and with...