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Category: Drumming

New Gig Poster Design: Swing Station w/ Aires Attic

My band, Amy and the Peace Pipes are kicking off an exciting season of shows with our first show at Swing Station, playing with Aires Attic. I really wanted to get away from posting the band photos straight-up and go with something that would portray a more artistic side of the two genres.  Since our pairing is a little different, I thought the design could really showcase that.

20160416-SwingStation

Most of this gig-poster is based on a Photo to Color Sketch Tutorial that I’ve been meaning to use.  I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially with Amy and the Peace Pipes (the Aires Attic photo was already in Black & White, so I applied some color tine to the sketch effect.

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Two Drum Covers in Two Days

After a busy couple of weeks, I finally got the opportunity to sit down and do some meaningful drumming and recording some new covers.

I went back to the John Butler Trio well again and brought up my favorite JBT songs: I Used To Get High.

With this cover, I went ahead and played around with some new angles. I turned my kit around 180 degrees and moved the main camera to capture the view from the front. I took my second camera and placed it next to the floor tom looking up.  I then took my little web cam and placed it on one of the overhead mic stands to capture a view of the  hi-hat and snare.  After going through the whole recording process, I ended up only liking the angle that was on the lowest-quality camera (the overhead). I still had a lot of fun recording the cover and decided to go ahead and post it.

On Saturday I had some alone time after my daughter went to bed and did something that I had been wanting to do for sometime: drum while she was sleeping.  It turns out that she slept through the whole evening of my drumming, which made me happy – thus I decided to cover “Happy” by Pharrell Williams to celebrate my opportunity to drum some more:

I did some more tweaking of the camera angles and was a bit more satisfied with the result.  I’ll need to continue to adjust things for the next video a bit, as it looks like one of the cameras had a tough time focusing.

I’d love to get any feedback on the covers, the video, or anything else: I’d definitely love to hear from you.

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New drum cover and more YouTube problems

It’s been nearly a month since I posted my last drum cover, and the busyness of work and life interfered with my goal of posting one drum cover per week.  I was definitely anxious to get another one out there and build momentum, but with the YouTube copyright troubles this one has given me, my momentum is all but dead.

I went and covered one of my favorite Muse songs, “Time Is Running Out”. I nailed it in the third take and am now to the point where editing the video has become the easy part.  I started the upload to YouTube only to find that my version got blocked in some countries – actually one country – the United States.

Confused, I searched for other drum covers of “Time” and found quite a few of them out there.  On one of the more successful ones, I noticed that he raised the pitch of the recording. I went ahead and tried the same thing and made Muse’s Matt Ballamy sound like a woman, but I was hopeful that I’d be able to get my video posted.  No such luck, it got blocked in the US again.

Frustrated, I was about to delete my video, but found that it was already getting a few views and even a comment from users in other countries, so I decided to leave it be.  I’m trying to dispute the blocking on the video, on the grounds that this video is for educational purposes for other drummers, but I’m not too helpful that my dispute will be successful.  We’ll see.

Look, I get that Muse’s record label and publisher is acting within their designated rights here, and that these drum covers are on pretty shaky ground.  What sucks here is that there’s some kind of double-standard with the same freakin’ song.  After already being burned by my Kanye cover, I’m pretty leery about putting in the work of practicing and recover a song, only to have it immediately flushed.  Seeing the number of “Time” drum covers that I can see, I assumed that the labels saw this as a promotional vehicle for their music and were happy to collect ad revenue from the videos. It looks like I was wrong.

I guess for now I’ll stick to the more obscure songs or spend some time which researching which labels are cool about covers.  However in the meantime, this process is royally broken.  By the time you discover the end result, it’s too late and you’ve already wasted your time.

Luckily my original video has found a home on Vimeo:

Vimeo has a really nice platform and some great tools, and my video may still be up because of their “security through obscurity” model – but YouTube is where I’ve been trying to grow my channel.  However, with half of my videos now crippled by these blockings – I don’t have much to show for it.

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New Drum Cover–Close To You

If you were to judge by my posts on here, you wouldn’t have realized that last week I failed in my attempts to record a drum cover per week, letting a week slide without one.  However, I posted a “better late than never” cover of one of my favorite songs, John Butler Trio’s “Close To You”.

I have to admit I cheated on this one. I used to cover this song when I was playing with Ken and the Action Figures, so my prep time was cut down quite a bit.  While this song isn’t the most technical one out there, it features a solid groove and an awesome solo section.  It’s songs like this that have made Nicky Bomba one of my favorite drummers. I have a fond appreciation for the sounds that he’s able to generate from his kit.

After I finished recording this cover, I played around with another JBT song. Something tells me that you may see another cover from this band soon.

As always, I’d love any feedback.

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