Pattern Juggling

Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Category archives for Pattern Juggling

Bill Bruford The Autobiography

What do you expect when you pick up an autobiography of a rock musician? Sex? Drugs? Rock-n-roll exploits with a chainsaw and a gallon of baby oil at the Ramada? Scandalous stories of band-mates and sundry hangers-on? You get virtually none of that in Bill Bruford The Autobiography. It’s much better. Insightful, entertaining, and well-written,…

Louie Bellson, RIP

Sad news for the drummers and jazz lovers on SciBlogs. Jazz drumming legend Louie Bellson passed away unexpectedly on Valentine’s Day. Some details here. Update: Here’s a short bio video with some nice bits of Louie playing and some rather unique kit layouts.

How Well Can You Count?

And now for something almost completely different on The Refuge: How well can you count? No, not like in grade school. I wrote and recorded a tune the other day. It’s called Timmy Umbwebwe Lights A Candle (yes, I have a thing for odd titles). The initial beat was composed on the drum kit. Not…

Well, at least Stevie Van Zandt and Britain’s Youth Music seem to think so. A recent article in The Times refers to research by Youth Music indicating that the games have prompted upwards of 2.5 million children to take up musical instruments. I’m skeptical. No doubt the games are a lot of fun for people…

Fun Is Where You Find It: The Tune

Much has been written on the Refuge regarding what might be termed fine motor co-ordination experiments. That, and something to do with playing the drums in a manner that most drummers don’t, you know, like backwards. Some might ask “What is the point of practicing a double paradiddle on a bunch of left-side mounted toms…

Humorous Signatures

I visit certain message boards from time to time, including one called vdrums.com, a site dedicated to electronic drumming. While there’s a lot of useful info there and a bunch of friendly and helpful folks, there are also some entertaining end-of-message signatures that folks use. Here are a few examples: Some people are like slinkies,…

Rock Drummers = Top Athletes?

So says the BBC. Researchers tested oxygen uptake and heart rate for rock drummers, including Blondie’s Clem Burke. They concluded: “It is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding – through monitoring Clem’s performance in controlled conditions, we have been able to map the extraordinary stamina required by professional drummers.” and further, “It…

Fun with Resistive Position Sensors

As part of my continuing adventures in drumming symmetry, I have been working on a dual electronic hi-hat pedal. The idea is to have a single hi-hat pad respond equally well to either a left or a right foot pedal. It is similar to having both left and right kick drum pedals. For the hi-hat,…

Tongue Drum

And now for something completely different, the tongue drum: The tongue drum is also known as the slit drum or xylo-slit drum. It is the modern descendant of the ancient log drum. This is a large 14 key unit tuned to a pentatonic scale in G. It can be played with mallets or your fingers…

A Useful Techy Tidbit for Drummers

This is for the faithful drummer-readers of the Refuge (uh, both of you), particularly those of the electronic kit persuasion. For years I’ve had difficulty keeping my electronic hi-hat pedals in one spot. They always seem to skate around the kit carpet no matter what I do. I’ve extended the steel spurs as far as…