Beatbox – Roni Size Cover (Video)

I was persuaded by my friend and fellow drummer Tim De Ramos to make a drum and bass video. I’ve always liked beatbox by Roni Size–it’s a short and sweet beatbox that was released in the late 90s and reminds me of my days in New York City. I Wanted to add a live drum track to it to see how the acoustic drums would mix with the recorded beatbox.
Here is the raw version we did just using the Gopro camera.

And here is the final version after adding in the Beatbox track!

Outside Pedestrian Clinic Highlights (Video)

Clinic highlights from my band Outside Pedestrian at Studio 88 in Aliso Viejo, CA. We discuss music style, form, and improvisation with some demonstrations during our clinic “Pushing the Boundaries of Contemporary Music.”

Outside Pedestrian is an instrumental jazz and rock trio that performs as well as educates. For more information regarding the band, clinics and educational performances please check out:


Outside Pedestrian CD Release

I’m excited to be playing at College of Desert’s Pollack Theatre this Friday November 7th to play with my band Outside Pedestrian as we celebrate the release of “Reclaimed.”

I’ll be playing with Outside Pedestrian Guitarist and composer, Dr. Anthony Fesmire, who is an Associate Professor of Music at College of the Desert and Los Angeles based bassist and composer, David Lockeretz. The band be also be joined on stage by saxophonist and director of the jazz ensembles at COD, Dr. Kelly Corbin, and pianist, Dan Waddell, a member of the adjunct faculty at College of the Desert.

The event is open to the public and admission is free with a $5 suggested donation.

For more info: http://www.collegeofthedesert.edu/newsroom/Pages/09302014fesmire.aspx

Alexander Technique Drumming (Video)

If you play music professionally there are times where you are expected to play on your instrument for hours. Whether you are playing at a wedding gig, a casual, on a cruise ship, a full day rehearsal, they all take a toll on your body. The physical demands of the drums makes these gigs even more challenging for drummers.

One of the tools I like to use to combat that wear and tear is the Alexander Technique (AT). The Alexander Technique is a movement technique that teaches people how to efficiently use their bodies by inhibiting unnecessary muscular tension.

I started AT lessons in my late twenties mainly due to upper back and shoulder arthritis. My first teacher pointed out that I was holding tension in my face and especially my jaw. She went on to give me some techniques to inhibit the tension in those areas as well as to calm my entire nervous system. One of those techniques is called “active Rest” or “constructive rest” which you can find out more at http://alexandertechnique.com/constructiverest.

Active rest is also beneficial before and/or after a strenuous activity like a gig and you only need around ten minutes or so to get the benefits. It’s a low maintenance tool for sure and doing it everyday will increase it’s benefit.

Delving deeper into the art of the Alexander Technique requires working with a certified teacher individually or within a group. Although many people notice diminished pain immediately after their first lesson, it usually takes around ten lessons for your average person to become aware of all their body movement habits and to start inhibiting some of them. If you are serious about getting started I recommend finding a certified teacher. I used this directory http://www.alexandertechnique.com/teacher to find my teacher in Orange County – Doug Shenefield

One of the drum set playing challenges Doug noticed is that since drummers are operating the foot pedals, we can’t properly ground our feet. To compensate for this, we need to focus on not collapsing through our core.

Another challenge is being able to move to and from different parts of the drum set without stiffening up or delivering stress to certain muscle groups. Doug noticed that I wasn’t pivoting enough when I moved my right arm from the ride cymbal across my body to the hi-hat. To help keep the body loose, pivoting towards the particular drum or cymbal you are playing is important–seems obvious but sometimes we forget what’s natural for our bodies when focused solely on our instrument. When I played with traditional grip, Doug noticed I was leaning my upper body slightly toward the left and putting more weight on my left sitz (sitting) bone.

Doug was really digging the Moeller technique movements! Although Doug knew nothing about drum technique, he was able to keen in on some of those movements. He described them as “sinuous” which I think is a great adjective to describe how the Moeller Technique should look. Once Doug pointed that out I seemed to loosen up more and have a bit more fun! The video above captures that well!

If you’re suffering from body pain, or just run down from the wear and tear of playing music professionally, then the Alexander technique should be a good investment for you.