Merry Christmas 🎄

Merry Christmas everyone, and I hope you all have a lovely new year. This video from a recently discovered artist named Anomalie came up in my YouTube feed today. It’s such lovely inspiration for not only jazz piano, which I love playing (though am not highly skilled at yet), but also finger drumming.

As a beginner, the beat in this video seems too complex to copy, but I love the vibe and how it’s so tight and grooves well with just solo piano. I could see myself making music in this style someday when my chops are better. #2022Goals

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Hey Tanner, Merry Christmas to you too!

I did already know Anomalie, and have been a fan ever since. I do remember thinking when I saw this video a couple of days back that the essence of all awesomeness in his music is, once again, timing & groove. He places his notes exactly in the right spot. He plays with tension, playing some things early, some things late, but very deliberate. He has so much control over his timing it’s insane.

And then I’m not even opening the can of worms that is his knowledge of chords and stuff :slight_smile: That’s obviously awesome as well. But… the most important component of what makes this awesome is his timing I think. Even more reason for me to keep building on the Quest for Groove and figuring out ways to improve myself and also good ways of helping others achieve more grooviness!


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Yes, his timing is scary good. It’s easy to get wowed by his piano arrangement, but what makes the arrangement truly shine is the interplay with the drums. I don’t know the terminology to describe what he’s doing, but it’s exactly what you’re saying–playing early, late, etc., but never sloppily. I love the off-beat rhythm or the moments when the drums are doing something unexpected or “stuttered” but the piano part is arranged to complement the rhythm perfectly.

Can’t wait to progress further in the QFG courses to really hone my sense of groove and timing. Time to download the Benny Greb app :joy: The difficult part in honing my inner sense of rhythm and groove is taking it slowly and doing many reps of drum practice, over time, not all at once. It’s easy to get bored. I often switch away from drums after 20 min or so and play piano, cause it’s my comfort zone.

But I’m realizing something… when I jump into song making without really disciplining myself with playing to a click, my piano playing turns out a bit loose; using piano as a foundation means that everything that’s recorded afterwards doesn’t sound good. Each part is slightly off the grid, in an amateur way.

I almost always begin composition with piano, because it’s my main instrument, but I’m wondering if starting with drums could yield a better result–meaning, if I start with rhythm as the foundation, could the song turn out more groovy and overall better?

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Hey Tanner,

Yes starting with the drums is usually a better way to build up a song. I started out by finger drumming a drum groove and then using iterative quantizing to quantize what I played 50% (and later when I got better I did 20%). This gives you a solid beat that still sounds human.

Then I would use that semi-quantized loop, and copy it all the way through the timeline. And then build a song on top.

Finally, I would then turn off the drum loop and play a new groove over the entire track once the other parts were done. Not always though.

But short answer: Yes, start wirth the drums, thats easier :slight_smile: And in the beginning, just use iterative quantize to make sure things are more together. It’s impossible to instantly play a useable groove in the beginning without any tweaking.