Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Monk with Moeller Strokes



Soloing with Moeller Strokes over "Blue Monk"
In todays post I wanted to illustrate some applications of the Moeller stroke around the drum set in the context of the song "Blue Monk" by Thelonious Monk.  I have been developing my Moeller stroke technique for some time now using the Caravan Warmup, which I have described in detail in previous posts.  In this video I am singing and thinking of "Blue Monk" with a head-solo-head format.  In my solo I will use several applications of the Moeller around the drum set.  Try singing the melody along with my solo to stay oriented in the form.

Overuse
There is plenty of potential to overuse/abuse the Moeller stroke.  But I think when you can find the right places for it, particularly at climactic points in a solo, it can be a really powerful and exciting device.  One good way to practice not overusing Moeller strokes is to video yourself soloing and to check your own playing out.  Do you sound like you are playing to much?  Then you are playing too much. 

Practice soloing in a form
Another important thing to practice is soloing in context, as the odds are you won't play many totally open solos on a gig.  Try your best to make your solo sound like it belongs to the song that it is in.  I do this by trying to sing, or at least think about the melody throughout my solo.