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“Takebrushes” course

Brushes as a fundamental beater; their technique and application, primarily jazz drum-set.

Number of teaching hours: 16 hours total, 4 per day

Number of students: 12 approx.

Goals and curriculum of the course:

  • Introduction and demonstration in the use of this type of beater, which is a skill of fundamental importance for the professional percussionist, but is scarcely developed in music conservatories.
  • Acquisition of general knowledge in brushes, providing a base to the student for his later development.

It is also possible to take individual classes.

Contents of the program

A) General technique of the brushes: vertical movements (tap sound), horizontal movements –circular, semicircular and linear sweeps. Fundamental principles of sounds obtaining (open, close, tangential, click and flat sounds; sliding staccato sweep
–“chick sound”-, legato sweep, clasping staccato sweep, etc.) and effects (rim-roll, rim-flex …)
B) Principal styles treated: medium tempo, up tempo, ballad, bossa nova, samba, 3/4 waltz, 5/4 time, funky and shuffle.
C) Solos, fills and breaks
D) Melody heads: development of a rhythmic line

Methodology that will apply itself and work during the course of four working days (bibliography):

  • Alexandru-Zorn, Florian. The Complete Guide to Playing Brushes
  • Bellson, Louie. Contemporary Brush Techniques
  • Cameron, Clayton. Brushworks
  • Hazilla, Jon. Mastering the Art of Brushes
  • Jones, Philly Joe. Brush Artistry
  • Kirk, Willis. Brush Fire
  • Mackenzie, Ted. The Ultimate Drummer’s Workout (Technique With Brushes)
  • Ramsay, John / Dawson, Alan. The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary (The Rudimental Ritual with Brushes)
  • Riley, John. The Art of Bop Drumming (“Brushes”)
  • Thigpen, Ed. The Sound of Brushes

System of work: 

Practice of technique and the general principles of the movement and sound production. Application of technique to the most usual styles, analysis of the more famous performers and practice using “play along” recordings.