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Hello Everybody,

Here are some thoughts I'm struggling with as a drummer who has been playing loads of standards on drums and now trying to get to know all of these on vibes.

I guess there are a lot of guys out here that played drums first and then started playing vibes. At the moment I can do any jazz gig and it doesn't really matter which tune gets called and I can play it... but only on drums. Somehow it's hard to re-learn all those tunes when you think you've got them down. I mean I know all the melodies and I can hear changes going in my head and all that, but it's just one more (Big) Step to get those down on the vibes.

So how to go about learning all these tunes?

So this is my 2 cents about it. Everything that I hear in my head has to be translated to the point that I KNOW what I hear and know what to play.

It all comes down to ear training! That's the whole thing. I remember when I was in my first year at college I hardly played drums, but I played II - V - I on the piano all day. And now, whenever I hear a II - V - I, I immediately recognize it.

I've been studying with Tony for a while and the great thing is that he is totally into this kind of learning to play music. It's the ear and the music you play from inside you that counts the most! Man, Thelonious Monk had the worst technique ever, but what he played, and wrote, blew everybody away!

Ok, I can go on and on babbling about this subject, but let's take some sort of lesson and plan out of this.

I'll be posting stuff in my blog here about me struggling to learn the tunes and I'll also upload recordings of me playing tunes. I'm totally not gonna be bothered if what I recorded sucks, cause then I'll never upload anything... I always feel that it should be better, but hey, that keeps us going, right? I think this should be the case for all of us here on this site. We are here to learn from one another and shouldn't be ashamed if we mess up here, that's the point were we will all learn.

So I'll be posting tunes and stuff and if anyone of you wants to join in, we could even do the same tunes and all post a version of it.

To start, check out the audio file of a version of Stella I did a long time ago(see the link at the top!). You'll think hey where did the time go?, and that is exactly what I thought. So it's a little free, but it does sound like Stella, right??




tonymiceli Fri, 09/05/2008 - 10:03


at one time i knew every MONK tune by heart. I played in a Monk band and over 2 years I had every tune down. 6 months after the band stopped playing, I knew about 1/3 and now, not really any except the ones everybody knows.

Just the way it is. You have to keep playing. Hey I'm going to blog on this!