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Tricked Out Tuesdays

Today:  Installment #2!  Wherein, I your humble web servant, provides you with yet another free drum loop to download and play with to your heart's content.  So get playing!

This one is a bit grittier, maybe a tad bit funkier.  You be the judge.

Loop of the day for Sept 29

Upcoming shows:

Live Kit Set-Up (sometimes)

I'll be playing a few times over the next couple of days.  If you want to come hear me in a few different contexts, this would be a good weekend to do so!  Plus, if you come out, I'd enjoy meeting you!

Saturday:  I'll be playing at the Summit Evening Service at 6:00pm with their amazing worship team.  More details here.  We had rehearsal last night and it was a blast.  I love playing with loops and getting to play in a drum booth.  It's great practice for the studio stuff I do, and I enjoy all the technological stuff that presents itself...plus, it's just plain fun.

Sunday morning:  I'll be playing at Chapel Hill Bible Church in both of their morning worship services, where I'll also be accompanying Christa Wells on one or two songs.  Playing at the Bible Church is something I've done now for several years, and some of the songs we've played so many times that the arrangements are embedded in my subconscious...we rehearsed Wednesday night, and had fun playing some unconventional "takes" on some of the songs.  Nat Stine (Director of Worship) always creates wonderful and detailed arrangements that are a joy to play.

Sunday afternoon:  After teaching a bit of drum lessons, I'll head off to Cary, where I'm playing with Christa Wells and Nicole Witt, and opening up for the Indigo Girls and Matt Nathanson at the Carolina Hope Fest. The Koka Booth amphitheatre is one of the most calming places to play...the stage is a beautiful piece of architecture and the lawn seating is expansive, yet still retains an intimate feel.  I love the fact that there are sub-woofers (and you thought those were just odd placed benches) planted into the ground on the lawn, to complement the sound coming off the stage. 

Next week, I'm off to Chicago to do a series of mid-west dates with Christa and Nicole and also leading some drumming master classes, and private lessons along the way!  Christa and Nicole's tour schedule is listed below:


Free Drum Lessons!

This is pretty much a re-post from here, but I thought I'd mention it on this blog as well.

In an effort to boost business, goodwill, and just be plain nice, I've decided to offer Free Drum Lessons on select Friday's in October.  Here is what I originally wrote over on the blog at Durham Drum Lessons:

Durham Drum Lessons will be offering Free 30 minute Drum Lessons on select Friday's throughout October.

Here are the available times:
9:00 - 9:30am
9:30 - 10:00am
10:00 - 10:30am
10:30 - 11:00am
11:00 - 11:30am

And the available days:
Friday Oct. 9th
Friday Oct. 16th
Friday Oct. 23rd
Friday Oct. 30th

Lessons are available on first come, first served basis and are only for new students.  Only one free lesson per student is allowed.

To sign up fill out the contact form located at:  http://www.durhamdrumlessons.com/contact.html (write in "Free Drum Lesson" in the "Questions/ Comments" box).

Tricked Out Tuesdays

Welcome to a new (hopefully weekly) installment that my friend and internet guru Able Parris suggested I do.

I will attempt to create a loop that is free to download each week. 

If successful, I will provide you with creative fodder that will enhance your most humble and grandiose musical offerings.  To which you will be eternally grateful, and recommend me for some awesome gig in the not so distant future.  However, if I'm not successful at this new endeavor, well, I'll still have fun creating these little snippets of rhythmical goodness (IMHO), so there.  :-) 

But seriously, if you end up using any of my loops, I'd love to hear how you used them and I'd love to hear your finished track.  My hope is that over time these little beats might prove creative fodder for someone, or at least a fun diversion.  So if that's the case for you, let me know...I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch via my contact form.

So without further adieu...here is the first loop:  Enjoy!

Download dbd Loop bpm 95


Drum Part Analysis: Let the Praises Ring

I was recently charting out Lincoln Brewster's song, Let the Praises Ring, for a rehearsal and gig later this week (at the Saturday evening service here) and was intrigued by how the choices the drummer makes in this recording help build and develop the song's energy over the course of the song.

This is a high energy song and has the potential to get out of hand, drumming-wise (no pun intended).  As drummers, when we are faced with a song full of energy, it's easy to over play or use up our most creative fills (aka the more technical and "choppy" stuff) at the top of the song, and then as the song progresses, we run out of ideas (and possibly energy).  Instead of our fills and drum parts helping build the song from the beginning to the middle and finally to the end, we end up with an almost "backwards composed" drum part, where the big fills (and ideas) all happen towards the beginning and middle of the song and we "peter" out as we get to the ending. 

Thankfully, that's not the example shown by the drummer in this song.  He expertly builds the song from the beginning to the end, and for the purposes of my discussion today, I'd like to mostly look at the first part of the song up to the second verse.

As you go through the song, listen (or follow along on my drum chart) to how "restrained" the drummer seems in relation to the energy building through the beginning of the song and up through the first chorus.  Specifically listen for:

  • the drum fills and how they deveop from the the intro to the chorus
  • how the drummer uses the open and closed (and half-open) hi-hat sounds - and when he uses those sounds
  • where the drummer uses the ride cymbal as a way to create more energy and dynamics ( for example:  he waits until the last 4 bars of the chorus to start playing the ride which helps to lift that last bit of the chorus and "drive home" that part of the song)
  • how the drummer opens the hat to create a dynamic lift building into the chorus
  • notice how the bass drum part is more sparse in the first half and gets a little busier in the second half of the verse and how this small change in the drum part helps build the anticipation for the coming chorus

The key here is how concise and musical the drum part is to setting up the song.  The drum part is composed so that in a similar way to the lyrics, and larger composition of the song, it develops, strengthens and builds from beginning to the end.  This particular drum part serves as a great example of how we need to think when approaching and creating the parts for the songs we find ourselves playing on.  On a certain level, you can hear the "trust" on the part of the drummer - he trusts that it's not up to him to bring all the energy to the song. That if he creates (forms/ composes/ fabricates) his part well, it creates space for the other musicians to add their energy and parts. The end result is an entire ensemble of musicians bringing life to the song as a balanced whole. 

Also of note (throughout the whole song) is the drum fill that occurs in bar 16 of each double chorus (by my count each double chorus is 32 bars/ measures long) and in bar eight of the first chorus.  It might not be apparent on the first listen, but each fill is based on the same rhythmic figure:  a dotted eighth, followed by a sixteenth, an eighth rest and then an eighth note. 

In the first chorus, the figure is stated rather simply and "unadorned" - no toms or big cymbals, just communicated between the kick and the snare.  By the second chorus, we hear the drummer using his toms to play this figure.  And finally in the last chorus he plays the figure with his kick while anticipating the 16th and trailing 8th note with his snare, which syncopates the rhythm in a more complex way from the previous times.  As a listener, you may be tempted to think that these choices were made randomly, but I'm fairly certain, that although the drummer may not have known ahead of time what he was going to be playing in those spots, he was aware that each time he played a fill in that measure, it was going to build, and continue to get more complex as the song progressed.

A note about my drum chart:  I typically chart out songs using notebook paper (though my scanner makes it look as if I'm using typing paper), as it seems more plentiful, and less expensive than regular staff paper.  I use a combination of the rhythmic dictation and transcription skills I learned in college, with the practical charting system I learned of (thank you Mark Nash!) when I was in Nashville.  Using these techniques I can usually chart a new song in one listen.  When I am trying to replicate a drum part from a recording, I usually take more time to write out the exact parts (or close to the exact parts).  In this particular case, I was taken with how well crafted the drum part was on this song, and felt compelled to notate more detail than I normally do, which led to my analysis above.  And about the notation: 

  • x = hi-hat (on top line)
  • snare is in the middle of the line
  • kick is on the bottom of the line
  • circled notes are toms
  • circled x's are crash cymbals
  • "full trash" (seen at the end of the chart) is a term used by the church (The Summit) I'll be playing this song for to indicate a big ending fill, with the final ending hit being led (or possibly directed) by the drummer

Call Me!

Thanks to Google Voice, you can call me directly from the web.  Give me a call about your next project, show or gig.  I'm always looking for new opportunities to work, play and make music!

I'm mentioned in "Free for All"

Free for all book img A book by Tim Conder and Daniel Rhodes was released recently, and my wife and I are mentioned in the book.  Most of the book chronicles the experiences of an Emergent Church that I play at here in Durham on a fairly regular basis.  My wife has done some paintings, and exhibits for them as well and has been featured as a guest on at least one occasion.  You can hear me most weeks playing drums on their podcast, and I'm featured on most of the tracks on their recent "worship" CD:  Rite 7.  Typically, the music is more of what you'd expect at a house concert, and I vary my setup from week to week, in an effort to keep the drum and percussion parts sounding fresh and interesting. 

Anyway, if you are at all interested in what the "emergent church" movement is all about, I think Free for All does a good job at introducing the "whys" of the movement and showing real life examples of what an emergent chruch "looks" like.  Many of the folks I've created music with in the past year are also mentioned in the book, like Jesse, Mark, Tim, Mike and Wade (among others).

Update: What I'm up to...

Dale Baker : DrummerLot's going on here in BakerLand...

 In no particular order, here's what I've been up to in the last few week (months?):

I've been playing shows and house concerts with two amazing singer/songwriters:  Christa Wells and Nicole Witt.  We're doing a short tour through the midwest in early October (Chicago, Anderson, IN).  We're also doing a few shows here in North Carolina (Charlotte, Hendersonville)- most notably we'll be opening for the Indigo Girls at the Carolina Hope Fest in a couple of weeks.  Most of the dates are up on Nicole's MySpace site.  Just look for the dates that reference the "Love Makes Music Tour w/ Christa Wells."

I was hired by the College at Southeastern in Wake Forest to be their Adjunct Instructor in Percussion for this Fall.  I'm really excited (and a little nervous) about what all that means.  But I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue to hone my teaching skills, and pass on the knowledge I've gained through the years.

Speaking of teaching, I'm continuing to offer private drum instruction out of my studio here in Durham.  If you or anyone you know is need of drum lessons, I'd appreciate you sending them my way!  This year, I'm offering lessons earlier in the day 9:00am to 12:00 noon, in addition to my regular teaching hours from 4:00 until 8:30 most days of the week.

Dale Baker: In Session with Mike Garrigan and Stephen Smith I'm continuing to record quite a bit as well.  In the past few weeks I've played on some wonderful sessions (seen here with Mike Garrigan producing Stephen Smith's latest release) and I've been playing on Justin DeYoung's debut recording, which he is self producing, along with the guys who are behind this amazing pedal.  I'm always looking for more work, so if you have a project you'd like me to play on, get in touch with me via my contact form...

I've also started a collaborative band project, you can check out our tentative beginnings here: www.reverbnation.com/durjam.  Our first gig was a benefit for the National MS Society at a local club and we helped raise over $1500.  Not a bad start for a band, don't you think?

Dale Baker with Rick Allen (from Def Lepperd)Oh, and let's see what else:  I've been reading my two huge coffee table books about U2, and have been inspired by their story, history and ability to continue putting out compelling music in spite of the personal struggles, and craziness that goes with being artists on that level.  I would really enjoy reading a book of interviews with their significant others, as I'm sure the fame and success has taken a toll them and it'd be interesting to hear how they've coped with it through the years.  Plus, I'd love to read more about Paul McGuiness, some of his quotes are my favorites in those books. Oh, and here is a picture of me and my son with Rick Allen from Def Lepperd, I recently met him through my friend Mark, who is Def Lepperd's Tour Accountant.  We were catching up over some coffee, and Rick came by to hang out for a bit, thus a photo op for me and my son! 

I'm hoping to eventually redesign my site here.  Thanks to some great tutorials over at Everything TypePad getting my site looking more like this awesome design by Able Parris doesn't seem as tricky as it once did.

And as far as new music goes, have your heard Susan Enan?  I was given her new album today by a friend, and have really enjoyed listening to it.  I would give my eye teeth to play with an artist like this... :-) Of course she has Ashwin Sood playing on her record, so my guess is he's got that gig all sewn up! 

I know it appears I'm busy, but please don't let that keep you from contacting me to play on your project or your next show/ tour.  I'd love to help you out however I can!  

Until next time, cheers!

Hire Me!

  • I'm currently accepting new projects.  Please Contact Me for work inquiries.  I look forward to hearing from you!

My Drumming On CD

  • Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess

    Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess
    The second CD Sixpence recorded was my first with the band. We tracked the rhythm tracks in 4 days at Omni Sound studios in Nashville. Armand John Petri produced and many fans say that this is their favorite Sixpence album.

  • Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer

    Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer
    The Grammy nominated, RIAA Certified Platinum selling album that featured the breakout hit, "Kiss Me." Produced by Steve Taylor and wonderfully engineered and mixed by Russ Long, with additional mixing by Bob Clearmountain. The follow-up hit, "There She Goes" was also later added to this album.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer
    Includes the hits "Kiss Me," "There She Goes," and "Breathe Your Name" and many other of the songs I played on and helped promote during my 7+ years with the band.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel

    Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
    Out-takes and B-Sides from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" CD. There were some extended jams, a live track, some moody percussion and even a re-mix done by friend and former roommate, Sal Salvador. Not only does this CD feature my drumming, and vocals(!), but I make my producing debut on this album with an angst-filled vibey take on an old Patsy Cline song.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection

    Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection
    Includes Sixpence's first 3 CD's. Of these 3 CD's my drumming only appears on the 2nd and 3rd disc. The first CD featured the drumming of Chris Dodds, one of my favorite people and drummers.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes

    Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes
    CD single of the 11th hour addition to Sixpence's self-titled album which helped solidify Sixpence as a legitmate "Breakthrough Artist" according to R&R magazine. The song went on to become a Top 10 Single with an appealing video (featuring "Saving Private Ryan" star, Adam Goldberg), by director and good friend of the band, Brandon Dickerson.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights

    Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights
    CD single of the Top 20 hit, Breathe Your Name w/ non-album track Northern Lights, from Sixpence's Divine Discontent record. Both songs feature my drumming.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best

    Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best
    A compilation of the best tracks from the band's REX years. And yes, that's me in the corner with the beard and glasses.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me

    Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me
    Imported Single of the most played song from the year 2000. This song features my drumming and went to the top of the charts in over 10 countries (US, UK, Canada, Israel, Japan, etc...). I also appeared in all the videos and TV appearances that helped promote this song. Interesting side note: this song was chosen by Britain's Royal Family to be played for over 200 Million viewers during Prince Edward's 1999 wedding.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You

    Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You
    Import Single of a song from the band's self-titled album. This was one of the songs Bob Clearmountain mixed and it was honor to have him work his magic on my drum tracks!

  • ...The Basics: Grow
    I was really happy how this record turned out. An honest, well produced CD by a couple of North Carolina's (and Northern California's) best songwriters. I also took the photos that appear in the CD booklet.
  • [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection

    [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection
    I played on the first City on a Hill CD as well as a track or two on the second CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons

    [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons
    I played drums with the Rolling Creek Dippers, aka: Buddy and Julie Miller, Victoria Williams, Mark Olsen, Jim Lauderdale.

  • [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs

    [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs
    I played drums with Sixpence None the Richer, Emmylou Harris, Steve Taylor and percussion with Burlap to Cashmere on this CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Exodus

    [Various Artists]: Exodus
    I played with Sixpence None the Richer, Michael W. Smith, and Kenny Meeks on this CD.

  • Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright

    Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright
    I played drums on this CD that was produced by Jack Henderson. This is one of my favorite projects to have played on. Some of the tracks feature Linford and Karin from Over the Rhine as well.

  • Frankly Scarlet: Stories I've Heard
    I played and recorded with this band back when I lived in Dallas. We even shot a video...with the Dallas skyline as our backdrop.
  • [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson

    [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson
    I played drums and percussion (timpani, chimes, beat box) on Jason Harrod's version of "In My Room" for this Brian Wilson tribute album.

  • Rebecca St. James: Transform

    Rebecca St. James: Transform
    I played on a track produced by Matt Bronlewee, that featured the London Symphony Orchestra and some very "Bjork" sounding vocals by Rebecca. I think we did about 40 tracks of various percussion overdubs for this track too.

  • [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur

    [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur
    My first time to work with producer Brent Bourgeois and one of my first times in the studio with Sixpence. I borrowed a whole bunch of percussion from Steve Hindalong and had a great time overdubbing frame drums, rattan shakers and the like. The track ended up sounding very Daniel Lanois-ish with some Peter Gabriel-esq type layers thrown in for good measure.

  • Phantasmic: Fluffy Vs. Phantasmic
    "Rainy Day Assembly" appears on this record. This out-take from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" session was used by Tess Wiley (aka, Phantasmic) and features shaker performed by percussion wiz Lalo Davila.
  • Honey: Lost on You
    I played on two tracks from this record produced by Dan and Steve from Jars of Clay.
  • [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)

    [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)
    This Soundtrack album features two songs I did with Sixpence, one a cover of a Sam Phillips/ T-Bone Burnett song: "I Need Love" and the other, the opening track ("We Have Forgotten") from Sixpence's self-titled record.

  • [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture

    [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture
    Sixpence's version of The La's tune, "There She Goes" is on this soundtrack album. And yes, I'm playing drums on that song...

  • [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)

    [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)
    Another song ("Love") I did with Sixpence from their self-titled album, appears on this soundtrack. Mark Nash and I played a drum duet of sorts to get the primal heavy-handed approach needed for this wonderful song.

  • [various artists]: Dick

    [various artists]: Dick
    One of my favorite tracks. Everytime I hear this song ("Dancing Queen"), I can't help but think of Alan Partridge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent

    Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent
    Even though I quit playing with the band in 2001, the bulk of this record was recorded in 2000, and so my playing is featured on more than half the tracks on this record. Produced by Paul Fox, beautifully engineered by Mark Chevalier and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years
    New Sixpence compilation from the REX years. Includes songs and b-sides from the early work I recorded with Sixpence - pre "Kiss Me" era.

  • Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)

    Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)
    Okay, this is a book. But I wrote the first essay that appears in the book and took all the photos that appear as well. You can actually read my essay by clicking this link and "looking inside the book." Fun, huh?

  • Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0

    Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0
    A radio station compilation featuring in-studio and concert live cuts. Includes, Sixpence doing "Kiss Me"(with me on drums), and Fleming and John's "Ugly Girl", Dido, BareNaked Ladies, etc.

  • : Plumb

    Loops, fragments of songs and lots of percussion is what I remember from this session. Producer Dan Haseltine and Matt Bronlewee made this a fun and creative time in the studio. It was great to be a part of the debut album of such a phenomenal artist (am I gushing to much here?).

  • [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)

    [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)
    Features "Melody of You" a beautiful song by Sixpence None the Richer that I played drums on and was featured on the series final episode (I think).