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Although for many, the name Wilcoxon might not ring any bell, his imprint on the art of drumming can be found everywhere. Wilcoxon taught up until his death in , but luckily for us, he left behind a series of books which have become standards in the drum education field.
They contain the fundamentals of the drumming language. Here is my rendition of the entire solo, so you have an idea of how it goes. These approaches will give us a tool to incorporate these rudimental solos into our jazz soloing vocabulary.
NOTE: It is essential to have a strong foundation in rudiments before you attempt to practice any of the following exercises. You should be comfortable playing all of the 26 American rudiments. Before we discuss the two different approaches, it is vital you learn the solo as it is.
Swinging the 16th Notes So every time we see 16th notes, we are going to swing them. A lot of phrases can be easily applied to Funk, Hip Hop or uptempo swing playing. Swinging the 8th Notes: Now we are going to swing only the 8th notes. It sounds a lot like a solo Philly Joe Jones would play. It makes the solo feel like it was written for jazz. Add the hi-hat on beat 2 of every bar. Also, you can feather the bass drum; meaning playing the bass drums in all quarter notes, but softly.
Remember you can break the solos into smaller pieces. Choose the ones you like and work on them so that you can use them in your playing. Hope this helps.
Rudimental Drummer: 2 Concepts To Incorporate Wilcoxon’s Solos Into Your Playing