Wheels Up is a unique take on drum set literature. This collection provides the performer with a notated drum set solo that can be performed with either electronic backing track or with a small chamber percussion ensemble. Each tune can be performed as a standalone solo or in combination with the other tunes as a suite.
Genre: Drum Set + Track | # of Players: 1+
Level: Medium | Duration: 14:20 total
Optional Ensemble Parts:
WHEELS UP is a unique take on drum set literature. This collection provides the performer with a notated drum set solo that can be performed with either electronic backing track or with a small chamber percussion ensemble. Each tune can be performed as a standalone solo or in combination with the other tunes as a suite.
Good Morning, Coffee Drinkers
For the past few years, I’ve been inspired by the work of bassist Janek Gwizdala. His unique use of the bass guitar and electronics bridges the gap between jazz, fusion, and electronic music. I came to discover Janek through his vlog and it became part of my daily internet diet. He would often begin his content with the phrase, “Good Morning, Coffee Drinkers.” This piece is bass-heavy with a moving electronic feel. It attempts to blur the line between what is possible in an ensemble setting featuring electronics.
The mixed meter feel at the beginning of the piece is designed to create a sense of openness for the audience. The performer should use the “ad lib.” cymbal sections as an opportunity to create a metallic sonic palette that contributes to the music.
Jojo Mayer is considered to be one of the most important drummers of the last 25 years. His ability to generate a thick layer of timbres and rhythmic complexities would lead many people to assume he is a computer. This piece is created to mimic and hopefully pay homage to such a unique and creative percussive mind. The piece incorporates the use of a small “popcorn” snare tuned very high to create and build upon the drum ‘n’ bass sound for which he is so well known. That snare sound in juxtaposition with a deep main snare and large cymbals covers a wide sonic range.
“Medicine Show” is a fun piece with a nice groove that fits well in both a solo or ensemble setting. The piece is based around an open hand ghost note pattern in the snare, kick, and hi-hat. The tune also incorporates the rims of the drums to create a different textural voice. The use of the open hand technique in the main groove section allows the performer to create a different accent interpretation than what would normally be felt. Ultimately, however, sticking and interpretation is left up to the performer.
My wife and I spent the month of March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand adopting our son, Jack. Bangkok, with its stifling heat, urban sprawl, and different language, was quite a shock to both of us as we struggled to immerse ourselves in a new country and culture. One of the mainstays of our time there was the mass transit system, known as the Sky Train or BTS. Each day, we would emerge from our hotel and dutifully trudge up the platform to the train to take us wherever we needed to go. Over time, we grew to really enjoy taking the train and the adventures it would take us on. Phra Khanong was the name of our stop and it was an important part of our time in Thailand.
The piece features a modified traditional set-up that replaces the rack tom with a small “stack” of cymbals. This stack is used to emulate a digitized “clap” sound that is often heard in hip-hop and pop music. At the “C” section, the performer(s) should not be afraid to play in an “un-quantized” style in homage to hip-hop producer Jay Dilla. His well-known style of not playing metronomically on top of the beat creates an interesting feel. Obviously, this isn’t to say the performer should play out of time, but instead, be looser with the concept of playing in sync.
Appreciate the Call
“Appreciate the Call” is a fun and bouncy tune with a triplet feel. The piece features a strong use of ghost notes and subtle inflection on the kit. This idea of “under-playing” certain rhythmic aspects creates a more complex feel and groove. During the last phrases of the piece, the performer should take liberties with inflection and phrasing. This includes subtle inflections on the ride cymbal.