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Tiger Bill Reviews
Turn It Up & Lay It Down
By Joe Bergamini & Kevin Fuhrman
Style and Analysis
If you're not familiar with Spencer Strand's series of play-along CDs, Turn It Up & Lay It Down, you owe it to yourself to check them out. I use them with my students in a variety of ways and have found them to to be extremely valuable in helping me improve their improvisational chops, sight reading, and groove skills. Joe Bergamini and Kevin Fuhrman have developed what they refer to as a "style and analysis" guide meant as a companion for volume one in Spencer's play-along series. This guide consists of an 80-page book and an 82-track instructional CD that contains audio examples of many of the exercises from the book.
Following is my review of Turn It Up & Lay It Down Vol 1: Style and Analysis.
Co-Author Kevin Fuhrman, a percussionist based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities area, plays steel drums, drumset, and percussion with a variety of groups. He currently endorses Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks (also a member of the VF Educational Team), Rhythm Tech products, Real Feel pads, and Aquarian drumheads.
Spencer Strand, creator of the original series of Turn It Up & Lay It Down play-along CDs, is a drummer /inventor with numerous products to his credit. One of my personal favorites is his Laptop snare, which I will also be reviewing shortly. Other products include the Skratcher, CANZ, Gemini maracas, the Sideman mount, the Mountable Gig Tray, and a few that Spencer says he doesn't want to admit to! Spencer's products are available from Rhythm Tech and other sources.
Style and Analysis Layout
As a bonus, sidebars are included throughout the book featuring artists that inspired the grooves, such as Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, Jeff Porcaro, John Bonham, among others.
The layout of the book is as follows:
Part 1: Fun & Funky - Named after tracks 1-4 on the original Turn It Up & Lay It Down CD, this section concentrates on funk and R&B music styles.
Part 2: Rock Solid - As the title suggests, this section covers rock tunes from Tracks 5-10 of the original CD, including styles made famous by artists such as John Bonham and Jeff Porcaro.
Part 3: Off To Buffalo - This section focuses on tracks 9-11, which deal with various shuffle patterns.
Part 4: Planet Jazz - This chapter covers tracks 12-17 from Spencer's original CD, which contain various jazz styles. Included are explanations of the structure (form) of the standard jazz tune, improvisation, cymbal time, and independence.
Part 5: Stuff De Latin - Basic Latin grooves are covered on Tracks 18-20, specifically, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles..
Part 6: Fill... Fill... Fill... - Many drummers have trouble keeping solid time especially when moving from groove patterns to fills and back again. The last five tracks (21-25) on volume one of Spencer's original CD are designed to test your time or inner clock by including phrases where the music and click track drops out. This section of the book provides a skelton chart for each track for you to use as a guide when coming up with your own original ideas, and includes basic groove and fill examples that you can use as is.
Part 7: Contributing Artists Groove and Fill Ideas -
Turn It Up & Lay It Down Style and Analysis: The Bottom Line
This book and instructional CD is a must for anyone who already works with volume one of Spencer's Turn It Up & Lay It Down CD. And, if you aren't yet working with Spencer's CDs, I suggest that you take a look at them for yourself and for your students. They are definitely a worthwhile investment.
While this book/instructional CD package from Alfred Publishing is a good value at the retail price of $24.95, those who are wise to Web shopping will be able to purchase it at an even better bargain online.
Until next time: Stay loose.
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