The Charley Wilcoxon Challenge

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
That's a good way to put it. I'm glad this thread popped back up. I pulled this book out after not seeing it in about 15 years. I no longer keep a kit in my office, but I do keep my Prologix Blue Lighting pad on a stand under my desk for when I feel like taking a break.

There's also no law that says you can't elaborate on the etudes and use them as inspiration to create your own stuff. Ultimately what all material should come down to IMO, especially for a kit player and extra-especially for a jazzer.

There is a procedure if we want things to actually come out in our playing spontaneously.
 

cornelius

Silver Member
So I downloaded a .pdf of AAD. The notation is a little dated, but I'm looking forward to diving into it.

Are there any in particular that teachers recommend students to start with, or should I just start at the beginning?

Find some solos that you resonate with - or ones that pose a challenge that will help you work on something you've been meaning to improve upon.
 

BrandonGoodwin

Junior Member
So I downloaded a .pdf of AAD. The notation is a little dated, but I'm looking forward to diving into it.

Are there any in particular that teachers recommend students to start with, or should I just start at the beginning?

Any are good, and there are lots of versions of each solo online. #6 is an easier one, so you could start there. Or just go from the beginning!
 

beatdat

Senior Member
I may add more, but I put up 3 separate vids on a channel in the event you want to see how I practice the Wilcoxon material. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCimT6lLP8slkcJfQzmNxwWA/videos


Nice playing!



They are not in order of difficulty. The last 30 are longer pieces.


And all 26 rudiments are incorporated into each of the last 26 solos!


I picked up AAD almost a couple of months ago, and I've been working through one solo a week, playing each one 3x a week for 1/2 hour, starting at 40bpm, and increasing it in 5bpm increments at a time up to 80 bpm. Periodically, I'll review previous ones I've learned at 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% of my maximum speed.

Is this a reasonable way of learning the solos? Given the breadth of this book, I figure it's a long term study and will take a few years to get through at even a basic level.

All in all, I'm really liking the solos so far - they're creative, pithy and, more importantly, fun to play.



Any are good, and there are lots of versions of each solo online. #6 is an easier one, so you could start there. Or just go from the beginning!


Funny enough, I just got through #6 before coming back to this thread - it's definitely the easiest one so far!
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Nice playing!






And all 26 rudiments are incorporated into each of the last 26 solos!


I picked up AAD almost a couple of months ago, and I've been working through one solo a week, playing each one 3x a week for 1/2 hour, starting at 40bpm, and increasing it in 5bpm increments at a time up to 80 bpm. Periodically, I'll review previous ones I've learned at 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% of my maximum speed.

Is this a reasonable way of learning the solos? Given the breadth of this book, I figure it's a long term study and will take a few years to get through at even a basic level.

All in all, I'm really liking the solos so far - they're creative, pithy and, more importantly, fun to play.

definitely a reasonable way to do it! I think I would only go as slow 60bpm and then do the "5 beat creep" (as I call it with my students), but start at whatever tempo is comfortable. For me 40 bpm is too slow...like, it does not feel like there is any connection to the patterns at that tempo
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I've been going down the Wilcoxon rabbit hole myself quite a bit lately. Especially AAD. I've been using predominantly the Reflexx pad for my stuff, using both sides of the pad to get a well-rounded workout. I find just working them in numerical order gives a nice mix of challenges and some musical variety. I'm not sure if Wilcoxon arranged them that way deliberately, or if it just happens to work, sort of like arranging a set list in alphabetical order seems to.

Like many of you, I find the musical aspect of the solos makes them a lot of fun to practice.

One of the noteworthy things about the notation in Wilcoxon is the different types of seven-stroke rolls. I had never seen this notation prior to working out of these books. Phil from Drummer's Weekly Groovecast was my point-of-entry to understanding how this notation is meant to be played. The traditional (Phil calls them ternary) seven-stroke roll we are accustomed to in most rudimental literature (which fits in the space of an 8th note) is used in some passages, but so are the binary seven-stroke rolls that have two grace notes preceding the 8th note. These are meant to be played sort of like pickup notes to a 32nd note roll that starts on the "e."

There's an almost endless supply of material in these books and I'm really enjoying working through them.
 
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beatdat

Senior Member
definitely a reasonable way to do it! I think I would only go as slow 60bpm and then do the "5 beat creep" (as I call it with my students), but start at whatever tempo is comfortable. For me 40 bpm is too slow...like, it does not feel like there is any connection to the patterns at that tempo

I get what you're saying, but I'm not yet good enough to start with any of these solos at a faster speed, lest I don't get the sticking down. The only other solos I've learned are the ones in "Mastering the Rudiments for Snare Drum", so it's still a slow process for me.

Perhaps once I've got the first 20 solos under my belt (the first 10 in straight time and the second 10 in triplet time), I'll be able to start learning them at a quicker tempo.

Still, you're absolutely right about 40bpm, in that there seems to be "no connection to the patterns at that tempo". I know when I'm playing them, I can't wait to get to 50-55bpm, which is where they start to feel and sound musical to me.
 
I've been going down the Wilcoxon rabbit hole myself quite a bit lately. Especially AAD. I've been using predominantly the Reflexx pad for my stuff, using both sides of the pad to get a well-rounded workout. I find just working them in numerical order gives a nice mix of challenges and some musical variety. I'm not sure if Wilcoxon arranged them that way deliberately, or if it just happens to work, sort of like arranging a set list in alphabetical order seems to.

Like many of you, I find the musical aspect of the solos makes them a lot of fun to practice.

One of the noteworthy things about the notation in Wilcoxon is the different types of seven-stroke rolls. I had never seen this notation prior to working out of these books. Phil from Drummer's Weekly Groovecast was my point-of-entry to understanding how this notation is meant to be played. The traditional (Phil calls them ternary) seven-stroke roll we are accustomed to in most rudimental literature (which fits in the space of an 8th note) is used in some passages, but so are the binary seven-stroke rolls that have two grace notes preceding the 8th note. These are meant to be played sort of like pickup notes to a 32nd note roll that starts on the "e."

There's an almost endless supply of material in these books and I'm really enjoying working through them.

Thanks for the shout out 8 mile! Much appreciated. Wilcoxon is a must study. I love it that forums like this are helping to keep these classic, definitive books alive.

Since getting back into the college teaching game I'm astounded at how many students AND professors are not familiar with methods like these. It's been my experience that a lot of folks turn their collective noses up at many of the older methods. It's a shame because the newer methods that many use are just watered down or copied versions of the classic texts.

Keep it going folks!

Phil
Drummer's Weekly Groovecast
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Definetly still much to get from these texts and like other traditional methods they offer a basis for expansion as well.

I don't necessarily push for much speed with these things, just accuracy and I practice the etudes leading with both hands.

There are many examples of bars that also inspire new ways for more static exercises that can be superimposed over other texts like Syncopation or SC etc...

Just playing through them will reveal new ideas and also expose weaknesses that can be worked on by repetition or separately.

We know the old cats, at least those with some facility used this material. This is going straight to the source.
 
Still, you're absolutely right about 40bpm, in that there seems to be "no connection to the patterns at that tempo". I know when I'm playing them, I can't wait to get to 50-55bpm, which is where they start to feel and sound musical to me.
How about setting the click to 80 bpm for the 8ths for the first 2/4 solos and intrepeting them as 4/4? Maybe that will make practicing them less tedious, as you can also play them while listening to music in the 80 bpm range.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I get what you're saying, but I'm not yet good enough to start with any of these solos at a faster speed, lest I don't get the sticking down. The only other solos I've learned are the ones in "Mastering the Rudiments for Snare Drum", so it's still a slow process for me.

Perhaps once I've got the first 20 solos under my belt (the first 10 in straight time and the second 10 in triplet time), I'll be able to start learning them at a quicker tempo.

Still, you're absolutely right about 40bpm, in that there seems to be "no connection to the patterns at that tempo". I know when I'm playing them, I can't wait to get to 50-55bpm, which is where they start to feel and sound musical to me.


I'd just learn them piece by piece in free tempo and then start using metronome at whatever pace is comfortable. Going super slow is also advanced. Not the same as going very fast, but it's for when you want to refine things on a very deep level.

Just pick a solo and get that one done.

It is based on rudiments and some variations that show up all the time, repeating elements, so the next one will be easier.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
How about setting the click to 80 bpm for the 8ths for the first 2/4 solos and intrepeting them as 4/4? Maybe that will make practicing them less tedious, as you can also play them while listening to music in the 80 bpm range.

Yeah, in general that's how I do it. So, when I say I play them at, for example, 50bpm, I have the click set to 100bpm and play to it as 1/8 notes.

I'd just learn them piece by piece in free tempo and then start using metronome at whatever pace is comfortable. Going super slow is also advanced. Not the same as going very fast, but it's for when you want to refine things on a very deep level.

Just pick a solo and get that one done.

It is based on rudiments and some variations that show up all the time, repeating elements, so the next one will be easier.

Since I last posted about a month ago, where I had only worked through the first 6 solos, I'm now on solo No. 12.

But, yeah, it's getting a lot easier to play through the new solos for the first time, not so much the sight reading (which I don't have a problem with), but the patterns themselves; I do like how certain patterns in one solo are incorporated into subsequent solos.

Still, there are a couple of parts where I have to change what is written to suit my abilities, in that there can be a couple of notes that are just a little to advanced for me to play even at a modest tempo. I'm sure I'll come back to them in the future and play them as written, but for now, I'm just happy incorporating the rudiments and learning some new and interesting sticking patterns.

It's definitely a highlight of my practice schedule, and I find always myself looking forward to playing or learning a new solo.
 
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