Wilcoxon solos

8Mile

Platinum Member
Instead of starting a separate thread for every Wilcoxon solo video I make, I will just post them all here in one place. These are all found in The All-American Drummer, 150 Rudimental Solo

This is solo number 8.

 

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8Mile

Platinum Member
Ooof that's some fast 5 stroke rolls there in around measure 8 or so.
Yes! This felt like too slow a tempo to play this piece, but I wanted to articulate those as open rolls so I slowed it down a bit. I couldn't find too many examples of people playing it online to get an idea of how it really was intended to be played. The one video I found that did come in at a more typical marching tempo was played with closed rolls. So this was just my interpretation.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Ooof that's some fast 5 stroke rolls there in around measure 8 or so.
No doubt. I started working through AAD a few months ago, and have been going through them steadily ever since. I'm up to Solo #24 now (I play each one for 3 days for 15mins at a time at various tempos). So far, that measure, number 8, in this solo is one of the most difficult measures I've come across.

I'm working through these solos at the same time I'm going through Bill Bachman's Extreme Hands Makeover. Since I'm taking Bachman's plan slow (I work on each step for 2 weeks, so I'm only up to step 6 now), my technique is limited and measures such as number 8 prove to be a real challenge for me. What do you suggest I do in cases such as this? Should I just practice solos like this slower than the other ones that don't have such a tricky passage, or should I modify measures such as this (eg. converts the first part of the measure to 3-stroke ruffs) in order to match the tempo that I can play other solos at?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
What do you suggest I do in cases such as this? Should I just practice solos like this slower than the other ones that don't have such a tricky passage, or should I modify measures such as this (eg. converts the first part of the measure to 3-stroke ruffs) in order to match the tempo that I can play other solos at?
I'm not a teacher, so this really limits how much I can offer. I have one data point (me), but an experienced teacher has many (all the students they've taught) to draw from. They work with students at different levels and who learn in different ways; I can only tell you what has worked for me.

I think slowing things down is the way to learn something like this. And then, as things become more comfortable, increase the tempo. A big part of it is learning the coordination to play the stickings and accent patterns and having it become second nature. I find that happens best at slower tempos.

But one big caveat: I think it's good to push way past my comfortable speed sometimes. Even if I'm playing sloppy and my technique is kind of falling apart. I've heard Tommy Igoe and Mike Johnston also talk about using this approach at times. No matter how crappy it is, now I go back to a few BPM faster than my maximum speed was before and it suddenly feels easier.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
I'm not a teacher, so this really limits how much I can offer. I have one data point (me), but an experienced teacher has many (all the students they've taught) to draw from. They work with students at different levels and who learn in different ways; I can only tell you what has worked for me.

I think slowing things down is the way to learn something like this. And then, as things become more comfortable, increase the tempo. A big part of it is learning the coordination to play the stickings and accent patterns and having it become second nature. I find that happens best at slower tempos.

But one big caveat: I think it's good to push way past my comfortable speed sometimes. Even if I'm playing sloppy and my technique is kind of falling apart. I've heard Tommy Igoe and Mike Johnston also talk about using this approach at times. No matter how crappy it is, now I go back to a few BPM faster than my maximum speed was before and it suddenly feels easier.
It took a long time for me to commit to practicing slowly. I spent a long time trying to get faster without ever having really gone through playing slowly and long enough to the point where it was ingrained into me. Unsurprisingly, the results were unimpressive, and I ended up paying for it in the long run. In turning it around, I've found that I actually love practicing slow, deliberate, and often repeated patterns. There is a joy in playing simple stuff well.

So, I may be embarrassed, but I'm not ashamed, to admit that I can only play Charlie's solos comfortably (the first couple of dozen, at least) around 70bpm. Any faster, and I get sloppy. But, what vexes me is when Charlie throws in something like measure 8 when the rest of the solo doesn't compare to it. And by that I mean, if it weren't for measure 8, I could play the rest of the solo a fair bit faster; but, to play the whole solo that fast, I would have to play the first half of measure 8 as two 3-stroke ruffs and not the two 32nd note 5-stroke rolls written. On the other hand, that's all forgotten when I sit back at look at these pieces for the short solos they are and not the exercises I want them to be.

Still, I'm wondering if measure 8 is written correctly. Doesn't the measure written add up to 5/8 time. Shouldn't the 32nd notes in the two 5-stroke rolls be 64th notes instead to fit into 2/4 time?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Still, I'm wondering if measure 8 is written correctly. Doesn't the measure written add up to 5/8 time. Shouldn't the 32nd notes in the two 5-stroke rolls be 64th notes instead to fit into 2/4 time?
The five stroke rolls are notated as 64th notes. 32nd notes would be three beams, these are written with four beams. It is written correctly.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I think working on these things at a slower tempo is great. Any tempo really.

It comes down to what you want out of them.

I used AAD + my favourite compound stickings as pretty much my only technical workout from the fall of 2017 to the fall of 2019. I've been trying som new things this last year, but I know I'll come back to that as it covers most of my needs perfectly. I just felt like spending some time with some other snare material.

AAD isn't just rudimental piece or exercises, it's real vocabulary and helps my soloing a lot.

Since it was pretty much the only thing I did, when I got to know them pretty good, I started doing them left hand lead, as well. Also with brushes.
 
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planoranger

Junior Member
It took a long time for me to commit to practicing slowly. I spent a long time trying to get faster without ever having really gone through playing slowly and long enough to the point where it was ingrained into me. Unsurprisingly, the results were unimpressive, and I ended up paying for it in the long run. In turning it around, I've found that I actually love practicing slow, deliberate, and often repeated patterns. There is a joy in playing simple stuff well.
It's waaaaay better to play things well slowly than to play them badly at a faster tempo. My two favorite teachers said the exact same thing: "If you can't play it slow, you will NEVER be able to play it fast."

Also...I think the tempo is absolutely spot on for that solo. I base that on similar stuff that John Pratt wrote in his 2nd solos book. Most of those solos were set at 1/4 note=88 BPM. I didn't take a metronome to the video....but it sounds just about there.

Nice playing 8Mile. Sounds really good. Looking forward to more videos.

Just a quick question: how do you like the Reflexx pad? I was thinking of getting one once New York City opens up again, and they gear up production on the pads.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
The five stroke rolls are notated as 64th notes. 32nd notes would be three beams, these are written with four beams. It is written correctly.
Admittedly, I was watching your playing, and I didn't look at the attachment you posted. Mine's written with 32nd notes. I think I have a bum edition.

21:05:31 DF AAD8.png

Know where I can get a good edition online?


AAD isn't just rudimental piece or exercises, it's real vocabulary and helps my soloing a lot.
Oh yeah, I'm only a couple of dozen solos in, and I've already found it to be chock-full of licks and ideas for the kit.


Also...I think the tempo is absolutely spot on for that solo. I base that on similar stuff that John Pratt wrote in his 2nd solos book. Most of those solos were set at 1/4 note=88 BPM. I didn't take a metronome to the video....but it sounds just about there.

Nice playing 8Mile. Sounds really good. Looking forward to more videos.
Agreed.

It's good to know these solos don't have to be played super fast in order to sound musical and impressive. It's even better that they still sound musical at slower, less impressive tempos. Even so, I had to slow this one down a bit - it was the first solo in the book that I needed to break down to figure out.


Does anyone know how many solos you have to learn before you've covered all of the rudiments in the book?
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
It's waaaaay better to play things well slowly than to play them badly at a faster tempo. My two favorite teachers said the exact same thing: "If you can't play it slow, you will NEVER be able to play it fast."

Also...I think the tempo is absolutely spot on for that solo. I base that on similar stuff that John Pratt wrote in his 2nd solos book. Most of those solos were set at 1/4 note=88 BPM. I didn't take a metronome to the video....but it sounds just about there.

Nice playing 8Mile. Sounds really good. Looking forward to more videos.

Just a quick question: how do you like the Reflexx pad? I was thinking of getting one once New York City opens up again, and they gear up production on the pads.
Thank you!

I love the Reflexx pad. I won't try to tell anyone else it's right for them, but in my case, it seems to have really exposed my particular weaknesses. It has been my go-to pad for the past year or so.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Admittedly, I was watching your playing, and I didn't look at the attachment you posted. Mine's written with 32nd notes. I think I have a bum edition.

View attachment 92962

Know where I can get a good edition online?
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I should not have assumed you were looking at my attachment. That copy you have definitely looks wrong.

I have not seen the book online, but I haven't really searched because I bought a copy last year. I buy music books like some people buy gear, so I never got very good at scouring the web for stuff.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Admittedly, I was watching your playing, and I didn't look at the attachment you posted. Mine's written with 32nd notes. I think I have a bum edition.

View attachment 92962
Unbelievable!!! I got my copy when I was in my 20's (I'm 65 now). My copy is the same as yours. I never noticed that that bar was written that way. I guess I always played it "correctly incorrectly" if you know what I mean. I can only assume that, since 8Mile got his last year, current copies have the measure correctly notated.

Know where I can get a good edition online?
My go-to store is usually Lone Star Percussion. I just checked their web site. The book is not only out of stock, they have no info on when it will be available again. My guess is because of the "you now what lockdown" (I'm certainly not going to introduce that topic here). Hopefully, the printer/publisher of the book will be up and running soon. Have you tried Amazon?

Does anyone know how many solos you have to learn before you've covered all of the rudiments in the book?
I kind of quickly scanned through the book, and I didn't come across the first instance of a triple paradiddle until the measure before the first repeat in...wait for it...Solo No. 85!!! So I'm not sure at all how many others he omits until "Wilcoxon's 132nd". That's the first solo he explicitly uses all 26.


I love the Reflexx pad. I won't try to tell anyone else it's right for them, but in my case, it seems to have really exposed my particular weaknesses. It has been my go-to pad for the past year or so.
Well....since I have no weaknesses, I'll obviously need to pass:D:D:D.
Actually..now that you state that it exposes things that need improvement, I'm chomping at the bit to try and get one. "Regular" pads don't often reveal what needs work. Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Well....since I have no weaknesses, I'll obviously need to pass:D:D:D.
Actually..now that you state that it exposes things that need improvement, I'm chomping at the bit to try and get one. "Regular" pads don't often reveal what needs work. Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
To be fair, not everyone is as enthusiastic about it as I am. Others find different pads that work better for them. But it's been really good for me.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
To be fair, not everyone is as enthusiastic about it as I am. Others find different pads that work better for them. But it's been really good for me.
I'm just seeing more and more people using the pad. I don't normally go for the "flavor of the month" kinds of things, but I like what I'm seeing/hearing, and your playing certainly reinforces that.

Do you do multiple bounce (buzz) rolls on it? If so, how do they sound? I'm a jazz/orchestral/musical theater player, and those rolls are EXTREMELY important to me. I have yet to hear anybody do those rolls on the pad.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Unbelievable!!! I got my copy when I was in my 20's (I'm 65 now). My copy is the same as yours. I never noticed that that bar was written that way. I guess I always played it "correctly incorrectly" if you know what I mean. I can only assume that, since 8Mile got his last year, current copies have the measure correctly notated.



My go-to store is usually Lone Star Percussion. I just checked their web site. The book is not only out of stock, they have no info on when it will be available again. My guess is because of the "you now what lockdown" (I'm certainly not going to introduce that topic here). Hopefully, the printer/publisher of the book will be up and running soon. Have you tried Amazon?
I couldn't find a retail copy online, but I was able to download one for free. Hard to believe that a book of this significance is not available digitally.

I kind of quickly scanned through the book, and I didn't come across the first instance of a triple paradiddle until the measure before the first repeat in...wait for it...Solo No. 85!!! So I'm not sure at all how many others he omits until "Wilcoxon's 132nd". That's the first solo he explicitly uses all 26.
Isn't there a triple-paradiddle in bar 3 on line 3 of Solo No. 1?


I'm only on Solo. 24, but I'm finding as I go along that, for the most part, I'm learning them faster than I did when I first started the book a few months ago. I'm also finding that I sometimes get comfortable with them within a day of learning them as opposed to having to play them for two or three days first. I don't know if this is by design, or me becoming more familiar in general with playing these types of pieces as I play more of them, but it's a good feeling.

But I still wish there was a more obvious order to the way the solos are organized, other than in groups of 2/4 or 6/8 (and the last part of the book where each solo incorporates all 26 rudiments) - maybe a table of contents grouping the solos in terms of level of difficulty, or an index cross-referencing each solo and the rudiments in it, would help.

Is start to finish the usual way of tackling the book?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Do you do multiple bounce (buzz) rolls on it? If so, how do they sound? I'm a jazz/orchestral/musical theater player, and those rolls are EXTREMELY important to me. I have yet to hear anybody do those rolls on the pad.
The Reflexx pad is a popular pad these days. It's a foam workout pad though, so no buzz rolls.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Isn't there a triple-paradiddle in bar 3 on line 3 of Solo No. 1?
Yep...obviously I missed that. I "warned" you that I scanned the book quickly. Having played though it for about 40 years, I'm so used to seeing single and double paradiddles I was scanning for triples because they are actually rare in the first part of the book.

But I still wish there was a more obvious order to the way the solos are organized, other than in groups of 2/4 or 6/8 (and the last part of the book where each solo incorporates all 26 rudiments) - maybe a table of contents grouping the solos in terms of level of difficulty, or an index cross-referencing each solo and the rudiments in it, would help.

Is start to finish the usual way of tackling the book?
It almost seems that the book was written in a "stream of consciousness" manner. I have yet to find a logical, progressive order in it.
This is NOT a recommendation, it's just the way I did it: When I first started using the book, I did 10 solos at a time for a week; 1-10 the first week, 11-20 the next, and so on. That was the way that made most sense to me. Within each group, you find at least one solo that will "kick your butt".

The one thing that I absolutely, positively do, though, is I make sure that I play them with a swing feel (a la "Sing Sing Sing"). That is the way Wilcoxon meant for them to be played. They weren't really designed to be played as "straight" rudimental solos. At least that's what a couple of my teachers said. They were around when the book was first published.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Oh yeah, I'm only a couple of dozen solos in, and I've already found it to be chock-full of licks and ideas for the kit.
Definetly, and playing them in tempos and is ways you'll approach the kit it will just naturally show up in your playing.

I only focus playing them clean and then it depends on my shape and what I want to do that day. Having only this book and my pad available to me I'd often go through the whole thing every day, making notes on where I stumbled and making repetitive exercises to fix those issues.

Many bars also give inspiration to new ways of doing accent sheets or reading pages.
 
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