Wilcoxon solos

planoranger

Junior Member
I meant to comment on this before...something that really caught my ear was the way you played the last two 1/8th notes in the 4th bar. The tendency is to rush those. You played them really nice...even a slight (almost imperceptible) crescendo, which might be more by musical instinct than design...either way nice. It's those little things that make my ears perk up.

Oh damn! Right you are. Definitely not on purpose. I’m terrible about messing up repeats. Most of these solos had second endings and then suddenly there were a few that had none at all. I just got lazy and didn’t pay attention to the repeat signs. Good catch and thanks!
Nothing worse than blowing through 1st and 2nd endings when playing with an orchestra. Please don't ask me how I know that.🤬
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I meant to comment on this before...something that really caught my ear was the way you played the last two 1/8th notes in the 4th bar. The tendency is to rush those. You played them really nice...even a slight (almost imperceptible) crescendo, which might be more by musical instinct than design...either way nice. It's those little things that make my ears perk up.
You are correct about the crescendo. It was somewhat by design. I shared a video recently of one of my Wilcoxon solos (not this one) on a rudimental drumming forum and I solicited constructive criticism. Someone mentioned that my left hand accents may have been a little softer than my right. So I overcompensated a bit. I know that I was overcompensating, because I checked the volume on digital level meters. But I did it on purpose just to sort of force myself to think about it. And I kind of liked how it turned out, so even though it may not be “correct,“ I left it that way.

Thanks for checking iout and paying such close attention!
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Another winner!!!

If one of your goals is to develop a seamless double stroke roll, mission accomplished, and please ignore the following. One of the things that I like to do with the solos of this type (and there are MANY throughout the book) is to maintain the 6/8 pulse. By that I mean to place a little "touch" any place where there are two groupings of double strokes. To get the effect I'm referring to, in the 1st, 3rd (yes...the 3rd), 9th, 13th measures, and the 1st beat of measures 10 and 14 replace the double strokes with either unaccented double paradiddles or paradiddle-diddles. The way that you accomplish this with double strokes is to get the sticks a tiny amount higher on the 1st double of the 2nd group. The height should be just enough to give the pulse; you want avoid any accenting. It should be a subtle but noticeable difference and adds shape and musicality to the solo, in my opinion.

I'm not married to doing things "rudimentally correct", I always try to add some shape to things that I play...comes from my training as an orchestral player, and not a rudimental player. This is just a suggestion about interpretation. Please don't take it for any kind of criticism about your playing at all. I hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in...you're doing a fine job just the way things are.
 
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8Mile

Platinum Member
Another winner!!!

If one of your goals is to develop a seamless double stroke roll, mission accomplished, and please ignore the following. One of the things that I like to do with the solos of this type (and there are MANY throughout the book) is to maintain the 6/8 pulse. By that I mean to place a little "touch" any place where there are two groupings of double strokes. To get the effect I'm referring to, in the 1st, 3rd (yes...the 3rd), 9th, 13th measures, and the 1st beat of measures 10 and 14 replace the double strokes with either unaccented double paradiddles or paradiddle-diddles. The way that you accomplish this with double strokes is to get the sticks a tiny amount higher on the 1st double of the 2nd group. The height should be just enough to give the pulse; you want avoid any accenting. It should be a subtle but noticeable difference and adds shape and musicality to the solo, in my opinion.

I'm not married to doing things "rudimentally correct", I always try to add some shape to things that I play...comes from my training as an orchestral player, and not a rudimental player. This is just a suggestion about interpretation. Please don't take it for any kind of criticism about your playing at all. I hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in...you're doing a fine job just the way things are.
Interesting idea! Thanks, I may give that a spin.
 
Interesting! I'm definitely not doing that. I always assumed the "Modern Rudimental Swing Solos" book was the one to play that way. It hadn't occurred to me to swing the solos in this one. Phil from Drummer's Weekly Groovecast gets pretty into the Wilcoxon stuff and I think when I've seen him play them, he plays the solos from the All-American Drummer straight, so that's how I've approached them.
Hi 8Mile,

Allow me to jump in for a second. When it comes to the topic of the swing feel desired for the Wilcoxon solos, I believe everyone is taking that too literally. The solos already have swing built into them. You don't need to force these to have a triplet feel (unless notated that way). The best example of what I mean would be comparing Wilcoxon solos to Delecluse or Cirone solos. For the latter, concert-style, compositions, those are written and interpreted to stand up straight and be very evenly and precisely executed. It's challenging to, if not impossible, to interpret a concert, stylistic mentality over the Wilcoxon solos using Wilcoxon's stickings and stylistic interpretations (forte for non-accents and FF for accents, tempo indications between 95 and 120, etc.). Also, note the tempo range. If you play the solos at blistering speeds (ala modern drum corps), they will tend to flatten out a bit. It would be very similar to playing a fast jazz tune. For example, your jazz ride pattern moves from triplet phrasing to a straight eighth phrasing somewhere in the mid 200 bpm range.

Something that might cement these concepts for you would be to play a Wilcoxon solo for an orchestral drummer. They would CLEARLY hear the Wilcoxon solos as swinging.

Again, to ensure that you're getting what you need to get from Wilcoxon, adhere to the stickings, performance tempos should be somewhere between 95 and 120 bpm, (unless otherwise indicated) play non-accents at a forte dynamic level with accents at fortissimo, and interpret drags open (and with decent volume) to achieve a martial, rhythmic character.

Finally, I'm going to release a series of Wilcoxon solo videos over the next few weeks. I intend on posting them to the Drummers Weekly Groovecast Facebook and Instagram page as well as our web site. I'm intending to release 5 or 6 from the 140s, latter part of the book. I wanted to play those since not that many people have done them and because each contains all 26 of the standard rudiments....and they swing like crazy!

Phil
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Hi Phil,

Allow me to jump in for a second.

When it comes to the topic of the swing feel desired for the Wilcoxon solos, I believe everyone is taking that too literally. The solos already have swing built into them. You don't need to force these to have a triplet feel...
Ummm....hate to burst your bubble...but...two things...
1) If they were still with us, I would be sure to pass your evaluation and views on to Ron Gould of the NY City Ballet Orchestra and Buster Bailey of the NY Philharmonic (I was trained as an orchestral percussionist). They were the ones who advocated to me about adding more swing to the solos...which brings me to...
2) Swing is NOT only based upon triplet feel. I direct you to Gene Krupa's playing on "Sing Sing Sing" (well actually the famous tom part is the second part of that: "Christopher Columbus"). He clearly is not playing triplet-based rhythms, but rather playing extremely loosely. That's what makes it swing.
Remember...this book is NOT the 1940's version of DCI. I quote from Wilcoxon's Preface: "...to enable the modern Drummer to understand more clearly the far reaching possibilities of the Twenty-six Rudiments..." Also...he mentions a "touch of swing was added". Is that to say that more can not and/or should not be added?

The best example of what I mean would be comparing Wilcoxon solos to Delecluse or Cirone solos. For the latter, concert-style, compositions, those are written and interpreted to stand up straight and be very evenly and precisely executed. It's challenging to, if not impossible, to interpret a concert, stylistic mentality over the Wilcoxon solos using Wilcoxon's stickings and stylistic interpretations (forte for non-accents and FF for accents, tempo indications between 95 and 120, etc.).
Why even bring up Cirone and/or Delecluse? My dog can tell that they are stylistically different. Also...where do you come up with the tempo markings and dynamics? Unless you have a copy not available to the rest of the world, THERE ARE NO tempo markings. As far as dynamics, they can (and should) be played at multiple dynamics. You would, therefore, be horrified at the way I play them. I insert crescendos and diminuendos throughout. It's called shaping/phrasing....you know...interpretation...making music.

Something that might cement these concepts for you would be to play a Wilcoxon solo for an orchestral drummer. They would CLEARLY hear the Wilcoxon solos as swinging.
The LAST people I would demonstrate Wilcoxon to would be today's orchestral drummer. I don't know what happened, but, within the past 20 years orchestral players have lost all sense of shaping and phrasing. Everything sounds flat with zero articulation. Compare today's players with the aforementioned Ron Gould and Buster Bailey, along with Al Payson (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Artie Press (Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Alan Abel (Philadelphia Orchestra). To my ears the only one today who comes close is Matt Howard (L.A. Philharmonic).

In closing...would it have hurt you to compliment 8 Mile's playing? He's worked really hard on this stuff. I, for one, appreciate his efforts, and really like what he's done.

I'm looking forward to your postings on your various platforms.
 
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I have no idea why planoranger decided to go on the attack, other than to show he has more knowledge than I. That being said, you straw man almost every argument you pose and subsequently put words into my mouth. Your initial comment of "hate to burst your bubble" is condescending and patronizing, and I believe it shows your real intent.

First, I never said that swing was only based on the triplet feel. You said that. I simply said you don't have to add a triplet feel. And, if I take your argument about adding your interpretation regarding dynamics and tempo, then you should give me the stylistic leeway that I will naturally add or omit that looseness and swing via my interpretation. Fair enough? In fact, if you read a bit further in my original post, I even talk about 'swinging' at fast tempos and how it necessitates that triplets 'flatten out.' It still certainly swings, though. I believe that certainly shows that I know that swing is not only based on triplets.

While we're on the topic of dynamics, tempos, and interpretation, you asked where my information came from. It came directly from Wilcoxon's students. I studied with one of Wilcoxon's protege's. Due to my age, that's as close to first-hand knowledge as I can get. Wilcoxon wrote every one of the 150 solos in six months after talking with 'ancient' style, rudimental drummers. In fact, he and George Lawrence Stone spoke with old civil war drummers to get accurate, first-hand information. Stone, Wilcoxon, and a host of other drummers ultimately decided that this style, along with more modern methods, of rudimental drumming, needed to be documented and furthered. That, in turn, led to them starting the NARD. There's a new book titled, "Technique of Percussion" by Stone that contains a lot of great info on this topic.

Furthermore, the tempo range that I indicated not only came from those 'ancient' drummers, but also the NARD. There was an actual national tempo for marches during the time that many traditional solos were written. It was 110bpm. A bit later, that tempo was revised upward to 120. I believe Sousa had a hand in upping the tempo. Ultimately, drummers from the American Legion in the 1950s raised it again to 128. So, if you reference the tempo range I suggested, it falls directly in line with those earlier two tempi.

Regarding dynamics, the ones I referred to above are what the old drummers suggested. Remember, those ancient rudimental solos were meant to be played outside on boggy skin drumheads, which sometimes needed to project across fields for communication. Hence the f and ff dynamic levels. That being said, I never stated you shouldn't play them at different dynamic levels. I was simply stating traditional interpretations that Wilcoxon himself embraced. So, by all means, play them on a bass drum, at 180bpm, with a double pedal, at pppp. It's all good.

Your comment regarding Delecluse and Cirone is just meant to be insulting. No, everyone does not know the difference between the styles. I simply made that statement to show how something can be played on the same instrument but have graphically different interpretations. You must have a very musical dog because many students (young and adult) do not know how to differentiate the interpretations of the two.

I'm very careful when I make posts online. I try to steer clear of 'up against the wall' statements due to the subjective nature of art. Having to defend my posts due to strawman arguments are the primary reason why I seldom post. It just takes too much time to word something carefully, only to have someone make unrelated arguments.

Finally, 8Mile is a long time listener, and I greatly appreciate that. I have had several communications with him privately as well as on this board. I like him a lot and also really appreciate his promotion of the podcast. That type of support is invaluable! I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone by not complimenting his work. Believe me; there is NO SLIGHT intended! So let me remedy that right now. Great job, 8Mile! I sincerely appreciate you and your hard work on these solos. It certainly takes time and dedication. I also LOVE the fact that you're working your way through the full book. I wish more of my students had the motivation to do that too. These solos will benefit you in more ways than anyone can imagine. They'll certainly help you more than reading these last couple of posts! Kudos! Don't get in a hurry. Take your time and enjoy the process. You've inspired me to go practice!

Phil
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I really appreciate all the interest and support. The different perspectives on how to play the solos is something I look at as a win-win for my own sake; every new approach brings with it a new challenge, so learning to play the solos with different interpretations is a nice way to develop my hands.

I haven't had the time to spend on these in recent weeks as I finally returned to work. I had been furloughed due to the virus, so I had tons of time to practice. But I'm not going to stop working on these.

Here's my attempt at solo number 14. I love that I have 90% of the book to still work through.

 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I really appreciate all the interest and support. The different perspectives on how to play the solos is something I look at as a win-win for my own sake; every new approach brings with it a new challenge, so learning to play the solos with different interpretations is a nice way to develop my hands.

I haven't had the time to spend on these in recent weeks as I finally returned to work. I had been furloughed due to the virus, so I had tons of time to practice. But I'm not going to stop working on these.

Here's my attempt at solo number 14. I love that I have 90% of the book to still work through.

Smooth as - impressive!

I really need to make space to do things properly one day. I don't expect that day will ever come, but I can elevate myself through delusion :

I'm really admiring your dedication here.
 
I really appreciate all the interest and support. The different perspectives on how to play the solos is something I look at as a win-win for my own sake; every new approach brings with it a new challenge, so learning to play the solos with different interpretations is a nice way to develop my hands.

I haven't had the time to spend on these in recent weeks as I finally returned to work. I had been furloughed due to the virus, so I had tons of time to practice. But I'm not going to stop working on these.

Here's my attempt at solo number 14. I love that I have 90% of the book to still work through.

Hey Larry,

Great sounding solo and congrats on getting back to work. The dedication to work on these solos even when you have all the time in the world is a feat, much less when you work full-time!

I've published 10 solos (some Wilcoxon, some Delecluse) over the past couple of days. You can check them out on the Drummer's Weekly Groovecast Youtube page if you like. I have a handful of other 'covidcation' videos that I'll be posting over the next week or so.

Phil
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Hey Larry,

Great sounding solo and congrats on getting back to work. The dedication to work on these solos even when you have all the time in the world is a feat, much less when you work full-time!

I've published 10 solos (some Wilcoxon, some Delecluse) over the past couple of days. You can check them out on the Drummer's Weekly Groovecast Youtube page if you like. I have a handful of other 'covidcation' videos that I'll be posting over the next week or so.

Phil
Thank you, Phil!

I'm off to check out those new solos on YouTube!
 

cfen

Member
These videos made me realize how out of shape my hands are. I really need to practice this type of stuff more. Great job!
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Great job Larry! Also, how do you like the Superpad when compared to other pads (Real Feel, Pro Logix, etc.)?
Thanks, Phil!

I like the Superpad a lot. I think the feel is a little more realistic than the RealFeel and there's the added bonus of getting a surprisingly good drum sound out of it when it's seated on a snare drum (or any drum).

My primary pad these days is the Reflexx. It's a lot different than any of the others I've tried (haven't tried the ProLogix yet, but I hear lots of good things). What I like about the Reflexx is it seems to expose whatever needs improving in my hands. It's like there's nowhere to hide on that thing. Probably just a personal preference.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Not sure why I've never come across this thread before, but this is an awesome journal.

The 2 main Wilcoxon books are near and dear to me and have been for over years. I don't find many people interested in them at this level much but it's invaluable material.

Not going to hijack your thread, but I began doing the very same thing you are doing here with the 150 solos once Covid began on my YT channel. One of these days I should get back to it.

I've been considering the Aquarian Super Pad you have as I've been using only the Remo Silent Strokes as of late. I think your demo convinced me to do it.

Thank you for sharing these!
 
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