Photo by Dave Hodgkinson

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Developing the 'Blushda'

Here's a rudiment I stumbled on a few years ago during a lesson with the great Troy Miller. He showed me some interesting ways to apply the Swiss Army Triplet around the kit but I realised the phrase also sounded great if you 'diddle' the 2nd note of the triplet (i.e. add a double stroke). This gave the rudiment a fluidity that I hadn't heard before. For a few weeks I even felt smug that i'd invented my very own rudiment until, unsurprisingly, it turned out the Blushda goes back decades, featuring on many a Tony Williams solo. I do like to think, though, that stumbling across it in this way gave me a (misguided?) sense of ownership.

First play a Swiss Army Triplet (no. 1) then add the diddle on the second triplet (no. 2). I've heard other drummers reverse the sticking of the flam (no. 3) but for today we'll stick to the original sticking. There are plenty of options for orchestrating this phrase around the kit (no. 4). Try and come up with some of your own.

I normally use The Blushda more as a 4 over 3 cross rhythm (no. 5) that lasts two bars. Try that with a slow click and once you're comfortable, experiment with orchestration (no. 6).

The Blushda variation (no.7) requires some quick hands but sounds great around the kit (no.8) especially with the right hand on the cowbell and the left hand moving around the kit, a la Stanton Moore.

Happy practicing!

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