This first vlog from drummer Alex Cohen is a demonstration in three parts, utilizing improvised rudiments and combinations of phrases. Alex Cohen is perhaps one of NYC’s most prolific session drummers, having worked alongside artists ranging from Mac Miller to Malignancy. Alex holds a degree in Jazz Performance from NYU and runs Solitude Studios, a high-end recording facility located in Carversville, PA.
Part 1: Double Stroke Technique: Here, I’m going to play a double stroke roll in the feet and gradually accelerate. Notice the use of the ‘toe-ball’ motion used by drummers such as John Bonham and Virgil Donati, which gradually becomes a smaller movement with the ankle as the tempo increases. I find that this technique allows you to play for long periods of time with a lot of power, which is useful when recording and playing live. As with all techniques, start slow and work your way up. With control comes speed: not the other way around.
Part 2: Let’s start combining single and double stroke phrases to help develop control and endurance. This first exercise is RLRLRRLL (R=Right Foot L=Left Foot). Start slow, and gradually increase the tempo.
Part 3: This is a longer phrase that alternates left and right side lead. The phrase is RLRRLLRRLRLLRRLL. Basically, imagine a Paradiddlediddle with another double tacked on. This one is quite difficult at first, so really focus on precision and consistency.
This next video is an improvised double kick solo demonstrating the just how far you can take the individual techniques/phraes from the video above, and utilize them together in your playing. No, of course, you don’t need to worry about doing your own kick drum solo, but this will give you an idea of how it all sounds when you put it together.
Alex Cohen was born and raised in New York City and had begun playing out at clubs such as CBGB’s by the time he was 14. Having amassed a long list of credentials over the past years, he has arguably become one of New York’s premier Metal and Rock live and recording drummers, having appeared on over 30 albums and played with bands including Pyrexia, Malignancy, Pyrrhon, Imperial Triumphant, Hung, Thoren, Involuntary Convulsion, Letallis, Alekhine’s Gun, The Hudson Horror, Hellcrown, Endtime Illusion, Belltower, Dyed In Grey, Vajra, amongst others. Alex also runs Solitude recording studios in PA.
This third video is an improvised solo, utilizing some advanced independence, linear patterns, the freehand technique, and cross-rhythmic ideas.
You can see more exclusive videos from Alex in the video section of our Sick Drummer Magazine Facebook Page.
Alex Proudly Plays:
Bosphorus Cymbals: http://bosphoruscymbals.com
Sakae Drums: http://sakaedrums.com