Alex Cohen Vlog 2 – Freehand Techniques and Practice Routines

This vlog from drummer Alex Cohen is a series of exercises broken into sections that Alex used to work on for roughly an hour every day during his practice routine. Each video works the physical motion of the freehand technique and helps build on both coordination and timing later on. Practice these slow for at least twenty minutes at a time and work them up to speed while being conscious of your limb alignment and accuracy.

Part One is a basic introduction to this technique that some also call the gravity blast or one-handed roll. Do not try to rush this, as it will only cause more aggravation later on. Take your time and make sure to stay even, on meter and at the same level of dynamic, be it quiet or loud. I would suggest practicing it at varying levels of dynamic, meaning practice it once quiet and once loud while maintaining the same tempo.

Part Two builds on part two by adding in the left hand. Please keep in mind all the tips shared above for part one, but this time around alternate your lead hand while practicing. Start quietly with your left, then loud with your left then start quietly with your right then loud with your right. Again, remember not to rush this, as the mastery will come quicker if you can exercise patience and control.

Part Three focuses on different variations or voicings around the kit. Have fun playing with this one and move each hand around to any different number of positions, starting slow then doubling your tempo while again alternating your lead hand.

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.

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.

You can see more exclusive videos from Alex in the video section of our Sick Drummer Magazine Facebook Page.

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