Mary’s Exercise Series: No. 1, 2, & 3.

Sideways Tenor ClefThis is the first of a series of exercises that can be played on any keyboard instrument. They will be helpful regardless of your primary instrument.

These exercises were ultimately inspired by the mater classes of master teacher and musician Steve Coleman that can be seen on youtube.  You don’t need to stick strictly to one way of working on these. This is a basic concept that you can run with…

And without further extraneous words…

An Exercise for Drumset: Pass The Bembé Bell

Just an exercise of sorts to share. This exercise involves the african bell pattern known as “the standard pattern” or, via cuba, the bembé bell pattern using a bass drum, hi hat, snare drum with brushes, and a metronome set to 35. Hi hat always plays “2 & 4.”

LINKS: Steve Coleman Master Class Videos from Seeds::Brooklyn ++


I was only able to attend one of Steve Coleman’s master classes at the Jazz Gallery during his tenure on monday nights. But I recently happened upon the Brooklyn::Seeds youtube page (link below) where not only can you check out an archive of past performances there in the space but also, at this time, four full-length videos that Steve apparently did there in collaboration with the Jazz Gallery.  Links are below in addition to one other video link, and a couple other related links….

Where Sound and Sight Collide :: Time Lapse Videos by Ben Gerstein

four-part harmony by ben gerstein

four-part harmony by ben gerstein

For some time now I’ve been privately consumed with the idea that some musicians are ‘visual thinkers’ who approach and experience music in a mostly visual way. Morton Feldman would be one example of course and there are many others. I won’t go in to detail now about said theory but I will share with you some inventions that beautifully bring the arts of sound and visual, in this case video, together. Musician, artist, and full-time creative mind Ben Gerstein has been experimenting with time lapse videos for some time now. Occasionally Ben will send me a link to something and I always thoroughly enjoy everything he does. Here are a few that really moved me. Be sure to check out more over on youtube.

Play-Along / Ens. Rep. for Bb Instrument, Rhodes, Bass, & Drums (in 5)

No. 5 for Wourinen

No. 5 for Wourinen

Another tune written for Monthly Meeting for the December session of 2009. The original recording featured John Swana on EVI, Brian Howell on bass, Jon Coyle (son step) on rhodes, and myself on drums. Hear it here.

Tonal Patterns and Melodies for Marimba

Tonal Patterns and Melodies for Marimba by Doug Hirlinger

Tonal Patterns and Melodies for Marimba by Doug Hirlinger

I wrote this piece for marimba in 2010 for a contest. It contains of lots poly-rhythmic and odd meter passages. It’s presentation is not complete but is good enough to share with you here and for you to enjoy. Special thanks to former student Brian Maher for taking the time to play through it, look it over, and make suggestions regarding notation, presentation, etc. I haven’t yet implemented all his suggestions but I will.

Be sure to mind the key signature. The piece does require four mallets. Your suggestions regarding sticking and notation as well as your non-commercial recordings will be much appreciated. Enjoy!

Midi sequences are included below but do not include measure 187 – 226 because marimba rolls are not easily produced with midi.