Wes CrawfordWes began his professional music career after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology at Virginia Tech. Soon thereafter, he began performing drumset with the extraordinary Jazz/R&B singer Jane L. Powell, a musical association that lasted eleven years and continues as a managerial relationship. The group toured throughout North America and the Caribbean performing at festivals, universities, resorts, nightclubs, and cruise ships. They opened for such acts as Ray Charles, Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Lou Rawls, The Crusaders, Joan Jett, Ernie Watts, and Paula Poundstone, and occasionally performed alongside artists such as Tony Bennett, O.C. Smith, and Dorothy Moore. The 1,300 colleges and universities comprising the National Association for Campus Activities voted the group Entertainer of the Year in 1990, their highest honor, and Jazz Artist of the Year for 1990-1992. During these years of touring, Wes also recorded two albums with Ms. Powell as well as for several outside artists. Wes also conducted electronic percussion seminars at VA Tech and at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Gifted. In 1992, Wes settled with his family in the Washington, DC area as an independent artist on drumset and percussion where he currently performs and records with acts such as Shahin & Sepehr (Higher Octave/Narada world music recording artists), Cocktail Nuts (aka “C-NUTS”- Jazz versions of rock classics, on Wildchild/Mapleshade Records), mrudangam virtuoso Umayalpuram K. Shivaraman (including a clinic at PASIC 2000 and a featured performance at Baltimore Drum Day 2000), Squeeze Bayou (1998 winners of the “Best Non-Louisiana-Based Cajun Band Recording” awarded by the Cajun French Music Association), and Night Life (high-energy show band). Wes has also regularly performed and/or recorded with Aisha Kahlil (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Eva Cassidy, Catalyst Events’ “Beatswork!,” Zydeco Crayz, Mary Ann Borelli, “Oh Susannah!”, Sugar Jones, and Armadillo recording artist Daryl Davis. His other noteworthy performances and recordings include those with the David Bach Consort (2nd place winner in the 1998 BET unsigned band video contest), Hennesy Jazz Search regional winner Jerry Gordon, and performances with Milestone recording artist Ron Holloway. Wes considers education to be an important link to the future of the percussive arts and teaches drumset privately and at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He also performs in public school assemblies with Mosaic, which provided the musical instruction and curriculum for the 2000 Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute. Wes serves as the Director of the annual Drumset And Percussion Camp of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute and as Vice-President of the MD/DE chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. In 2000, Wes started MusicAndGames4U.com, a site to feature his interactive educational media such as his popular “Drumset Play-Along DVD.” His latest “A Rhythmic Murder Mystery” interactive DVD features a solo electronic drumset concert, which he also performs live. Wes holds Associate Artist relationships with Maryland Drum Company and with Trueline Drumsticks, and he occasionally works as Music Consultant for the not-for-profit Sustainable Environments for Health + Shelter.
So, lets go over this first rock beat. This is rock beat number one. Lets go to rock beat number two and this time we are playing the same thing but we are adding the bass drum in whenever the snare drum hits. So, our coordination kernels are now the right side of the body together that is right hand on hi-hat and the right foot on bass drum, hi-hat alone. Then the next one instead of just being the hands, its going to add the bass drum in, so you will have hihat, snare and bass drum. It has to sound exactly together and then you would follow with a hihat. So, now you have right, together, right, together, right, together. Okay, so lets listen to that, a little bit faster. How about a little faster? Okay, so there is a difference in feel between the two rock beats, they are very similar, but just having the bass drum playing four times out of each beat, each measure gives it a driving feel as compared to two times and by measure I mean a lot of times musicians will count to four, most the time we count to four and I would be counting this. I would counting this one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. We count in a cycle over and over like that; the first beat would be one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.
So, anyway the beat with the bass drum on all four gives a driving feel and the one without the bass drum on all four, but just whenever I say one and three gives a nice balanced feel. One, two, three, four, one, two three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two three, four. So, learn both of these beats and decide is it a dance tune, it needs to be driving, you might want to choose to play the bass drum on all four counts and if not, you might just want that balance feeling between the bass drum and the snare drum.