Photo by Scott Pickering

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Set Up of the Month: Chad Whiteley

Primarily a drum set player, Chad Whiteley is sometimes thrust into percussion-ville.   His hybrid concoction is the November Percussion For Worship set up of the month.  Here's some comments from Chad:

     These photos were taken during a series of Kairos services at Gateway Church (Dallas-Ft. Worth area).  We have many services to play over two days. During the prayer ministry times, we chose to play more of an acoustic worship set to make those moments more intimate. 
     I chose this set up because I could blend many more different sounds, feels, and emotions...more than available with just a drum kit or  percussion set up.
     My goal is to mix aspects of both drum set and percussion into one sound. The kick, snare, and cymbals are used to create the drum set feel of the music.   Cool (and live) beat loops can be created with the various tones (especially the lower timbres). Working without toms forces me to concentrate mainly on the fundamentals of the beat. I play with brushes, bundled dowel rods, felt mallets, and my hands.
     There are a few other considerations and ideas with this set up.  Sometimes, I play the shaker as my high hat rhythm.  Accentuating different places on the djembe creates depth and gives interest to the groove. I also take most of  the muffling out of the the kick, turn the felt side of the beater toward the head, and play very lightly.  This produces a more open sound rather then a short thud. The old marching bass drum adds another texture...different from the kick or the djembe. Congas round out the setup for some more variety.  I can blend basic conga beats in with my drum set patterns as well as using congas only for certain sections of songs.

Check out Chad's website:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview with Daystar's Len Barnett

Tune into Celebration on the Daystar Network and check out the band.  It’s great to see that the lineup of musicians includes a percussionist.  One of the players sharing the percussion spot is Len Barnett.  Recently, we met for lunch and talked about his musical life and working on the television show.

Mark:  What inspired you to play percussion?
Len:  I had relatives that were musicians including a cousin who played drums for Otis Redding.

Mark:  How did you achieve your position with the Daystar band?
Len:  Joe Ninowsky (Daystar music director) and I had worked together at Covenant Church…and recommendations from Tom Braxton and Dwayne Heggar.

Mark:  Tell me about a typical day on the show.
Len:  Sometimes I’m running across town from my job at Brookhaven College to get to the rehearsal.  We start around 10:00 A.M. and rehearse until app. 10:45. At some point, we run some parts with the vocalists.  The show goes live at 11:00 and we make it happen.

Mark: When a new song comes your way, what do you think about when constructing your part?
Len:  Listening is very important.   What’s the drummer playing?  Which tambourine works best?  What can I play to complement the music?

Mark:  What are some of your other musical activities?
Len:  I play percussion at Covenant Church in Carrollton, TX, accompany dance classes at Brookhaven College, and perform arts-in-education programs for children.  In addition, I work with some jazz groups in the area including Freddie Jones and Tom Braxton.