December 2011

photo by Mike Monseur

In The Studio

A Lesson in Sight-Reading

Fifty Big Band Arrangements in Four Days

by Michael Dawson

Army Blues drummer, and MD contributing writer, Steve Fidyk makes his living playing big band music, so sight-reading drum charts is a big part of his daily work. We recently sat down with Fidyk to discuss a recent project he was in involved with, where he had to sight-read fifty arrangements over the course of four days in the studio. The article is full of useful tips, including advice on what gear to take to the studio and how to interpret written drum charts. (Fidyk’s new book Big Band Drumming at First Sight is available through Alfred Publishing.)

Here’s a drum chart to one of the arrangements that was recorded at the session, “No Spring Chicken,” plus a video of Fidyk tracking the tune with the band.

No Spring Chicken | Right click and “save-as”

Be sure to check out the complete article on page 64 of the December 2011 issue of Modern Drummer.