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Erskine Brush Lessons #5: Straight 8th Pop & Bossa Grooves


Peter Erskine is best known for his versatility and ardent love of working in various musical settings. He began his career at the age of 18 with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and has since played with such groups as Weather Report and Steps Ahead; the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer and Kenny Wheeler; ensembles such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern London Symphony and L.A. Philharmonic; Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, the Yellowjackets, Diana Krall, plus many other musicians, recording over 400 albums.

He leads his own trio which records for ECM and his own record label FUZZY MUSIC; he tours and teaches extensively, and has won numerous awards for his work, including a “Grammy,” the Modern Drummer Reader Poll/Mainstream Jazz Drummer category (6 times), and an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee School of Music. His latest book is Vol. 1 of “Drumset Essentials,” a book and CD trilogy being published by Alfred Music. Hudson Music has released his performance video “Peter Erskine Trio, Live at JazzBaltica” and Hal Leonard has published his acclaimed book “The Drum Perspective.” His newest recording is “Badlands” with Alan Pasqua & Dave Carpenter.

In this lesson series, Peter will cover basic brush skills on the drumset. Peter’s musical approach will benefit players at every level – from beginner to advanced.


In this lesson, Peter Erskine demonstrates some Bossa Nova and pop grooves that utilize straight 8th notes with the brushes.


Peter Erskine has played drums since the age of 4 and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on 600 albums and film scores, and has won 2 Grammy Awards plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. Fifty albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He has played with the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson big bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny & Gary Burton, John Scofield, et al, and has appeared as a soloist with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, plus the London, Los Angeles, Chicago, BBC Symphony, Oslo and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras. He recently premiered Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Erskine — Concerto for Drumset & Orchestra” with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, and is performing it again at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Peter has been voted ’Best Jazz Drummer of the Year’ ten times by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine. Peter graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and studied at Indiana University under George Gaber. Peter is an author with several books to his credit; his latest “No Beethoven” is an autobiography and chronicle of the band Weather Report. Peter is currently Professor of Practice & Director of Drumset Studies at USC, and conducts masterclasses worldwide, and his latest endeavors include several innovative play-along apps for iOS.

Visit Peter online:  www.petererskine.com

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