Author Archives: Bryan Bowman

About Bryan Bowman

Bryan Bowman is a jazz drummer, pianist and and composer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has performed and recorded with numerous international jazz, rock and world music artists including: 
Deron Johnson, Ivan Milev, Bill Lanphir, Sheldon Brown, Matt Clark, Sam Bevan, Bob Kenmotsu, Mike Abraham, Jeff Massanari, Randy Vincent, John Stowell, Grant Levin, John Wiitala, Ben Stolorow, Mark Levine, John Shifflet, Andre Bush, Ken French, Clairdee, Matthew Charles Hewlett, Bruno Pelletier, Harvey Winapel, Dahveed Behroozi, Betty Fu, Mario Guaneri, Jessica Neighbor, Loose Wig, Mike Zilber, Thomas Morgan, Anton Schwartz, and Brian Kane.

SFJAZZ Opening Events

I’m playing this week with Mary Stallings Eric Reed and Matt Penman at the opening festivities at SFJAZZ. It’s humbling experience to say the least working with such great musicians and being around so many ridiculously amazing artists. A highlight was meeting and hearing Chick Corea who I have always admired. Also to meet and hear Jeff Ballard and Eric Harland has been a total blast. Between them and Brian Blade I think they are some of the greatest living musicians of the drumming variety. The SF Jazz Collective is an great group and the level of improv and mastery of these people is insane.

There is audio available from the opening night at NPR SFJAZZ Live Broadcast - I played on the opening song with Mary Stallings. Check out Chick throughout the evening! He’s playing better than ever.

Also irony of ironies would have me in the photo in todays issue of the New York Times about SFJAZZ. I thought I might sneak through unnoticed but no luck.

Marin Blog Review

Mark Levine Trio – Mount Shasta Brewery

On Saturday October 8th and Sunday October 9th I’m very happy to be a part of two jazz trio performances with pianist Mark Levine and bassist Greg Daugelli at the Mount Shasta Brewery in the town of Weed, California.

These are two of my favorite musicians on the planet and I’m sure it will be a great weekend of music.

I have known Mark since 1991 and have played with him off and on ever since. he is a very fine musician and literally wrote the book on jazz piano. His Jazz Piano book is published in several languages and has won international acclaim.

Greg Daugelli is a fabulous bass player and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Chico California. I have played with him since the early 80′s and definitely owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his encouragement and inspiration over the years.

Please come to the concert if you are in the area!

Mark Levine Concert Flyer – PDF

Syncopation Studies

This is my first drumming post. As an introduction to this forum, I would like to share some of my thoughts on how we can develop a more melodic sensibility while also improving our technical ability on the drum set. A strong command of the rudiments is essential to being able to play musically. This approach was an attempt to accomplish strong and useful chops in a fun and creative way. I’m hoping you find the exercises enjoyable as well!

The following PDF is the first block of exercises I created using the book, Syncopation by Ted Reed. You will see that I have written out numerous four bar phrases which share the same syncopated figure. The rolls that connect the rhythms are of different speeds and densities. You can look at them as a diverse palette of colors and shades you can use to augment any given syncopated figure.

It is a melodic approach to drumming which will allow you to command a much more musical grasp on these pots and pans we call the drums.

Download the following pdf to begin your journey and remember to be patient with yourself while learning them. More important than playing them exactly right, you should begin to see the patterns and the ways in which a simple syncopated figure can be expanded upon.

Syncopation – Snare Drum Studies – PDF Download

Once you have mastered these exercises the idea is that you would apply them to to pages 38 through 45 of the Syncopation book. Each exercise should be memorized and thought of as a key which you can apply as you sight read through your Syncopation studies. Hopefully as you look at the examples you will begin to see the logic in this. Feel free to ask questions should they come up. Audio examples will be added soon too I promise!

For the Drumset
The next set of exercises is essentially the same concepts expanded to include the snare and bass drum together. These are hard but fun and I think will provide you with a sense of what is possible. My hope is that you will take these ideas and create much hipper phrases and concepts to use in whatever style of music you like to play.

Syncopation Studies for the Drumset – PDF Download