Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen Artist Page For Alex Cohen: NYC/PA Writer, Producer, Drummer, and Artist.
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Please check out www.Alexcohendrums.com for a full biography and discography. There's a lot.

Alex Cohen is perhaps one of NYC's most prolific (for better or worse) session drummers, having worked alongside artists ranging from Mac Miller to Malignancy. He also writes lessons and interviews for Drumhead and Sick Drummer Magazines. Alex holds a degree in Jazz Performance from NYU, and runs Solitude Studios, a high-end recording facility located in Carversville, PA.

11/09/2019

My right arm is out of commission today, and tattoos make me feel exhausted the day after. HOWEVER, I’m still practicing and learning music in whatever way I can today. Here’s a tough one for your left side. LLLRLRLLLLRL (second grouping of 3 is in the feet). This one is much trickier than you’d think to really nail.

Whenever Logan Aguilar has an opening in his schedule, I take it to avoid the year-long wait.  I’m so stoked on this.....
11/09/2019

Whenever Logan Aguilar has an opening in his schedule, I take it to avoid the year-long wait. I’m so stoked on this...

11/07/2019

Promised this one for some friends today in response to that Marco Minnemann share. 5 in the left hand, 7 in the right, and 9 in the feet...

11/07/2019

And then here’s Lou’s phrase...

11/07/2019

And here’s the Tobias phrase...

11/07/2019

Tonight we have Alex, Tobias, AND Lou Santiago Jr. videos. Here’s me messing around with some split doubles and then reverse doubles (where you ‘push’ the second note outward). There’s some potential here!

11/05/2019

Okay, new Murderhands prep (more on said topic will be revealed Wednesday). One Triple-Paradiddle, one Double-Paradiddle, one Single Padadiddle, and then it reverses to left-lead. Also, it’s on the Wicked Chops Builder as well.

11/03/2019

And now for the Tobias phrase...

11/03/2019

New Alex and Tobias video. A lot of crossing over in this one...

11/01/2019

And something else I was working on with Tobias the other day...

10/31/2019

And then here’s the ‘Alex’ phrase...

10/31/2019

Hey, a new Alex and Tobias video! This one is pretty sick!

10/30/2019

Something for after conditioning class at the gym. 14 singles and 1 double, and you spread your leading hand over 4 voices. It’s a good workout and mobility exercise.

10/30/2019

Tracking for the new Asystole record. Some cool stuff, so I did my to compliment it...

10/25/2019

Wrapping up Friday practice before leaving for Canada at 5 AM tomorrow. Here’s an idea use RLRLRLFF and then LRLRLRLFF for the reverse. It has kind of a cool melody.

10/24/2019

More of these large rhythmic cycles. Here’s a pattern Marco Minnemann did as 10 (RRRFFFRRFF) and then I elaborated by playing various groupings (up to an 80 beat cycle) with the left side. And I messed up in the middle. Yeah...

10/22/2019

Annndddd... This is what happens when those complex patterns take over your thought process. Here’s that Dan Weiss pattern (it’s on his Instagram, so check it out, as I try not to steal other people’s material) put into the feet. The pattern is 3 groups of 11 and a grouping of 15 which then, due to the sticking, reverses to the left side. Not easy!

10/21/2019

Trying to hear a melody in my head, match a motif, and fill around it using some of the ideas I’ve spent months developing (ambidexterity is a huge one). It’s random, but the movements and ideas are coming along nicely...

10/18/2019

More melodies on pads. Here’s a combination of two triplet phrases (RLL and RRRLLL) moving over all different surfaces while doing some 8th note improv in the feet. This is at 216, so getting these stickings clean is not easy...

10/16/2019

Virgil, Marco, and the last generation of drummers who actively tried pushing technical boundaries all were lambasted for being ‘unmusical’. Well, now it’s already becoming my turn, so look, if you use the systems in my material, you can actually create melodic and musical ideas for soloing or grooves with each limb. This is at 60 bpm (hard to nail this stuff with very little metronomic reference) and I’d like to think that it shows that there are possibilities even on pads...

10/15/2019

Okay, so I’ve working on bringing some of these high-speed melodic patterns up to tempo against basic patterns in the feet (which I’m now working on making more advanced). The first parts are the pattern broken down into tempos, and then I try and add the feet in (it’s getting better slowly).

The amazing Ronald Leach survived his cancer treatment and is still making wonderful artwork. Check out this one he made...
10/14/2019

The amazing Ronald Leach survived his cancer treatment and is still making wonderful artwork. Check out this one he made for me...

10/12/2019

This ranks right up there on the most difficult exercises I’ve done for my feet. Here, I’ve taken the Paradiddlediddle (RLRRLL) as a sextuplet, and then a Deviled Egg (RRLLRRR) as a septuplet, which then reverses the pattern to the left side! Doing this in the feet is quite a challenge...

Okay, when Logan Aguilar calls with an opening, you answer because he has a one-year waiting list.  Yeah, even if you ju...
10/10/2019

Okay, when Logan Aguilar calls with an opening, you answer because he has a one-year waiting list. Yeah, even if you just got this worked on 2 weeks ago...

10/09/2019

Okay, something based off of Dan Weiss’ amazing pattern he just posted on Instagram. This one is a Paradiddlediddle as a sextuplet followed by a Deviled Egg as a septuplets, repeat three times, and then a Paradiddlediddle followed by three triple-strokes as a 9-tuplet to flip the whole phrase to the left hand...

10/08/2019

More FULL lefty practice (completely turning the brain around). Working on doubles between the left hand and right foot and then paradiddlediddles all while doing improv phrases with the left foot and right hand.

10/07/2019

Left-handed kit day. If I’m going to preach about the benefits of ambidexterity, I’d better be able to actually back up my claims. Also, I can definitely hear all the time spent with Kenny Grohowski in this clip.

10/07/2019

Doing flams on that Wicked Chops Builder pad is one of the hardest things I’ve ever worked on. You’ll literally fail if your sticks move a millimeter to either side. This is some random Swiss Triplets, Flam Taps, Pataflaflas, and other flam nonsense at 135 (or 270) bpm.

10/04/2019

Post-practice singles run. They’re slowly-but-surely getting better...

10/02/2019

Tobias Ralph and Benzel Baltimore shedding!

10/01/2019

Definitely one of the more difficult things I think I’ve ever done for my feet. I repeated the Murderhands exercise (Flam Accents, Cheeses, Blue Cheeses, Flam Drags) except this time it’s in my feet. Not easy!

09/29/2019

New Murderhands preview! We’re working on some new material while John is in Europe, but, as he is an essential part of our team, we won’t truly produce any final content until we have his feedback and opinions. Here are Flam Taps, Cheese Triplets, Blue Cheese Triplets, and finally into Flam Drags. I think we’ve got a good start here!

09/28/2019

Well, my good friend (and brilliant drummer) Pete Drummond certainly inspired me with his idea based off of my earlier post, so here’s my expansion: Flam Taps in the left side over two voices against Swiss Triplets in the right side as triplets over three voices. A little sloppy, but I’m certainly not perfect, and this is how ideas are crafted!

09/27/2019

So I just got the first preview of the book, and it looks amazing. Therefore, I’ve been practicing overtime to make sure that when the book is released, I don’t botch this material live, fall flat on my face, and look like a fool in front of everyone who’s been kind enough to support me in my musical journey. Here are some improvised rudiments on the Wicked Chops Builder at 225 bpm. I couldn’t do this a week ago.

09/23/2019

Been clocking in A LOT of hours in the practice room lately. Here are some of those African Adowa rhythms played over two voices in the left side (play the shuffle pattern cleanly with your left foot!) and then I’m doing a paradiddle between three voices on the right to create the 3/2 effect. I’m really enjoying these ideas right now!

09/22/2019

Now, in the realm of some serious mathematics, the great Pete Drummond and I will be starting a general series of idea exchanges (literally spanning both ends of the earth). Pete has an amazing double-stroke ostinato with his right side, and then the ability to solo with his left. I expanded a bit on it today using triplet figures that modulate against the ostinato to produce a polyrhythmic ‘phase’ effect. I can’t wait to see what Pete does with this...

09/22/2019

So I’m honored that people really like the new material I’ve been working on as a musical tool rather than a technical one. However, I’ve gotten several requests about people wanting to learn ‘that pattern’, and here’s the thing:

You need to start with the foundations of independence and and advanced limb alignment before tackling this stuff as a musical tool. You’re not going to improvise over advanced Jazz scales if you’re still internalizing the basics of music theory, and you’re not going to do brain surgery if you’re just learning to dissect a frog.

PLEASE reach out and ask about Skype or in-person lessons if you’d like to learn this material. I can’t emphasize having the tools together to improvise and create rather than just use this material as a party trick.

09/21/2019

Something that is WAY harder than I anticipated. I took the African rhythms (Baio-esque pattern with the two-note grouping) and put them into the right side, and tried improvising with the left side. The four-way coordination here is extremely tricky...

Absolutely, Mark Feldman, and it’s because they make THE best...
09/21/2019

Absolutely, Mark Feldman, and it’s because they make THE best...

Regarding Paiste...

09/20/2019

Something based off of that phrase that Steve Michaud posted yesterday. Here’s my interpretation complete with 5-stroke rolls and that alternating right hand/foot action...

Logan Aguilar is a magician with the tattoo needle.  Check out the newest addition to the sleeve, which needs another se...
09/19/2019

Logan Aguilar is a magician with the tattoo needle. Check out the newest addition to the sleeve, which needs another session to be completely finished. Also, this one hurt A LOT, which is why I look like a car just ran over me.

Food?  Check.  Numbing cream?  Check.  Seven hours?  Check.  Let’s do this.
09/18/2019

Food? Check. Numbing cream? Check. Seven hours? Check. Let’s do this.

09/17/2019

Accuracy, timing, and focus. The goal of this exercise is to line 8ths and 16ths up to an offbeat metronome marking (in this case the ‘a’) to reinforce your timing and consistency. Then, do it on your Ahead Wicked Chops Builder or the top of a water bottle. This one is WAY harder than it looks, and, though I’m far from perfect with it, it’s been working wonders for my control.

09/16/2019

So this will sound WAY better on real drums, but the idea is using the African rhythms I studied on tour as new ways to layer and voice my material. Here we have a ‘baio-esque’ pattern in the right foot, a 2-note grouping over two voices in the left hand, and then a grouping of 3 voices over 3 sources in the right side, which gives the ‘3/2’effect. There’s a lot of potential here!

My travel companions on this trip.  I know, it takes a very ‘different’ type of person to entertain themselves for h...
09/14/2019

My travel companions on this trip. I know, it takes a very ‘different’ type of person to entertain themselves for hours by tapping these exercises out on chairs.

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New York, NY

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