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How To Play A Blushda

Gregg Bissonette  /  UPDATED Aug 20, 2022

The blushda has become one of Gregg Bissonette’s signature licks. If you aren’t familiar with the rudiment, it’s a left flam followed by a right-right-left (rLRRL).

In 1982, Gregg had just moved to LA and heard one of his drum heroes, Vinnie Colaiuta playing this lick at an Encino club called The Flying Jib. “I thought…what is that sticking?” He didn’t know for years. But eventually hearing Gary Novak play it at the NAMM Show, he had to know. And Gary showed it to him. Later on, he was talking to Steve Smith about the blushda, who said that when he and Vinnie were at Berklee School of Music in the ’70s, they pulled it from Tony Williams!

To give your blushda a real ‘oomph’ like Gregg does, make your flams really wide (“stretch them”). Put a bass drum hit – or even two or three – in the middle. Make sure you accent the left. It’s the accents that help give it that organic, “greasy” feel. So much for a straight corps rudiment, huh?

Watch the video and let Gregg sing it for you!

Gregg Bissonette is one of the most versatile drummers in the music business. His incredible range of styles from jazz, rock, Big Band, blues, latin, and fusion has allowed him to work with many of the world’s top artists. A Grammy Award-winning drummer, his impressive resume includes Santana, David Lee Roth, Maynard Ferguson, Toto, Joe Satriani and Ringo Starr, and you’ll find his name on many TV and movie scores.

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