Author Archives: nicholas

Drum Cover of Caught Up by Usher

Caught Up is a pretty old song. First time I heard it was circa 2011 when a friend shared the infamous drum cover by the one and only Aaron Spears, which he played at the 2006 Modern Drummer Festival. I instantly became a fan of Aaron and he’s remained one of my favorite drummers ever since.

I’ve listen to this tune several hundred times over the years and tried to learn some of the fills. It’s a complex beast! Aaron has a very unique style of playing that I’ve not quite been able to put my finger on, but I know it has to do those damn triplets!!! Anyway, if I ever meet this man, I shall ask him to play this song for the 1000th time.

Aaron Spear’s cover of Caught Up, among several other performances at the festival opened my eyes to a whole new world of drums. I saw and heard things that continue to amaze me to this day, some of which I’ve incorporated into my own playing. It was a treat to play this song. Lots of cool fills learned and great memories brought to mind. Glad I did it!

Music Studio Tour (2022)

Having relocated to a new apartment, I thought it was time to set up a new music studio. My previous studio was essentially a keyboard in my home office.

Photo of my previous setup while making some music with my younger brother.

Now, I’ve got some new instruments. Most notably, a set of drums, which I’ve been wanting to get since forever.

My current arsenal consists of 3 instruments:

  • Drum kit: I got the Roland TD-07DMK e-drum kit. It’s on the pricey side, but the mesh drum heads make it feel just like an acoustic kit which is great. I get the sound and feel of an acoustic drum kit, while not driving my neighbors crazy. Also, it comes with a built-in metronome, and Bluetooth for playing music from my phone, making practice sessions seamless and fun.
  • Electronic keyboard: After playing the Casio CDP-S100 for the first time at an acquaintance’s place a few months ago, I decided to get one. He recommended the upgrade version, the CDP-S110, so that’s what I got. It definitely doesn’t have the best sound in the world, but it’s a full-size keyboard (88 keys) with weighted keys and a small footprint. And the sound quality is an upgrade from my previous board, the Yamaha PSR-E453.
My CDP-S110
  • Bass guitar: I got the cheapest bass I could find on Amazon (RockJam RJBG01-SK-BK). I started learning to play the bass many years ago but I didn’t get very far so I’m going to be continuing that journey now. While it doesn’t have the prettiest sound, it’s a standard 4-string full-size bass which I believe is a good platform for learning. It also came with a number of accessories like a mini combo, capo, tuner and extra strings which is nice.
My RockJam bass and mini combo

I would like to get an acoustic and maybe an electric guitar at some point in the future, but these instruments will keep me very busy for quite a while.

I’ve set up my studio with recording in mind. There’s lots of songs I want to learn to play and remix. And I’d like to make more of my own music — less by sitting in front of a computer and more by playing an instrument. So in addition to the instruments, I’ve also purchased video and audio recording equipment, like a video capture card and audio interface. I’ll be publishing an article on my video recording workflow for song covers, so keep your eyes peeled for that.