Brush Beat is a website for drummers who enjoy all things brushes related.  In the articles section you can read all about the origins of brush playing in Never Swat a Fly, about the development of the wire brush in What Swat and learn some 'new' moves by working through the tutorial Early Jazz-Styles for Brushes.  You will also be able to download a sample chapter of my book,The Richmond Assault: a short history of barber-musicians and their role in the development of brush-playing. There is also a selection of 'brush breaks' through the ages (an ongoing project) and an article about Frank 'Josh' Billings (one of the first 'suitcase drummers' to achieve public acclaim).  More articles are in the pipeline, so be sure to drop by from time-to-time.
Brushbeat News
5th Feb 2016: My book is available to buy!  It includes a lengthy chapter about the origins of brush-playing, which contains plenty of new information.  A sample chapter (plus details of how to order) can be found in the articles section.  Please help pay for the hosting of free content on brushbeat by buying a copy (it all helps!). 
2nd Dec 2015: My book is finished!  As I mentioned earlier in the year, it's about barber-musicians.  Not only their role in the development of brush playing, but also their history.  The book seeks to explain the origins of the musical tradition within barbering.  A tradition that owes as much to world religion and medicine as it does to musical heritage.  I'm awaiting a proof copy from the publisher and, all being well, it will be available to buy on-line in the new year! (details to be announced).

29th May 2015: I've amended the Early Jazz-Styles for Brushes article to include some new information about the way Ben Pollack played his beats, plus tidied up some clumsy writing here and there. Still working on the references and notes for my book.  It's a tedious and lengthy task (be patient!).
15th Jan 2015: Added a video in the tips & tricks section that demonstrates how I play rimshots.
I am pleased to announce that I finished writing my book last September.  It's about barber-musicians and their role in the development of brush playing. If you enjoyed the section about whisk broom playing in the article Never Swat a Fly, you should enjoy this book. Unfortunately the references and notes are taking a lot longer to sort out than anticipated, so the final work won't be published until later this year.
22nd Feb 2014: Added another video that demonstrates a good way to play crushed/press rolls using rebound from the rim.  Scroll down a little, just past the 5 stroke roll video.
Still working on my book.  Realistically, it's not going to be out until the end of this year.  It'll be worth the wait though!
22nd Jan 2013: Added a quick video showing how to play a simple 12/8 groove.  Just click on the "Tips & Tricks" tab.  The article that I've been working on (as mentioned in previous updates) has developed into a book, which I'm finishing at the moment.  Details to follow in a few months.  Stay tuned!
21st Aug 2012: Added a video in the "Tips and Tricks" section (scroll down) demonstrating one way to play rim-click with wooden-handled brushes.
3rd June 2012: Added a short video demonstrating a couple of ways to get a more authentic hi-hat sound from brushes.
4th May 2012: Still working on my next article.  A ridiculous amount of research involved, so it will be another few months until it is published online.
14th Dec 2011: I've updated Never Swat a Fly to incorporate a snippet of info from Danny Barker's autobiography.  It strengthens the evidence for suitcase drumming being common across the south during the early 1920s.
A couple of new articles are in the pipeline.  The first should be online early in the new year.
29th Nov 2011: A short biography of Frank 'Josh' Billings has been added to the articles section.
6th Nov 2011: Both Art Hickman transcriptions (see Articles section) have been updated following my discovery of reasonably clean on-line recordings at the Library of Congress site.  Also, a biographical article about Frank 'Josh' Billings is near completion and will be published soon.

Big Sid Catlett jamming with Sidney Bechet