9th May 2014
Steve Gadd is one of my favourite drummers of all time. Actually, one of my favourite musicians of all time. Steve changed the way drums were played. Of course, many before him led the way: Buddy Rich with his technical and musical brilliance, Louie Bellson and Gene Krupa swinging the big bands, Max Roach’s melodic philosophy, Roy Haynes snap, crackle and pop, Elvin Jones polyrhythmic phrases etc etc. The list could and should go on. But back to Gadd. He is a one-off. He is a pocket master. His individual style saw him being elevated as a drummer and emulated. He took marching band rudiments and made them groove in rock, pop jazz, funk, fusion, big band, latin and more. He played musically and thought only to enhance the music. He never over-played or missed a beat. He always meant what he executed. He could totally beast his chops with artists like Steely Dan and Michel Petrucciani. He could just lay back and swing playing crotchets and you would still recognise his sound. He could groove on his Yamaha drums and you would recognise the tone and the way he hit them. He influenced countless drummers and raised the bar with how drums should sound and support the band.
For this first article in a series before my videos go up online I would like to highlight Steve Gadd, one of the most important drummers of all time.
1st April 2014
Modern Drummer has always been my favourite drum magazine. It is packed with such useful information in every issue, and is the first point of reference I use when researching and need some help. Enjoy this article from Modern Drummer’s website.
by Jeff Schaller
One could argue that no music form highlights the drummer more than funk. The fat grooves, the dirty backbeats, the snap of a tight snare, the syncopated hits with a stellar horn section, the deep pocket against a smooth bass line…you’re probably groovin’ in your seat just thinking about it. Funk music is all about the beat, and it’s no coincidence that many of our most influential drummers have made a name for themselves playing the style. If you want to learn the essence of the style, here are ten classic albums you should definitely check out.
Dyke & the Blazers
So Sharp! (Kent)
Drummer: James Gadson
2nd July 2012
This video has been up for a few weeks now on YouTube but I haven’t actually posted it via my website. So here it is, my final video…a drum solo. As I said on the YouTube notes, it was literally me blowing all my frustrations from two days filming as it was the very last thing that was filmed. Coming up later on in the week will be two new tracks on my SoundCloud channel, so keep posted for that.
11th May 2012
This is a continuation of a series of things that have inspired me to be a better musician. The next thing I would like to speak well of is Modern Drummer Magazine. I have to unashamedly admit that I’m a bit of a magazine geek. I always have been. I loved trying to create my own sort of magazines as a youngster and still have a big collection of football magazines. In February 2004 I bought my first issue of Modern Drummer. It was one of the first times I had ever seen a drum magazine, I didn’t really think they existed. And, for one to be in a newsagent in Stornoway, I was taken with it. To go with that, Travis Barker, my favourite drummer at the time was on the cover. I have since collected every issue (just about). And with that I have learnt a lot about drummers, music, general concepts and tips, sight reading as well as interviews with today’s top pros and how they work in the industry. In short, I think Modern Drummer has influenced countless drummers across its history. I also have one of the book’s they published for their 30th anniversary (titled “The Drummer”) and some special editions (“Drum Gods I & II”). All in all, it continually inspires me month after month and I look forward to every issue. Call me a geek or whatever, but Modern Drummer has inspired me in so many ways and continues to do so.
Here is an article from the website, showing just one of the many good points of MD.
13th February 2012
Some more great drumming videos!
Manu Katche – (Most famous for playing on Peter Gabriel’s “So”)
8th February 2012
I think its really great to listen to new and exciting music from time to time. You hear and appreciate a new aspect of musicianship you never used to. Here are some drummers I’ve really appreciated learning from recently. Whilst most of the videos are based around jazz, I do believe that there is a lot to be learned from them all. So, about these concepts. How do they work and how are they to be approached? Below are drummers who master in funk, New Orleans, jazz, bebop, fusion and brush styles. Please do check them out! There are some incredible drummers whom I currently am inspired by. I truly believe there’s a lot to be learnt from any style, so keep your ears open to different genres. Click on their name to link to their website.
Dave Weckl (see his work with Chick Corea, Mike Stern and his own band. One of my all-time favourite drummers.)
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