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    Hello Official Drummers,
    Our first blog post here...  OfficialDrummer.com has went through some drastic changes the past 6 months from software to design of our site. With the new software upgrade we lost some key areas of our website.. We doubt these areas come back and hope to streamline our site a bit better with our newest software changes.


    Thank you for your support
    OfficialDrummer.com

  1. DiehardDIYer
    Latest Entry

    Carl Palmer loves to play the drums. You can see it on his face, you can hear it in what he does. At 65 he maintains a youthful energy and vitality that continues to amaze fans. He's been at it, steadily, for just about his entire life, since his teens, as a professional. He is a consummate musician and a consummate entertainer, as well. That has been his philosophy all throughout his career.


    I start this blog with Palmer because I have been watching some recent playing of his. Youtube, again, being the phenomenon it is. Palmer is one of the very fortunate few who have been able to make a career doing what they love. Most of us, the vast, vast majority of musicians on this planet, do not have that privilege or joy, for varying reasons. About as close as most get are weekend warriors. It must suffice.


    At 61, I have no expectations. I'd love to be a touring musician. I think. The rigors of the road, day after day, night after night, locations blurring into dozens, hundreds, or thousands in attendance in venues both dank or swanky, can have its share of reality checks. A sound check and concert are a few hours. That leaves twenty-one hours for eating, sleeping, laundry, hanging out and maybe some sight-seeing. The guitarist I record with, Tom Cranor, same age as me, says, "Forget it. You can have it." He'd much rather be involved in his regular job, or down in his studio, and sleeping in the same bed every night. There is certainly something to be said for that angle. Our second CD is almost ready, and that's cool. I have enjoyed recording. It's been rewarding.


    I made decisions just about 37 years ago that changed the direction of my life and I abide by that. No complaints. Still, I am one of those people who find it quite boring to play to the four walls every day. I have friends who say, "Just play for the sheer enjoyment. Learn, grow, advance." I am just not tuned into that frequency. I need a purpose and a plan and the satisfaction of contributing something, and moving someone else in some way. Just the way I'm wired.


    You Tube has become an avenue where the 'nobodies' of life can express themselves and share and receive some feedback, which has been taken advantage of by millions of people around the world. It's really something. Matter of fact, for some, it has become a career, of sorts. That is a topic and phenomena all its own.


    I want to keep playing. I'd like to keep making drums, and even open a drum shop, something I have wanted to do since my teens. Not sure any of it will develop to fruition, for various reasons but, I am a prisoner of hope.


    To those who have fulfilled their dreams, congratulations. To those who chose other paths, may it have proved the wisest choice. To those who abide satisfied right where they are, more power to you.

  2. blogentry-848-0-63854500-1319177931_thum

    I saw Whitesnake last night (October 20, 2011) on their ‘Forevermore Japan Tour 2011’. Let me preface this by saying that I think it was a great show although I was never really the world’s biggest Whitesnake fan. I love live shows wherever they may be found. Finding this one in a small 1000 seat performance hall in an out-of-the-way city in the Japan countryside was a rare treat. Few major acts find their way this far into the heartland of Japan, instead aiming for the usual targets of Tokyo, Osaka, and a couple other mega-cities to the north.

     

    I didn't know what to expect from the fans in attendance. Before my arrival, I had anticipated that the show would either be full of 15 year old boys discovering Whitesnake for the first time or else it would be 35 year old men reliving their past glory days. It turned out to be mostly the latter. There were a lot of middle-aged or nearly middle aged men who had pulled all their denim jean clothing out of mothballs along with their old tour t-shirts. I have seen enough of this sort of display to be determined to never wear someone else's tour t-shirt to a show. Pure cheese!

     

    There was one unexpected upside to the audience though. I hadn't thought there would be many women there. Truth is, there were a lot of extremely hot women. Maybe I need to study this phenomenon a little more closely in the future!

     

    The show began promptly at seven p.m. with no opening act or much preamble. Most fans were orderly and seated well before showtime. I was given one of the best seats in the house courtesy of contacts with the local radio station – twelfth row center, on the aisle with an aisle in front as well. This was both visually and acoustically the best place in the house. They finished right around 8:30.

     

    The band went on and played through two or three numbers before I recognized a song. As I noted, Whitesnake came a little after my flirtation with… what would you call it?... pop metal? Hair bands?... So it should not be surprising that I didn’t know much of the music.

     

    The band was smoking hot playing-wise. Image-wise? – they were still stuck back somewhere in the ‘80s. David Coverdale had a long feathered hairstyle that would have made Farrah Fawcett proud, but I wondered if it had come out of a hatbox just before the show. He didn’t seem quite comfortable in his own teeth but maybe I am just extrapolating for effect on the issues of age and image of this aging rock icon. The criticism has been leveled many times before but, without my glasses, and if I squinted, Coverdale looked a lot like a Robert Plant of 30 years ago. He still had a few screams left in him but Coverdale’s vocals were a little bit low in the mix for most of the night and anyone would have trouble dueling it out with all the amplified mayhem going on around him.

     

    Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich handled the guitar duties in true rock and roll style although a little less of the man-boobs baring attire wouldn’t have hurt their visual image any. Reb Beach, in particular, seemed to really be enjoying himself at the show.

     

    At 35, bassist Michael Devin brought a youthful exuberance to his first tour of Japan. He played and sang admirably. Brian Ruedy on keyboards worked stage left.

     

    Filling out the rhythm section was drummer Brian Tichy. Of perhaps most interest to our membership here at CSM, Brian was on fire set atop his drum riser center stage back. Brian plays Natal drums check out their official site here and how! One up and four (!) down. One kick drum, one rack tom, assorted percussion instruments, two huge floor toms to his right and two more (!) to his left! Talk about having a balanced kit! The kit sounded like the thunder of the gods under Brian’s superb playing. It was difficult to tell just how Natal drums might sound acoustically as the processing and reinforcement played such a large role in the sound of the drums in the mix. That being said, they sounded great and were mixed well. In fact, they often came through as if mixed to the front with everything else behind and lower in the mix. Something I’m sure many drummers would love. I did, too! The kit not only sounded great but looked great, too. And they really took a beating as Tichy did just about everything imaginable to bang them apart at the seams. Lots of flash and stick tricks but Brian delivered the goods with his playing as well. There’s a good reason he has played with many of today’s best hard rock artists.

     

    You can check out Natal Drums and more on Brian Tichy here: http://www.nataldrum....asp#Briantichy

    Natal Drums homepage http://www.nataldrums.com/index.asp

    and Augie posted some news about Brian Tichy here: http://www.centersta...Bbrian+%2Btichy

     

    The entire show was high energy from start to finish and closed, after a brutal drum solo, with a number of songs that even I easily recognized. Coverdale seemed to lose the name (understandable really as this is Japan and the names must seem unfamiliar) of the city he was in a couple of times (I love you 'Mizayaki'!) in all the excitement and his parting words left a bit of a weirdness, “And remember, don’t ever let anyone or anything make you afraid!” that brought out snide thoughts of advancing age but good advice just the same.

     

    All this being said, I’m glad Whitesnake took a chance and came to this little part of the world. I hope they return and I also hope that more big name ticket shows may follow. I’m more a fan of Whitesnake than I was a day ago. Maybe there is hope for me yet! Until then… lm/

     

    You can also read more Whitesnake here: http://www.whitesnak...index-cover.asp

     

    Here is the setlist from last night’s show:

     

    My Generation @Tape [The Who] (Walk-on)

    Best Years

    Give Me All Your Love

    Love Ain't No Stranger

    Is This Love

    Steal Your Heart Away

    Forevermore

    Guitar Duel

    Love Will Set You Free

    Drum Solo

    Fool For Your Loving

    Here I Go Again

    Still Of The Night

    We Wish You Well @Tape (Walk-off)

     

    Regards,

    Mike Holmes

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    Bonze75
    Latest Entry

    The making of...

    L'ABSOLU, was an event that my friend Jennifer and I put together on sept 18, 2010. It was hard work but it was very rewarding. Here's how it went...

    I had the idea of putting up this show, about three years ago but it's in april 2010 that the project started to take form. I had thought of almost everything, from the way the room would look, the music played on stage and the artists performing it... All I needed was a little outside help ! So I brought in Jennifer(1), who would take care of the ticket sale, the sponsors and all the paperworks. She's a very good friend of mine and she also has plenty of wealthy friends who would later prove to be indispensable !

    At this point, we already knew how the evening would evolve : a five course meal with very good wine, lounge entertainment (singer & pianist) on a secondary, more intimate stage, and that would be followed by two electrifying rocking sets...

    As I said, I had chosen all the songs for both sets, had decided whom would perform them and proceeded to contact them... In total, our band had eleven members(2), including my daughter Camille and her mother Chantal. My initial plan was to to have that fancy event ($100/ticket) on the saturday, with a limit of 130 people, because of the way I wanted the hall to be set & decorated... but I also wanted to present the show, without the fancy dinner, just the two sets, on the night before. That way, we could accomodate more people, and take the door money and split it within the band... But that was not to be since the promoter of the place booked a very popular stand-up comic on that night without telling me, even though we had a deal (miscommunication). Too bad...

     

    I think the toughest part for me was to organize rehearsals. You know how it works ; you're four in a band, and everyone has it's own schedule... imagine a band of eleven !!! And it's not a paying job !!! Yeah, and I also had the (not so) brilliant idea of having two bass players, so each rehearsal had to focus on one set only...

     

    Anyway, we had our first practice at the end of july. In the end, we would have had three rehearsals for the first set, three for the second and a final one wich included both sets. We had a GREAT time at these meetings.

    To make sure that everything would sound and look good, all I had to do was to give a call to my brother-in-law who's a V-P in the biggest sound/light company in the country. All we had to do is pay for transportation, this way, I could really upgrade the homekit with some moving lights and a top-notch audio mixing board (yam M7CL). Then I got in touch with a friend who works for the local community TV station ; they usually will film your event for free and will make their money out of the sale of DVD's. I had forgotten to call him, so when I reached him a week before the event, he told me that he would gladly do it but... he was alone since his partner was working somewhere else.

    So, D-Day arrived and everything fell in place; the week before, I went to the local renovation center to get sponsored with some material, they delivered early that morning and two of my closest friends started to build risers ! one for the drums, one for the keyboards and one for the secondary stage where the lounge entertainment would take place... Everything went according to the plan ! When my friend from the local TV station came in, he took place on the side stage that was used for the lounge entertainment; there, he set-up two cameras : one for the large angle and one that he could zoom-in on the performer, he placed the third camera just behind me... so three cameras but only one cameraman, now that's effeciency ! Also had a connection direct from the audio board to the main camera...

    I had triple duty on that day. I was a roady/tech, a producer and a musician... My day started at 7:30 am and I got home at 3:30 am...!!! BUT IT WAS ALL WORTH IT !!! CAUSE I HAD A BLAST !!!

    And you know what?, I still feel a bit hypocritical and selfish about the whole thing ; even though we brought in $7000 for the local hospital, I really did all this so I could play live, on stage, songs that I liked, with some good musicians that are most importantly good friends...

    Hope you enjoy.

     

    Pierre

     

    (1) my partner in crime...

    (2) everybody's there but one, the singer, Matt, who was probably downstairs getting drunk...

     

     

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    Anyone here on Facebook?? Yea, me too. I'm still not sure why but, I check it from my phone several times a day. As of late, I've been getting pretty fucking annoyed with certain things on Facebook. My main bitch is about people who feel that they need to constantly post inspirational (religious or non religious) crap all day long. It's beginning to remind me of those assholes who have the "word of the day" calendars. Who the fuck are you trying to impress??? Have you little else to do than to scan the internet for inspirational passages??? WTF??? I could choose to ignore it...... but, I won't. It's my right to bitch. I feel like blowing off a little steam so here it is. It's my blog and I'll say what I want to!!

    Also, these dipshits who are constantly posting quotes. I don't know which is more annoying..... when it's a famous quote or something obscure. I'm bitching about this one because, well, the ones doing it are people I've known for a while. They wouldn't know Nietzsche from a can of soup. It's easy to type "famous quotes" into Google's search bar. Then, BANG you've got some meaningful quote that you can make everyone's day with. We all know you're a moron. You were stupid in school and you didn't get any smarter once you got out.

    Lastly.......those geniuses who feel the need to post 37 music video's in a row with little captions like...... "this brings me back to the good old days" or "wow, I haven't heard this in a lifetime". I don't want to scroll through 37 video's. STOP IT!!

    If any of you disagree with this blog post...... I don't want to know about it. If I have offended anyone.........I don't want to know about it. I just felt like blowing off some steam so I posted this. It's not a thread on the forum....It's MY blog. If you don't like it........... I don't want to know about it.

    hugs and kisses.......

    Tony

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    Finally , I get to the end of my buying spree for new drums,hardware,cymbals,parts,e.t.c as of yesterday Oct.27 2010----$8,678.00 later, and now........... begins the long process...

    I will be practicing for 3-5 hours a day from now on plus co-managing my NEW band

    I am currently still putting together plus ,still to date,auditioning for a new Bass Player and possibly a new Lead Vocalist.We are considering an old bandmate from a previous band,but we have yet to actually sit-down with him and discuss all the beginings and future stuff we must go over.I hope this does work out,because it would make my job alot easier.I am juggling alot right now.I am in contact with several management companies in the hopes of securing a decent management contract for this band.As always,there are the ones out there that like to pretend and that causes you to have to go thru alot of preamble to get down to the meat of the situation and decide if they are really a professional or a faker.It is not good when I know more about their job duties and have more connections than they do-those are the ones I have been coming across lately.I want a REAL manager that I do not have to worry about doing his or her job.So with that , I hope it does work out ,but we still will have a long way to go even after that.I am hoping to be done with all the auditions by November 15 2010 so we can focus on song structures and recording and pre-production.My last band "Brazen Beat" was recorded and produced by an old friend of mine,Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedys.We made the long commute from ol' Phoenix,AZ. all the way to Oakland,CA. to Wally Sound Studios to record and finish the record.Mostly because we could not find any professional studios here in Arizona-all we got were jokers that wanted extreme amounts of money and still could not do the job put in front of them.It is sad too,because alot of the local bands are being Raped by these guys on a regular basis.I was almost Raped by one-he was technically holding us hostage for the ransom he suddenly demanded and even took us to court and fucking won-because Arizona is a "Right to Work" state-(they always side with the business guy here).It does not matter here in Arizona, even if you have a written contract basically spelling out what the full price was supposed to be and not what the guy decided to change it to.It's ridiculous,they can do anything they want.

    I had a written contract for a set amount at $10,000.00 max for the entire project, including Recording(which we didn;t even do at this studio),Mixing and Mastering and even a small amount of Early Press C.D.'s at 2,000 copies included to give out to press people and radio stations,etc.We ended up at over $10,000.00 before we even finished the Vocals on the record.That's why I had to go out of Arizona,it was more of a salvage operation at that point.We were way over budget at that point and we had eaten into our Touring money,our Promotions money,etc.But in the end,It was definitely worth it,we still are to release that particular album,but it will get out eventually.Klaus sang and played Bass Guitar on the entire disc basically as our Bass Player,because at that time we didn't have a reliable Bass player to do the tracks.Since those sessions we were able to get 2 different players that worked out O.K. and they ended up playing a few local shows here in Tempe & Phoenix,AZ.

    My old bandmate John Maurer is back from retirement this last few months and has a new band as well.They are called "Five Alarm Fire".I am looking into a possible show between our 2 bands in the future.Check back,I will keep you posted with more later.

    That's about enough of my rambling for today,I have to start making calls and emailing to get all the last of the audition guys set-up with times to come in and also to answer alot of emails about other band business.talk at ya later!

    Bob-O

  3. As I write this, I am "Stoned". It's not what you think.

     

    blogentry-1847-097714800 1286850390_thum

     

    This is a condition caused by use of George Lawrence Stone's classic drumming book, Stick Control. Symptoms include trance-like state; a feeling that one's hands no longer hold sticks, but rather that sticks have grown out of them; subjective experience of time telescoping; tunnel vision; wandering thoughts; possible synaesthesia ("Oh wow, this exercise is purple!").

     

    The uninitiated may approximate getting "Stoned" by hitting a cardboard box with a pair of spoons at 300 b.p.m. for at least two hours uninterrupted.

     

    Remedy: turn metronome off! Relinquish sticks! Step away from the practise pad (may require assistance). Recline in a quiet, darkened room, and rehydrate as required. Try to count to ten without saying "e-and-a" between numbers.

  4. Well finally 1 week away from our bands first LIVE gig....Well 1st paying gig that is.. So if anyone is in the area come on down 7-10 pm..

    http://rjssizzlinsteer.com/Home_page/home_page.html

  5. SpeedNinja
    Latest Entry

    Started a cover band a few months back. Had to make a demo recording for some bars so we hung some mics up and recorded a practice. Two songs are up, will add another later, three songs died during a program glitch. Just cheap vocal mics, one in front of the bass drum, one way overhead, one for vocals, one on the guitar cab, one on the bass cab.

    Songs are here:

    http://www.myspace.com/relentlessdrums

    Recorded these first three (She, First Date, Shine) with a Mapex VX studio kit, 14x3.5 bronze BP, cymbals are a mix of K Custom Dark and A Zildjian.

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    lasercanary
    Latest Entry

    Well this week marks my fourth week teaching a 8 year old boy at a music store. Remember all the stuff you read online on blogs about teaching kids? Well throw all of that stuff away. Most of them say teach the kids rudiments.

    Absolutely if you want to BORE them to death! My student doesn't have a great attention span and if I taught him the rudiments, he probably would be long gone. I have been talking to my drum teacher and he has been helping a lot. I've basically have been covering doing 2 and 4 on the snare and one and three on the bass drum. Meanwhile, his right hand plays eight notes on the hi-hat.

    Then I decided to kick it up a notch and I brought in a CD player, so that he can play along to his favorite artists. He likes Jimmy Buffett, Michael Jackson, and Hannah Montana ( :barf: :barf: :pullhair: :pullhair:). I brought in Michael, "Imagine" from John Lennon, and even "Every breath you take", from the Police.

    I occasionally have to remind him to sit up and count aloud. The music store doesn't have a good drum throne for him to sit on, so we both sit down in chairs. I lower the hi-hat and snare stand as low as it will go for him as well. His mom said that when his birthday comes up in 2 months, he's going to get a drumkit from the store! Then he'll be able to practice at home what I'm teaching.

    So I have a few days to think of some other things I can teach him for our half hour lesson. The key is with young students is to keep it fun. The rudiments can come later, but right now encouragement and counting out loud is most important.

    blogentry-1336-127536490656_thumb.jpg

  6. At just eleven years of age, Cole Marcus continues to impress worldwide audiences and the entertainment industry with his genius talent, and has become established internationally as a serious artist. His precocious drumming, songwriting, and vocal abilities have garnered appearances on countless TV and radio shows, not to mention feature articles in drum magazines and newspapers. Cole’s exposure has opened up doors far outside the drumming community and has reached into an acting career. He can be seen creating and performing his own beats in the TV commerical for LG/VH1′s ‘Save The Music’ and has filmed several other national commercials, including being cast as the new “Mikey” for Life Cereal.

    CLICK HERE To view the entire Rebrodcast of DC Live Show with Cole Marcus.

    CLICK HERE To view Cole Marcus Drum Solo

    CLICK HERE To view Cole Marcus Drum Jam.

    For more info click here.

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    My drumset, she is nearly done. I have a cowbell clamp arriving on Tuesday and I just ordered a Falcon single pedal, which should be here in a week to a week and a half at most. Short of a Falcon hihat stand being released, there is nothing else I want to change on my drums. It's quite nice to sit behind your kit and feel that is yours, a reflection of who you are and how you approach things. I truly believe that your instrument is a vivid, physical projection of your personality and that, when you can be proud of your instrument, you become confident in yourself even more so than before. And with that confidence you have a secure founding on which to build yourself as a technical musician and also explore that unique sound, that groove that will one day be linked to you and you alone... that sound that, when heard randomly during daily life, one can identify as that guy from that band. But YOU are that guy and that is YOUR band.

    As silly as it is, something so simple as finishing this kit to my satisfaction will allows me to advance by leaps and bounds in the near future.

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    I've been a gamer since the early days of PC text games, but never really thought much about the music. The last few years with MMO's and ever more realistic console games, the music has become an integral part of the experience. Much like a film soundtrack.

    I've also been a software developer for a while and occassionally considered developing a game, but always discarded the idea as too daunting. I would rather spend my free time playing music or games instead of coding, which I already do all day for a living.

    Well, some long-time friends recently asked if I would like to contribute to the console game they had been working on for several months. It is still in the early stages and may never see publication, but I thought it would be interesting to see what they were up to. Long story short, while we were talking about code, they mentioned that they would really like to replace the 'borrowed' music they were using with something original. That sounded like something I could get into. So the next trip to the studio I discussed it with my keyboardist friend of many years and he was willing to give it a try. He has never been much interested in video games, so we found some game music samples on-line to give him an idea of what the developers might want and we started playing.

    Here are a few samples of what we've done so far. This is all entirely improvised, except for the flute sound which was added after the fact.

    B5.mp3

    A3.mp3

    B4.mp3

    B6.mp3

  7. With me on the drums.

    It's on almost in every TV station in Brazil. It was aired yesterday on the largest one, TV Globo.
    Here's the link for the video (and for the song of course)

     

     

     

    Oh! Don't ask me why they chose London.

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    Hello Friends One of My Bandmates told me to Put up some of My Writings So Please if you Like Leave a Comment. So without Further ado here we go

    I call this One Just Scream

    Just Scream

    And Release your Memories

    of the Time that we could be

    And dont forget the Gasoline

    Not Me

    Im not your Enemy

    Feel the Anger Burning

    Down the Walls

    Just Scream

    And Release your Memories

    Of the time that we could be

    Dont Forget the Gasoline

    Burning

    All the things it seemed to me

    Wasted Breath Apoligizes of a Time Lost to me

    I said I didnt care

    and nothing was beyond repair

    I said I didnt Care

    And nothing was beyond repair

    And all the Times you Said I dont Care

    And all the Things we left down there

    So want you Please

    Fucking Let Me be

    Just Scream

    And release those memories

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    Here we go again - trying to fight back the years of old age maybe. In the last 6 months I have tried things I never thought I would have. Different styles (other that 4/4 std. classic rock and metal stuff) like HipHop and smooth folk-type styles. Oh and that term "Middle of the Road" too.

    Well I had some auditions and did real well (the encouragement here on CSM was amazing and really helped).

    I have played to click tracks - not to much of a bad experience providing my old ears can hear the click over the sound of my kit.

    Did a nice charity Christmas Gig and had a solo track on a CD which was actually House Music style.

    Next up I've just ordered some Jazz Brushes. After 25 years why!!! asked my teenage son. I have been asked to play with some other (really good and established) musicians for a local talent comp. Funny thing is I can't wait to try them but the first phase of the comp. is in 8 days so I have to learn how to use them in time!! I always like to work under pressure (kidding).

  8. TheQuietOne75
    Latest Entry

    I'm just watching the news, and reading online posts. There's so much US vs Canada crap going on, no friendly rivalry. All I hear is "Canada sucks!" and "F@&K the USA!"

    I wish the world could take a lesson from CSM about how to really get along.

    Sorry, just venting.

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    • By DiehardDIYer in DiehardDIYer
         0
      Carl Palmer loves to play the drums. You can see it on his face, you can hear it in what he does. At 65 he maintains a youthful energy and vitality that continues to amaze fans. He's been at it, steadily, for just about his entire life, since his teens, as a professional. He is a consummate musician and a consummate entertainer, as well. That has been his philosophy all throughout his career.

      I start this blog with Palmer because I have been watching some recent playing of his. Youtube, again, being the phenomenon it is. Palmer is one of the very fortunate few who have been able to make a career doing what they love. Most of us, the vast, vast majority of musicians on this planet, do not have that privilege or joy, for varying reasons. About as close as most get are weekend warriors. It must suffice.

      At 61, I have no expectations. I'd love to be a touring musician. I think. The rigors of the road, day after day, night after night, locations blurring into dozens, hundreds, or thousands in attendance in venues both dank or swanky, can have its share of reality checks. A sound check and concert are a few hours. That leaves twenty-one hours for eating, sleeping, laundry, hanging out and maybe some sight-seeing. The guitarist I record with, Tom Cranor, same age as me, says, "Forget it. You can have it." He'd much rather be involved in his regular job, or down in his studio, and sleeping in the same bed every night. There is certainly something to be said for that angle. Our second CD is almost ready, and that's cool. I have enjoyed recording. It's been rewarding.

      I made decisions just about 37 years ago that changed the direction of my life and I abide by that. No complaints. Still, I am one of those people who find it quite boring to play to the four walls every day. I have friends who say, "Just play for the sheer enjoyment. Learn, grow, advance." I am just not tuned into that frequency. I need a purpose and a plan and the satisfaction of contributing something, and moving someone else in some way. Just the way I'm wired.

      You Tube has become an avenue where the 'nobodies' of life can express themselves and share and receive some feedback, which has been taken advantage of by millions of people around the world. It's really something. Matter of fact, for some, it has become a career, of sorts. That is a topic and phenomena all its own.

      I want to keep playing. I'd like to keep making drums, and even open a drum shop, something I have wanted to do since my teens. Not sure any of it will develop to fruition, for various reasons but, I am a prisoner of hope.

      To those who have fulfilled their dreams, congratulations. To those who chose other paths, may it have proved the wisest choice. To those who abide satisfied right where they are, more power to you.
    • By DiehardDIYer in DiehardDIYer
         1
      In the fifty years I have been playing there have been various moments of reading articles or interviews where something was stated that just struck me with great force and conviction.

      Tony Williams. A statement from an old interview where he said he learned to make every stroke count. Made a big impression on me in the way I approach my own playing.

      Interviews with Jack DeJohnette, Peter Erskine, Pierre Favre (who? Swiss jazz drumist, and sound explorer), and others over the years who have intelligently broken down the art into succinct phrases of the spoken word which just made such sense to me it left indelible marks upon my mind and ultimately my playing. It has not happened often but, when it has it has been enlightening and empowering.

      Of course, one can see Carl Allen's comment as my signature, I ain't nobody's timekeeping baby sitter. Everyone needs to know where "1" is. That was a big one. Talk about an expression of freedom. It just caused instant solidarity from me.

      Maybe the biggest impression of all was something from an early interview with Ginger Baker when playing in Cream. I've stated it before. He said, People may play faster than me. They may play with greater technique than me but, nobody plays like me.

      Baker's conviction about having his own voice, above everything else, was so strong it has kept him among the top players in drumming history. To this day, regardless of his lack of speed, or lack of technique, "Toad" from Wheels of Fire, disk 2, remains one of the greatest recorded solos of all time. It holds up even today because of its style within Baker's voice.

      The concept of having your own voice at the instrument sank so deeply within me at a young age it never let go. Whether or not there is anything of that nature in my playing after five decades, I don't know. I've had it said to me a few times over the years and it was certainly gratifying to hear.
      The thing is, like our own speaking voice, which people recognize as our voice, we all tend to use the same words day in and day out. Most people have around 3,000 words in their vocabulary, give or take, which they use throughout life to communicate their general thoughts and feelings and concepts about daily living. Women tend to use more words than men. Women are now playing the drums more than ever. If you know of some who have mastered the art within the framework of having their own voice at the instrument; do they seem to use more "words?" Not that I have noticed.

      Today, finding a unique voice is difficult, indeed. The world-wide nature of the drumming community has made saying something unique or different at the set more and more, seemingly impossible. It has become a race to extend skills and technique, not necessarily the artistry contained in having your own voice, despite or in spite of technique.

      Recently I have been watching a lot of videos featuring Keith Carlock. This man is the Steve Gadd of this generation, as some have said, and I believe, rightly so. That guy has a voice so outstanding it is right up there with the elite of players in the history of the instrument. Nonetheless, the more I watch, even going back to videos from the 90s, the more convinced I am that just like your speaking voice, your drumming voice will remain the same throughout your life. Something in each of us which has the potential for creating a unique voice at the kit, also locks us into a framework of expression when we perform. It doesn't matter how large a vocabulary you have, you will use the same basic sets of words to communicate your thoughts and feelings behind the drums. Whether Keith is playing jazz, or rock, or pop, there are few surprises. It is him. That is a great thing, really. At the same time, it is also a study of repetition which is curious, indeed.

      It does not matter if you are Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Ginger Baker, John Bonham, Bill Bruford, Carl Palmer, Neil Peart, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaituta, Omar Hakim, Dennis Chambers, Virgil Donati, Chad Wackerman, Gene Hoglan, George Kolias, Derek Roddy, or Keith Carlock: when you hear them, you have heard them. They tend to play the same licks throughout their careers. Something ingrains itself into the psyche and character and personality of the person, just like their speaking voice and vocabulary, and they play the same licks over and over. I find it fascinating. And, it is the same for the highly educated player as for the self-taught. That is something I find quite encouraging. The education might land you more jobs but, it will not grant you a unique voice or even give you an expanded, unique voice. The human make-up will contain you within a sphere of your own background and inner-self.

      In some cases, as in the phenomenon of "Gospel Chops"  and the players who inspired the style, which was once very unique, and the whole army of those who have taken it up, tend to all sound the same, marching to the same drummer. There is a large volume of notes but, not necessarily a lot of music in those notes or unique voices in the style, so much so some big names have begun to state their opinions and convictions on the matter: too many using the music as a platform to show off their skills, beating the music to death in the process. There is nothing new under the sun. The same attitude has been seen in younger players in all generations. It's just that, today, the speeds have increased, the notes pile up, especially with the style of increasing kick notes in fills and all, and things sound more cluttered as a result, if overplaying is a problem.

      Another quote from a friend and teacher, which struck me deeply, and I have stated before: Music has to have space between the notes. That's what makes it music.
      By chance, I recently came upon  an article on speed metal drummers and metal music which shocked me with the premise and fact that many albums are now nothing more than digital when it comes to drumming. In fact in some cases all the parts are digitally built. Nothing is human. Some bands like it that way. Speed for the sake of speed has replaced music: the combination of melody, harmony, and rhythm played by human musicians. It seems the antique player piano rolls have finally reached their baleful influence people warned of back then, a 120 years ago.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304591604579288531126033944 

      Find your voice. Learn to enjoy it. You can increase your knowledge. We can always learn new things. You can always enlarge your vocabulary. A new lick now and then is cool. Drummers are all thieves, all copy and paste artists. The quest is to make things our own.

      The bottom line seems to be the best you can be is you, no matter what influences shape you. That is actually a good thing.

      Why be a drumming clone when you can be you?
    • By OfficialDrummer in Official Drummer Blog
         1
      Hello Official Drummers,
      Our first blog post here...  OfficialDrummer.com has went through some drastic changes the past 6 months from software to design of our site. With the new software upgrade we lost some key areas of our website.. We doubt these areas come back and hope to streamline our site a bit better with our newest software changes.

      Thank you for your support
      OfficialDrummer.com
    • By DiehardDIYer in DiehardDIYer
         2
      I recently came upon a Brandon Khoo video on youtube. I posted it here : https://www.officialdrummer.com/forum/topic/16866-brandon-khoo-the-good-drummer/
      It is a segment of a clinic he gave where someone asked the question - What is a good drummer and what is a bad drummer? His answer was well said, and he not only stated it, he showed it. Check out the video to see how he handled the question.
      As I was driving to Home Depot this morning (to pick up a sheet of plywood for the next Pancake set proto-type) I began thinking about this concept of "serving the music." It wasn't sitting quite right with me.
      As a Christian I understand concepts of being a servant and various modes of service within a spiritual context and religious life. This idea of serving the music, though seemingly logical and necessary, leaves me a bit hollow.
      Music does not create itself. Music does not just happen. At the very least, music, in a rhythmic or melodic sense, needs nature. It needs forces of nature, it needs birds. No nature, no rhythms. No birds, or other creatures, no melodic 'songs.'
      In the aspect of music in the written or performed format it needs writers and then performers. Music does not make itself. Serving the music seems odd, unless the music has already been composed and one is developing or copying what has already been performed in it, regardless of the instrument. Watching the auditions for Dream Theater is a prime example of this. Some drummers did their own thing, others stayed closer to the original drum performances. Listening to the remarks by the band members after each audition was very insightful in that regard. Mike Mangini was asked to join the band for several reasons, one of them being that while he put his own signature to the music, he also respected the foundational drum parts chiseled into it by years of repetition by Mike Portnoy. Mangini served the music and the musicians who created it. But he also did something else.
      From the aspect of original music,  we are long past the days when drummers were just there to keep a beat after everything was composed. Today's drummers can be as adept at playing other instruments and composing music from a formally trained regimen as any other musician. They come to the creation of music with ideas well beyond the drum set. Even if they are not educated or trained they can have a sense of melody and harmony and can contribute "musically" in ways beyond keeping time. 
      Is the drummer there to "serve the music?" I do not believe that is the fullest or most correct principle to function upon in original music. Tribute bands, bar bands, cover bands can decide themselves how closely each musician needs to stay with the original tracks. Creating original music is just that - creating, making, building, and developing. The drummer does not serve the music. There is no music. The drummer creates rhythmic structures which are to and should enhance the music being created. The issue is not service. The issue is being allowed to create, to paint a scene however you want to.
      Drummers can overplay and underplay in any situation. While Ringo is famous for drum parts in the music of the Beatles, he wouldn't be asked to man the chair of a Mahavishnu Orchestra  or Corea's Return to Forever. Nor would Billy Cobham be expected to play funky and ferocious fusion stylings in the music of a band creating melodic songs in the style of the Beatles. Drummers in the wrong chair to begin with make issues of over or underplaying moot. A "jobbing" drummer, the guns for hire, have to play within the framework of various genres, most of the time in music already created. Someone like Vinnie Colaituta has played within many different genres, with many different artists from Zappa, to Sting, to Jeff Beck. He serves the music already made and played before him. In an interview Vinnie gave years ago he mentioned a situation where the producer asked him to play like a certain drummer. Vinnie's response? "Get him." There comes a point where musicians are individuals, not clones, not drum machines. Some might say, "Vinnie was not willing to serve the music." I would say they wanted the wrong drummer for the chair and asking Vinnie to deny his own personal style and abilities is certainly not serving Vinnie and his talent, regardless of the issue of hiring him to play. If I were starving to death and someone asked me to play in a country band I might do it. Beyond that, no,  my style of playing would have to be tortured and twisted to sit and play 2 and 4 in a country band, or a rock band for that matter. I'd be pretty bored, if not miserable. Get someone else for the chair who can happily serve the music without denying their own musicality and passions.
      Serving the music is not the total answer for me. Put me in the right chair and the music will be created and enhanced with the talents given me by the Creator.
       
    • By DiehardDIYer in DiehardDIYer
         3
      Speed. How often have you heard or read, "I will never play that fast [meaning, good] if I live to be a thousand," or something to that effect?

      I mentioned in a thread the other day that speed has always been an attraction for me when watching drummers. Four of my five most influential players in my young years were very fast - Buddy, Palmer, Cobham, and later in life, Tony Williams. They could mesmerize you with the speeds at which they moved around the set with upper limbs.

      There have always been players fleet of hands and feet. Dennis Chambers stunned people when he hit the scene. Many drummers are still not aware of Damien Schmitt, who can drop your jaw as easily as anyone out there. Today you see Chris Coleman, Gergo Borlai, Ronald Bruner Jr., Derek Roddy, George Kollias, and many, many others, both very well known, and not so well known, from different genres, who reach what seem super-human speeds.

      I feel bad when I see people equating speed with talent, though, and used as a measuring stick for how to play the instrument. Young players have seen bars raised over the decades and many have reached the bar. As I said in another blog, I believe speed has been maxed out now. I do not believe speed can be increased unless the whole transhuman discussion becomes reality.

      Why do people see speed as talent behind the set? Speed is not a musical idea or concept. It's an athletic concept, or mechanical concept. Music is about the writing and performance of notes. Notes must have space between them or it isn't music anymore. So, in drumming, being able to play what seems an almost unbroken sequence of notes, is not music. It's athletics, showmanship, a display of just two things - genetics and practice.

      Some people will practice every day for hours and never become as fast as people who put in half that time or less. Why? Because some people have fast twitch muscles, and some don't. Some have category A, and some have both A & B. Those with fast twitch muscles can increase their capacity for quick movement, through exercise and practice but, there are thresholds.

      Which brings up practice. You know the whole 10,000 hour gig. Supposedly it takes 10,000 hours to reach an expert status at something. So, that's four hours a day for seven years and you will reach what it takes to master something like a musical instrument. Whether you buy that or not it stands to reason "practice makes perfect." The more you play the faster you will get as you push hands and feet to do more in the same amount of time. But, again, that is not talent of expression on the instrument, is it? That is not having a unique or individual, recognizable voice at the instrument. That is just muscle development and athletics at the instrument. You can have jaw muscles which could crack open a shell. That doesn't make your voice soothing or exciting to listen to.

      Speed is not a barometer of talent, per se. It is just a gauge of genetics and time spent playing. Real talent at an instrument is the ability to create music with it.

      Many of the old jazz giants were fast drummers. They were also very musical, many being able to play actual tunes on their kits, to coincide their solos with the songs they were playing them in. You can hear the melodies as the solo moved along. That is talent. That is ingenuity. That is craftsmanship at the instrument.

      Papa Jo Jones, Joe Jones, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Alan Dawson, Charli Persip, name, after name, after name of these giants were real musicians, not just athletes. Tony Williams shocked the world with his speed at time keeping and soloing at just 17,18 years of age. Okay, but, what draws people into Tony's playing and soloing is not just speed around the kit but, the actual composition of it all; a mesmerizing display of tonal variations joined to his favorite rudiments.

      While obviously not a popular opinion, a lot of the playing I hear today is percussively interesting, with throwing various bass notes into combinations of rudiments and stuff but, honestly, at fast speeds, to me it all sounds the same, everyone sounds the same, and may as well be a drum set falling down a flight of stairs or off the back of a moving truck for any musicality. Especially is that the case with heavily muted drums where note differences are hardly discernible.

      Young players, all players, should be encouraged to make music and have a voice at the instrument and not worry about comparisons to others speed behind the set. Drumming is not an Olympic event. Just because you get a trophy for playing more notes than anyone else in 60 seconds does not make you a musician. For whatever the fastest drummer in the world gig has done for exposing drums to a larger audience, it has, in my mind, totally negated the aspect of music, and millions of young drummers only see speed as the final result of practice. If they do not have Type A and B fast twitch muscles they can find themselves frustrated and discouraged to no end, and even give up playing thinking they will never be good enough.

      Buddy said Mel Lewis was one of his favorite drummers. Mel Lewis was not only not fast, you might find his playing slow by comparison, in some aspects. But, like Buddy said, he knew Mel's voice at the instrument. He knew it was Mel playing, and that said a lot to Buddy. It should say a lot to everyone who picks up sticks.

      My fifth most influential player was Ginger Baker. Ginger was considered the monster player of his day. Bonham was there. Paice. Certainly Moon. Others of note who could play circles around Baker for speed. What Baker had, though, was a recognizable voice at the instrument which you can still hear today. You know it's Baker, whether rock or jazz. As he said himself, others may play faster, or with more technique but, nobody plays like him. And he is absolutely correct about that. I found his use of toms so filled with instruction. He combined jazz and blues playing into a rock format that all of us back then found astounding and challenging to do. His quads were mountainous. His timing was different. It wasn't necessarily two and four with him. He was on 1 all the time, too. He is one of the greats, despite lack of great speed.

      Speed is only relative to music. A lot of drummers today, at the chagrin of older players, with the same abilities, mind you, can ruin music with displays of speed in wrong places. I have seen it. In solos, sure, you do your thing and it's all about you for a few minutes, and we get to show what we can do. People see speed, they applaud. Well ...  hm  ... should that be it?  As you age and your speed decreases, then what? You aren't as "good" anymore?
      Think about it.
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