A great drummer from Argentina, Emiliano Gimenez, is releasing his first solo project this week. I was lucky enough to be invited for a sneak preview. Trust me, Gimenez went big on this one!
Many drummers like the feel of playing bass pedals with bare feet. Other drummers prefer to wear their favorite pair of drumming shoes while they play. Some people really don't care either way.
Experimentation is Good
Regardless of what we think is comfortable, it's always fun to 'step out' of the comfort zone and try something new (pun intended). Only by experimenting can we really find the things that work best at a certain point in time.
Personally, I've found that certain kinds of shoes work better than others. I've always been able to adapt no matter what kind of shoes I was wearing. But, I won't deny that I have pretty strong preferences toward certain kinds of shoes. I like to have a certain balance with the pedal, being able to sustain momentum between strokes, and also being able to feel the response naturally.
The Drum Kit Handbook by Dan Balmer is a gorgeous addition to any musician's library. Coming as a hardcover and packed with full color photos on every page, it's a very special visual treat for anybody who loves the drums.
One of the great things about working online is that I get to "meet" all kinds of great people who I'd normally never connect with. A few months back, Ian Barnett contacted me and showed me some of his playing. I'm pretty excited about his project and I thought I'd ask him a few questions about the drums.
Be sure to check out his band Bear Language on Soundcloud.
1. How long have you been playing drums? Do you have a background in music?
2012 was a fantastic year for music. Many, many musicians created some of their best work to date. I've had my eye on several of my favorite musicians and know that the work they released in 2012 will proudly stand out as masterpieces as time passes. Here at Pro Drum Blog, I'm going to share my favorite moments in drum history of 2012. There were some incredible touring groups, as well as album releases which continue to inspire me to practice. Be sure to comment and let me know what I missed - too much music, not enough time!!!
Top Albums of 2012 - For Drummers
As drummers, we have developed ears which look for very particular things - the sound of the drums and cymbals, the complexity of grooves, the authenticity of different feels, etc. Here's my list for top albums in 2012, in no particular order.
Herbert Pirker plays drums lightly to acheive an airy, but dark feel on the drum set. His playing matches the mood of the music. When given the chance at 4:45 in the video below, Pirker plays freely over a vamp set up by the other members of this progressive jazz trio. It's amazing how well the sounds of the instruments blend. In particular, the selection of cymbals really defines the feel of the grooves. They also allow Pirker to utilize non-traditional phrases in the music and during the vamp.
I'm always fascinated by precision - whether it's in a technical performance (such as sports or music) or in science, mathematics, and engineering. It's very interesting to see the way that a human being can conceptualize and execute certain movements, or the way they can theorize and make predictions about their surroundings.
Russ Miller plays drums in a very precise manner. The physical awareness which is required to play drums like this is a beautiful thing. I'm enchanted and inspired by seeing the years of dedication to the instrument bringing such profound results.
Now, some players who are loose and raunchy are fantastic. However, I really dig music and drumming which is clean, clear, and confident.
Have you ever worked on a set of exercises from a drum book without having any idea of how they are going to affect your playing?
Recently, I decided to explore different approaches to my drum practice. In the past, I have chosen books with a specific goal in mind. For example, I would aim to improve my swing feel, or to learn some hip hop beats. However, this time around, I'm intentionally choosing to learn how to do something without having any expectation for what it will do to my playing. Because I'm satisfied with my ability to play most styles of music, I now have the luxury of enjoying the drums without having to focus on an urgent weak spot in my playing. This is due to several years of focused effort and time spent behind the drum set.
Virgil Donati finished a tour of Europe with Allan Holdsworth and two different bass players (Jimmy Haslip and Anthony Crawford). In an informal video post, the band thanks the fans for coming to the shows and making the tour possible.
Virgil: "I'm going to go back home and do a bit more practice."
Anthony: "I've never seen nobody set up the drum set on a tour bus and practice all the way through!"
Allan: "The whole time."
Only a handful of albums this year excited me enough to count down the months, weeks, and days before release. "Perfect Harmony" by the David Garfield led group Karizma was one of such albums. Take a look at the lineup of musicians, and you'll understand why I could barely withhold my excitement: