Renegade Creation Video - Featuring Gary Novak on Drums

  • Posted on: 27 October 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

Gary Novak. Michael Landau. Jimmy Haslip. Robben Ford. Need I say more?

Renegade Creation is a blues/rock project with some of my favorite musicians. Dirty, grimy, and . . . well, renegade :-)

Pick up the 2010 album "Renegade Creation" on Amazon.

Check out their 2012 release "Bullet" on Amazon, too:

Sheldon Kreger's Favorite Projects Part 1- Introduction

  • Posted on: 20 October 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

Coming up with a favorite list of music is always a tricky thing. It's tough to narrow down to only a handful of favorite albums, because there are so many great musicians today.The goal of this list is to share the music I listen to with the readers, and to raise awareness of the many great musicians I know about. That being said, I'm going to come back and update this series periodically, so don't hesitate to check back from time to time.

I decided to use the term "project" rather than album so that I can list bands, but also list albums with mixed session players. More often than not, I find new music that I love by following an individual I'm interested in, and viewing their discography. Top session players - many of whom I follow closely - play with many different people on many different projects.

Two Categories of Interest

When I listen, I mentally classify music into two different categories. This is why I can enjoy complex jazz fusion, but also top 40 pop tunes.

Snare Drum Comparison Videos

  • Posted on: 19 October 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

Here is a collection of some great snare drum comparison videos. I've been shopping around and I'm still not sure which I'm going to get.

Lots of Ludwig, Rogers, and Pearl snare's in that one - including the Acrolite (I own one), and two Supraphonics.

Here's a more modern video featuring many Mapex snare drums.

And, here is a great comparison of many different companies.

Hopefully this will help get you started. I know I just feel a bit overwhelmed!

Interview with David Phillips, Author of "A Drummer's Perspective"

  • Posted on: 6 October 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

With many years of experience in the drum industry, David Phillips has established a fantastic network of musicians. Having worked in artist relations with a few different manufacturers, and also working freelance, his experience seems to be pretty unique. I'm not sure there are many people who have had the opportunity to put a book like this together. You can learn more about the book at

The book is a coffee table photo collection of amazing images of drummers onstage. It's really inspiring to see the beautiful drum sets and large audiences all over the world.

I decided to interview David, curious about how the book came together.

Sheldon: What inspired the idea for this book?

The Importance of Musical Connection

  • Posted on: 20 September 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

I have been recently listening to Lalle Larsson's "Weaveworld" project, which is a three-album series organized by this amazing Swedish composer and pianist. There are many things which stand out to me about this series, but it all comes down to one theme - connection to music.

A project of this scope is inspiring not only because of the beauty of the music, but the dedication Larsson had to putting the whole thing together. He mentions in an interview that he started composing many of the songs as far back as his teenage years. It was only in his adult life that he had the resources to put the project together, and he knew the people who would really play the parts in the way he desired.

Recording Drums

  • Posted on: 19 July 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

If there is any definitive reference manual for capturing the sound of a drum set, it is Recording Drums - The Complete Guide by Mike Major. In a world with an abundance of beginner level material, it's exciting to see a book which covers the challenge of drum set recording in such great detail. I've never seen any book which even comes close to comparing to this 382 page book.

Mike Major

Claus Hessler: Drumming Kairos

  • Posted on: 13 July 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

Claus Hessler is releasing his first DVD "Drumming Kairos". This has been a long time coming and I'm very excited to see what he brings into my practice routine this time around.

There is no denying it. Claus Hessler's methods work very well. it's clear to see his improvement over the last few years as new footage is released. Even 10 years ago, his playing was absolutely mind boggling - a truly elite drummer. Using his advanced practice methodologies presented in his recent books "Open Handed Playing Volume II" and "The Daily Drum Set Workout", Hessler has pushed his playing to a new level. Here is the proof:

Experimenting with ZEM Shoes

  • Posted on: 2 July 2013
  • By: sheldonkreger

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.