BECOMING A DRUM JEDI: THE COLLECTIVE

Every musician has the dream of one day attending and graduating from a highly acclaimed music school or institution. While it is always easy to dream big and aspire to be a drumming Jedi, implementation is a whole other ball game. Since 1977, The Collective has been the Yoda to many a drummers’ desire, boasting…

ADVERSITY IN DRUMMING

As drummers we need to be diverse, in our knowledge of music, our technique, and our practice habits. This is a given if we want to have a long and rewarding career as a musician, but our need to be adverse is almost more imperative at times. I will write another article dealing with diversity,…

THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT SOUND

Something all working drummers struggle with everyday is the hunt for the perfect snare drum and cymbals. My personal hunt has spanned quite a few years (and pieces of gear) and still continues to this day. With doing a very diverse amount of work stylistically, live and studio, these tools become very important in serving…

EATING THE ELEPHANT

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. – Dom Famularo I am notorious for being many things, but patient, I am not. As I entered my 30’s I began the self improvement process– through which I intend to reach the upper echelon of music history as a drummer, songwriter and artist. And…

DRUM KIT MAINTENANCE

Every so often, as I peruse the drum forums for ideas and gems of drumming wisdom, I come across a thread that is about the upkeep and maintenance of drum kits. And while there is a lot of wisdom and theory out there surrounding the topic of drum set maintenance this topic does beg the…

DCI – THE BASICS

As a percussionist, you may have heard about drum corps, but what exactly is DCI? And how can it help you as a drummer? For those of you between the ages of 13-22, marching with a corps is a chance for you to greatly increase the number of talented musicians you know, learn a completely…

BUYING YOUR DREAM DRUM KIT

Like it or not, the drumming industry accounts for a very small percentage of the human population. In fact, stats show that musicians in general only account for a tiny part of internet traffic and of that very undersized piece of information highway, we drummers account for all but a sliver.  The upside is that…

METRONOME – FRIEND OR FOE?

There are many ways to go about using the metronome to develop our musical skills. I want to share my own thoughts on working with it, and how we can maximize our practice time. I also want to state that keeping good time is everyone’s responsibility, not just the drummer’s. GETTING STARTED When I have…

BE HERE NOW

We each want many things and for us drummers it could simply be learning that new hot lick or perhaps for the majority of us it’s landing that big gig. Regardless of whatever it is, we only have so much control over what happens and what comes our way. We can try to achieve our…

THE PORT HOLE DELIBERATION

The kick drum port hole is a modern invention that came about in the ‘60s when multi- track recording and close micing techniques became commonplace. Mass market appeal materialized when the studio technique of cutting a hole in the front head began to be utilized for live sound reinforcement. Sound technicians began to use the…

EMOTIONS GONE OVERBOARD

This article is written for all of us (and we have all had these moments; it is human nature), who ever thought that we were more important than the music we are playing. Ego is a very strong word and can be extremely prevalent in an artistic environment where our creativity can be judged at…

THEFT PREVENTION

A few years ago I attended a Dennis Chambers clinic that left me incredibly inspired. Not only did Dennis solo for an hour straight, I had the opportunity to chat with him afterwards, a huge honor indeed. Needless to say it was an amazing night to be a drummer. I had a gig that night so…

THE PRACTICE OF TEACHING

While Terence Fletcher may have had many a prospective drummer running to the hills (enter notes of Nicko McBrian), J.K. Simmons’ portrayal of a bald headed drum goon hardly paints an accurate picture of music education. There are few more qualified to teach educators about the finer points of starting a teaching business than Dom…

FOR YOUR EARS ONLY

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably well aware of the dangers we drummers face when it comes to hearing loss. Being that the average drummer produces sound well above 85db, it only takes a layman to recognize the importance of hearing protection. It has been reported that approximately 65% of…

THE CYMBAL CLEANING GOSPEL

My insight into cymbal care has always come from trial and error or hearsay. While I feel like I have found my groove in the maintenance department, there begs the question, what might a cymbal manufacturer say about our home remedies and trade secrets when it comes to cymbal cleaning and care?  While we may…

KICK PEDAL EVOLUTION

Although Warren “Baby” Dodds is often credited with being the first trap kit drummer, a version of the kick pedal made its first appearance in the 1800s, sixty years before Dodds stepped behind any drumkit. Nineteenth century woodwind maker Cornelius Ward patented a foot pedal for use on a Lithophone around 1850. The pedal was…

A FOOL LIKE ME

“It is all about being open and paying attention to the music in your head. I think most people have original music playing in their heads from time to time.” ~Tommy Shaw (Styx) We are all too familiar with the phrase “I can’t.” So sweet to the tongue, it lingers just beneath the surface of our…

BAGGAGE CLAIM

For those of us who know the rigors of touring, many will attest to the importance of traveling light. After all, who really wants to have a one-bedroom apartment to pack away when lobby call is 7am? After all is said and done, after the hours of practice and the years of paying your dues,…