What's new

hello music fans, just touching base to let you know that my second book is in the wrapper. i've decided to self-publish this one, and as a result, edited it myself - which is what i've been doing for the last several months. i'll let you know when it's ready to ship! aiming for spring 2013.

 

and i know Laurie already posted this news but for those who didn't see it, there's a big, fat article on

yours truly in the recent issue of the fantastic magazine called DRUMHEAD - complete with a bunch of pics from when i was 18 months old right up to the recent tour i did with Josh Groban. my thanks to Jonathan Mover for letting me go on about myself for as long as he did! Hope you enjoy.... and Happy Holidays.

JG Video

one of my favorite tunes in the set to play - Alla Luce Del Sole - this is from Stockholm, Sweden last week...

Drums on JG Tour

Greetings from Stockholm...

I see some of you are wondering about the Yamaha drums I'm playing on the Josh Groban tour. I want to let you know that I'm not a Yamaha endorser. In the interest of making my entrance as smooth as possible, I wanted to play a kit that would be the same sizes that previous drummer, Gary Novak, was using. The production team for the tour felt the same. As none of my own kits met these specs, I tried to procure a Pearl kit in these sizes, but there just wasn't time for this as I joined the tour within three days of receiving the invitation to do so. If I have my facts straight, I'm playing Josh's kit. He is a Yamaha piano endorser - and also a drummer - and Yamaha provided the kit you see in the pics I've posted.

This, as you might imagine, was an awkward situation, but, fortunately, Pearl was cool with all of it...

Europa

hey folks - i'm here in Bergen (Norway). i mentioned yesterday on facebook that i would get some pics posted from the road. trying to do that but my files are too big to get up on the site. i'm going to send some to the beautiful and talented Laurie (my wife) so she can take care of this (she's good at this stuff) but it may be a couple more days. just letting you know. btw, i've never been to Bergen before and i hear it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world. wanted to get out today and see some sights, take some pics, and share but it's raining hard. i guess it does that upward of 200 days per year! even mother nature has a taste for irony.

So much for the "sideman hat" being hung up....

Hi all~

Big news... we are happy to let you know that Dave is taking over the drum chair for the remainder of Josh Groban's international tour... starting this Friday in Denver, CO, then on to the west coast, Canada, Europe, then back home to the east coast, & finishing up in South Africa the end of November. You can check out more details of their travels on www.JoshGroban.com, and Dave will be doing some blogging from the road to keep you up to date on the goings on...

The past few days have been an adventure here, as we just got the news ourselves on Saturday night, and Dave flies out tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday). Thursday rehearsal, then Dave's first show with the band on Friday night.

We'll keep you posted with news from the road.....

more ways to Detach...

thanks for staying with me people! believe it or not i'm blogging as often as i'm able at this time...

i'd like to thank scott k. for his weigh-in on this subject matter (June 6 entry). in particular, i'll focus on his comment in regard to detachment/achieving the "it" factor... 'i think it has not much to do with drums at all'. this reminds me of some 'perspective' ideas i like to share with my students.

the first time i was invited to play at a drum festival was the Montreal Drum Festival. i got the date a few months in advance and i knew there were some heavies on the bill - Cobham, Weckl, Steve Smith, Terri Lynn Carrington etc. - and i quickly settled into fear-mode. iow, major attachment to results!

i think this was the first "major" event in my drumming career where i was able to successfully apply 'perspective disciplines'. Along with (and during) a lot of meditation - esp. with the ones on the cd that accompanies Kenny Werner's book "Effortless Mastery" - i started talking to myself a lot : ).

here are some of the things i said, and still say to myself, on a reg. basis:


more thoughts on practicing the "it" factor

to reiterate: by "it" i mean that thing, that spirit-element that allows us to go beyond playing 'correctly' to playing in a way that moves people - emotionally and physically. by emotionally i mean you hear someone and you say "mmmm, that feels so good (even if it's a sad/minor tune). by physically i mean you hear someone play and your head starts bobbing involuntarily, for example.

moving people, moving the music, and doing it consistently is a skill. today i'd like to share another discipline i've found has helped me hone this skill. make these things happen consistently 

Grace?

I’d like to respond to Chris Whitehouse’s asking me to clarify what I mean by ‘grace’, and ‘is it a touch thing’?

First I’ll say that it is a touch thing, but the touch is a symbol (or, symptom) of what’s happening inside. I’m perceiving the ‘inside’ as mind and body. Mind being the creator, body being the conduit to the touch, tone, sound, feel, which is external.

One can address the mind (via meditating while playing for example) to increase fluidity, power, sensitivity, (grace) in the body – which affects the touch.

One might also address the touch aspect first to discover the body is not enabling a desired result, which requires a mental change.

 In my case, my body (pain, numbness, loss of fine motor skills due to bad playing habits) led me to discover that I had bad ‘thinking’ habits, too. And this, of course, was affecting my touch.

I think any approach we take to overcoming limitation we discover that something ungraceful is happening at the source.

All of the ‘bad’ thinking that we do essentially is based on our attachment to results. The ‘mind-grace’ disciplines I’ve done have always been a practicing of letting go of attachment. Surrendering my will over to a higher power. And practicing believing that if I do surrender, all will be OK.

I tell my students  ‘the best bus drivers are the ones who aren’t afraid to let go of the wheel’. Remember letting go of your handlebars on your bike for the first time? Scary, but liberating. And you practiced it. I will say if you want to practice driving the bus (the band) with no hands on the wheel, you might try it for a while on your own/ in rehearsal. But, eventually, we have to be able to say ‘it does not matter what happens/what happened on ______’ and go for it. This means we prepare to do a great job, and then, when it’s time to do a great job, we engage the ‘I don’t need to do a great job’ mechanism. It’s a mind-bender. Don’t try too hard to understand it.  Practice it. Experience it. Know it.

Check out my ‘reading’ page on my site for resources that have helped me become more grace-full.

Universal Rhythms earns "Chef's Choice" award from Drummer Cafe

Congratulations Dave for being the first recipient of the Drummer Cafe "Chef's Choice Award" for his book, Universal Rhythms for Drumset! You can see Drummer Cafe's Bart Elliott discuss the book here on Drummer Cafe TV (www.drummercafe.tv) towards the middle of the broadcast during the "Chef's Choice" segment. 

You can read Bart's full review of the book here at DrummerCafe.com.

Again, congrats Dave! If you dig his book, share this, & let's show Dave some love for all his hard work as an educator & author! 

:) Laurie

can "it" be learned? some thoughts...

thanks so much for the great responses guys!!

i DO believe that "feel" can be learned and, today, i'd like to share an approach i take with students that helps to increase feeling in their playing. i will offer some more in days to come.

one major discipline i assign is practicing certain "beliefs". One idea i impress is: "art is life and life is IMPERFECT"

as artists we're supposed to be telling the stories of life and i feel if we strive for perfection we are missing the point! "perfect" playing seems to lack the dirt and drama of life. furthermore, i believe the mind that strives for perfection holds the drummer's heart and soul hostage, preventing the drummer from ever achieving that "it" that makes us go... holy sh#t, dig that!! 

instead, i say GO FOR GRACE! i have found that when students 'allow' for grace to happen, a certain amount of precision will happen, too - but it will be imbued with a joyousness vs. a sterility.

this is simply a thought discipline. we are what we think most often so if you want to be grace-full.... practice it.

thanks again guys!

talk soon...



Can "it" be learned?

hello all -

wanna throw something out there that's been bouncing around my head of late.

we've all heard people say things to the effect of, 'man, that cat has that feel. you can't learn that. you either have it or you don't.' i've been pretty clear for some time which side of the fence i come down on and why. i think this is a very important and fascinating topic and before i share some of my views on it i thought i'd like to hear what you think.

so... whaddaya think?

Thank you Jim Walent!

Well, after a textbook demonstration of "get-up-and-go" Laurie (my wife) has my new website up & running - as you can plainly see! All the work she has been putting into the site (I've logged a few hours myself) has made us even more thankful for the work our friend Jim Walent put into my website for so many years. Jim has been my webmaster for a long time on a completely voluntary basis. Given his busy family and work life, I felt that I had prevailed upon his good nature quite long enough, and for his time, generosity, and friendship over the years, I'm very grateful. THANK YOU JIM! Laurie will be taking the reins from here, striving to make the new website as user-friendly and up to date as possible.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our friend Chris Lunetta of Expose Me Photography for contributing his editing skills as Laurie put...

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