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hamstrung

Drums, drumming and songs with drums

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Just watching episode two which is about the musicality of the drums. This show is fantastic. I love the way it’s giving me an appreciation of genres I don’t especially like and helping me see the connections between wildly different genres too.

 

For example, I’m seeing Ringo in a totally new light from this, hearing things in Black Sabbath in a more informed context and discovering the crossover between speed metal and big band jazz. What’s so great is the way they actually make this education in the art of drumming so explicit.

 

Absolutely fantastic television. I’m enjoying this as much as anything I’ve seen in years. 

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The Art of Drumming? Got that on my to watch list. Mook has been stalking Steve White on Twitter about it. Well I say stalk, he’s rightly praised Whitey (from what I have read and small snippets I have seen) 

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I take private lessons with Steve and I know his input in this programme has been massive. He's not just the 'presenter'.

 

The guy is so knowledgeable about drumming and the roots of everything it's great to see it translated onto the small screen (not to mention him getting lots of compliments not only from the drumming community but outside of that too).

 

He's one of the best drumming educators this country has produced and a top guy to boot.

 

Even my partner enjoyed the latest episode earlier and she has to live with drums on a daily basis. 

 

Its been a great series so far.

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Wait, what? You have drumming lessons off Steve White??? I want a minimum of seventeen Weller anecdotes now. Go!

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57 minutes ago, Paul said:

Wait, what? You have drumming lessons off Steve White??? I want a minimum of seventeen Weller anecdotes now. Go!

Haha yes. Go to his home studio for lessons occasionally when I’m looking for tips on changing techniques, have done for 2/3 years now and he’s always been great to me. Gotten to know him a fair bit and he’s a great guy. 

 

We always have long chats about music before we get down to the lesson and what we’re both up to but I will say he’s always very complimentary about his time with Weller. 

 

Always get some cracking and honest antidotes from him but they aren’t my stories to tell. 

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I totally understand. 

 

*Wanders off muttering to himself*

 

Bastard. 

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The programme is amazing.

 

Went to see a Steve White drum clinic about 15 years ago & he absolutely blew me away & he had Jim Kilpatrick in support. No mean feat.

 

Only one thing about the programme pisses me off & it's that they sometimes speak a bit like jazz doesn't exist, like DJ Fontana & Earl Palmer were the first people to play drums, what about Baby Dodds & Gene Krupa? A minor irritation.

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3 hours ago, Mook said:

The programme is amazing.

 

Went to see a Steve White drum clinic about 15 years ago & he absolutely blew me away & he had Jim Kilpatrick in support. No mean feat.

 

Only one thing about the programme pisses me off & it's that they sometimes speak a bit like jazz doesn't exist, like DJ Fontana & Earl Palmer were the first people to play drums, what about Baby Dodds & Gene Krupa? A minor irritation.

I'm assuming there'll be more jazz drummers on there in the forthcoming episodes; certainly if all the screen time Buddy Rich gets is that little clip in episode two, it'd be downright weird. However, they continually reference the influences of jazz. Love how nearly all the big rock drummers keep mentioning how they just sneak a bit of swing into their playing even on the heaviest rock tracks.

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5 minutes ago, Paul said:

I'm assuming there'll be more jazz drummers on there in the forthcoming episodes; certainly if all the screen time Buddy Rich gets is that little clip in episode two, it'd be downright weird. However, they continually reference the influences of jazz. Love how nearly all the big rock drummers keep mentioning how they just sneak a bit of swing into their playing even on the heaviest rock tracks.

Yeah, it's odd that they keep referencing it yet nobody seems to talk about it properly. I'd like too see people like Kenny Clarke & Elvin Jones getting a mention, these guys changed the World.

 

As I say, it's a very minor criticism, White knows his stuff & it's probably my favourite programme in the history of TV. I'd love to join in one of Juniper's chats with him, must be brilliant.

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3 hours ago, Mook said:

The programme is amazing.

 

Went to see a Steve White drum clinic about 15 years ago & he absolutely blew me away & he had Jim Kilpatrick in support. No mean feat.

 

Only one thing about the programme pisses me off & it's that they sometimes speak a bit like jazz doesn't exist, like DJ Fontana & Earl Palmer were the first people to play drums, what about Baby Dodds & Gene Krupa? A minor irritation.

I see what you mean but they'd need another series really to cover off the Jazz Roots. No mention of Chick Webb, Elvin, Jo Jones for example also. They wouldn't be able to touch Ken Burns 'Jazz' series for in-depth information on some pioneers.

 

No mention of brush work and the players that took that form forward, would that be interesting to the general public though? I doubt it.  

 

I guess they have to make it relevant and so far it's been more about the instrument and rhythm as opposed to individual players. 

 

The final episode highlights influential Drummers themselves so that might well be covered more in depth.

 

 

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Aye, good points. I guess Buddy & a few others will appear in the final episode.

 

Your post reminded me that I had a good moan about the Ken Burns documentary which brushed off the new thing & fusion like they didn't happen due to Wynton Marsalis being a traditionalist. Maybe I'm just a moany faced bastard.

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51 minutes ago, Mook said:

Aye, good points. I guess Buddy & a few others will appear in the final episode.

 

Your post reminded me that I had a good moan about the Ken Burns documentary which brushed off the new thing & fusion like they didn't happen due to Wynton Marsalis being a traditionalist. Maybe I'm just a moany faced bastard.

I think the periods they covered in depth, from 1917 all the way up to 1961 had so much culturally. From the 1st and 2nd World Wars, The Great Depression, racial tensions/segregation... etc there was only so much they could have covered for the remaining years. 

 

They did have the final episode from 1961 - 2001 but obviously shoehorned 40 years into one episode.

 

Still, it's a massive piece of work and a great series and they covered a lot in 19 hours of material. 

 

 

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It was a great documentary, I just feel like Marsalis got his way too much & a lot of great music was overlooked.

 

I've tweeted Steve White about the programme today & he very kindly came back to me & said the decision was made to feature rock more prominately than jazz in this series which is fair enough really. I genuinely appreciate all his work.

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1 hour ago, Mook said:

It was a great documentary, I just feel like Marsalis got his way too much & a lot of great music was overlooked.

 

I've tweeted Steve White about the programme today & he very kindly came back to me & said the decision was made to feature rock more prominately than jazz in this series which is fair enough really. I genuinely appreciate all his work.

Ah nice. Just seen your exchange. 

 

I’ll be sure to ask him about the possibility of a second series at some point from what he’s said there. 

 

Sounds very promising. 

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Yet again, another really good episode of The Art Of Drumming this week. Buddy Rich finally got some screen time and learning about Hal Blain was great. I’m not usually someone who likes arrogance in anyone, but I buzzed off Ginger Baker’s indignation at being compared to rock drummers or anyone having the temerity to regard another rock player as even vaguely in his league. He still thinks of himself as a jazz drummer even now, the cantankerous old genius.  

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Great to see ?uestlove getting a little shout too. I fucking love that locked in groove thing. That’s the key to Dilla’s productions for me - that hypnotic feel - and it’s surely no coincidence that he was a drummer himself and played the MPC like it was a drum kit. 

 

By contrast, that Thomas Lang fella’s playing leaves me cold. Clearly he’s technically sensational, but it sounds fundamentally mechanical to me; there’s no soul. 

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Thomas Lang has quite clearly never had sex in his life, he must spend every waking hour practicing.

 

Not my cup of tea either although you have to marvel at the things he can do.

 

Anyway, I'll post the full length Buddy Rich clip they used in the programme...

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Yeah I’m not a fan of Thomas Lang, fair play to him for his dedication and the hours he’s put into getting to his level but his playing has no soul.

 

For example, in last nights episode he briefly played a beat inbetween all his technical playing and even then it didn’t have any feel to it and had way too many notes. 

 

I’m in awe of his skill but not his musicianship.

 

The best bit for me last night was watching Russ Kunkel play simply and with feeling with brushes to the recording he did with James Taylor.

 

That’s what it’s all about.

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Great close to a great series. Loved Steve White’s Louie Bellson anecdote. Billy Cobham’s solo too - fucking hell!!! I was also made up to see Chris Dave getting a shout. 

 

The thing I’ve enjoyed most about this series is the way all these drummers are drum fans before they’re fans of musical genre. I mean a speed metal drummer buzzing off a contemporary jazz/r ‘n’ b/hip hop guy or Bill Ward of Black Sabbath being a huge Gene Krupa fan. Fantastic. 

 

And finally it had bothered me throughout that Buddy Rich was seemingly underplayed across the whole series, but they put that spectacularly right at the end. Love how his own band mates couldn’t take their eyes off him when he was soloing. They’ve seen it countless times, know him personally and yet they’re still blown away, craning their necks to watch him. 

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It’s been a great series and I’m sad to see it end. 

 

Brilliant it helped people understand the role of the instrument and its/certain rhythms backstory.

 

Hoping we’ll see another series at some point, will be asking for an update on that down the line when things should be more definite. 

 

Great show.

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