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VIC FIRTH STICKS

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Vic Firth simply make the finest sticks in the world, and I have used them my entire drumming life. By just holding the sticks in my hands without even hitting anything, they already feel great!

Vic Firth himself has such an inspiring story of a huge success both as a musician with the Boston Symphony, and as a businessman starting the most successful stick company in the world. Vic embodies what the ancient Greeks called ‘Arête’: excellence in actions, outstanding character, and living up to one’s full potential.  It all started by Vic wanting to single-handedly raise the standard of the way drumsticks were made, so he started crafting the sticks himself to improve his own playing, and word started spreading how great these sticks were. This spirit of excellence comes from the sticks being influenced and crafted by the artists themselves, and continues to this day. They an innovative company with so many musical designs for sticks, and the Vic Firth website is an essential resource for drummers looking to optimize their game. Get them in your hands!

WHAT I’M USING

  • Chris Lesso LTR Model (85A Hickory)
  • Steve Smith Tala Wands
  • Heritage Brushes
  • Mallets

 

Teacher VF

INDIAN RHYTHMS / TABLA

INDIAN RHYTHMS / TABLA

Studying the Tabla and the spoken rhythms has had a profound effect on my playing, phrasing, rhythmic sense, memory, rhythmic vocabulary, and also on myself as a person, which is the tradition of teaching in this culture. I recommend checking out this area of drum history to any student of the drumset!

Jim Blackley

I had the opportunity to study with Jim for a few years, and this had a huge impact on me, not only as a drummer but as a person. (Ask any of Jim’s past
students to hear this same thing).

He is the Yoda of drum teachers! In my time with Jim, I started to see the incredible depth that the drumset has in the tonal qualities of the drums and cymbals, the ability to leave space, and swing time pulse which is the backbone of any groove. I am always indebted to Jim for this.

Jim Chapin

Having lessons with Jim was life changing! Jim revolutionized my technique and concept of it, and I was honored to have the opportunity to learn the Moeller technique from him. This opened the doors to Speed, Control, Power, and Endurance. Also, Jim was a link to the history of the instrument itself, and I will always remember his incredible stories!

Check out Jim’s CD ‘Songs, Stories, and Solos’ the hear some of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yNb-kUPwMI

The Eternal Student

A true master would never call themselves a master, but rather an eternal student of the instrument. This is why I feel it’s important to always be studying,
learning, and taking lessons to learn a new aspect of the craft and add to our personal expression on the instrument. I have taken piano lessons for many years for this reason, as learning another instrument can help your drumming by working on your ear and widening your listening skills. Bass guitar, singing, dancing, martial arts etc., any lessons in these areas will improve your drumming! (Many years ago, I had fun taking 7 months of tap dancing lessons for this reason).

I am currently studying Indian rhythms on the Tabla. The Indian rhythmic tradition goes back many hundreds of years and has much to offer and to be applied on the drumset. This is just starting to be tapped into by various drummers much like Cuban rhythms were being applied to the drumset in the 1940’s and 50’s.

I believe it’s also important to work on yourself as a person just as much as working on the instrument itself; ‘The Kind Of Person You Are, Is The Kind Of Artist You Will Be’. Billy Cobham has said to ‘Think of the Drums as a Character Mirror’. Who you are as a person will come out on the instrument, and shape the stories you tell on the drums.

HERE ARE MY MAIN TEACHERS AND MENTORS:

SONOR DRUMS

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Ever since I started drumming I always wanted to play Sonor. I didn’t just start off playing a set like this, I had to go step by step: first drumming on boxes, to that first practice pad and snare, to my first junky intro set. This is the path, to learn those first grooves, to hear what inspires you, what your inner voice is. But after a long wait, it was time to get my first serious set. Sonor rose above the rest for me for three reasons: DESIGN, DETAILS, and MUSICALITY.

The artistry of the design is expressed in how you FEEL when you sit behind your drums. Every time I sit down behind my kit I want to PLAY, to create, to make some noise and shake the world. Sonor drums are rich with details. They don’t seem to amount to much on their own, but put together they MATTER. Just like a great drummer, the little things add up to greatness. The best in the world sweat the small stuff, give laser like focus to the finer details. And as soon as you hit these drums, they are seriously musical. The tone and attack of my kit always brings the best out of the band, because playing MUSIC is always the goal of playing my drums.

Thank you Sonor!

WHAT I’M USING

KIT | Sonor S-Classix (Birch) 10” tom, 8” tom, 14” floor tom, 20” bass drum

SNARES | Sonor Pure Canadian (Maple) 13×6, Sonor Prolite (Brass) Snare, 14×5, and 10” 3007 Force (Maple) side snare

PEDAL | Sonor ‘Perfect Balance’