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Slowing down to speed up … being a musician first and drummer second … flowing around the kit like a dancer …

These are just some of the lessons taught by legendary teacher to the greats, Jim Blackley.

I was lucky to study with Jim for a few years before he passed away:

He was revered around the world as a ‘Yoda’ like figure that would elevate you from good to great. The journey with Jim was one of coming out of your shell to be confident in being YOU on the drums. He wanted you to be a the best drummer you could be, while becoming the best version of yourself at the same time. What good is drumming without health, family, and being kind? Jim didn’t just want you to have ‘fast hands’, but to have a good heart and a life well lived. He challenged you to keep your mind and life clear to make room for what really mattered: creativity through rhythm, deleting the unessential, and contributing to the music.

Today in my LTR DRUMMING podcast, we go deep into Jim Blackley’s invaluable contributions and what made him great. Here, I’m interviewed by drummer Joe Iannuzi who did his dissertation for York University on Jim Blackley, exhaustively researching his life and speaking to many of his students. (*Link in the shownotes)

Have fun with this one, ‘slow down to speed up’, and stay inspired!