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Drummer's Weekly Groovecast

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Episode 67 - Balancing Career And Personal Life

This week we debut a new segment - The DWG Garage! In this part of the show we'll put your drums up on the lift, assemble, disassemble, and hot rod your favorite gear! Then our main topic puts a distinct musician's slant on the concept of balancing your personal life with your musical life. Being a professional drummer and the trappings of maintaining a successful career is very different than that of someone with an office job. Everything from our unusual hours to the hesitation of subbing...

Duration: 01:06:14

Episode 66 - The Hi Hat Show

Join us as we continue to work our way around the drum set. This week we discuss our favorite hi hats! Picking out the perfect set of hats has its own unique challenges. First, you have to find two cymbals that work together well. Next, they have to feel right. Lastly, they should sound good when played heavy, light, open, closed, chick sound, etc. Those demands are more than we put on any other cymbal. Add to the fact that we generally play hi hats on every single song and you discover...

Duration: 01:05:46

Episode 65 - Interview - Tom Brechtlein

Tom Brechtlein is one of the premier drummers of our time. The list of names that he's performed with include: Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Jean Luc Ponty, Wayne Shorter, Don Grusin, Kei Akagi, Allan Vizzuti, Robben Ford, and Natalie Cole. We were honored to be able to speak with Tom and he did not disappoint! In this episode not only does Tom talk about his association with the above artists he also tells us about growing up in Long Island, NY and how the music programs in public school...

Duration: 01:34:50

Episode 64 - The Zen Of Accommodation

Oooommmmm...breathe deeply and be amenable...Being an accommodating, thoughtful musician is a quality that all successful players have in common. In this show we talk about getting past the thought that you have to be uncompromising to be regarded as someone who is knowledgeable about their craft. In fact if you can get to the point of embracing flexibility with a thoughtful and respectful attitude you can more frequently enjoy situations of uncertainty and be regarded as an accommodating...

Duration: 01:03:47

Episode 63 - Interview - Chris Brady (Aquarian Drum Heads Artist Relations & Marketing)

This week we have the privilege of speaking with industry great, Chris Brady of Aquarian Drum Heads. We get to hear about his drumming career and how it led to his interest in the business side of the industry. He then discusses his initial contact with Aquarian and how he got the job. We then talk about their various product offerings, how they are researched and how they are manufactured. Then we spend some time discussing the business side of the industry. Chris covers: getting...

Duration: 01:35:57

Episode 62 - Generational Icons

I bet you think we're going to wax poetic on the greatest drummers of all time, right? WRONG! Instead we're going to discuss the influences and pressures that all of us face trying to learn their vocabulary and ultimately trying to perform like them. The show starts with us listing several different generations of icons and the 'babies' that were born from their influence. We talk about the importance of realizing your own goals and abilities and how those don't usually line up with...

Duration: 01:21:56

Episode 61 - Professional Musician - What's Not To Love?

By nature most informational media is based on giving tips and ideas that help get past problems and negativity. In the past our show has spent entire episodes doing just that. This week we turn the tables and aim the thrusters in full positivity mode. In this episode Phil and Jon talk in detail about what they love about being professional musicians. Each give their musical and personal reasons for why they love their job and explain how those reasons outweigh any negative aspects. We...

Duration: 01:11:39

Episode 60 - Interview - Jack Bell Part 2

This week we welcome back master percussionist, Jack Bell, for part two of our exclusive interview. This week we spend time on his lengthy and storied teaching career. Areas covered are: his move to Atlanta and initial job teaching the choral department at a local high school, developing his private percussion teaching studio, being approached to create the percussion department at Georgia State, the ascension of the GSU percussion program, the successful students enrolled, and his various...

Duration: 01:49:58

Episode 59 - Interview - Jack Bell Pt 1

Today we welcome master percussionist Jack Bell to the Drummer's Weekly Groovecast. For those of you unfamiliar with Jack he was the principal percussionist (for over thirty years) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as well as the creator/coordinator of the percussion department at Georgia State University. In this episode Jack discusses his early interest in drums and his studies with legendary teacher, Harold Firestone. He details the methods he worked with, the teaching style of...

Duration: 01:57:36

Episode 58 - Interview - Lee Falco (Donald Fagen And The Nightflyers)

Lee Falco is a drummer/singer/session musician and studio owner who just happens to have a little side project as the drummer for Donald Fagen and the Nightflyers. Much to our liking the current Nightflyer's tour happened to have a date scheduled in our neck of the woods and we took full advantage the opportunity. On a well placed 'off day' Jon and Phil absconded Lee and traipsed him all over Atlanta prior to sitting down for our interview. Lee discussed his upbringing and musical training...

Duration: 01:23:25

Episode 57 - Dealing With Burnout

It can happen to anyone. Too much of a good thing can result in diminishing returns. In this episode Phil and Jon talk from personal experience about how to battle burnout. Over practicing, high pressure sessions, travel, repetitive gigs, and just plain boredom are the usual suspects. However, as are most complicated subjects, the devil is in the details. We get to the root issues and give you many different solutions to overcome these problems without having to burn bridges due to...

Duration: 01:13:02

Episode 56 - Interview - Drummers Of Oasis Of The Seas

Being a cruise ship musician conjures a myriad of different thoughts: constant vacation, see the world, play every day, steady paycheck, free room and board! Then the doubt creeps in: constantly away from home, out of touch with reality, losing your mainland gigs, ground hog day! In this special episode we talk to the drummers of Royal Caribbean's mega-ship, Oasis of the Seas. They discuss their experiences from audition to every day cruise life (both good and bad) and give us the...

Duration: 01:11:16

Episode 55 - Compliments And Criticism

Accepting a compliment is something we appreciate and generally have no problem with. In fact most do so with great humility. However when it comes to taking criticism that's something we all need help with. That's because most of the time the aforementioned critique presented improperly. If we are honest with ourselves we can assess any criticism and learn from it. But that's often easier said than done. In this show we speak from our personal experience of being on both ends of the...

Duration: 01:12:28

Episode 54 - The Stick Show (aka What's In Your Bag, Man)

Drum sticks, brushes, multi-rods, mallets, and other strikers are the tools of the trade. They're the cheapest things we use but arguably the most important! No matter what gig you're on or whose drums you play you always carry your stick bag with you. In this show we discuss what we use, why we use them, and the importance of experimenting with multiple sticks and brushes. Sit back and settle in for another great show about gear! We finish off with our segment on great, underrated drum...

Duration: 01:14:35

Episode 53 - Interview - John DeChristopher (former VP Of Zildjian) Part 2

We celebrate our one year anniversary with part two of our interview with John DeChristopher. We pick up with him becoming the artist relations manager at Zildjian and the close relationship he had with Lennie DiMuzio. He also discusses his work with the launch of Zildjian drum sticks, clinic tours, modern technology, and his rise to vice president of the company. We also touch on some specifics inside the factory and talk about the evolution of all the cymbal lines. We come full circle as...

Duration: 01:21:01

Episode 52 - Interview - John DeChristopher (former VP Of Zildjian) Part 1

There are but a few cornerstone manufacturers in the music business and the Zildjian cymbal company is one of them. Today we welcome former Zildjian VP John DeChristopher. In part one of this interview John discusses his early musical upbringing in Massachusetts and how it led him to pursue a music career in performance. Eventually John found himself on the business side of the music industry. This combined interest took him to California where he worked for the Simmons Drum Company and...

Duration: 01:04:13

Episode 51 - Subbing In, Subbing Out

If you stick around the music business for very long it's a 100% certainty that you will be called to sub for someone or have to ask another drummer to sub for you. For the uninitiated getting a substitute musician is not as simple as having "Jerry" in the next cubicle cover for you. Rather, almost all gigs employ you for your unique abilities and personality. So when finding or becoming a sub it's of paramount importance that certain criteria are met for your band and for the musicians...

Duration: 01:01:29

Episode 50 - Psychological Techniques of Drumming

"Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical." - Yogi Berra Yogi, being the wordsmith that he was, leads us into this week's very important topic. We spend countless hours in practice rooms cultivating our technique, vocabulary and time feel. However the psychological aspect of our musical development is often overlooked. This week we dive into mental techniques to improve your drumming. We cover topics that help you confront and ultimately defeat common emotional and mental...

Duration: 01:20:46

Episode 49 - Travel Etiquette

If you intend on making a living playing music for live audiences it's a virtual certainty that you'll be spending some time traveling. As we've discussed in prior episodes flexibility and a positive attitude will take you a long way. However if you combine that with common 'road' sense you can make the best out of any bad situation. In this show we pass along first hand information that can help you navigate and prevent potentially embarrassing situations. We discuss travel do's and...

Duration: 01:10:48

Episode 48 - Signature And Definitive Grooves

This week we draw up a play from the pedagogical handbook. There are drum grooves that are exclusive to many songs. If you don't perform that 'signature groove' authentically then the music is just not right! In this episode we give you a baker's dozen of these aforementioned songs. Get out your notebook and see how many of these you already know. If you're not familiar with this list now's the time to do some drumming anthropology. Part two of your assignment involves interacting with the...

Duration: 01:04:04

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