Month: February 2014

Legendary Session Drummer From UK, Bobby Graham – Bio on RootsOfRockDrumming.Com

Legendary Session Drummer From UK, Bobby Graham – Bio on RootsOfRockDrumming.Com

Just reading Bobby’s bio gave me chills. His life story is almost exactly like mine – a very shy youngster who gravitated towards drums which boosted his confidence. The drums then became an obsession for him just as it did for me. Click on title to read his bio.


Performing with The High Rollers A Little Harry’s (Keppel Club)

Hey peeps, just an update that I’m back at Little Harry’s, Keppel Club, this coming Friday, 28th February, with The High Rollers to pump out time-honoured classic Pop/Rock songs of the last 50 years. Come on down and indulge in a walk down memory lane with us!

1st set kicks off at 8.30pm.

Practice Simplified

If you are a drumset instructor, this is a question from your students that you cannot escape from. You have to tell them the truth about practising and practising the right way. This article I am presenting is not just “another one” in a piling heap of articles already in print or on the web on the subject of practising effectively. I am not going to offer methods but instead offer ONE simple concept to think about so that you can shape, customise, and tweak your current practice method to benefit you greatly from here on. It has worked for me and given me greater security as to whether I am practising “correctly” or not. 

The concept is: Let The Music Be Your Guiding Force Always.

Drumming is a such a vast ocean of concepts, techniques, rudiments, different rhythms, time signatures, and all sorts of other hybrids. We must ask ourselves therefore, where do all these techniques and concepts come from? From drumming itself? NO. From drummers? Again, NO.It comes from………………………….MUSIC. 

Let the music be your guiding force as to what to work on. If you are a beginner for example, your main concerns would be to groove well, co-ordinate your 4 limbs properly, have solid technique, execute your fills well be those original ideas or stock ones, sound good, and get through a song smoothly. You want to emulate the drummers who have played on classic records, chart topping albums, or simply on music that has moved you emotionally and spiritually. To develop the ability to emulate their great playing effortlessly, you will need to work on all the aforementioned areas. Keep working at it, record your practise sessions, be your own most honest critic, and write down your observations of both your good points in your drumming and the stuff you can improve on. Follow up and repeat the process diligently. This will never end for as long as you play the drums. There are always areas of subtle refinements to work on. If you keep an open and alert mind, these things will be made apparent to you.

With regards to technical development, that is your hand technique, bass drum/foot hi-hat techniques, and your mastery of the rudiments, and how you combine these on the drumset, remember that all these are born out of NECESSITY. That necessity is MUSIC. Again, let the music guide you. Do not be overwhelmed or discouraged or intimidated when you see a drummer on a video or even your drummer friend pulling off stuff way beyond your current capabilities. Shrug off that insecurity that makes you want to compete to be “better” than those drummers. I am not saying that competitiveness is negative, but rather it should not be your sole reason for playing the instrument. TAKE YOUR TIME to develop your skills. Take it step by step, building one idea upon another, like constructing a building. If in doubt, consult with your teacher/mentor on how to organise your practise sessions effectively that tailor to your CURRENT NEEDS. We drumset teachers always remind our students never to rush a groove or a fill. Likewise, we should not rush when it comes to our personal development on the drumset. Everybody’s journey as a student of the drumset is different and I believe this point must be treated with utmost respect. Only that way, will we draw more and more people to the joys of making music with the drumset as our tool of choice. 

Finally, with regards to musical development which goes hand in hand with technical development, let the music be your guide. If you are into a certain type of music at the moment,  listen to lots of recordings, see live concerts, take lessons if necessary with a teacher well versed on that style of music, consult the many wonderful and relevant instructional books and DVDs, and then draw from these experiences to develop the FEEL, the SOUND, and the VOCABULARY. The best way to expedite your mastery of a certain type of music is to get together with musicians who play well in that style. Go out and find those musicians – local jam sessions for example. Network, Take yourselves out of the practise room and just play the music. Make mistakes and pick yourselves up from there. 

With this thought, I would like you to think about your relationship with Music. Not with the drums, but with Music. Are you playing the drums to make music or are you playing it to gain popularity with other drummers? Do you use music as a vehicle to uplift and empower people around you or do you use it mainly to highlight your skills on the drumset in the hope of scoring product endorsements or winning the first prize in the World’s Fastest Hands (or Feet) competition? 

Here is a list of 3 essential drumming resources that I think every drummer of every style must have at the beginning of their career:

1) Stick Control (Technique)

2) Alfred Drum Method Vol. 1 and 2 (Sight-reading, rudimental development)

3) Groove Essentials 1.0 and 2.0 by Tommy Igoe (DVD + Book)

With these 3 resources, you can then go deeper into specific types of music, styles, and techniques that you wish to develop as time goes on. 

I hope all of the above make sense to you!

Best wishes in your musical journey!

Daniel Glass Interview On DRUM TALK TV

Nobody tells the story of the evolution of the drumset better than Daniel Glass. Check out his fantastic info-tainment DVD, A Century Project, that deals with the 100-year story of the drumset, and his work with the Royal Crown Revue Band.

Drumming Technique Simplified

Hi all,

I decided to write this post after a very interesting lesson with a student. It was one of those lessons that seemed frustrating at first because the student was not really getting it, but one and a half hours later, he made a discovery. What was it?


What is this and how is it done?

First, let us look at 3 steps to making a stroke on the drum:

1) Your stick is parallel to the drum surface about at least an inch above the drum with your wrist angled flat. Alternatively, if you prefer to hold your sticks with your thumbs up, then the thumb is on top of the stick parallel to the surface of the drum, again at least an inch above the drum. This can be called the REST POSITION.

2) From the Rest Position, you raise your stick to a desired height to execute the stroke.

3) The stick strikes the drum and you now have the option to stop the stick at the REST POSITION or allow it to rebound up.

With point no.3, why do you have these two options? It is because of the next note you are going to play. Is it a soft note or a loud one? If it is a soft note, you just have to stop the stick at the Rest Position and lightly tap the drum from there. You immediately achieve a stroke with the right sound and texture for a soft note. If this note is instead a loud one, you must then allow the stick to rebound immediately after the previous stroke and then you thrust the stick down again to achieve the right sound and texture for a loud note. Am I making sense?


The timing of your stroke will depend on two things:

1) Your ability to hear where the stroke should land in relation to the time

2) HOW you prepare for that stroke such that it lands correctly in time.

Point No.1 is extremely crucial. You are a musician and your ears are your greatest weapons. Train your ears to hear the time accurately and it will go miles for your development. Thus, when you make a stroke, you want to know where the stroke should be in the bar and if you can hear it in your mind? This is where practising with a metronome comes in. Verbalizing the stroke aloud with or without actually playing the stroke will also help you determine the accuracy of your timing.

Point No. 2 is the “make-it-or-break-it” in the success of your execution. Once you are able to hear the stroke accurately in your mind, you then want to PREPARE for the stroke in an efficient and relaxed manner, so that the stroke lands right on the money and you physically feel great doing so. Pay attention to how your hands and feet FLOW with the time. Drumming is like a dance – alot of the activity of drumming takes place above the surfaces of the instrument (The late great Freddie Gruber would teach this too). Therefore, if your motions flow well with the time at whichever tempo, you are relaxed, and you are NOT THINKING TOO MUCH BUT RATHER FEELING THAT FLOW THROUGH YOUR BODY, you will always achieve accuracy and consistency in your playing.

In summary, having a GOOD FLOW in your physical motions on the drumset is highly essential to playing well.

To find out more, book a lesson or a couple of lessons with me. Contact me at for more information!

I hope this article opens up your awareness to the actual simplicity of drumming technique.


John JR Robinson’s Drum Solo at NAMM Chicago Drum Show 2011

I came across this solo clip two days ago and was immediately taken by the musicality, creative use of double stroke and flam rudiments, and the way he tied the solo together with this fusion-based groove. I showed this video in two of my classes and both students were very inspired.