Billy Ward

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Just as I was feeling a little good about some progress today on the kit, right down the crapper.

Thanks..
 

Houndog

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I’ve always found him to be an enthralling educator. After one of my long hiatuses is from drumming, I got back in and was fortunate enough to stumble upon his DVD “Big Time”, which I found quite helpful.
I had that on VHS !!!
 

Squirrel Man

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Now that I can sink my teeth into. Marked it for reference.

I do a lot a paradiddles when I'm playing around, all over the kit. Probably too much but maybe not and my mind connects with that. Diddles make stuff sound great and they're easy, for me at least.

The diddle diddle part around the toms, next project.
 

bpaluzzi

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His album “Two Hands Clapping” is my favorite “drummer” album of all time. It’s all duets, in a variety of styles with a variety of artists. Bill Champlin, John Patitucci, Glen Phillips, and others. Fantastic drumming. He did a couple tracks from that at the 2000 Modern Drummer festival, and even by himself, they were INCREDIBLE:

 

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What a monster on the kit! And a nice guy too! Will talk about anything and be really friendly. He’s the real deal!
 

Houndog

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His album “Two Hands Clapping” is my favorite “drummer” album of all time. It’s all duets, in a variety of styles with a variety of artists. Bill Champlin, John Patitucci, Glen Phillips, and others. Fantastic drumming. He did a couple tracks from that at the 2000 Modern Drummer festival, and even by himself, they were INCREDIBLE:

I lost my copy and it appears it’s not available for streaming …..UGH

What a great album !!!
 

kevinyarger

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I took a lesson(and a masterclass) with Billy while he was in Chicago. A wonderful and eye opening lesson. Such a wonderful musician.
 

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Scott K Fish

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I have decades of listening to, often seeing play live, the drummers Mr. Ward mentions. So, I find myself wondering how drummers listening to this presentation react after hearing a few bars of Mr. Ward's impressions of famous jazz drummers.

Best,
skf
 

Houndog

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I have decades of listening to, often seeing play live, the drummers Mr. Ward mentions. So, I find myself wondering how drummers listening to this presentation react after hearing a few bars of Mr. Ward's impressions of famous jazz drummers.

Best,
skf
What is your impression??

I’m not up on my jazz drumming history even a little …
 

drums1225

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I met and chatted with Billy at the Drumsmith dinner at NAMM in 2004. I had always enjoyed his articles in MD, and found him to be very insightful. I noticed we shared a lot of the same philosophies about drumming and teaching. During our conversation, I inquired about taking a lesson when we were both back in NY.

I took one lesson with him at his studio in Queens and it was a revelation and an absolute turning point in my drumming journey. He asked me why I was there, and what I hoped to get from it. I told him, "I feel like I'm a frequent visitor to the pocket, but I want to LIVE in the pocket." He said, "I know exactly what you mean". After this, he was almost apologetic about charging me for the lesson because he said "If I had known that, I would have just told you to wait until my movie (Big Time) comes out in a few months. ALL this stuff is in there." I assured him that I was fine with paying for his feedback and in-person evaluation.

He asked me to play a one-handed 16th groove, with George Benson's "Breezin" in my mind. I played it for about 4 bars and he stopped me. He said, "Not bad, I hear what you're talking about. Your time is good, and you have a really nice touch, but do you realize that your left foot is randomly bouncing on your hi hat pedal?" Of course, I wasn't aware of it. He said, "Let's harness that left foot. Purposefully tap 8th notes with your left heel, very lightly, without opening and closing the hats. Use this as a physical 'mechanism' to help ground your time."

I began playing, and within 2 bars, Billy was bopping around in front of the kit, nodding, and smiling. He said, "That's it! You can build a skyscraper on that groove, now!" In the first 5 minutes after I walked in, and literally from one second to the next, his one simple suggestion improved my groove noticeably. The rest of the lesson was great, as well. I coined a phrase from him that I will use forever: "Play what your ear asks you to play". I refer to these revelations with my students all the time, and give Billy full credit for setting me on a path to a major improvement in my playing, all in one, single lesson.
 


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