David Garibaldi: No More Left Foot 8th Notes?

drums1225

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This is the best view you'll get of his left foot action in a (somewhat) recent performance. He keeps the left leg completely still at times, bounces it at times, and plays the hats with the foot (a little bit). The takeaway is that he sounds the same no matter what his left foot is doing or not doing. As a previous poster mentioned, his feel is internal.
 

drums1225

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And here it is, straight from the horse's mouth. The whole interview is great and DG is such a top notch communicator/educator. I highly recommend watching this whole interview, but the clip I shared begins at 33:50 with DG discussing his change in approach to the left foot, post-accident, answering my question as if I asked him directly.

 

drumgadget

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Thanks, Chris - for starting this thread and posting the definitive answer in the interview above. The "internalizing" of not only tempo but groove just seems so essential to me ...... even though I'm not really sure to what degree I have it!

I've found out as I get older that there are many modifications required in many of the things I do ...... whether it's drumming, cycling (motor and "leg") ...... just by virtue of age alone. But throw in trauma of some sort - like surgery, or (even worse!) accident recovery - in itself a kind of "instant aging"! - and things get complicated really quickly.

It's inspiring to hear this from someone like DG - and indirectly, from Steve Gadd - and to realize that there are perhaps simpler ways to power the groove ..... if we just accept reality and lighten up on ourselves a bit. In my own case, I think such editing could help to prevent compulsive over-playing ...... ironic, in that despite limited chops, I've caught myself playing too busy many times ...... a compensation of some sort?

M.
 

RIDDIM

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Speaking of that... Anybody got any tips/techniques for developing the left foot 8th-note hi hat groove. That's something I've been wanting to learn. I can do quarter notes but not 8th's. For some reason, it's really hard for me. Any ideas? I feel like it's probably technique as much as anything... ??
Immerse yourself in mid 60'ds Miles Davis and the Tony Williams Lifetime.
 

drums1225

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Immerse yourself in mid 60'ds Miles Davis and the Tony Williams Lifetime.
When I studied with Mike Clark for a few months in 2000, I asked him how he got his left foot together. He said that once everyone heard Tony playing quarter notes on the hats, as opposed to just 2 and 4, it became a "war cry", and everyone had to get it together. He said it came kind of easily for him, which is the exact opposite of my experience!
 

jeffintampa

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I love me some Tower of Power and David Garibaldi is one of my favorite drummers. His linear/layered, displaced style of "East Bay" funk drumming caught my ear in my late teens, right when I was looking to grow beyond being "just a rock drummer". DG's style of "broken" rhythms and counter rhythms played between the hands are what's most prominent and unique, but the more I listened to him, the more I realized how much his hi-hat foot really drives his playing, "grounds" the time, and ties together the complicated, syncopated grooves he's known for.

I've seen TOP at least 15-20 times, and DG's left foot has always been like a machine, pumping out 8th notes, but the last time I saw TOP, in late 2019 (a few months before live music went on its unexpected hiatus), I noticed DG wasn't playing his signature left foot 8th notes, really at all. He sounded great, but I was surprised his signature left foot was largely inactive in its normal timekeeping role. It got me wondering if it's related to injuries from his train accident, or possibly due to age (he's 74). Anyone else notice this? Thoughts?
I've always been able to play eighth note hh, first saw it done by the great Bobby Caldwell (Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo) and never forgot.
 


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