First drum clinic you went to and how it affected you

poco rit.

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
28
Location
Texas
I was 15 and saw Thomas Lang. It was my first time seeing a professional drummer live. I was transfixed. My eyeballs fell out of my skull. That room was the only room on planet earth. He was the reason my first upgraded kit was a Sonor. I got an autographed poster and pic, both of which idk what happened to them. But after seeing that, the summer between 10th and 11th grade, all i did was play drums all day every day. I dont really favor that style of drumming anymore. But i will always remember how much it inspired me, and it made me realize the power of live music.

I would love to hear everyones experience.
 

NobleCooleyNut

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
661
Reaction score
765
My first drum clinic was a Billy Cobham Clinic , I was about 15 or 16 . It was at Toronto Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto . Now this was when Billy was the rising star in the drum world . I picked out a seat in the balcony where I could look directly down on him while he was playing .
I was astounded by his open handed technique and incredible chops . He was very well spoken . He was using a Tama Kit made you of two individual Tama kits - one natural maple finish and one walnut finish . Didn’t matter , everyone was transfixed on his playing .

I find most drum clinics boring , but Billy’s was definitely an exception . He spoke of many great tips and techniques and was a fountain of useful information for this star struck young drummer at the time .
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,335
Reaction score
951
Location
Germany
FirstI think was Danny Gottlieb. Set a high mark, first time I heard about technique in this detail, very musical at the same time. I remember several great clnics in the later 90s that made a lasting impression on me: Weckl, Ferrone, Jonathan Moffett, Adam Nussbaum.
 

Mcjnic

DFO Master
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
3,208
Reaction score
1,854
I have had several clinics with drummers prior to ... but there was only one that genuinely impacted me deeply. It was in the 80s, if I recall.
Cobham.
He was a force.
My family had worked with him for years, but I had never seen him in this forum. His grasp of power ... when to use it and when to reign it in ... his mastery of feel and especially texture.
It literally moved me.
I was never the same drummer after that.
 

Doof

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
1,742
Reaction score
133
Jojo Mayer about 4 years ago.

it affected me by realizing that I probably wouldn’t go to another clinic again. Nothing against Jojo, who is undeniably talented. I just realized I’m not that type of drummer who intently studies other drummers’ technique. My influence comes more from the performance within the context of a song, and the interaction with other instruments. I get more inpspiration watching a band play together.

It probably explains why I wouldn’t be able to put together a logical or impressive drum solo.
 

Tigerdrummer

Very well Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
987
Reaction score
482
Location
Ohio
Jeff Hamilton clinic about 6 months ago. Sat close on the hi hat side so I could see his pedal technique. It was great. Then went to his show a day or two later. Got sticks autographed at clinic and chatted a couple minutes and got a picture with him. He is a very nice and down to 20191016_215327.jpg earth guy.
 

kallen49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
245
Reaction score
137
Location
Ontario Canada
Alan Dawson in Toronto 1974 (or '75?) I was about 17 years old.
At one point he sang as he played to illustrate song structure.
Don't recall him mentioning the now famous "rudimental ritual".
I do remember at the end of his solo he said something like, "and here's another drum set I'm done with"

His mastery of music, not just drums, blew my little mind.
The only book I use now is his (The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary by John Ramsay)

Opening for Mr. D was a young Paul Delong. Saw him last year with Steely Dan cover band "Pretzel Logic". He told me that was his first ever clinic.

 

jansara

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
547
Reaction score
337
Late 60's, at my first Buddy Rich big band concert, sitting 20 feet out from the band. Make no mistake - it was a clinic. I knew drummers who went through the "sell my drums and quit" thing, at the time. I was the opposite - he inspired me to be my best. Same with Elvin's sax, bass drums trio; Roy Burns with Rogers.
 

AgentGreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
51
Reaction score
35
I don't think it was my first, but I travelled about 8 hours to Minneapolis to see a Weckl clinic. It was amazing, and I remember him warming up with a practice pad on his knee before he got on, but what I remember the most is the story about how his hands locked up during a show and how he had to learn how to relax his muscles. Anyways, after the clinic I had a chance to meet him, but I was star struck, couldn't muster a word and just had him sign a poster while I mumbled something incoherent. I don't know where that poster is now, probably gone with time. This was towards the end of the 90's.
 

cribbon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,180
Reaction score
439
Waaaayyyyy before the time of the above posts, in the mid-60s I went to a Joe Morello clinic at a music store in the closest big city to where I lived. I was just getting started and Joe left me dumbstruck as to what could be done on/with a drum set. The store apparently had a deal worked out with Ludwig because Joe gave a clinic there on an almost yearly basis, if I remember correctly, and I attended every one (thanks to my dad who had to drive me). Not only was Joe a master drummer, he was also an excellent clinician and standup comedian.

The last clinic I saw Morello do there was in the early 70s and he shared it with vibraphonist Gary Burton, who had just recorded Crystal Silence with Chick Corea. During his portion of the clinic Burton made one of the most interesting remarks about technique I have ever heard. To paraphrase, he said that he practiced technique in order to make his hands disappear: his goal was to make sure that whatever musical ideas occurred to him, he could transmit them to the listener exactly as he conceived of them w/o worrying about any limitations or potential distortions caused by insufficient technique, which he saw only as a delivery system, not as a thing important in and of itself.
 

ThomFloor

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
789
Reaction score
475
Bill Bruford - 2007 small high school auditorium. Most notable were him speaking of minimizing effort and maximizing 'economy of movement'.
 

hardbat

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,159
Reaction score
482
Location
Sacramento CA, USA
Joe Morello, about 1972, I was 12. It didn't make a huge impression on me then, his playing is so subtle and artistic. I'd get more out of it now. However, the second clinic I went to, Peter Erskine with Stan Kenton, that excited me because he was young and the band was loud. That got me into jazz like a whack alongside the head.
 

High on Stress

DFO Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
2,009
Reaction score
331
Location
MPLS
Haven't been to many since my first: Gregg Bissonette. My kind of clinic, mostly talking about playing songs not just playing drums. He played along to a lot of songs, including a Beatles medley where he broke down Ringo's compositional approach to those songs, explained some techniques involved in the parts. He also soloed in different idioms, as he is known to do, but mostly it was about music and not drummy drumming stuff. I thought that was pretty cool given that a lot of people come to clinics to hear blazing chops only and not someone talking about how to be a musician.
 

Johnny K

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
912
Reaction score
797
Location
Mid Atlantic, USA
I'm not really a clinic guy. Even as a life long guitar player, clinics to me were going to see my favorite players doing their thing at shows. But I will give mad props to Mike Dawson for the clinic he did last year at Chuck Levin's. He's a pretty good clinician. I learned a lot.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
975
Reaction score
741
Location
NY-NJ
Well this question takes me way back. My dad was a guidance counselor at a big high school in NJ, and when I was very young (I could have been 12 and had been playing drums for a few years,) the phone rang and it was the band director from my dad's school, he asks dad, "Doesn't your son play drums?" Dad says yup, and the band director says, "Bring him on out to the school, we're having a last minute drum clinic, you can leave him and I'll look out for him, and come back and pick him up in a few hours."

My parents had already taken me to see some great music (Buddy a few times, Dizzy with Mickey Roker, and others.) But this "clinic" thing was different. What I remember is that arranger Don Sebesky was in town doing a show, and his drummer Jimmy Madison and percussionist Sue Evans were invited to the high school do a clinic each.

I didn't know who Jimmy was, and many today still probably don't.

.

But I do remember that he PLAYED DRUMS FOR A LIVING!!!! He talked about rock, jazz, recordings, tours, he had done EVERYTHING. Those two things made him an absolute STAR (!!!!!) in my young eyes. I don't remember what he played (I'm sure it went over my young head,) but I do remember him being VERY nice to everyone attending, and answering a lot of questions, and seeming like a "normal" and very cool guy.

I was HOOKED!!! From then on, I only wanted to be a professional musician, just like that guy Jimmy Madison, and that's what I did, and do, and who I am. Many years later I started playing with trumpeter Jack Walrath pretty regularly. Jimmy had played in Jack's band and they were still in touch, so I asked Jack to invite Jimmy out to a gig, because I really wanted to talk to him and thank him. Jimmy never came out, and I still haven't seen him since (probably 40 years or so.)

Every once in a while I do a gig with someone who has played with Jimmy, and I tell them to give him my number. I am still waiting to run into him around town, because I would really like to thank him. If anyone here knows him well, please tell him I would love to talk with him.

I grew up in the 80's and I can't remember how many drum clinics I saw, and there were some GREAT ones (Smith, Vinnie, Weckl, Gadd, Dennis, Tain, Morello, Thigpen, Jon Mover, Rod M.......) Local stores, MD Festivals, PAS Days of Percussion, it seems that I probably went to a clinic every month, I never missed one that was in the area.

Today I get a chance to occasionally give some clinics at schools and colleges like The Collective and Berklee. And whose clinic do I try to steal a little bit of the vibe from? Jimmy Madison. He probably doesn't remember the clinic, and either do I really, but it was a life changer. And I am forever indebted.

MSG
 

poco rit.

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
36
Reaction score
28
Location
Texas
Wow great stories everyone. You guys saw some legends. Learned some new drummers i had never heard before. This feels like a camp fire. Thanks for sharing :)
 

halldorl

DFO Veteran
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
2,575
Reaction score
2,003
Location
Iceland
Clinics are ok but like someone mentioned before, I like a lot more to see drummers in a musical context with a band. I can relate to that. On a clinic, I get very quickly bored even though the drummer is a monster player and a legend.
The most inspiring clinic I’ve been to was Benny Greb. He’s a great motivator and a wonderful guy.
 

Latest posts



Top