First of all I would like to thank you for the great music you make (RHCP, Dot Hacker, Ataxia etc.) as I really enjoy it!! You are one of my favourite musicians. Your drumming with Ataxia and on John’s solo albums is some of my favourite drumming and I would really like to know how you’ve approached learning the drums. Did you spend the majority of your time on rudimentals, playing sheet music etc. or just improvising? Who are your favourite drummers, what is your core philosophy concerning the drums?
Your answer would mean so much to me. Thanks in advance,
Moritz H. (Germany)
Well I started taking lessons at age nine and took for somewhere between two and three years. As a kid I wasn’t very serious about learning, I just liked playing, so no, rudiments were never my cup of tea. I strongly urge people to pay attention to that kind of thing because it really can’t hurt to be able to do that stuff. So yeah, I just played. Watched people. Thought about drumming. I became a far better drummer the minute I gave up drums and started playing guitar. The moment I had another musical perspective, my drumming became a lot more supportive and a lot more colorful, in my opinion. I don’t play nearly enough these days. I sit down behind them for a few minutes a day, but that’s it. I really miss playing drums in a band. I have a band that’s not made it past the conversational stage yet. I’m playing drums in that. When that happens, it’s gonna be good.
As far as core philosophy? I don’t know. Be creative, be small, be dynamic, be sexy. I like Ringo and Charlie Watts. Simone Pace, Jack Irons, Elvin Jones, Steve Shelly, Jay Bellerose, Meg White, Brian Blade, John Bonham, and of course, Chad Smith are all drummers that made me smile without question. I’m sure I’ll remember more the minute I hit send.