Cliff Almond here.....

pinoydrummer

Senior Member
I only have one album of Michel and it's One More Once. I freakin love that
album and I want to thank you for your playing because it always inspires me
to challenge myself and improve on a daily basis.

You have a very relaxed grip and your motions around the kit are very fluid.
Right now I'm working on the Murray Spivack grip where the middle finger is
used as the fulcrum instead of the index finger.

How do you grip your sticks?
 

Cliffalmondmusic

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey Pinoy-
Im sorry it's been forever since I logged in so im just seeing this. Thanks for the kind words...
As far as how I grip the sticks its a bit hard to explain. I play matched most of the time, but I use a couple of techniques. I haven't actually worked on technique in a while. I usually practice my movements in a way that is comfortable for me, and focus on staying relaxed. My movements are not based on any particular techique, but through focusing on the sound that I am after I have pieced a few things together. Over the years it has developed on its own...

-CA
 

pinoydrummer

Senior Member
Hey Pinoy-
Im sorry it's been forever since I logged in so im just seeing this. Thanks for the kind words...
As far as how I grip the sticks its a bit hard to explain. I play matched most of the time, but I use a couple of techniques. I haven't actually worked on technique in a while. I usually practice my movements in a way that is comfortable for me, and focus on staying relaxed. My movements are not based on any particular techique, but through focusing on the sound that I am after I have pieced a few things together. Over the years it has developed on its own...

-CA
Thanks for replying Cliff! I also try to stay relaxed and I love what you said about getting
the sound you want. Thank you!
 

paulegavin

Senior Member
Hi Cliff,

Your playing is absolutely amazing. How do you approach playing and interacting with other musicians? I've always heard this explained in esoteric terms that aren't particularly useful. Is it something that can be explained?
 

Cliffalmondmusic

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey Paul-
Thanks for the compliments.
Interacting with other musicians is indeed a tough thing to explain. It's kind of like playing catch in a wierd way.....in order for it to be successful you have to be dealing with a willing participant who is open to your ideas as well as their own, and they must be willing to elaborate and not attempt to steer things. This also goes for you...
These concepts involve a number of psychological elements that are based OUTSIDE of music. In other words, if someone is the type to dominate a conversation and talk all the time, this usually translates into how they play. They may not be listening to anyone but themselves, or trying to force ideas, etc. Personality is a key part of improv I think. I've worked with some amazing improvisers and they really have the ability to be in the moment and react instinctively without forcing. Flexibility is another aspect of it. Ultimately the best improvisers have a tremendous awareness of the moment and how to interact in it.
This is a very complicated concept to explain.....hopefully that sort of helps....?
 

paulegavin

Senior Member
What a fast reply, thank you! I'll keep paying attention as I play with others and see if I can notice the things you mentioned.

Thank very much again!
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Hi Cliff

My today's question to you:
Which exercise or other kind of training/experience do you feel helped you the most
in becoming very accurate in keeping time and being tight?
 

Cliffalmondmusic

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey Matthias-
Very broad topic there... Mostly playing consistantly with clicks, and recording in different situations has improved this for me. But time keeping is a very broad scenario, and there are elements of awareness that take over just by playing the instrument over the course of years.
This can't be boiled down to an exercise necessarily, but knowing where to sit time wise for different styles is important, so developing the ABILITY to sit anywhere..tight, loose, behind the click, in front, etc....this ability is what you are after. Whatever means you use to get there is different for everyone. But I work on these things with a click constantly and it seems to pay off over time.
Hope that helps!
-CA
 

stormyrider

Junior Member
Hi Cliff
We were at the early show at the Regattabar last night. This is the 3rd time we've seen Michel but the 1st time we've caught you behind the kit.
Michel was great as always, but your playing blew us away. In addition to all the other adjectives one uses to describe great drumming, the one that came to mind is "musical".

My wife commented that it must have been exciting for me now that I've returned to the drums (after a long absence) to see someone like you play. Exciting, humbling, and inspiring - I want to lock myselft up and practice non stop.

Anyway, thanks for a great evening of music!!

Steve
 

Cliffalmondmusic

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Steve-
Thanks for the compliments on my playing. We had a good time at the regattabar and in Boston. Michel's gig is definitely challenging!
Outside of that, the events that happened the following monday are very unfortunate and I hope that you guys were in a safe place. I also hope things are coming back together up there...
Fyi we just put up a series of free lesson videos from my website if you are interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CvBt9LnLq1g

Thanks-
CA
 
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