David Garibaldi is the drummer you'd want in your band


Jammin' Jamin 2112

Perfectionist. I sat right next to him at a concert and he nailed everything just like on the records.

Great sense of time. He's right in the pocket.

Sticks to one or two complex, funky beats, but doesn't overplay. If you were to transcribe his drum parts, you'd see a lot of repeats. He's not always trying to add extra sauce. (Whereas a lot of drummers can't play a beat for 2 measures in a row without trying to add a snare drag or crash cymbal hit.)

Soul Vaccination (studio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46hd6DZS0ww
Soul Vaccination (live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY7CKdW6ioU

That is proper drumming.


Platinum Member
David is one of my early heroes, but unfortunately he doesn't play things "exactly" like the old records. Back then he played trad grip and did a ton of finger control ghost notes underneath. You can barely hear them on the studio Soul Vaccination. On his video he admits that he plays it differently and that the song has evolved. These days he arranges the ghost notes between the snare and hat instead. Saves energy. But he's still got the groove and insane rhythmic counterpoint. The subtle complexity of what he does is underestimated by lots of folks until they try to cop it.

Listen to the studio Get Your Feet Back On The Ground http://youtu.be/UJWuQ-QjFmE and the constant 16th ghost notes with rim shots pulled in between to get a better idea of what he used to do. I met a guy in the '70s who had studied with both Chuck Brown and David and could do this. He showed me. After 30+ years, I still can't do it. But I don't feel too bad. I know some very good drummers who vastly simplify David's parts when doing TOP songs.


Junior Member
This is probably as good of a place as any to plug my new playalong app, developed in conjunction with Garibaldi, Hudson Music, and Peter Erskine:

The Code of Funk

I'd love to hear any feedback/suggestions you might have.



Platinum Member
Back To Oakland was the album I heard around 1981 that just about completely moved me away from rock.


Senior Member
but unfortunately he doesn't play things "exactly" like the old records.
Can you imagine playing something exactly the same way for decades? It's a fine line for artists like him, though (guitarists are really bound by this as well). There are certain details people expect to hear, but when you have that much talent you can't help but progress the song over time. Also, I imagine most folks would just get bored playing the same thing over and over.


Silver Member
I sat pretty close to him while at a TOP show here in NY (BB Kings). The man is fluid, relaxed and flawless! - it's not something you can copy, even transcribed, trying to play the same thing acurately, It's purely his approach and technique, and I think meshing with Rocco is another major ingredient to that, Rocco, if you don't know already, is probably one of the most percussive bass players ever. (I told him he was a great percussionist and he thanked me profusely :))

What really amazed me about his technique is not exerting much arm force (visibly) and playing with such power, in his 60's mind you! I met him after the show, very friendly and gracious, there was this obnoxious guy in his face while were talking and he handled him graciously as well. Look forward to the next TOP show here in NYC to watch him kill it again.


Junior Member
...but unfortunately he doesn't play things "exactly" like the old records....
Part of that reason is DG says that he injured his foot, and he physically can't do the things that he used to. I think I read that in a Modern Drummer interview.

I think the "scaled down" stuff actually kind of grooves more. We as drummers were just blown away by the stuff that he did in his hey-day. I know that he was the first drummer I heard that had the linear grooves down to a fine art.