Gavin Harrison here!

Fox622003

Gold Member
Hey Gavin, we had a small outdoors gig yesterday, and even though I knew while we were playing that it wasn't going great, once I heard the recording, I just went almost suicidal at all the rhythmic mistakes I was making. I mean, my normal playing sounded awkward, and while I nailed some of the fills, I messed up a lot of the details and small variations. I am generally VERY picky with other people's tightness and my own, and can spot mistakes and inconsistencies quite easily, so I was surprised I didn't realise at how untight some of the stuff was coming out while playing, and only after listening to the recording. My question is, how is it possible that if I *know* how it is and can spot the mistake (the sound was OK, again, these were mostly rhythmic mistakes, the timing didn't sound clean), I get it wrong in the execution? And so often, I think there wasn't *one* song in which I could say: "Well, alright, this was flawless" (or even tight/relatively clean). I hope the long paragraph is not confusing and you understand what I'm trying to ask, because I think I've only heard you mess up once or twice in all the live footage I've seen of your playing, and it was *small*, so you clearly know how to get your stuff right live.
Thanks for taking the time to read and hope you have some advice.


All the best, Fox.
 

Adam8

Senior Member
Hi Gavin, first off I have to tell you I'm a huge fan of PT and you drumming. It's all very inspiring stuff. My question relates to drumming. I had a lesson a while back when I was in a bit of a drumming slump or crossroads you could say. I felt I needed a bit of guidance as to which direction I should go to move forward as a musician. My teacher, a professional of almost 40 years, suggested I focus on finger control and technique along with advanced independence and jazz stuff. I'm having a bit of difficulty with these concepts and was wondering if you experienced this situation when you were younger and what may have helped you to get through it. Thanks
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Fox622003

Hey Gavin, we had a small outdoors gig yesterday, and even though I knew while we were playing that it wasn't going great, once I heard the recording, I just went almost suicidal at all the rhythmic mistakes I was making.

Yes I'm familiar with that feeling. I used to record EVERY gig I played (on a little Sony Walkman) and then spend the next day analyzing it. Same thing with practise sessions - It's a hard lesson but worth doing if you want to improve. It's important that you hear what you really sound like - as opposed to how you think you sound whilst you're playing. It's really hard to hear those errors whilst you're actually playing - you just need to listen in a different way.

Hi Adam8

I had a lesson a while back when I was in a bit of a drumming slump or crossroads you could say. I felt I needed a bit of guidance as to which direction I should go to move forward as a musician. My teacher, a professional of almost 40 years, suggested I focus on finger control and technique along with advanced independence and jazz stuff. I'm having a bit of difficulty with these concepts and was wondering if you experienced this situation when you were younger and what may have helped you to get through it.

My teachers would suggest all sorts of things that I should be doing - but I respected their wisdom and just got on with it. Actually I was happy to play and practise anything that was a challenge.

Cheers
Gavin
 

crimsonfloyd

Junior Member
Hi Gavin.

While watching the interview at Drum Department posted on the PT MySpace page, I noticed again, how good your double bass playing is. It might be not the Panthera-like playing style (as we all know, actually), but it's as subtle as it is "fast" in its own right.

As you can tell by my nickname, I'm coming from the old prog-like era, and started serious listening with Pink Floyd (even I'm only 20...). So, when it comes to playing, if it's in a jazz cover band or my own band, I'm not a brilliant double bass player as well.

At what age did you develope most of your double bass-style? When did you first got a double bass pedal? And, finally - any tips? I remember, I've read somewhere, that you practice still a lot for your left foot.

Cheers.

Fabian
 

massive prog fan

Junior Member
Hi there Gavin,

Please excuse me if you've already announced/been asked this, but are there plans to do any in-store appearances or clinics while on PT's tour of Australia next week? Either by yourself or with the rest of the band?

Best regards.
 

Alex P.

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I received your new dvd/book a few days ago.

Congratulations to you & Terry !

It’s really helpful to see you playing and explaining all these grooves. The “bonus” are great too. And so many transcriptions, it’s like heaven to me…!
So, thanks for doing this.

Sincerely,

Alex P.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi crimsonfloyd

At what age did you develope most of your double bass-style? When did you first got a double bass pedal? And, finally - any tips? I remember, I've read somewhere, that you practice still a lot for your left foot.

I'm still developing it now. I used to have two bass drums back in the early 1980's and then in 1984 I bought the first DW double pedal - so then I gave up with the two bass drums. I was always trying to get them to sound the same anyway (which they never did).
I tried practising along to records and seeing what I could think of to play on them. I never liked the continuous 16ths thing - so I was looking for broken up patterns based on 2,3,4 or 5 notes in a row. I always lead with my right foot - no matter where the pattern starts and always played singles. My goal has always been "control & accuracy" - I was never interested in going fast.

Hi massive prog fan

Please excuse me if you've already announced/been asked this, but are there plans to do any in-store appearances or clinics while on PT's tour of Australia next week? Either by yourself or with the rest of the band?


Not as far as I know at this moment.

Hi Alex P.

I received your new dvd/book a few days ago.
Congratulations to you & Terry !


many thanks - we worked really hard on it.

cheers
Gavin
 
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Heitor

Junior Member
Hi Gavin!

I have a question about the pre-recorded audio you use in PT shows...
What is the system you use to trigger the audio and how is it organized? Do you have each individual audio track from the song playing or do you make a stereo track of everything you need? Do you have one huge session for the entire show or each song on the concert has a different Protools/Logic/whatever session?

If you could please describe how you guys do it in PT, I would love to know about it!

Cheers,
Heitor.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Heitor

What is the system you use to trigger the audio and how is it organized? Do you have each individual audio track from the song playing or do you make a stereo track of everything you need? Do you have one huge session for the entire show or each song on the concert has a different Protools/Logic/whatever session?

We use Logic on a MacBook Pro. There is control over individual tracks - rather than a stereo mix. You can make a mix at home but find that it doesn't work well in a venue through a massive PA - so you need separate control. The whole show needs to be in one huge song because there isn't time to load new songs during the concert. Each song is just a block of audio - with a marker at the start of it. Then you just name each marker with the name of the song - and have the marker list open all the time - so that's how you can jump very quickly from song to song.

Hi ahector,

yes you're right - I meant singles. (I've corrected it now).

cheers
Gavin
 
Gavin,

Should I have received your new dvd by now if I pre ordered via Burning Shed ? Its been maybe 3 weeks since I placed the order.

Thanks and looking forward to learning something new.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Liquid_Drummer,

the books are shipping today. We had a lot of delays getting them into the UK - thanks for hanging on.

Cheers
Gavin
 

kap'n krunch

Junior Member
Hello there,
Went to see PT inMadrid last month (because Stickmen were opening) and I had my socks blown off by YOU!!!
Dang you hit those babies really hard!
I was about 60 feet away from the stage and I could hear the direct sound when you hit the toms , not thru the PA...
I am a Stick /Bass player who has had a Yamaha edrumset for a couple of years now, so I know how difficult what you do really is.

My question is ..are you a Taurus? Just curious.

Thanks!
Al
(k'n k)
 
Hi Kalma,

it is now in stock and signed copies can be sent to Germany (or anywhere else) from http://www.burningshed.com/store/gavinharrison/

cheers
Gavin
Gavin,

I watched a recent interview where it had you behind your kit in segments playing and even doing some tuning. I remember you said you were looking for the one lug that slips a bit overnight.

You said that you have to change your heads very often and that you go through a lot of sticks. Jazz and moeller guys tell me that if I am denting heads and breaking sticks that my technique and "getting out of the way" (letting the rebound do more work) needs attention. Have you ever felt that you needed to work on these things ? I did notice after about two years of retraining my grip that sticks and heads to last longer but more importantly it takes less effort to play harder.

Just curious what your feelings are about this line of thinking with hand technique ? I notice that I still have my pinky fingers sticking out when I play no matter how much I have tried to reel them in.

Do you go through sticks and heads just because you hit hard or do you think your not getting out of the way like the jazz and moeller guys preach ?

Not questioning your technique as your playing speaks for itself.
 

Fox622003

Gold Member
I still have my pinky fingers sticking out when I play no matter how much I have tried to reel them in.
Well, as an outside spectator, I instantly like the playing of drummers that don't tuck their fingers in a lot less, because in most cases, it messes up the sound of what they are playing, one of the only exceptions being Multiple Bounce Rolls, but even then, it just looks bad / makes you look like a beginner, even if you're playing decently, in my opinion. I can't really play doubles properly (or even good singles) without having all my fingers tucked in. So, maybe before focusing on the breaking issue, you might want to take it slowly and incorporate having all your fingers on the stick at all times in your playing.
Well, Gavin will most likely have good advice on the breaking stuff part.
Hope this helps.


Fox.
 

Hurlza

Junior Member
Liquid Drummer, gavin hits very very hard, in a recent post there was a picture of his snare drum head after the show and it wasnt looking to healthy at all.

Gavin any hints on the sydney setlist?
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Liquid_Drummer

Jazz and moeller guys tell me that if I am denting heads and breaking sticks that my technique and "getting out of the way" (letting the rebound do more work) needs attention. Have you ever felt that you needed to work on these things ?Just curious what your feelings are about this line of thinking with hand technique ?

It's an interesting question. I've looked at moeller a few times in the past and never really felt it was for me. I know when I played jazz and grew up playing jazz that I would play with something like a 7A stick and hardly even needed to bother putting the top of the cymbal felts and nuts on as I played about 10% of the volume that I play with PT now (with "Vic Firth Rock" sticks). Plus my drums were tuned a lot higher then and it was possible to play double stroke rolls on the toms. With the sound I get now on my toms it's almost impossible to play double stroke rolls on them apart from the very smallest tom. Plus I like to rimshot the snare drum (something I probably wouldn't do in Jazz) and to get the sound I want I need to hit it reasonably firmly.
It was quite often the case that playing in jazz situations meant that there was an un-mic'd piano and un-amplified double bass - so playing loud was unsuitable and unmusical - I needed to balance myself with the other guys in the group acoustically.
I guess the situation I'm in now is more akin to a studio monitoring setup where we can pretty much play at any volume and adjust what we're hearing in our in-ear headphones.

In PT I choose to play at that kind of volume/aggression level because emotionally it feels right to me in a concert situation. I hit the drums and cymbals hard but not to the point where I think the sound is suffering or choking. At home in my studio when I play the stuff with 05Ric (for instance) I play about 50% of that volume - and use 5A Extreme.

I'm not claiming that I have good technique - or even a correct grip (I hold the sticks right at the extreme of the butt end and it's a different grip between the hands) - and probably it's evolving slowly over the years. It just works for me for what I'm trying to do now - but I'm always open to ideas that could improve it.

cheers
Gavin
 
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