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insane drummer 07-08-2005 11:03 PM

Steve Smith
Ok here it is... Steve Smith is an amazing player, I totaly dig his stlye. But I don't own any albums he drums on. Anyone who knows a little more about Steve Smith recommend which albums best showcase his work. If any are funk or funky that would be great...

Stu_Strib 07-08-2005 11:51 PM

Re: Steve Smith...
His main effort since the mid-80s has been his fusion band Vital Information.

Don't dismiss his Journey drumming though, as he implemented some very powerful and inventive drum riffs in the Arena Rock style of 70s-80s music.

I personally like Escape and Frontiers for some serious injection of high quality drumming, into a rather cliche-ridden rock band. The first time I heard the drum break/fills in the middle of Separate Ways, I knew I was gonna be a drummer (and I started that year).

He also played with Jean Luc Ponty before Journey after he graduated (Berklee?). Not funky, but still high levels of musicianship.

MunsieMan 07-11-2005 05:14 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
Steve Smith is an amazing drummer ive gotten the privillage to see him play 5 times his high hat stick control is frickin amazing, his Sonar drum kits are top of the line his shuffles are kind of bizzare most people shuffle with there wrist down or off to the side but Steve Smith shuffles with his palm up i tried doing that once...never tried it agian lol

Bonham to the moon 07-11-2005 07:20 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
Hes got such an amazing feel, with rock solid beats. Hes stripped down drumming to the bones and learned everything and more, I've got a video of his, man what a great drummer.

Jason Dorn 07-11-2005 04:34 PM

Re: Steve Smith...
This man is a true master he stripped his style back to the basics and really built everything back again as bttm said. His feel and ability to play multiple styles is awesome . The video Drumset technique/ history of the US beat is an absolute must have for any drummer but may be hard to work from short of being at an imtermediate level. I really dig the odd times and grooves that he plays with Vital Information but didnt remember being as impressed with the stuff he did with Journey. That is untill I started playing myself now I have a whole new opinion of the work he did with journey theres some really solid playing there. Did you know that Steve Smith and Neil Peart studied together under Freddie Gruber? They actually practice together quite a bit.

Drumolator 07-19-2005 12:09 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
I have many CDs with Steve Smith's awesome drumming. Here are some of the best ones:

Vital Information Come on In

Vital Information Show 'Em Where You Live

Vital Information Where We Come From

Gambale/Hamm/Smith GHS 3

Gambale/Hamm/Smith The Light Beyond

History of the U.S. Beat (DVD)

insane drummer 07-19-2005 01:10 AM

Re: Steve Smith...

Originally Posted by Drumolator
I have many CDs with Steve Smith's awesome drumming. Here are some of the best ones:

Vital Information Come on In

Vital Information Show 'Em Where You Live

Vital Information Where We Come From

Gambale/Hamm/Smith GHS 3

Gambale/Hamm/Smith The Light Beyond

History of the U.S. Beat (DVD)

Thank you my fellow Louisiana-dweller. So whereabouts in Louisiana are you?

darkcherryfade 07-19-2005 01:42 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
Steve is a MASTER. One of my top 3 drummers (my blessed trinity of drummers, if you will).

Stu_Strib 07-19-2005 04:40 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
And the other two being?

I'd put Steve Smith right up there , top 5 easy


to start...

darkcherryfade 07-19-2005 09:06 AM

Re: Steve Smith...
Dennis Chambers and Vinnie Colaiuta would be the other 2 in my eyes.

jamndrummer 12-02-2005 03:15 PM

Re: Steve Smith...
Has anyone on this forum studied privately with Steve Smith? If so, would you mind elaborating on the teaching method.

MichaelK 01-10-2006 04:59 AM

Steve Smith
hello all,
I had a record a long time ago - "Focus con Proby" (Focus was a dutch 'progressive rock' band back in the early 70's)-, the drummer's name on some tracks (or most of them, can't remember) was Steve Smith. Does somebody know if this Steve Smith is the same drummer who's listed in the 'drummerworld' drummer list? Just curious, thank you.

Dano3000 01-10-2006 05:14 AM

Re: Steve Smith
Well according to a quote from Steve on his "Timeline" that is located on his Website (http://www.vitalinformation.com/steve/index.htm)

"I recorded my first album, 'Enigmatic Ocean,' with Ponty, Darryl Steurmer and Allan Holdsworth, guitars, and Ralphe Armstrong, bass. That same year, I recorded an album with the Dutch band Focus. I also started endorsing Sonor Drums."

So I guess the answer is yes.
Of course that was in 1977 and as you can see that was a VERY GOOD year for him.

Bobhead 01-23-2006 05:43 PM

Steve Smith
4 Attachment(s)
Here are some pictures from Steve Smith clinic in 03' in Chicago. He used two kits and also jammed with Fareed Haque (gtr) and Howard Levy (harmonic) among others.

Steve is such a great player and teacher. I just wanted to share the pictures and start a thread to hear what everyone thinks about his teaching and playing.

Stu_Strib 01-23-2006 06:26 PM

Re: Steve Smith in clinic
OH man, those are awesome pics! I got extremely lucky and got pulled out of the crowd in 1985 to be his demostrator. So I got to play Steve Smith's drums with him telling me what to play! He was a great clinician, and I'm sure he's even better now.

nuppy the wombat 03-17-2006 01:25 PM

Re: Steve Smith
Great pics!

Steve Smith is unbelievable. He is VERY dynamic, and very, very tasteful, and GOD can he groove! He fills out his beats so well and makes un-even time signatures flow naturally. He uses the whole kit so well, using toms to give his rhythms more drive, combining ride and hi-hat patterns... his drumming is pure class.

I'm amazed at how few people have posted in this thread!

Neil M 04-07-2006 12:54 AM

Steve Smith
Hi Everyone,

I had the opportunity to see the jazz fusion band Vital Information with the great Steve Smith on drums. For those of you that have bought Steve’s DVD (The History of the US Beat) know well just what an excellent drummer he is! But, to see him play live standing/sitting a few feet away is really a transformation.

I saw them at a small venue in Oshkosh WI. On March 31st while on their Midwest tour. It was a small room not that much bigger than what we as gig drummers might play.
Not only did I see him play live I also got to meet him and have a picture take with him and also Frank Gambale and Tom Coster and of course autograph CD’s. These guys were so gracious saying thank you, asking my name when signing CDs. Although jazz fusion isn’t for everybody, these four gentlemen played their buts off. Check out their new CD “Come On In” Steve does some real neat brush work on the song “A Little Something” my personal favorite on the CD.

If one day you have the opportunity to see “Vital Information” you will not be disappointed! And if you haven’t seen Steve’s DVD I would urge you to do so.
Take care,

Neil M.

timebandit 04-08-2006 05:02 AM

Re: Steve Smith
I seen Steve the other nite @ a clinic with his band Vital Iformation. They were PHENOMENAL!! True genius......and his guitar player Frank gambale.....a total virtouso! I was Awstruck and felt honored just to be in the same room as them. It was fantastic! Steve demonstated his hi-hat solo, as on this site..... man, unbelievable talent! He even play off his ankle! It was cool!!

Spence 05-12-2006 06:39 PM

Re: Steve Smith
That hi-hat thing looks so damn good. When I saw him at Ronnie Scott's I had the best seat in the house. Directly behind the kit. It was awesome.

I went over and chatted drums to him and asking him about stuff. He is a big Johnny Rabb fan. He had one thing on his mind though....MY GIRLFRIEND! He started pretty much ignoring me and started chatting her up. I guess he is one of my all time fav drummers so I won't hold it against him.

Baron Browne is the man on Bass. Not to mention Coster and Gambale. Whaaaaaaaaaar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liquid_Drummer 05-12-2006 07:54 PM

Re: Steve Smith
I took one 30 minute lesson from Steve Smith in 86 I think. He was giving a clinic at moms music in louisville, ky that night and was in the store just standing around. I recognized him from the Journey Videos I had seen on MTV and asked him how Journey was going. He told me he had left the band and was doing ???? (dont remember but it must have been the begining of Vital Information) I was maybe 15 at the time so I didnt know squat.He asked me to play and at that time it was 4/4 ala every breath you take and that was about it for me. He corrected my posture, told me to relax my stick grip, choke up the stick and advised that I begin working single and double stroke rolls. Showed me mama dada because I could not do a good roll back then. He was a very soft spoken (almost too soft) and friendly guy. I was in the right place at the right time and he didnt charge me a dime. The guys in the music store informed him I was the local "fly on the wall" and that they had to run me off often because I would cut school to hang out in there. He took pity on me I guess. hehe I wish I could have another go at it now that im older, wiser and can play fairly well now. I had no idea at the time that he was such a monster because all I knew from him was Journey and my av drummers at that time was Bonham and Umm (giggles) Tommy umm Lee. Did I just say Tommy Lee ?

KR3 05-12-2006 08:46 PM

Re: Steve Smith
I recently purchsed his DVD History of US Beats and have been watching it for a week now. I've gained much new respect for Steve's drumming. I love the fact that he is so passionate about his drumming. His DVD is very informative in regards to technique, and grooves. Well worth the money.

LinearDrummer 05-19-2006 12:49 AM

Re: Steve Smith
Just got the old Steve Smith DCI work on DVDs and for any fan of him one should know that there is some bonus footage that wasn't on the videos thats really cool....

Solos from Zildians Days and from Journey are on there plus some extra Vital Information performances....its worth the replacement if you haven't done so already...

Also for me the pre-Gruber version of Steve is a little easier to breakdown than he is now - kinda the same way as with early Weckl cause this virtuoso Gruber stuff leaves me in a state of confusion...

lfdy 05-19-2006 10:55 AM

Re: Steve Smith

Originally Posted by KR3
I recently purchsed his DVD History of US Beats and have been watching it for a week now. I've gained much new respect for Steve's drumming. I love the fact that he is so passionate about his drumming. His DVD is very informative in regards to technique, and grooves. Well worth the money.

Yeah, i borrowed this DVD from a friend of mine, and it's great. He really shows you how you can play certain stuff (first slow, then faster)...the best part for me was his explanation on syncopation, it was great.

Snowdogyyz 05-19-2006 03:14 PM

Re: Steve Smith
1 Attachment(s)
Steve is definitely one of my all time favs. I was able to attend a masterclass/clinic and Buddy's Buddies show recently and he is a true professional. It seemed that working with some of the kids that day inspired him, because he was absolutely on fire that night during the Buddy's show. He had a standing ovation after song #1! Anyway, here is a pic of Steve and I that day during class:

drumey 06-02-2006 04:33 PM

Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!
So... Whos going?

I just bought my tickets, and cant wait!

TitanSound 06-02-2006 04:34 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
What, where, how, when? Details please!

drumey 06-02-2006 04:52 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!

All found their^^^ Phone them up for more info!

NUTHA JASON 06-02-2006 06:21 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!

2 of my favourite living drummers!

i just got my ticket too.

BENNY GREBB cooooool.

STEVE SMITH the man who taught me heelp toe (through his DVD).

i'll seeyou guys there!


Stu_Strib 06-02-2006 06:24 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
Where do I get a ticket and what is the best way to get to Wembly Drum from a train from Leeds??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NUTHA JASON 06-02-2006 07:03 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
go on their website. and check the national rail journey planner...be cool to meet you there stu.


drumey 06-02-2006 09:56 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
Yay not just me going then!

Steve Smith is one of my favourite drummers aswell, i just love the way he plays with this buzz of life.

NUTHA JASON 06-02-2006 10:17 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
yeah. thanks for the heads up man. i'll be the guy in the blue velvet jacket.

drumz4eva 06-11-2006 07:58 AM

Re: Steve Smith


and so im sitting here and thinking THIS SHOULD B LIKE A 20 PAGE THREAD

i meen i love his drumming, he isnt fluint in everthing, just how he plays and everything

my opinion one of the greatest drummers!!!

and also he grew up where i live!!!

NUTHA JASON 07-30-2006 03:40 AM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
i hope i see some of you there. don't be shy.


NUTHA JASON 07-30-2006 10:53 PM

Re: Steve Smith! Wembley Drum Clinic!
just got back and it was amazing.
didn't see any DW members there but if they were like me their eyes were not scanning the audience and their jaws would have been firmly on the floor.

benny went first with solos and playing along to his new CD. there is no doubt in my mind that this 26 year old is one of the truly great drummers of history already. a lot of the guys around me felt sorry for ol' steve who had to follow such a sublime performance.

they needn't have worried

steve smith showed us all why he is a living legend. his jazz history drumming lesson was superb. he played a jazz beat from the 1900's and while talking over the drums he gradually transmogified it through blues bebop rock and into modern funk including a humourous rip off of the new breed like benny.

he then did a solo that started off er um typical of steve and his old guard but gradually he got weirder and more amazing until he was doing with one bass pedal what 90% of all drummers would be proud to be able to do with two. a real class showman.

then he and benny performed an astonishing duo. they put their two snares at the front and did the jazz standard ''salty nuts'' brush solo. the showmanship and humour made the actual skill more stomachable. i was only metres away and i saw brushes doing what bits of metal have no business doing. the brushes seemed to just play themselves.

then they did a great duo on just hihats. it was crazy and funny.

then they bought on pete locket to play tabla while the two guys went onto drums. the world of tabla opened up before me and beleive it or not i saw just two drums that look like they take more skill to play than a thomas lang sized kit. pete is a genious. and the whole trio together were amazing.

after the show i wanted to meet them but the line was too long and it was getting late. besides i had a splitting headache...not from the drums mind. but from the total concentration of nearly three hours. i think my eyes were red from not blinking in case i missed anything.

no photography was allowed but i snapped off a few so here they are:



BG, PL and SS

TitanSound 07-30-2006 11:26 PM

Re: Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!
Man I cannot wait until DrummerLive!

I have been craving seeing Benny play and it sounds like it will be an experience not too miss!

Great report Nutha!

DogBreath 07-31-2006 07:17 AM

Re: Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!
Great pics, Jason. Wish I could have been there!

Wegadrummer 07-31-2006 12:22 PM

Re: Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!
yeah, great pictures.. thanks nutha..

NUTHA JASON 07-31-2006 12:22 PM

Re: Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!

i'm trying to remember all the things i learned yesterday but you know how clinics are. too much info too fast. the main reason to go is to be piled up with inspiration. already this moring i've put in three hours concentrating just on my feet.

one of the things steve said was that if he could somehow see himself practicing he would probably think he was not a good drummer. when he practices at drumtech students look through the door window and suddenly he catches himself performing rather than practicing. which he says is bad. if you are not sounding comfortable and great when you're practicing then you are probably practicing the right thing.


Chip 07-31-2006 01:00 PM

Re: Steve Smith Clinic! now with report and pics!
Wow, they are two of my favourite drummers! I'm envious to say the least! Nutha, were you kind enough to abide the international laws of getting on other peoples kits?! I notice you don't have your own snare or cymbals (athough if I had the chance to sit on a legends kit, I'd uhhhhh... "forget" all my stuff, but somehow remember my sticks).........? Hehe, kidding.

Hehe, sitting on B. Greb's kit, eh? I imagine that would have been experience. The only thing I don't like on his kit is that inverted splash, very little attack. It's good for how he uses it, but it's too hard to tell where it starts....... Is that tape on his ride? He has amazing ride sound, from/assisted by tape?! Wow, didn't see that coming.

I'd imagine clinics would be throwing you into the deep end....... with a weight...... Especially when sometimes you would just want to watch in awe as they send their sounds your way. I would find it hard to concentrate. With all that great drumming.

I find what Steve said about practicing interesting. I much prefer to practice home alone, because I feel I can open up a bit more when I'm not annoying anyone, and no matter how much I try to think that most people don't know what makes good drumming, I still have that thought nagging at the back of my mind.

Thanks very much for the pictures and information, things like this make this site even more special. This site is great, man, you guys do a wonderful job. I hope to go to one of these clinics someday, not much happens drumwise in my little corner of the world...

Great stuff!

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