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Old 01-13-2007, 07:41 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Default Re: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz here!

Originally Posted by Womble View Post
I believe the statement "I wish I could play like Vinnie" usually means that person wants to have the entire range of skills from Vinnie's bag, which includes the ability to improvise to a terrifying degree.
I would say that most drummers who make such a statement are thinking specifically about the performance aspect, and little beyond. If someone says "I wish I could come up with the stuff Vinnie does..." then I know that means something different.

I'm really very literal. For example, if someone said "I wish I could play like Vinnie" or "I wish I had Vinnie's gigs" or "I wish I was Vinnie", I believe that those are three separate concepts.

Originally Posted by Womble View Post
I'm also not sure that one should encourage people to learn great drummers' licks and grooves in a drive to become that drummer's clone... I'm sure "Weird" Al has you as his drummer because you sound like you.
True, most drummers are where they are because they have a certain style that they've developed (or at least are known for.) As a fundamental approach to playing, I also think it's usually detrimental to invent just for the sake of being original. Depends on the gig of course, but I'll guess that in 99% of the gigs out there, that's true.

Al has allowed me to be his drummer because I sound like everyone else... not because I have a particular style or flavor. On this gig, being a chameleon is key to the success of the tracks, and to my longevity as his drummer for over 26 years. He has yet to throw something at me that I couldn't do, and of course it's been a tremendous growth process for me. It's also fun being a dozen drummers on each album, and even more in concert. I don't think there's a more versatile gig around.

Originally Posted by Womble View Post
I can't readily imagine Vinnie laying down a track for Al!
For a few reasons, you're absolutely right. First, Al wouldn't pay Vinnie's rate. Second, if the song was sequenced... well, let's just say that Vinnie and sampling/sequencing don't go together. Third, Vinnie wouldn't take the time to work out the parts note-for-note, and sound-for-sound, not without being paid a lot extra (see first reason.) Fourth, although it would be a feather in Al's and my cap - imagine me saying that it took Vinnie to replace me?! - I don't think there's an appeal to Al's fans one way or another, in the same way that many drummers will seek out the albums that Vinnie plays on, just because it's Vinnie.

Not to be immodest, but I know of no other drummer who does what I do with Al. It will be very interesting to see who can step in if I ever leave. It's truly a one-of-a-kind gig.

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