Re: Ari Hoenig
I just saw Ari Hoenig yesterday (10-29) at a clinic at Chad Sexton's Drum City here in LA (actually North Hollywood to be precise!) and was also very impressed with him. He used a small 4pc kit here, too, and was able to get a wide range of notes out of it by pressing on the heads with the sticks, mallets, his fingers, even his elbows. And talk about melodic, he even played a gospel song (title escapes me) on the two toms and snare.
Yeah, his style was unusual. I was trying to put my finger on exactly what it was. Then I read a few earlier comments here, and I see what it is. He does play more from the shoulder. Less using the elbows as hinges and more pushing forward with the forearms. Looks a litte stiff, actually, but his playing is anything but stiff. He can play real soft and delicate or real LOUD. On the brushes, he really has a different style. Holds his hands perpendicular to the drum, palms facing in, and then uses them like hinges, in and out to the sides. He's also got some real original ways of hitting the drums. Like with the brushes, he'll do like a rimshot with a brush, but keep it angled a little up, so the brush vibrates and does a series of diminishing hits on the drum.
I also saw Gregg Bissonette at Drum City a few months back, and although he seemed like a overall better teacher, imparting more nuts and bolts all around great info, Ari was definitely a lot more inspiring and entertaining imho.
Seems like a nice and friendly guy, too...