Re: Mike Portnoy
Being a guitar player for nearly 20 years, I used to not appreciate MP. The drum tracks for DT didn't allow me to listen to the music with out it sounding off time and lacking normal structure. It sounded very mechanical. I didn't realize just how much talent it took until recently.
During my guitar days, I would listen to (and still do) to many of the shreading, technical guitarists of the 80's. Namely Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Steve Vai, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and many others.
People who were not musicians, specifically guitarists, could not truly understand the natural gifts that these people had to be able to play like that. I practiced for 20 years and still cannot even come close to those guys.
I took up drumming about 2 years ago after working with drum machines. Due to my understanding gained for the instrument while programming, it made sense to give it a try.
I do not play the guitar (except to goof around) any longer and now appreciate playing the drums. Therefore, I now am amazed by Portnoy. I have one of his instructional dvds and can watch it over and over. He is now my Yngwie and Paul Gilbert.
My friends who are not musicians do not care for DT at all. They just cannot get into it although they love heavy metal and hard rock. But my musician friends and brother, who has been studying Petrucci for 3 years, love them for what they are able to do. I now listen to them almost every day, and enjoy them thoroughly.
I know that I don't have the natural talent to be a great musician. It just isn't in my genes. I do enjoy learning what I can from the masters and trying to incorporate just a bit into my playing.