DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-05-2017, 06:41 PM
Scott K Fish's Avatar
Scott K Fish Scott K Fish is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 677
Default SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

SKF NOTE: If there are no band or performance recordings of drum teachers -- how do we know if what they're teaching is valid?

Rafik Mankarios (or someone able to post under Mr. Mankarios's "RM Drums" YouTube account) listened to this Freddie Gruber audio excerpt on my YouTube page, Freddie Gruber: Learning, Teaching Awareness of Rhythm, Melody, Harmony in Drumming, and posted this response:
Unbelievable how even the legends have fallen in the overblown, over exaggerated, overdramatized myth of Freddie Gruber...of whom you will not find a SINGLE DRUM TRACK, audio or video of his SUPPOSED playing! He's never gotten further in his ''lessons'' than how to hold sticks, and a philosophy on life!!! Sheeps following the piper...?
In the early 1980s, when preparing to interview Freddie for Modern Drummer, I faced the same lack of Freddie Gruber recorded material. Rather than dismiss Freddie's teaching, I took a different approach, speaking with respected drummers who saw and heard Freddie when he was an active drummer. Also, I read the famous 1947 Metronome The Shapes of Drums to Come column about Freddie by one the most respected jazz writers, Barry Ulanov.

An interview with Freddie was first suggested to me, I believe, by Jim Keltner. The interview took place in Buddy Rich's NYC apartment - one of Freddie's closest friends. Around the same time period I celebrated Mel Lewis's birthday in Mel's NYC apartment with Freddie and Adam Nussbaum.

When I spoke with Jim Chapin, author of the famous Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer book, he had high praise for Freddie Gruber. Mr. Chapin, during our phone conversation, actually mouthed an example of how Freddie Gruber's drum solos sounded, because that was easier than trying to put that sound into words.

Neil Peart met and studied with Freddie and, after Freddie's death, Neil provided the biographical tribute on The Official Site of Freddie Guber.

And, during my interview of Freddie Gruber, he helped me solve a nagging physical question of mine which I wrote about here.

I've learned my whole life from drummers, from non-drummer musicians, without knowing or caring if they had ever cut a record. And I've heard stories praising local drummers -- like Gaetan Caviola -- who I did hear on two albums. But based strictly on those two albums, I would not have put Mr. Caviola in the same class as Louis Bellson, as did musicians I met in Iowa and Illinois who knew Caviola personally.

Fair enough if one drum teacher's methods don't hit home with us. But as far as dismissing Freddie Gruber as a teacher I close with my favorite Sherlock Holmes admonition: "How dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data."

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-05-2017, 07:49 PM
spleeeeen's Avatar
spleeeeen spleeeeen is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,501
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

Yet another gem Scott. I'm also thinking of Bruce Becker (who, among other things, has a DVD, book and Drumeo video out) who spent a lot of time with Freddie and passes on Freddie's ideas and practices in his own teaching.
__________________
[14 Crew]
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-06-2017, 02:40 AM
Les Ismore's Avatar
Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Location, Location!
Posts: 5,459
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K Fish View Post
[b]

In the early 1980s, when preparing to interview Freddie for Modern Drummer, I faced the same lack of Freddie Gruber recorded material. Rather than dismiss Freddie's teaching, I took a different approach, speaking with respected drummers who saw and heard Freddie when he was an active drummer. Also, I read the famous 1947 Metronome The Shapes of Drums to Come column about Freddie by one the most respected jazz writers, Barry Ulanov.

An interview with Freddie was first suggested to me, I believe, by Jim Keltner. The interview took place in Buddy Rich's NYC apartment - one of Freddie's closest friends. Around the same time period I celebrated Mel Lewis's birthday in Mel's NYC apartment with Freddie and Adam Nussbaum.

When I spoke with Jim Chapin, author of the famous Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer book, he had high praise for Freddie Gruber. Mr. Chapin, during our phone conversation, actually mouthed an example of how Freddie Gruber's drum solos sounded, because that was easier than trying to put that sound into words.

Neil Peart met and studied with Freddie and, after Freddie's death, Neil provided the biographical tribute on The Official Site of Freddie Guber.

And, during my interview of Freddie Gruber, he helped me solve a nagging physical question of mine which I wrote about here.

I've learned my whole life from drummers, from non-drummer musicians, without knowing or caring if they had ever cut a record. And I've heard stories praising local drummers -- like Gaetan Caviola -- who I did hear on two albums. But based strictly on those two albums, I would not have put Mr. Caviola in the same class as Louis Bellson, as did musicians I met in Iowa and Illinois who knew Caviola personally.

Fair enough if one drum teacher's methods don't hit home with us. But as far as dismissing Freddie Gruber as a teacher I close with my favorite Sherlock Holmes admonition: "How dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data."

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals

The accomplishment was (Gruber) gaining peoples respect, some big names are dropped here... although Neil Peart has only recorded RUSH albums and there's a lot of 'famous' drummers who're essentially one trick ponies, not like in the days of Gruber when a drummer had to know many styles well to find work.


So, its a feat too, never recorded, but regarded as a great teacher. Could you imagine taking lessons from Buddy Rich? That'd a been a drama fest Im sure, he might've been breaking sticks over your head, or maybe you'd a been going home and breaking sticks over your head after lessons with him.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-06-2017, 04:46 PM
Infamous Beater Infamous Beater is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 55
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

Dropping knowledge, dropping names. Really good stuff.

Teaching is definitely different from drumming. In sports, there are endless examples of superstar players who just weren't good at coaching (or managing). Michael Jordan can't teach a lesser player to do what he did... just take off from the top of the key, hang in the air for an impossibly long time and jam it in the basket.

With that said, I've been impressed at the couple of drum clinics I've been to that the superstar drummers behind the kit were almost as good at sharing information as they are at playing.

It's rare to have both. I think the idea of life-long learning is also important. As great as Buddy Rich was (at drumming), I think he could have learned a lot from Clyde Stubblefield or Bernard Purdie--and vice versa.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-06-2017, 05:25 PM
8Mile's Avatar
8Mile 8Mile is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,692
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

Teaching is a specialized skill. I wouldn't judge a teacher by his/her recordings.

The people who studied with Freddie can't say enough about him. It's hard for me to question any of that. I also get the sense that part of what he helped people with was finding better ways to move. And I'm assuming some of that was to avoid injury.

Here's the one thing I will say, though, at the risk of being accused of sacrilege: I preferred the playing of many of his famous students before they studied with him. Not sure what that means, if anything. I'm just saying.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-06-2017, 05:49 PM
Mongrel's Avatar
Mongrel Mongrel is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 603
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

No offense to Freddie, or anyone who studied under him or knew him (sure seems like a nice enough guy...), but I just can't sit still long enough to see if he ever finishes a thought or an idea. Just seems to meander along the path a bit. I am sure he is going somewhere but I'd just as soon wait in the car lol.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-06-2017, 10:38 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,795
Default Re: SKF Blog: Freddie Gruber Has No Recordings; How Do We Know He Can Teach?

I liked the follow-up:

Quote:
I'm not at all discrediting a fellow drummer because he has NO recording...

I actually sent my very serious question through Facebook directly to 3 renowned world-class drummers that have apparently taken a lesson with Gruber, not expecting any of them to reply to an ''unknown'' drummer like me. I essentially asked them if Freddie Gruber was a farce since NOWHERE is there trace of any recording whatsoever, and that all he ever says has to do with holding and bouncing a stick!

Well...ONE of them replied to me! I won't name him because he has not given me permission to quote him. But essentially he said, that Freddie Gruber was an ''old school drummer''. The drummer in question said he heard Freddie play a few short minutes, and thought it was ''an old master bringing the sound out of an instrument''. Basically, interpret as you wish!!

In essence, he was absolutely nothing spectacular, but had a certain graceful movement about hitting the drum. So all this nonsense about him ''re-inventing'' Neil Peart, or any other super-drummer, is just an old myth that's been accepted in the drumming community for the longest time. Professional drummers are usually very polite and graceful about other and older drum brothers. What freaks me out is the people who have NEVER heard Freddie Gruber play, say he's a genius just because Weckl or Peart took a lesson from him to improve their posture. I'm the first person to respect other drummers, but I also cannot stand mass hysteria based of fiction!! Voilą!
Well done addressing that seriously, and not just lighting up that weirdo Buddy Rich wannabe... my preferred avenue...

It's legit for people to ask questions about things they don't understand, but to come at it like "THAT GUY is a total fraud and I can't believe people are stupid enough to believe his garbage, WTF??? Thank you for answering this very serious question." No.

I think teachers see a fair amount of people questioning fundamental things in this childish kind of way. Most of us don't have the complete theoretical background on why things in drumming are the way they are, to be able to give great answers all the time. I put it back on the questioner's attitude. When you question something good drummers know, and then consider it debunked when you don't get an answer you like (or when the person you ask considers you hopeless and not worth responding to) all you've really accomplished is that you cut yourself off from information. In music, people who do that are losers.
__________________
Visit Cruise Ship Drummer! - a drumming blog | 2017 CSD! Book of the Blog now available
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com