Gavin Harrison here!

hauk

Silver Member
Hi Gavin,

Thanks for your wonderful clinic at Lone Star last night. It was well worth the drive - I think everyone really appreciated how in depth you are with your answers. I hope it was a good experience for you, and we'll get to see you on more tours (both clinic and concert) in the States in the near future.

Cheers,

Jared
 
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soultrain73

Junior Member
Hi Gavin

I learn the groove Bonnie the Cat, - with the sheet from terry branam, - awesome
i listened the song, and i didn't hear the ghostnotes
in this song from your studio tune.

only the accents and forte note can i hear, in this song tune-

it's a difficult thing to drum nice !

when i play the groove , then the ghostes notes are to loud and
the nice illusion idea, of the groove, can't appear it' sounds not good for my ears...
so i decide to exclude this notes, so the groove sounds more like your song groove
but it's also difficult to exlude this g notes :)

what do you say about my input ?
have you a suggestion?

thanks a lot

regards
Mike
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi FoolInTheRain

I was just curious what the experience was like working with the team at Vic Firth to develop your signature stick, from start to finish. Two things in particular I'm curious about...
1. What stick did you use as a starting point in the design process, if at all?


the Rock model

2. Did having a stick made to your exact specifications improve your drumming? If so, how?


Yes absolutely. For me it's the perfect balance. I can play quiet and delicate with this stick - plus it has a lot of headroom for huge power as it's so big. I have big hands - I need a big stick to feel right.

Hi szokematyi

First: What is your opinion on putting percussion stuff on the drums? Like roto-toms (I have one on mine), octobans, timbales, etc


great if you can do it. There's a video somewhere of me playing with congas and bongos back in the early 90's with Paul Young.

Second: How long did it take to find your "perfect setup"? I'm asking this, because I constantly remake my setup every few months. Last time just a few hours ago. I did it, even though I felt that I've found my ideal setup 2-3 setups ago.

It was a few years until I settled on the configuration that I use now. That was 25 years ago and I feel at home behind my setup. Do whatever makes you comfortable.

Third: About drop clutches. I noticed, that you are using your hihats quite wide open (when the clutch is not dropped, and your feet is not on the pedal). When I started using my drop clutch, at first I've set my hihats at the usual space from each other (approx. 1-1,5 cm). But after a while, I realized that when I have my drop clutch disengaged and I hit a bit harder on the hihats, the drop clutch locks back again, pulling the cymbals apart.

I know the problem that you describe. I like to have the cymbals quite wide apart as I like to splash them together with my foot and get a good loud "chick" sound when I want to. I really don't do a lot of 'dropped hi hat' playing - but it's rare that I have that problem.

Fourth: About snare tuning. In the last few weeks I've read (and found YT-videos) about a method: cranked up batter head, slightly loose reso head on the snare. They claim that this method ends up in a full bodied snare, nice crack, good attack and short sustain. But doesn't this method also makes the snare loose sensitivity (like ghost notes, etc.)? I have never tried this method, because everything I know about snare tuning goes against this. Have you ever tried this? What is your opinion about this tuning method?

I do the opposite of this - I crank up the reso head and tune the top head to the pitch I require - but It's not usually higher than the reso head.

Hi Dustondrums

What software do you use for backing tracks at your clinics?

Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Hi Nils

I have a question regarding your mini cymbal bells. I know that you made them yourself until you got some from Zildjian. I have so many broken cymbals that I thought I should try to make a few of these myself. I wanted to ask how you cut off the rest of the cymbal and how you got them round. My idea was to cut the cymbal with an angle grinder but them I think I will have problems to get a round shape.


if you search back through this thread you will find my method. It's somewhere around post 555. BUT it is a dangerous thing to do so I would recommend getting a professional metal worker to do it for you.

Hi MarbleGT

I love the fact that you aren't spinning sticks, blowing fire or have LED lit pentagrams on any of your 12 bass drums.


I do all that in private!! thanks for the kind words.

Hi soultrain73

I learn the groove Bonnie the Cat, - with the sheet from terry branam, - awesome
i listened the song, and i didn't hear the ghostnotescin this song from your studio tune. only the accents and forte note can i hear, in this song tune- when i play the groove , then the ghostes notes are to loud andcthe nice illusion idea, of the groove, can't appear it' sounds not good for my ears...so i decide to exclude this notes, so the groove sounds more like your song groove but it's also difficult to exlude this g notes :)
what do you say about my input ?
have you a suggestion?


the ghost notes are there - it's just sometimes you can't hear them - but it helps me to make the groove anyway.

cheers
Gavin
 

Florian

Gold Member
Gavin,

A good afternoon to you! My question: What hardware are you using to hold your tom mics to the rack? I see that you keep your mics unattached to the drum, which I think is a brilliant idea and would like to incorporate into my setup.

Thanks in advance and cheers for all you do for us drumming mortals.

Florian
 

spelman

Senior Member
Hi Gavin!

Was that a Sonor Hilite kit you used on the recent Denver clinic?

What did you think of it? That kit has to be about twenty years old!
 

driftking

Junior Member
Hi Gavin!

I'm quite curious to know about the drum books and literature you used during your formative years. Also, are there any books that you are using currently?

Thanks!
 

ProgJazzy(QC)

Junior Member
Hey Gavin,I hope your doing well!

Anyway, I just finished reading Sarah Hagen's blog about your clinic tour in the USA. She mentions somewhere in there, that you used to practice six hours a day from 89 to 91. I've been wondering how did you keep yourself motivated and focused?

Obviously 6 hours of practicing is a lot, and it requires a lot of focus and energy. I know its very different from one person to another but did you have a specific routine? Did you took small breaks? Did you include transcribing drum parts and recording yourself in your routine?

Thanks you for your insightful tips!

Ethan D.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Florian

What hardware are you using to hold your tom mics to the rack? I see that you keep your mics unattached to the drum, which I think is a brilliant idea and would like to incorporate into my setup.

On the old Pearl rack it was their PCX200 clamp and I just used the top part of a mic stand. On my new Gibraltar rack - they make mic arms that you can attach to the rack and have much better adjustment than the Pearl ones.

Hi Canyonero

Was that a Sonor Hilite kit you used on the recent Denver clinic?
What did you think of it? That kit has to be about twenty years old!


Yes it was an old Sonor HiLite set. They had some difficulty getting me a set down there - but the local Zildjian rep said that I could use his set - and it's in excellent condition too. The thing I noticed the most was that the way they used to mount the rack toms back then (tom arms going inside the drums) kind of muted the tone/sustain a bit compared to how Sonor do it now (which I think is the best tom mounting I've ever seen). I enjoyed playing it none the less.

Hi driftking

I'm quite curious to know about the drum books and literature you used during your formative years. Also, are there any books that you are using currently?

I had some Joel Rothman books - the Charles Wilcoxon snare drum books - Contemporary Studies For Snare Drum by Fred Albright - New Breed by Gary Chester - Gary Chaffee books "Patterns" and the Ted Reed book "Syncopation". I was taught the swing systems that you apply to the Ted Reed book and I still use that to this day. I haven't really looked at the others in a long time.

Hiu ProgJazzy(QC)

Anyway, I just finished reading Sarah Hagen's blog about your clinic tour in the USA. She mentions somewhere in there, that you used to practice six hours a day from 89 to 91. I've been wondering how did you keep yourself motivated and focused?

I was pretty much out of work and I decided it was time to really get serious. I rented a rehearsal room 5 days a week. I would go down there at 10am and play until 1pm. Then come home for lunch and then play again from 2:30 to 5:30 (I had to be out of the room by 6pm as local bands were coming in at that time).
I would record myself a lot and analyse the results - I had a day to day plan about what I was going to do (usually based upon the previous days practise). I would try all kinds of stuff that I thought might help me. I had to be very disciplined to do it.
I knew I wasn't going to improve just sitting at home watching TV.

cheers
Gavin
 

euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Gavin,

I was so disappointed not to be able to see you in Portsmouth, NH, seeing how I grew up only 15 mins from that town. What did you like best about that town? I know it's not a huge exciting place, but it has it's own unique historical charm.

Also, did you gain most of your arm strength (mainly forearms, biceps) from drumming alone? Or do you also work out to keep in shape? It just seems like it would take FOREVER to get forearms so huge from drumming alone.

Thanks :)
 

Rudolf Horváth

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I've been following your advices for some quite time and I wanted to let you know how I progressed and I have also new questions which I would like to ask you.

At first I asked about writing down music. I still find it difficult, but writing down and playing various ideas I had helped me a bit. Also I find out that "decoding" rhythms the other instruments play is better when trying to write down what the drummer play. It is easier the understand the drum part when I have a better idea what rhythms the other musicians play.

My second question was about writing down my ideas, which I found boring later. You said following:

I don't quite understand - you only think it's crap once you see it written down? If it sounds good to your ears - that's all matters. A lot of it is in the interpretation. If you saw some of Jeff Porcaro's drum rhythms written down you would think they look pretty boring and uninspired - but when you hear him play them - it's a whole different thing.

I started to ignore the feeling I had and I found beauty in much simpler stuff. I also looked more into Jeff Porcaro. I have to say I can see his influence on you... I was suprised on how many records he played that I already heard... Another thing, I heard you saying in some interview (or here) that you try to practice everything as relaxed as you can. And this helped me a lot! I noticed when I practice something stressed I tend play with "nervous" feeling.

And last question was about timing. You said:

Playing in good time is about listening. If you want to get good at playing in time get good at listening. There's two types of drummers. Ones who work on their time - and others who just aren't listening hard enough. Your timing might be affected by your (lack of) technique to a degree. If you think your time is struggling - simplify what you're playing so that it doesn't take all of your concentration just to play the rhythm. You need to have control of what you're playing so that you've got some room left in your brain to listen. Listen carefully to yourself and the other band members.

I've been following this advice very carefully. And definitely my timing has improved, but it also shown areas on which I have to work more. However I have hard time finding how to practice it.

My new questions are:
1. I noticed that my sense of steady beat isn't that strong. I think I am too dependant on others, when I hear something playing I can feel my timing is good. But once there are, what I call, "silent parts" I have hard time holding steady beat when there is nothing to hold on. Hope it makes sense... I mean I can play in time simpler things, but the rests can cause trouble. Especially those over few bars.

Another thing. Even when some instruments are playing something not very clear, let's say in triplets I tend to sense it as eight notes for example. I think you call it an illusion.

What I've been practicing is clapping the beat and singing bass line or guitar through the song. It is harder than it seems and I could feel some improvement.

Do you have any tips and exercises that might help me with that?

2. I also noticed that my idea of rhythmic values (Triplets, Eights, Sixteens...) isn't perfect. I have a clue how it is placed in time, but not very clear. It takes me a little bit of time (Two or three beats) to adjust well... For example when playing from sixteens to triplets. And of course syncopated notes are extremely difficult as I tend to be drawn to the beat, for example when I try to play last sixteen note.

How can I practice it alone? I never know if I play it right, even when listening to it from recording. Sadly, I don't have that much lessons nowadays, where a teacher can tell me what I am doing wrong... When I try to practice I think I concentrate too much on it, I can't play it in fast tempos and when I play in slow tempos it is like my head is going to explode.

3. On song 19 days you play a marimba. It is your own marimba? Have you ever practiced melodic instruments like marimba or vibraphone? Do you know any good books? I own xylophone and I sometimes feel guilty not playing it as I don't know what to practice.

Thank you in advance!

...Oh, and I wish you played more funky music. I bought Lewis Taylor's record Lewis II and it is absolutely amazing!
 
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Arky

Platinum Member
Easy now, take a breath.
+1.

Rudolf,
you know, we can be more than happy to have Gavin getting back to pretty each and every post/question in this thread (and in general, to have a good number of pro drummers participating in this forum at all!) but please be aware that this isn't to be perfectly taken for granted. We're all consuming Gavin's time. And he's constantly asked various stuff although this thread has grown into monster size. So please show some respect and limit your post/questions to a reasonable maximum. In the end it's up to Gavin but don't put too much stress on him, ok? Thanks. Don't get me wrong, I just feel we shouldn't ask too much of him.
 

Rudolf Horváth

Junior Member
+1.

Rudolf,
you know, we can be more than happy to have Gavin getting back to pretty each and every post/question in this thread (and in general, to have a good number of pro drummers participating in this forum at all!) but please be aware that this isn't to be perfectly taken for granted. We're all consuming Gavin's time. And he's constantly asked various stuff although this thread has grown into monster size. So please show some respect and limit your post/questions to a reasonable maximum. In the end it's up to Gavin but don't put too much stress on him, ok? Thanks. Don't get me wrong, I just feel we shouldn't ask too much of him.
I didn't want to be rude... Maybe my excitement for having a chance to ask Gavin questions made me appear disrespectful. I thought Gavin might be interested in that I find his advices helpful so I wanted to let him know. And I definitely don't take it for granted. I have huge respect for Gavin, I would never try to abuse his good will.

Also please note that there might be some language barrier, so being rude or disrespectful wasn't on my mind.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Rudolf,
please don't feel like you've been rude. It's just the sheer mass of questions people are posting and text Gavin has to work through when replying.
Maybe Gavin will address this in a reply so we could learn his position but some things should be common sense - like to avoid very long posts with many questions/details.
 

Torkerz

Senior Member
Howdo Gav!

I've been working closely again with Rhythmic Illusions. I bought it years ago but I wanted to crack it out again, but without the CD because I lost it.... so I might have to buy the book again somehow! Forgot how good that book is, can't wait to finally move onto Rhythmic Perspectives!

Now my question!

I was watching the below video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfKDG7rXEWM

I was wondering if you had any tips or notation of the complete exercise at the end, with the 4/4 over ride on the hi-hat? I know that the groupings are thrown together, but I would like to try and do each separate and then together but with that over ride.
I think it would be easier to see the notation as opposed to trying to work it out myself. I have been trying to work it out with the click but might need some further advice. I can play the fills fine and move between them with the trills on the feet, but when I try to throw in that poly rhythm I feel like I'm back to square 1 again... Help please!

And secondly, have you got any good tips for chart reading? I really want to buy your latest book with the 05ric tunes in it. I have the Louis Bellson sight reading books, Ted Reed's syncopation and Tommy Igoe's book, but I was wondering if you had any other tips?

Sorry to bombard you with questions pal.

Cheers

Luke
 
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Marian Cimpian

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I just saw the PT Mhz performance from 2003; a great performance! why did you had an x-hat between your snare and first floor tom? how was it mounted and how was playing it like?

Secondly, in the developing of your signature snare drum did you investigate Tama's melody master (Mike Portnoy signature snare) with it's 3 positions throw off or the DW 3 positions butt end? what do you think of those kind of features?

p.s. I have my fingers crossed for a PT record! hopefully with John Wesley... a fusion of everything you guys do so well!

Thanks, m.
 

szokematyi

Member
Hi Gavin!

About your floor-tom rings...

What I know about tuning tells me that the tone of a tom (drum) consists of 3 pitches. The pich of the batter head, the pitch of the bottom head plus the tone of the shell itself. But putting these rings on a head kills some of the overtones, which causes a change in tone/pitch (at least I think this happens) - lowers it slightly. So do you adjust your tuning because of this?
I'm currently trying to recreate these rings, and I'm starting these with an appr. 12mm width on the 14" floor tom, and a slightly bigger 14mm width on the 16" tom. But it's only the starting point probably, I don't want to "kill" the "boingy-ness" too much. I'm guessing these sizes will be a bit big/wide. How wide are yours?

Plus previously I was asking about Lug Lockz and stuff, and I mentioned that I'm gonna "report my findings". :) Bear in mind, that this is only my opinion, not an absolute fact, but I have some experience with mechanics. So! I tested a few products, and RhythmTech's Index Tension Tuners seems to work quite nicely. The loosening tension rods-issue on my snare has improved at least 40%. But you have to be careful when choosing the length (short-medium-long), because it's not perfectly standard (comparing them to Gibraltar's tension rods). The other products... well... they all have good and bad features, but... ... Anyway! During installation you have to be careful with the tension rods and their... ahm... sleeves, they have to be centered, otherwise you'll loose "the grip", but if you have some experiance working with nuts, lugs and bolts, there won't be a problem.
I don't know if you'll try/test them or not, I'm only putting the info out, because I sort of promised. I just hope I could help!

Plus I took your advice about doing whatever feels right and comfortable. I choose an 8"-10" rack, 14"-16" floor configuration (The 12" tom has gone into retirement), and this was what I've been looking for both in sound and in size. Thank you!

Cheers,
Matthew
 
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atman

Junior Member
Practice routine

Hi Gavin! I've recently got into your "rhythmic series" and I have to sat that you did a very complete job developing all that material... but my question comes from another source.
I've made a "drumming plan" that consists of two different practice routines.
I intend to alternate both during the week. That means practicing one routine on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays... the other one on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
And here is my question: do you honestly think it would be effective considering I won't be playing the same kind of material every day?
One practice routine is based one technique, subdivisions, polyrythms, stroke rolls and ruffs, paraddidles...
The other one is based on book methods such as 'Rythmic Illusions', 'The Funky Beat', 'Double Bass Drum Freedom'... and so on!
Any suggestions?
Thank you for taking some of your time to answer.
 

Breno

Junior Member
Hello Mr. Harrison, I really appreciate your work, I would learn to play the 19 days.How can I get the score music?
 

euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Hello Mr. Harrison, I really appreciate your work, I would learn to play the 19 days.How can I get the score music?
Breno,

Just wanted to let you know that Gavin does not give out sheet music, drumless tracks, personal "guided tours of drum tabs" or anything else you may have in mind. Not trying to be rude at all, just giving you some info about this forum =)

E_A
 
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