Gavin Harrison here!

David Floegel

Silver Member
Will a normal cymbal felt solve my 'problem'?

Thanks for your time.
Andre
Yeah it will! The design of that rubber-thing on your hihat machine will stop the cymbal pretty quick. Just put a few normal big cymbal washers on it and you should be fine :)

Oh and actually Gavin hits pretty hard, too..
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi DsDrummer

I have a show in a few weeks and I have a solo I'm doing and i'm sort of having drummers block on what to do. I know I want it to be an open solo, not trading fours or eights. But besides that I don't know where to start. How do you approach solos and how to you make them tasteful and interesting without getting lost/ loosing the audience's attention. THanks for reading and thanks for sharing your talent with this forum.

Pick a theme - (let's say melodic patterns on the toms) and stick to it. Repeat the theme a few times - go away into something else and come back to the theme. DON'T try to play everything you know or have ever learnt. Keep things in tempo so that audience can keep up with you (and once you've gone back to your theme a few times they will start to recognise it). Try to resist playing as fast as you can and showing off. Don't spin your sticks or throw them in the air - your musical statement will soon be forgotten and folks will see you as a circus act. Music is not a competition - if you feel competitive just try to 'out-class' everyone else. Use dynamics - it's an exceptionally dynamic instrument after all - and try to enjoy yourself - everyone will pick up on your enthusiasm !!!!

Hi Bradley Cooper

I got my 14" Protean snare yesterday and wrote down some impressions of it here

thanks - I'm glad you like it.

Hi BrianBjur

At this point in your career, is there anything regarding music that you still have yet to approach? I think about this often as a self-taught guitarist, I hope to leave no stone unturned :)

Yes - I'd love to be able to play the piano better and I'd love to have the ability to compose a bit more. I took piano lessons for a couple of years and I need to get back to it. The funny thing is that it changes the way you play your primary instrument in a very positive way...so maybe you should try playing the drums?

Hi Drizzle

The top-hat isn't the problem for me. In that clip your bottom hat is moving around almost like a normal cymbal after you hit it and it keeps moving for a few seconds.
My Pearl Eliminator hi-hat has a rubber ring with three 'spikes' so it kind of cradles the hi-hat and it doesn't leave a lot of room for it to move up and down.


Yes - try a regular bottom cymbal felt and see if it improves - I imagine it will.

Cheers
Gavin
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Hi DsDrummer

I have a show in a few weeks and I have a solo I'm doing and i'm sort of having drummers block on what to do. I know I want it to be an open solo, not trading fours or eights. But besides that I don't know where to start. How do you approach solos and how to you make them tasteful and interesting without getting lost/ loosing the audience's attention. THanks for reading and thanks for sharing your talent with this forum.

Pick a theme - (let's say melodic patterns on the toms) and stick to it. Repeat the theme a few times - go away into something else and come back to the theme. DON'T try to play everything you know or have ever learnt. Keep things in tempo so that audience can keep up with you (and once you've gone back to your theme a few times they will start to recognise it). Try to resist playing as fast as you can and showing off. Don't spin your sticks or throw them in the air - your musical statement will soon be forgotten and folks will see you as a circus act. Music is not a competition - if you feel competitive just try to 'out-class' everyone else. Use dynamics - it's an exceptionally dynamic instrument after all - and try to enjoy yourself - everyone will pick up on your enthusiasm !!!!


Cheers
Gavin
Tremendous advice! I especially like the admonition against stick twirling.
 

BrianBjur

Junior Member
The funny thing is that it changes the way you play your primary instrument in a very positive way...so maybe you should try playing the drums?
I completely agree. I believe that to play only one instrument limits the player incredibly, because their perspective of music isn't as thorough as it could be. Funny that you suggested drumming, because that's what I've learned the most from (I play both, I just happened to pick up the guitar first).

A bit of a follow-up, do you often gain new knowledge from fellow musicians or has curriculum been your main source of learning, specifically with other instruments?
 

euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Gavin,

I've been trying to wrap my head around dotted 8ths for quite some time now. The other day I was playing a steady, and very simple 4/4 beat with steady 8ths on the bell of the ride.
I played that for 3 bars, on the 4th bar, I attempted to switch the dotted 8ths. What happened was, the dotted 8th sounded correct, but my underlying 4/4 bass/snare got all thrown off track. As if my brain wanted to switch to a new time signature to fit the dotted 8ths.. frustrating really.

I think I focus too much on making the dotted 8th sound "off the beat" that I end up losing the original bass/snare positions. My ears hear the dotted 8th as "faster" than the underlying tempo. Is there a cheat sheet for figuring out how many dotted 8ths per bar of 4/4, 5/4, etc? I'm guessing if there are 16 16th notes in a bar of 4/4, counting every 3rd 16th note would give approximately 5 dotted 8ths.

Sorry if I confused you at all, it took some time trying to explain it to myself. haha

Cheers!
 

Kub@

Junior Member
hello Mr. Gavin I wonder in which the note is tuned your snare drum (I mean the bottom and top skin) and by the way I love your playing you are doing incredibly piece of art. cheers from Poland

...sorry form my bad english ;)
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi BrianBjur

do you often gain new knowledge from fellow musicians or has curriculum been your main source of learning, specifically with other instruments?

I'm always getting musicians to show me things on keyboards or bass. I learnt to play "Donna Lee" on the bass by friends showing me how it goes...(and I still play it pretty badly). I had piano lessons from Dave Stewart about 20 years ago - mainly harmony and theory rather than 'piano chops'.

Hi euphoric_anomaly

I've been trying to wrap my head around dotted 8ths for quite some time now. The other day I was playing a steady, and very simple 4/4 beat with steady 8ths on the bell of the ride.
I played that for 3 bars, on the 4th bar, I attempted to switch the dotted 8ths. What happened was, the dotted 8th sounded correct, but my underlying 4/4 bass/snare got all thrown off track. As if my brain wanted to switch to a new time signature to fit the dotted 8ths.. frustrating really.


I understand your frustrations. So here are two questions for you. 1) can you read drum notation? 2) do you have a teacher?
What you are experiencing a problem with is fairly basic syncopation/polyrhythm.

Is there a cheat sheet for figuring out how many dotted 8ths per bar of 4/4, 5/4, etc? I'm guessing if there are 16 16th notes in a bar of 4/4, counting every 3rd 16th note would give approximately 5 dotted 8ths.

There are no short cuts to anywhere worth going. If you could read you could work it out first before getting on the drums. There's never anything 'approximate' about rhythms like this. You have to know EXACTLY where EVERY note lands - otherwise you'll always be confused and mess it up. You need to know where all the notes are EVEN when they don't start on a downbeat. This is where reading notation really helps you understand how rhythm works.

Hi Kub@

I wonder in which the note is tuned your snare drum (I mean the bottom and top skin) and by the way I love your playing you are doing incredibly piece of art. cheers from Poland

it depends on the day and on the song. I don't tune the snare drum to an exact pitch. I can tell you that I tune the bottom head pretty tight - much tighter than the top head.

cheers
Gavin
 

euphoric_anomaly

Senior Member
Gavin,

--I understand your frustrations. So here are two questions for you. 1) can you read drum notation? 2) do you have a teacher?


Sadly, the answer to both is no. What would really help me with learning how to read notation would be if I could load a drum tab from the internet into a program, and then press play, and have a bar or line following along with the notes so I can figure out what each little mark/symbol stands for. I'm more of a video/audio learner. If I can hear/see it at the same time, I absorb it much easier.

I took up drums because I was frustrated with trying to play/read piano notes, I also found I had a natural rhythm around the age of 6, but I have not been able to dedicate all my time/energy towards it, started out as a fun stress-relieving hobby. I understood that reading was a crucial part of learning the instrument, but I always found it easier to play by ear. However, I completely understand what you're trying to say and I appreciate your time/advice. Thank you!
 
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JimFiore

Silver Member
Hello Mr. Harrison,

Perhaps a bit of an odd question, nothing to do with technique or gear, but if it was possible to trade your proficiency and fluency on the drums for an equivalent proficiency and fluency on any other instrument of your choosing, would you, and if so, which instrument?

Assuming you wouldn't, what other instrument do you wish you could play as well?

I ask because I sort of stumbled onto drums as a child and it has been wonderful, but I dabble with other instruments and sometimes find it difficult to practice them because it is so much easier to walk over to my kit and practice something more interesting. But at the same time I wish I had an equivalent skill with them, especially piano. (And piano lessons with Dave Stewart? Really now, that must have been wonderful. I have both of his books and found his writing and humor to be top notch. Loved the Green & Blue CD.)

Thanks and happy B'day,
 

K_HiHats

Member
Hey Gavin!

Just a quick question about this thing you do. For one, it's a main component to the chorus patterns in your tune with 05Ric "Illusion," but you're probably not a psychic (OR ARE YOU?!?) and would like me to further explain what I'm after, so the thing I'm describing can actually be seen and heard at 1:49 in your Killer Joe video. I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around exactly what it is you're doing. It deal with an ope hi hat and a tom and a snare it seems, but it's weird and cool, so I'll just let you explain 'cuz you're the master.

Killer Joe - 1:49 is where I speak of.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWI0l4I2RaE

Other than that, I am very content with your newest book Rhythmic Composition. Finally seeing a full transcription of tunes like "Cheating the Polygraph" and "What Happens Now?" as well as the quintessential fill in the middle of "Circle of Manias" is just fascinating. And your story telling is quite entertaining. Also, having your signature is pretty cool too.

That's all for now. Of course, how could I forget to wish you aaaaaaa... happy birthday! We all very much appreciate everything you do, and not to mention taking the time to answer questions on this forum for us curious followers of your work. You are a true inspiration and a wonderful talent in the world. Thanks for being my inspiration to go farther and farther on the drumset every time I can. Always someting new to learn from you.

Cheers -- Peter
 

Illusion1409

Junior Member
Hi Gavin,

I've watched the Anesthetize live DVD a bunch of times, but have noticed something very curious only now. I saw that in Sleep Together you lead with your left hand in the verses, yet everywhere else you led with your right hand as normal. Was there a reason for this? It seems very specific that you'd only do it in the verses, yet I can't discern what that reason is.

Regards,

Josh.
 

GregP

Junior Member
Re: Gavin Harrison

Hi Gavin,

I've been using the Sensaphonics custom earplugs for several years, and love them (wish I would have had them years ago). Am now considering getting away from the heavy (and loud) stage monitors, and getting the Sensaphonic 2X-S wired IEMs....but I worry about how they will hold up longer term with the sweat, wax, etc...? The IEMs are quite expensive, and I worry about their life-expectancy in the presence of moisture, etc...Have you experienced any such issues? If so, how much life do you get out of your IEMs before experiencing problems? Thanks, Greg
 

SnareSpectre

Junior Member
Gavin,

Thank you so much for keeping this thread alive for so long. You answered a question I had over 3 years ago, and it's amazing that you've been willing to constantly check this thread and answer questions that come up. I love catching up every few months on all your answers.

I do have another question, this time regarding your equipment, and I apologize if you've answered this before. I know you use Speed Cobra pedals, but with Sonor hammer-style beaters instead of the stock ones. Why is this?

I recently made the switch from DW 5000 to Speed Cobra, and although I'm loving the pedals, I'm finding that the beaters don't have quite as much weight as I would like from a "physics" standpoint, and thought it was possible that that's why you switched them out, as well.

Thanks!
JD
 

BrianBjur

Junior Member
I learnt to play "Donna Lee" on the bass by friends showing me how it goes...(and I still play it pretty badly).


That's alright, I don't think Jaco really knew what he was doing when he played it either. I heard the podcast interview that you recently did, and there were a couple things I could definitely relate to (the discouraging teenage years, the habit of making lists, and the disturbing curiosity to tinker with sounds for hours). Has this curiosity to explore for you only become stronger over time, or has it been fairly constant? I just need to know so I can try to prepare myself financially.

Thanks,
Brian
 

Netz Ausg

Silver Member
Hi Gavin,

I read about your 40s A Ride having a split that you're worried about worsening (that's a word, right..?). There's a very talented guy in the UK who could repair that for you - Bejamin Camp with Cymbal Magic. A quick google search will point you to him.
 

gongbass

Junior Member
Gavin,

Looking forward to seeing you with King Crimson in New York!

I was looking at Tony Levin's pictures from the recent rehearsals and it appears that you have some kind of double headed "Octoban" type drums to your left. I'm guessing its your job to handle the old Bruford parts!

They don't look like the standard 6" size. Are they 8"? What led you to add these drums to your arsenal?
 
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