Gavin Harrison here!

Hey Gavin,

Just wanted to say that I used my custom build cymbals at a gig tonight and they sounded amazing. Especially in ballads they cut thru the mix beautifully. Everyone asked me what that weird cymbal effects were.
I made the 16" one a bit smaller just like you advised and it turned out great. Somehow the 3 cymbals seem to have relative pitch from each other wich is cool.

I also have a question for you about your in-ears. I think every drummer agrees that playing drums is so great because of its loudness and the kick you get/feel everytime you play your bassdrum on stage.
Because I don't want to be deaf in 5 years my question for you is if you still get a kick out of drumming with in-ears. Don't you miss the low end? Or do you perhaps play with a shaker/ or maybe you have tried one?
I must admit I don't enjoy playing my drums with earplugs and I tend to hit de drums much harder. I also feel like I'm not there, on stage, because everything sounds so far away (although I play with custom-fit musician earplugs). That way my playing turns out to be uninspired and dull.
I'm thinking about buying an in-ear system but don't want to waiste money.

Thanks,
Marc
 

drummingman

Gold Member
Hi drummingman,
I really don't know personally of any teachers that are using my methods in the US.

cheers
Gavin
well i guess that means that at some point i will have to fly over to where you are and take a lesson with you.how much do you charge an hour for lessons and where exactly are you from.i thought that i read that you are from britain.
also,if your ever in the US in the virginia area can you please drop me an e mail at beatboxbrown@hotmail.com and let me know.maybe i could come out before a show or something and take a lesson.i know that you have played the 9:30 club in washingto dc with PT and thats not far from me.any planes to come back there anytime soon? or any plans to come to va or anywhere else in dc anytime soon? it would be killer to take a lesson for you whenever you come through my area if you are able to do it.
 

British Boy

Senior Member
If you get a lesson from God, then I too want a lesson from God. I've wanted lessons from Gavin for aaaggeesss. Besides, I live closer to his house than you do :p
 

Stijnn1990

Junior Member
Hi Gavin...
What books or other things did you practise from (or maybe still practising of)?
I really like your videos from the MusikMesse... Espessialy the song in 19/8!

Thanks..
Stijn
 

Drizzle

Member
well i guess that means that at some point i will have to fly over to where you are and take a lesson with you.how much do you charge an hour for lessons and where exactly are you from.i thought that i read that you are from britain.
also,if your ever in the US in the virginia area can you please drop me an e mail at beatboxbrown@hotmail.com and let me know.maybe i could come out before a show or something and take a lesson.i know that you have played the 9:30 club in washingto dc with PT and thats not far from me.any planes to come back there anytime soon? or any plans to come to va or anywhere else in dc anytime soon? it would be killer to take a lesson for you whenever you come through my area if you are able to do it.
Although lessons from Gavin would be great, learning to play drums at any level is something for 80% you have to do yourself.
If you got the books and the DVD's then you have to use them together, work on the book then have a look at the DVD to look and hopefully learn from the way Gavin does it.

At first his books/DVD's blew me away too, but if you spend some time on it it will come to you. Just believe in yourself, the progress you make everytime will become bigger.

You won't be able to play the whole book for a long time, these are not easy books.

Lately I've been working on Gary Chesters New Breed books, where you have to the sing over coordination exercises, and the progress I made is just unbelieveable. My playing has become so much tighter, my timing improved, and even without there being double bass exercises in the book my double bass playing improved. Because my sense of time got so much better all my limbs now work better together. When you sing you're more mentally aware of what's going on.

Like Gavin says in his section Polyrhythmic Theory : The brain is the center where all real understanding and processing of rhythmic information takes place.

And remember playing drums is just your four limbs beating a rhythm. And your brain controls your limbs.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Drizzle,
I like to use the Waves C1 compressor - it's a plug in compressor that I have inside Logic Pro on my Mac. For reverbs I like the Space Designer and I know Steve Wilson likes to use the D-Verb. I'm lucky enough to have a big live room here at my studio and so two pairs of live ambient mics were used. One pair about 4 metres away and the other at about 8 metres away. I compensate for the delay of these mics by pulling the tracks back in time on Logic Pro. (There's 3 milliseconds of delay in every metre).
Mixing is a very personal thing - everyone hears it a little bit differently - but I know what I like and what I'm trying to achieve for any particular song. The end result is in my mind right from the moment that I begin to record.

Experimentation is the key to improvement for me. I've had the same desk and (mostly) the same mics here for the last 10 years - but the recorded and mixed sound I get now is so much better - the only thing that has really changed is my experience.

cheers
Gavin


Just how you use compression, reverb etc.

Can't believe you use any gates, or maybe some long ones then

Do you add reverb on individual channels or on the end mix, or do you use room mics

Do you start with the overheads and then add snare, bass etc..

I know recording drums depends on the room, the drums and mics etc. But maybe you have some general tips and tricks.
 

Alexdrum75

Senior Member
To become a studio session drummer

Hi Mr. Harrison, hi all folks!!

I'm new to this wonderful forum.
Let me introduce myself: I'm Alex from Italy, I'm a 32 y.o. drummer.
I've come to a point in my life where I've made up my mind and finally decided to become a studio session drummer.

I've played drums for about 12 years now (if I remember correctly I was 16 when I started), had some formal lessons, attended two Gary Chaffee's seminars, read music fairly well.

I've got a rather low faith in Italy's music schools, especially when it comes to the drums.
I don't want to dig into the topic "how to work as a musician in Italy" here so I started to look around myself checking out all the different possibilities of studying abroad.

The first option: U.S.A.
There's the common belief that, in order to become a real studio musician, you have to go and study in the U.S.A. (L.A., Nashville, etc...) but here's the drawback: money.

It takes a LOT of money to go and study there, much more than I can afford.

So the alternative. Here's my question: mr. Harrison, can you suggest me the next step, that is where to study in the UK...?

Thanks in advance and lemme say that your exhibition at the Krankfurt MusikMesse was impressive and quite intimidating at the same time... hehehe....

Hope to hear from you on this forum...
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Grandmaster Foefstreler,
Recently I bought the Ultimate Ears UE10's and they sound amazing...but when I got to rehearsals with the band I found they were too good. They blocked out SO much outside sound it made me feel very strange - and I ended up hitting the drums too hard. I went back to using my cheap moulds with 'walkman' style headphones in. I know they don't sound great but I could hear some of my acoustic sound as well as the sound coming through the headphones.

For the bass drum I use an 18" sub speaker right behind me. That gives me a great low end thump when I hit the bass drum. Then I have one channel on my personal mixer that is just the high frequency of the bass drum. A REALLY clicky sound - and in the songs where I play a lot of double bass drum stuff I can turn that up in my headphones so that I can hear the articulation - and hopefully play it in time. It's a waste of time trying to get a good bass drum sound on in ears - you just can't get the right amount of thump.

I tried a stool mounted shaker/kicker thing - but I really hated it because it had a slight delay in it's response (about 10ms) and every note felt like a flam. Maybe it was just the one I tried.

Cheers
Gavin


I also have a question for you about your in-ears. I think every drummer agrees that playing drums is so great because of its loudness and the kick you get/feel everytime you play your bassdrum on stage.
Because I don't want to be deaf in 5 years my question for you is if you still get a kick out of drumming with in-ears. Don't you miss the low end? Or do you perhaps play with a shaker/ or maybe you have tried one?
 

Drizzle

Member
I use Cubase SX3 running on XP.

Since I don't use a Mac and Logic I'm not familliar with Space Designer.

I do know the Waves C1 and I've used it before, but because the lack of CPU power I'm kind of forced to limit the use of too much plugins.

For a reverb I've used many types, but lately I've been using Altiverb 6
And I'm very happy with it, you can use presets, and adjust many settings on it.

My drumspace is very small so I need to create a 'artificial' room. The other problem is that the 'control' room is the same room as the room where the drums are so setting up the mixer can be a pain, since I hear the drum being played 'live' and through the mixer so I can't really hear the sound from the mixer.
But hey no problems no challenges.
 

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Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Alexdrum,
finding a great teacher is very important - someone who can really help you progress and achieve your playing goals. Actually getting hired for sessions is another thing altogether - and something that I can't really advise on - other than to say that playing with and meeting as many musicians as you can - and being a drummer who is highly employable - in other words having the required skills to get an opportunity of a break somewhere. BUT don't expect "Mega Band X" to call you up the day you get finished with your lessons. Just making a living out of music deserves a medal these days - no matter what you're playing - wedding band - holiday camp - touring theatre productions - pubs and clubs for low fees etc. IF you are really good - people will notice and eventually you will get small breaks that might lead somewhere.

Although I never studied with him personally - I know many players who have - and therefore I would recommend Bob Armstrong ( http://www.bobarmstrong.co.uk/ ).
A great drummer and a great teacher. I was fortunate to see Bob do a drum clinic when I was about 15 years old in my local music store - and he completely blew me away. This guy knows what he's doing and what he's talking about.

Cheers
Gavin


So the alternative. Here's my question: mr. Harrison, can you suggest me the next step, that is where to study in the UK...?
 

DrumSound

Junior Member
Thanks to Gavin's advice, I decided to try my hand at cutting down 3 cymbal that have been laying round for years.
The way I did it was, write inside the bell what cymbal it was (for later reference)
then cut down the cymbal to there rough size.
the rest you can see from the photos.
Cost was about 30 Euro and they sound great.

PS. Don't forget eye protection, even when cutting little bits of cymbal fly all over the place.
 

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Alexdrum75

Senior Member
Hi Alexdrum,
finding a great teacher is very important - someone who can really help you progress and achieve your playing goals. Actually getting hired for sessions is another thing altogether - and something that I can't really advise on - other than to say that playing with and meeting as many musicians as you can - and being a drummer who is highly employable - in other words having the required skills to get an opportunity of a break somewhere. BUT don't expect "Mega Band X" to call you up the day you get finished with your lessons. Just making a living out of music deserves a medal these days - no matter what you're playing - wedding band - holiday camp - touring theatre productions - pubs and clubs for low fees etc. IF you are really good - people will notice and eventually you will get small breaks that might lead somewhere.

Although I never studied with him personally - I know many players who have - and therefore I would recommend Bob Armstrong ( http://www.bobarmstrong.co.uk/ ).
A great drummer and a great teacher. I was fortunate to see Bob do a drum clinic when I was about 15 years old in my local music store - and he completely blew me away. This guy knows what he's doing and what he's talking about.

Cheers
Gavin
Thank you very much,
I surely will look forward to contact Mr. Armstrong.
I'd also like to say that I'm really concious of all the difficulties involved in making a living out of music, especially in a country like Italy, where the new generation of italian drummers seem to lack and you end up seeing always the same three drummers working as studio session players.
Another thing is to going abroad for a living, nowadays there are few italian drummers around the world that are succesful.
Although not italian, Enzo Todesco is one of these that have done it.

My job will be to be prepared when the chance will come...
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Drumsound,
they look great - good job well done. If they are a bit splashy - it looks like some of them could be even smaller.

FOLKS, PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN DOING THIS - TAKE ALL THE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN - I DON'T WANT ANYONE GETTING HURT FOLLOWING SOME IDEA OF MINE***



***(except some amount of brain ache following the Rhythmic Contortions books and DVD's - which is to be expected).

Cheers
Gavin
 

glen thomas

Member
Hi ya Gavin

I just got my copy of "Fear of a Blank Planet" and all I can say is "superb".
The writing, the playing, the production, the dynamics, the depth...all excellent. Porcupine Tree is destined to be, if not already, one of the greats like Rush, Floyd, Yes and the likes in my opinion.

I love your playing on the album. You play so tight and flow effortlessly into different grooves, and Steve Wilson's an amazing writer to come up with all these song segments that seem to mesh perfectly. The album
flows so well from beginning to end which is something rarely heard in music now a days. I enjoyed the album the first play and it gets better with every play.
The video is also great. I viewed it on your P.T. Myspace site
yesterday and linked it to my local music forum for musicians in my hometown area to view. It's so nice to hear an album that is not a cooky cutter image of something else.
You are very original and I hope you and the band keep getting stronger.

Thanks for yet another wonderful masterpiece.

glen thomas
 

xush

Senior Member
I just got my copy of "Fear of a Blank Planet" and all I can say is "superb".
You play so tight and flow effortlessly into different grooves
got mine yesterday, and I definitely agree~
I especially noticed the flow, which is impressive with this kind of music.
It makes me think Gavin has some sort of percussionistic prescience, because the feel and flow is so smooth. I know it's a result of composing, arranging, and most likely a lot of rehearsing, but whereas that could kill the spontaneity in some cases, it doesn't here.
To me, it feels more like it's just flowing along, and I'm impressed that PT can pull that off. A lot of prog these days seems to lose the emotive qualities and nuances in favor of tricky twists and turns, and I'm so glad PT seems to value mood and melody over forced complexity.

The fills, as always, are so unexpected and original, that's one of my fav things about the PT material. Kudos on another fine display of skills tempered by taste. I love it~
 

jlm0000

Junior Member
Hi Mr. Harrison:
My Name is Jackie, a self-learning Drummer from Hong Kong in far Asia. Seriously , when I brought your DVD called <Rhythmic Visions>, can help me to improve more ideas and getting a more stable on Timing! You are my best Virtual Teacher! (but I still try to finish your exercises in that DVD in coming 20 years in my life....)
I've got some question that I wanna ask you:
1) What's the song's name called in the last chapter of your DVD? That songs seems like a funky song with BPM 110, (Live Version in Frankfurt is BPM 111.25, right?)with a big brass section and some dj's effects....
2) Is it defind as an <ACID FUNK> style?
3) At the same song above in <Live Version>, Did you use some <CLICK SOUND> at the back of songs to support your stable Timing?
4) Do you sugess a drummer being on stage to using metronum <ALL TIME> in <ALL SONGS?>....caz' I've getting a problem, when I helping some artist/bands to play on stage without the metronum, I can't control a <Perfect Timing> under pressure....

Please forgive my stupid english and thanks you for sharing experience from your heart!
I could feel you played everthing are using your heart, not just the techniques!

Love and peace, Master!
Jackie
 

jlm0000

Junior Member
Hi Mr. Harrison:
My Name is Jackie, a self-learning Drummer from Hong Kong in far Asia. Seriously , when I brought your DVD called <Rhythmic Visions>, can help me to improve more ideas and getting a more stable on Timing! You are my best Virtual Teacher! (but I still try to finish your exercises in that DVD in coming 20 years in my life....)
I've got some question that I wanna ask you:
1) What's the song's name called in the last chapter of your DVD? That songs seems like a funky song with BPM 110, (Live Version in Frankfurt is BPM 111.25, right?)with a big brass section and some dj's effects....

2) Is it defind as an <ACID FUNK> style?

3) At the same song above in <Live Version>, Did you use some <CLICK SOUND> at the back of songs to support your stable Timing?

4) Do you sugess a drummer being on stage to using metronum <ALL TIME> in <ALL SONGS?>....caz' I've getting a problem, when I helping some artist/bands to play on stage without the metronum, I can't control a <Perfect Timing> under pressure....

Please forgive my stupid english and thanks you for sharing experience from your heart!
I could feel you played everthing are using your heart, not just the techniques!

Love and peace, Master!
Jackie
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Glen and Xush,
glad to hear that you like the new album.


Hi jlm0000

1) What's the song's name called in the last chapter of your DVD? That songs seems like a funky song with BPM 110, (Live Version in Frankfurt is BPM 111.25, right?)with a big brass section and some dj's effects....

"Quite Firm" - but if you have the DVD you would know that - because the only way to play it is by clicking on it's name right?


2) Is it defind as an <ACID FUNK> style?


I don't really know. Sorry

3) At the same song above in <Live Version>, Did you use some <CLICK SOUND> at the back of songs to support your stable Timing?

Yes I'm listening to a click for the entire song.

4) Do you sugess a drummer being on stage to using metronum <ALL TIME> in <ALL SONGS?>....caz' I've getting a problem, when I helping some artist/bands to play on stage without the metronum, I can't control a <Perfect Timing> under pressure....

Some artists are very fussy about their tempos - in which case I would use a click for the whole song - or just the first few bars to get off to a good start. Some artists are a bit more relaxed and are ok if the tempo is within a few bpm. I have used the "Beat Bug/Tempo Ref" in cases like this just to know that I'm in the right ball park of tempo.
I know under pressure tempos can be deceiving and a song might be correct but feel very slow because of adrenaline. That's when the Tempo Ref (or Beat Bug) is useful.

http://www.temporef.com/products.htm

It can give you the confidence to know when you're right. However if your sense of timing is weak - then this gadget won't help you - it will drive you crazy. You can't follow it - it can only follow you. It can be an interesting practice aid to show you what your tendencies are.

Cheers
Gavin
 

Drizzle

Member
Hi Gavin,

I'm in the process of buying a new shell set.
After a couple of months of debating, I finally chose Pearl shells from the Reference series.

The shell pack contains a 22" BD and 10", 12" and 14" TT in the Twilight Fade finish.

The only thing I'm not shure about yet are the depths of the toms.

Do you have any advice???

The depths available are.

10x8, 10x9, 10x10
12x8, 12x9, 12x10
14x10, 14x11, 14x12

The bold ones are the standard sizes in the shell pack. The BD is a 22x18
I'm not really concerned that the difference is that mega big but just wondering what your thoughts are before I make the final order.

Once again MEGA thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

Greetz, Dre
 

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