Vinnie can do it all.

rhythmjunkie

Senior Member
I've read in a bunch of articles, through input from other artists, that Vinnie can pretty much play anything on the drums. How do you think a drummer develops eclectic and universal abilities as a drummer? I personally think it's from vast exposure and a lot of time in the shed.
 
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blade123

Guest
It's because he's worked his ass off, the same reason why everyone gets where they are.
 
Definitely a lot of hard work. Also having an open mind. Vinnie can play everything because he probably appreciates a wide variety of music. He's played with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdworth, but also Faith Hill, Queen Latifa, Megadeth. I think a lot of drummers who are into Zappa would laugh at a drummer playing with Faith Hill, which is a shame. Although I've never heard anybody get on Vinnie's case for doing all the different styles. He rules.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
It's weird because I truly feel that It would be short-selling his true genius if we pretended that it was all just "hard work". Vinnie is a tremendous natural talent with a gift for rhythm that comes along maybe once in a billion.

No matter how much we practice, the vast majority of us will never be at his level. Just like most of us can't play basketball as good as Michael Jordan.

Yet, on the other hand, neuroscientists have discovered that the essence of virtuosity is 10,000 hrs of practice. Basically, no matter what your talent level, 10,000 hrs will make you a virtuoso.

So we can all be great but someone has to be the king.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Maybe talent is love, Jeff. You are given the love for the instrument. (from your genes, from your maker, from your grandfather's third cousin first removed, I don't know) You spend the 10,000 hours because you have this love. Another guy gets bored after 10.

I have come to the conclusion that a lot of things go into making a great musician. It's like a great stew.

It's opportunities and creating them for yourself. Like going to Berkeley, playing with Frank Zappa and Herbie and all the hard work. I went to see Return to Forever the other day. Al Dimeola thanked the guy who had given Chick Corea his audition tape. He happened to be in the audience. Al said, if he had not done that, my career would never have happened.

I watch this show At the Top, which features kid prodigies. Liberty Mutual has the commercial where they outline all the people that made it possible for the kids, from the Mom who shuttles the kid back and forth to lesson, the Dad who travels around the world going to festivals, the grandparents who sit through endless recitals, the dog who listens attentively, and the friends who are patiently waiting outside the window for practice to be done so they can play baseball.
 
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grobinson2

Junior Member
He's played with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdworth, but also Faith Hill, Queen Latifa, Megadeth.

Don't forget Herbie Hancock's Album-of-the-Year! I still can't believe Joe's Garage by Zappa, The System Has Failed by Megadeth and River by Herbie Hancock were all done by the same guy. Vinnie is the man!
 
It's weird because I truly feel that It would be short-selling his true genius if we pretended that it was all just "hard work". Vinnie is a tremendous natural talent with a gift for rhythm that comes along maybe once in a billion.

No matter how much we practice, the vast majority of us will never be at his level. Just like most of us can't play basketball as good as Michael Jordan.

Yet, on the other hand, neuroscientists have discovered that the essence of virtuosity is 10,000 hrs of practice. Basically, no matter what your talent level, 10,000 hrs will make you a virtuoso.

So we can all be great but someone has to be the king.
Very very true, not everyone was meant to be a drummer.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
You'll never convince me that putting in the same amount of time..love..and devotion to drumming could put me even close to a Vinnie. He's a freak of nature..he inspires me and depresses me at the same time. I'm disheartened by him actually..jealous..envious..yet his work can almost make you cry from the beauty of it.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
You'll never convince me that putting in the same amount of time..love..and devotion to drumming could put me even close to a Vinnie. He's a freak of nature..he inspires me and depresses me at the same time. I'm disheartened by him actually..jealous..envious..yet his work can almost make you cry from the beauty of it.

You might need to do more work than he did. But you could get there. It only looks impossible because you’re thinking in terms of his entire body of drumming skills as one big thing. It’s not. It’s thousands of tiny skills all blended together. You master one or two at time. It would take decades, but it’s doable. Vinnie is not the Franz Liszt or Mozart of the drum set. He’s just super, super motivated, with a very above-average level of talent. There are guys faster than him, guys with deeper groove, guys with more independence, etc.. But there’s probably nobody alive with his entire skill set.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Vinnie is in a unique position...



(courtesy of House of Drumming)

Must be weird to achieve absolutely every goal... 100% technique, 100% precision, 100% groove, any style or time signature, et cetera.
That's the kinda drumming I could sleep to. Have him move into his next apartment on the 2nd floor and tell him he can only practice at night. I bet no one would complain LOL.
 

TOMANO

Senior Member
I've read in a bunch of articles, through input from other artists, that Vinnie can pretty much play anything on the drums. How do you think a drummer develops eclectic and universal abilities as a drummer? I personally think it's from vast exposure and a lot of time in the shed.
Hard work. Intent focus. A tad "being a mutant" in the mix.
 

Houndog1964

Active member
It's weird because I truly feel that It would be short-selling his true genius if we pretended that it was all just "hard work". Vinnie is a tremendous natural talent with a gift for rhythm that comes along maybe once in a billion.

No matter how much we practice, the vast majority of us will never be at his level. Just like most of us can't play basketball as good as Michael Jordan.

Yet, on the other hand, neuroscientists have discovered that the essence of virtuosity is 10,000 hrs of practice. Basically, no matter what your talent level, 10,000 hrs will make you a virtuoso.

So we can all be great but someone has to be the king.
I can assert that 10,000 hours will not make you a virtuoso ....
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
While I agree with the 10,000 hours part, I don’t think the end result is what we should be working for. We should be involved in the process and journey and enjoy that. Thinking that you have to put in 10k hours to become something doesn’t sound realistic. I think the amount is arbitrary. What you learn and accomplish in the mean time is what you should focus on, no?
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I believe the 10,000 hr thing has been debunked. But, I believe it's completely how much time and exposure you get. A lot of studies have been done on talent, and the common thread is desire and practice. No sign of "talent" as its own factor exists, apparently. Here's a great interview where he lays out how it went down. Really great stories.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I believe it comes down to mindset.

Vinnie's mindset is nothing is above him or below him, and doing this takes all priority.

For most people, when handed a difficult task, like a piece of complex music, our initial reaction is this is too difficult, impossible, or at least, wow, this is a major challenge. We then need to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, and suddenly remember something else we need to do. Or just turn it down. The stories about Vinnie is he just sits there and figures it out. He's not intimidated by being handed something he doesn't know. He mentally doesn't freak out.

On the flip side, if a song calls for 1 and 3 on the bass drum, 2 and 4 on the snare, and straight 8ths in the hi-hat, with not a fill anywhere, Vinnie is perfectly happy to do just that. He doesn't ever view anything beneath him, nor does he view himself as too good to do simple work. Most people who are really accomplished or have a high level of skill get bored doing simple stuff, but in interviews, Vinnie will defend simple drum tracks with the same reverence he gives to Zappa like craziness. He mentally doesn't freak out, or get bored.

And there there is the dedication.

I recall on 1990/91, when he got the gig with Sting. He had been scheduled to do a drum clinic at Zildjian Day just outside of San Francisco for months in advance. Then he got the call from Sting. He flew to London to Audition. Then he got on a plane at the last second and flew all the way to San Francisco. I was at the clinic (the store I worked at was a sponsor) and the Zildjian crew were very concerned Vinnie was going to be a no-show. Yet, 45 minutes or so before he was to take the stage, Vinnie walked in, completely jet-lagged. He went on stage and did a mind-blowing clinic. Then he left and went back to the airport and flew all the way back to London to be with Sting. Most people couldn't handle that. Most people would have canceled the appearance in San Francisco. Or asked for an extra day, or at least would have wanted a nap in between. But Vinnie knew he had obligated himself and didn't see the fact he need to fly 8 times zones each way as an obstacle.

And then there are all the other sacrifices. Be it giving up friends, family, social life all to practice. I'm sure the list of typical things we all do that Vinnie has either never done, or doesn't know how to do is pretty long because he's always practicing.
 
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