Vinnie Colaiuta clinic Q&A


Senior Member
I liked the part where he recently got fired from a Chris Cross session because the producer didn't think he respected the music enough. All because he was talking computers with Chris instead of music. Even the pros have to put up with unfair b/s.


Platinum Member
wait a he talking while he's playing ? good Lord !

Walk in the park for Vinnie. For his ultimate party trick he can even eat sushi whilst playing Zappa one handed.

As noted in Wiki:

About Colaiuta's ability to play Zappa's notoriously complex music and the complex style of polyrhythms, guitarist Steve Vai told the following story:

He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there. Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing.


Platinum Member

On the second link.. is that a speech impediment Im hearing or is it just microphone flutter?



Platinum Member

Great Vai story, PFG! ...Yea, his nickname is 'the alien' and some very accomplished pro drummers are speechless and shake their heads about his phrasing and command over the kit.
In this clinic, he makes a point about not wanting to do a drum DVD because "theres just so many of them out there", but I for one would happily pay twice the price for his DVD



Nice video. Learned a lot!

I have this half an hour recording from a Vinnie clinic from 1989 in Oslo. I can maybe upload it, if someone wants.