4 years old and ROCKING to Avenged Sevenfold

Drummers of all kind can appreciate the talent of Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer, The Rev. Now watch Jonah effortlessly rocking hard to Afterlife at age 4. Why didn’t my parents get me started sooner?

Why Hate Ringo?

Despite his success with arguably the most popular band in music history, Ringo has been criticized as being a bad drummer. I must attempt to change some minds on this opinion. Simple? Yes. Ordinary? For his time, probably. Boring? I guess he’s not the highlight of most Beatles songs. BAD? Songs like Love Me Do, I Want To Hold Your Hand, and Help are popular because they are all around good songs. They fit into the definition of what a pop hit was in the 60s – catchy melodies, relatable lyrical content, pleasant chord progressions, danceable grooves, and appeal to the female market (yes, sex sold then too). Put the branding elements of the performers behind all of that and you have pop hits. No surprise they were able to do it again and again. I could rave about the strengths of these songs forever, but the point as it relates to drumming is that Ringo didn’t need to go above and beyond to hang with a band like The Beatles. Less is more and Ringo proved that. Is the argument that he wasn’t technical enough? Did people want to hear Bonham-like power on Beatles songs? The opinion that he is a bad drummer is one that anyone is entitled to, but it must be formed with the realization that his drumming didn’t need to be out front. Why would anyone want him to do more? That could have cost The Beatles a few number 1 hits. If his groove frequently interfered with those glorious harmonies then yes, I would be a little irritated, but they worked. They fit. I would just like to hear how a “good drummer” would have improved things for The Beatles…  Seems to me they did a few things right. Ringo might not be as technical as the Dave Weckls of the world or as talented as the Bill Brufords of the world, but his contribution to that band should be assessed with their results. History speaks for itself on that one.

Al Demiola, Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin – Amazing, Brilliant, and Mind Blowing!


Thank you Lu Ann Cahn for inviting BAM! to perform on the NBC 10 show. Watch the video here.

How Do I Get Better At The Drums?

This is a question every drummer asks but must take a different approach to attain. Everyone learns at a different pace so before you figure out how you will get better, you need to locate your weaknesses and set goals. For example, my left hand has been a huge obstacle for me over the years. No matter how fast and coordinated my right hand gets, its only as strong as its weaker link when Im using both hands together around the kit. By realizing I wanted to improve my speed, comfort, stamina, and control on my left hand, I began focusing on exercises to get myself there. I reached into the bank of exercises I had learned from my teachers over the years and spoke with contemporaries who I admired in this department. The end result has me focusing on The Moeller Technique, Stone Killer, mixed sticking exercises, and weak hand independence drills. Once you see the initial results, you know it has potential. Its amazing how I can confidently say my left hand has improved to levels I thought werent possible. I will continue to work with these things forever, reassured that my left hand will continue to improve.

I also recall a time where I felt my beats werent very creative. I wanted to develop interesting ideas around the drum set, but I was so comfortable just putting eighth notes on the hi-hats over comping ideas. I wanted to play like Carter Beauford, Dennis Chambers, and Dave Weckl, so I listened to their music almost religiously. When something went over my head, I pushed the rewind button (sometimes 20 to 30 times). I listened to their tutorials on youtube, I watched their hand technique, I went to their clinics, I took their advice on things they were teaching, and I paid attention when they mentioned lessons they learned from their idols. To this day, I work with the tools I got from these guys and my creativity never stops. This helped me realize that infinite possibilities exist, its just a matter of searching for them and utilizing them to your advantage.

To sum it up, getting “better” is subjective. It is largely dependent on the time you put into practicing, the steps you take to reach your goals, and the lessons you learn from those ahead of you in your craft. This is actually a question that needs to be divided into sub-questions. You know you want to get better, now ask “How can I become more comfortable playing jazz?” “How can I improve my dynamics?” “How can I stay on the beat at slower tempos?” Hone in on specifics. “How do I get better?” is also a question we must constantly ask ourselves to dive deeper. Once you feel you have learned everything there is to know, you flat line. Ive spoken with some of the most impressive drummers in Philadelphia about this topic. Its sort of unfortunate for these guys that they are constantly told how great they are. Although its a huge compliment, there is a smaller pool of teachers around to help them get better. Drum lessons in Philadelphia are few and far between as it is. Just remember if one thing is not working, a million other things might.

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