Sunday July 20 2003

The greatest drum clinic I went to this summer of 2003 was at the WFD NAMM show! I spent over an hour watching Art Verdi. I met Johnny Rabb and later watched him at his night gigs TWICE. I was BLOWN AWAY when I watched Jotan and Tim Waterson ! At these get togethers you will learn that these guys are more than just good drummers ! They are also GREAT TEACHERS and GREAT PEOPLE. I was showing Art something that I was working on and all he kept on saying was "post it on your webite so they can see it."

Watching Art Verdi, I picked up something of his technique. I have changed it somewhat, but I was very surpised today to discover that using a modification of the "Verdi left hand technique" I can play on and on and on without getting tired in my left hand. How fast could I play if I could apply the same thing to both hands??? This is just exactly what I'm trying now.

The WFD is about sheer endurance and speed, but after you work on these exercises you come away with much more. Not only do you have greater endurance, but you can INSTANTLY throw in any RUFF ,ROLL or TRIPLET that your heart desires. You are not hindered by physical limitations at all. At only 70% of your full speed your rolls are ultra smooth, and faster than you would ever need for any real gig. There are no more barriers or boundaries. You are free to think about the music and CONCENTRATE on the music, without stiffening up, from worrying about the mechanics of drumming

I want to clarify what I have said above. Remember that I have played drums on and off (mostly on) for the past 30+ years. I'm not trying to say that a drummer just playing single strokes as fast as he can will learn how to play triplets ,ruffs ,any other rolls ,paradiddles or COORDINATED INDEPENDENCE. Playing single strokes very fast will teach you how to play single strokes. Remember that the above comment came from someone who already learned how to play triplets, paradiddles and ruffs over 30 years ago. Now practicing for RAW SPEED, I find that I can play all of these easier though. I don't want anyone to misunderstand me, that playing single strokes very fast is all that a drummer needs. This SPEED element is only part of the learning picture. So I can see how someone would worry about me telling everyone that all they need to do is play singles very fast to become great drummers.

BUT I WANT TO LET YOU IN ON A LITTLE SECRET THOUGH. You can play MANY TYPES OF ROLLS with just single strokes. I begin every SPEED RUN by playing very fast 4 stroke ruffs and then the 4 strokes become 6, 8 10 and finally I can play continuously for a whole minute. I also like mixing ruffs in with straight 16th notes. This is what I think that Billy Cobham used on some of his CD's and records, but I may be wrong. He may have introduced a few doubles and flams as well .

In addition to drummers learning technique (including speed, parradiddles, flams, singles strokes, triplets and COORDINATED INDEPENDENCE etc.) they also need to play with other musicians to learn how to LISTEN AND how to HOLD BACK or PLAY LESS when it is called for. No one wants to hear WIPEOUT or any type of drum solo when they are playing a slow song, or when the lead vocalist is trying to be heard.

So I hope that this clears up any misconceptions about MY FEELINGS regarding the WFD. I think that the WFD and Drumometer is great for drumming, but it is only PART of the picture. A well rounded drummer will need to work on all of the things that I have listed above. Extreme sport drummers aren't just neanderthal cavemen that only play single strokes!

I'm Dan Laskowski

That's the way I see it.

My Standing For Fastest Feet in Detroit

My Standing For Fastest Hands in Detroit