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How To Be A Funky Drummer: Listen, Feel & Execute

Funky drumming isn’t about a textbook.  You want to be a for real funky drummer?  When you ask someone out and they say “no”, go play the drums.  Got fired?  Go play the drums.  Barely have money for groceries?  Go play the drums.  In love with someone that hates your guts?  Go play the drums.  That’s funk.  Funk isn’t a pattern…it’s a feeling.  The funkiest drummers in the world couldn’t even technically tell you what they played.  It’s not about that.  Funk is, “I love you more than oxygen…but you don’t want me.  So I’m going to play that through this set of drums”   

Recently, a kid approached me and complained of being a fan of my drumming but hardly finding anything about drumming on my site.  Remembering that he asked me about influences on my style as far as other drummers, I have made a list of drummers that inspire and influence me.

• Andy Gillmann

• Bernard Purdie

• Clyde Stubblefield

• Dennis Chambers

• Jeff Porcaro

• Jim Chapin

• Joe Morello

• Johnny Rabb

• Keith Carlock

• Peter Erskine

• Roy Haynes

• Stanton Moore

• Steve Gadd

• Steve Smith

• Thomas Pridgen

• Tommy Igoe

• Stewart Copeland

• Benny Greb

• Buddy Rich

• Cora Coleman-Dunham

• Todd Sucherman

• Walfredo Reyes Jr.

• Tony Williams

• John “JR” Robinson

• Charley Charles (Ian Dury &the Blockheads)

• Billy Cobham

This isn’t even all of them but if you check these guys out you’ll get a general idea of where I’m coming from on the drums.  If you want the main influences: Tony Williams, Charley Charles, Clyde Stubblefield, Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd and Peter Erskine.  If you want to play funk these guys are essential.

Listen, look, feel, absorb.  It’s more important to feel the playing than to know the sticking.


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