There’s been much speculation about Mr. Colaiuta’s gear since his short-lived association with Ludwig Drums. The drum geeks of the world were looking to see what Vinnie would be playing when he went on the road with Sting this year. The wait is over. The answer is Heuer.
You can read about Chris Heuer’s drums at his website: www.heuersdrumlab.com
Although this may come as a bit of a surprise to many, Chris has gained a reputation for doing top-notch restoration, customization and repair work for many of Los Angeles’ top drummers for a while now. Apparently, he builds custom drums too. Good ones. Really good ones.
A quick look at Vinnie’s website shows that the empty grey space next to the Paiste logo on the “links” page has been replaced with the Heuer logo. Check it: www.vinniecolaiuta.com/home/links
In addition, check out the photo, above, of VC playing Heuers on the Sting tour.
It looks like Heuer’s business is about to take off.
It has been a little over a year since Ludwig announced that Vinnie Colaiuta was an official Ludwig artist. I remember when the rumors began that Vinnie was leaving Gretsch and Zildjian. At the time, a quick look at his website revealed that the links to those companies had been replaced with links to Ludwig and Paiste.
Well, guess what?
The Ludwig logo on Mr. C’s website is now absent. In it’s place? A grey box. And to the right of that grey nothingness where the Ludwig logo used to be is the Paiste logo….still firmly in place.
There has been no official word on Colaiuta leaving Ludwig as being a stone cold fact; and I was tipped off to it by a posting on the Vic’s Drum Shop blog. But based on the evidence apparent on Vinnie’s own site, it appears to be highly likely that Ludwig and Vinnie are no more.
A quick look at the Ludwig website shows no Vinnie on their list of artists, either….hmmmm.
Let’s see what happens next.
I know, it’s gossip. But we’re not talking trash about anyone….just watching interesting things happen in the industry we love, with the drummer we all love.
The notion of Pattern Control on drum set means that you take a pattern you are interested in exploring and then manipulate it through different metrics and over various numbers of measures so you can see how it plays out. The point is for you to find ways to use it that make sense.
I’ve found this idea very useful to my playing and I’m continuing to explore it.
You can find other examples of my explorations of this topic by checking out the Blog Category, “Pattern Control for Drumset.”
This time, we explore the pattern “RLF” (right hand, left hand, bass drum) as it applies to 32nd notes. The worksheet assumes that you play the right hand on the floor tom and the left hand on the high tom, but that is just because I find that as the most powerful and useful way to play the pattern most of the time. I also like to move my hands to the snare drum sometimes to get different accents or play back beats.
Note that there is a hi-hat notated for the left foot on all the quarter notes. This is a skill that is helpful to have developed, but it is not always necessary to play the pattern that way. Consider it as an option for you to have under control if needed.
I’m using this worksheet myself to explore some soloing ideas and I am finding it very useful for figuring this stuff out. This pattern is very powerful and it is not often heard as 32nd notes, although I’ve heard Vinnie Colaiuta use it this way (of course!)
Get thee to the practice room and work on this if you need something new and exciting in your drumming life.
Here’s the PDF: Pattern Control RLF as 32nds
“Nasty Groove #1″ is a linear funk beat, inspired by the likes of Dennis Chambers, David Garibaldi, Vinnie Colaiuta and Mike Clark.
It’s a very funky beat…make sure that the ghosted notes are very quiet…that is one of the keys to making these types of grooves sound great.
Here’s the PDF: Nasty Groove 1.
Have at it. Below are two videos: the first is me playing the groove at a “normal” tempo, followed by a very slooooowww version.
This week I’ve been practicing, as I have been for months now, heel-down doubles with the bass drum. It’s been driving me crazy. But, I’m on the right track. The Perfect Balance Pedal has helped a lot.
Sometimes, when I’m working on some technical skill like this, I need some way to keep things fresh. So, I came up with this.
It comes from an idea that I heard Vinnie Colaiuta play on the track “Ben Casey” from the “Unreel” album by Randy Waldman. It’s during the solo, and it is very fast, but Vinnie plays this combination at the peak of the solo.
I just took the pattern he plays between the snare and bass drum, subtracted the ride notes he played, and added the jazz ride cymbal pattern on top for this exercise. Try it.
Here’s the PDF: a triplet independence exercise
Inspired by the Vinnie lick that I blogged about last time (#43), I was messing around in the practice room and I came up with a new variation that I would like to share with you. It sounds great, is easy to play…..those are all the hallmarks of a great lick. I hope you like it.
Here’s the PDF if you need it: Nasty Lick 44
The Gadd lick is a well known pattern, very similar to this one. (See example #2 from “Seven Gadd Licks,” else where in this blog). I am fairly certain that the first appearance of Gadd’s use of this lick was on Tom Scott’s tune, “Dirty Old Man,” from Scott’s 1975 album, “New York Connection.”
“Joe’s Garage” was released in 1979 and at the time, it is pretty well documented that Colaiuta was very heavily influenced by Steve Gadd’s playing. I believe that this “Dong Work” lick was inspired by the “Dirty Old Man” lick.
The basic premise here is to take 32nd notes, weave them between the hi hat, snare and bass drum and incorporate them into a groove. What makes these kind of patterns sound cool is that they are fully integrated into the groove of the song….they have a pocket.
Another great thing about licks like this is that they are distributed between multiple limbs in such a way that playing fast becomes very easy.
In order for this to sound good, you have to make sure that all the unaccented snare drum notes are ghosted.
So, have a look at the worksheet, and try this out. It’s sick. I promise. Here’s the link: Nasty Lick 43
This marks a new feature, “DrumSpeak,” where we get some great thoughts from the words of great drummers…
“As a teenager I could assimilate information quickly but, what I didn’t realize until later is that you have to let that information gestate. When you’re young you think you’re a hot-shot, ready for everything because you’ve played along to records and learnt all those little tricks. But, here’s the thing–you don’t know how and why those drummers played what they did until you have the benefit of experience. I’ve sweated blood–literally–and put a lot of work into what I do, and these days so many people are not prepared to put that time and effort in. Everybody wants to be Superman overnight, and that’s encouraged by a media where everything is instantly available–be that visually or audibly. And please don’t just break everything down to chops and groove either, because that means you are only looking at two dimensions when there are so many more. Basically, the whole thing is process, but life is process. Forgive me for sounding clichéd, but the joy is in that process and the fact that there is always something new to aspire to.”
–Vinnie Colaiutafrom Rhythm Magazine, July 2012
You know if you read this blog that I rarely post about this kind of thing. But, seriously, this is pretty big news. Legendary drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, arguably one of the greatest drummers alive, has moved from Gretsch Drums to Ludwig and from Zildjian Cymbals to Paiste.
At first, I did not believe it. I thought it was some sort of April Fool’s joke. But I checked out Ludwig’s Facebook page and they posted a photo of Vinnie playing Ludwig drums (see photo, above left) with the caption, “welcome home.” Then I went to Vinnie’s website and looked at the link section. The Ludwig and Paiste logos are displayed on that page (see the link here: Vinnie’s Website: Links Page)
Looks pretty legitimate to me. Huge business move for Ludwig and Paiste. Exciting change.