Watch how Steve Gadd stays in shape with these flam exercises Another Icon Video from the Drummerszone Vault Video: watch how Steve Gadd stays in shape with these flam exercises It is November 2007 and Steve Gadd is in the Netherlands to perform with Dutch artist Alain Clark. The next day, he hosts a three hour evening listening to and answering questions. But mostly, he is letting everybody in on many of his ideas on drums, his approach to music and opens up on many of his so-called drumming secrets. All not that secret because he loves to share it all. A thing that drummers gladly do. Watch this great video and read some cool background info on Steve and how he plays and explains many of the flam exercises he uses to stay in shape.

Asked about his background, Steve opens up on his history...


When he was young, his uncle, who was a drummer as well, used to bring albums that little Stephen could listen to when visiting the family. His early days were filled with the drums and music of Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Jimmy Cobb. He mentions Jack DeJohnette as well as a major influence on his playing. This uncle also bought him his first drums. Steve still has this Gretsch kit.

When Gadd came to New York he was challenged by many different backgrounds he didn't hear off until then. Meeting and listening to Rick Marotta has been a major influence on his groove. Marotta also got him to listen to The Meters, Tower of Power with David Garibaldi and James Brown. For Steve, everything that is grooving has his ear, and after so many years he still is open to everything that he can learn from.

The young guys
The video below was recorded 11 years ago, but from the top of his mind he mentions three major influences that he loves to listen to and steal licks from. These younger influences are three of the most respected drummers of all time: Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Steve Jordan.

"I'm a walking recording of what I've heard all these other guys do."
- Steve Gadd


Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises
In this video Steve shows his standards for practicing 'after not playing for a while, but to stay in shape'. Steve follows the same rules everybody does (or has to): start slow, make different patterns and combine things.

Steve's favorite technique combinations are playing around with paradiddles, the single and double rolls and using flams and flam taps.

"Rudiments with flams work the hands harder than the other rudiments."
- Steve Gadd

And then he is off. In 7 minutes he takes you through the topics below, kicking off with 90 seconds of the combinations mentioned above.
Sit back and enjoy this ride into the mind of Steve Gadd. Featuring the:
  • Flam Paradiddle
    Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises
  • Flam Taps
    Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises
  • Flamacues
    Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises
  • Reverse Flamacues (start with left)
  • combining flams... and not knowing what you're actually doing (recognize that?)
  • then: the Flam Paradiddle vs the Swiss Flam Paradiddle
  • Up speed Swiss Flam Paradiddle
    Steve's Swiss Flam Paradiddle he is playing is a Reverse Paradiddle with a flam before the first double on every count.
    Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises


Watch: Stay in shape with Steve Gadd's flam exercises


More Steve Gadd on DZ

Steve Gadd plays
  • Zildjian
  • Vic Firth
  • Yamaha drums
  • Remo drumheads
  • LP - Latin Percussion

Editor's note: the quality of this video, published 11 years ago on Drummerszone was too old to just repost and share it to the world. It was recorded before the YouTube and social media era that we are in now. We re-rendered the video and altered this article (plus the other related ones) and published it again to not let this footage and info go to waste. We hope you enjoy it!
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