What do Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and Bruce Becker have in common? All of these drummers have sought the unique insights and perspective on balance and motion from drum guru Freddie Gruber.
Gruber's reputation rests upon an approach that stresses a more efficient use of the drummer's anatomy. Gruber has often been referred to as the zen master of teaching. This rare insight into this approach was spurred on by Freddie's close 40 year friendship with Buddy Rich. It can clearly be seen in Buddy's playing.
Drummer, producer, recording artist and educator Bruce Becker started his studies with Freddie back in 1977. It was at this time when Freddie's activity was at its height. Bruce not only studied for eight years, but watched Freddie teach. Over the years Bruce was present for hundreds of students and became increasingly aware of the value of Freddie's approach. He was also able to watch the evolution and changes Freddie made in response to musical styles and drum innovations of the time. "I was there at a unique time during the late 70's and mid 80's. The pace at which I saw Mr. Gruber evolve was mind boggling. I would literally spend hours and hang... and this went on for years", Bruce recounts in a June '93 interview in Belgo Beat (Belgian Drum Magazine).
Upon relocating to Europe in 1992, Bruce Becker spent quite a bit of time traveling with Gruber. Together they did a series of Clinic and Masterclasses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. While Gruber would pontificate, Bruce would demonstrate on the drums. At this time Bruce also became the Head of the Drum Dept. at A.I.M. (American Institute of Music) in Vienna, Austria. There he spent time actively putting his thoughts and concepts together based on all that Gruber had shared with him.
Bruce Becker's conceptual approach and unique ability yields great results. His equation is Balance + Motion = Emotion. He offers the most comprehensive insight into the teachings of Mr. Gruber, and has been teaching since '82. Since returning to Los Angeles, Bruce teaches privately and has a steady stream of working drummers.
Bruce Becker has worked with diverse artists such as Suzanne Somers, Beach Boy Family and Friends, Andy Sheppard, Deborah Henson-Conant, David Becker, Joe DiOrio, Herb Ellis, Barbara Dennerlein, Suns of the Dead, and Frank Gambale.
In May 2013 Bruce recorded his tenth cd, 'Distance Traveled', along with his brother David and their trio, the David Becker Tribune. Bruce has also been involved in a project that is a tribute to the late guitarist Attila Zoller. His playing and personality were far reaching, as he connected with many musicians throughout his lifetime. Bruce was asked to record with some friends of Attila's, such as Ron Carter, Mike Stern, John Abercrombie, Peter Bernstein, just to name a few. Pat Metheny and Jim Hall also make an appearance on the cd. Look for that later in 2013.