\"You know, solos are nice, but it\'s all about the groove. Has a drummer ever been asked to play in a band because he\'s a good soloist? No! A drummer is asked for his groove, his ability to listen and perhaps most important, because he loves to play with others. You have to play with other musicians and interact with them.\"
It would have been a good statement of Gregg to get off the stage and leave the public just there, thinking of this most important message. But being the drummer he is, Gregg sat down to play a solo for over 15 minutes in different styles. It was a devastating drum piece that took us from Cuba to LA, from Metal to Jazz but moreover from Gregg to music. With that, Gregg\'s message of the evening was already clear.
Being just as good a teacher as a drummer, Gregg took all the drummers in the venue on a musical drum trip. From Gene Krupa to Stewart Copeland, Charlie Watts and Cesar Zuiderwijk all the way up to Gregg’s musical hero Ringo Starr with The Beatles. Explaining all the musical approaches these drummers have in the music they play. Being so fond of what these masters have done, you almost started thinking Gregg loves music more than he loves drums. And that was exactly his message:
\"These drummers know what to do with the music that they play.\"
Gregg demonstrated the finest pieces of drum work with some songs of The Police. Playing the unique approaches of Stewart Copeland with this super band was almost an ode to the drummer who was one of the first to turn beats around to emphasize the groove of a song.
And that groove was the main theme of the evening. Focusing on being an all-round drummer is for Gregg a major issue:
\"When you are able to play many different styles - and don\'t let anyone tell you different-, it makes you a better drummer. You\'ve got to have the skills to play what a song needs. Understanding the different styles makes your approach for each song better. And you will be able to actually play it. The band will be happy with you.\"
Of course, Gregg is right. By quoting Tony Williams he once again proved his point. A lesson of one great artist to the other, Gregg uses it as just another example to get the message across:
\"Tony Williams once told me: \'Rap is not new. It\'s all the way back from Africa. Drums and voice, nothing more. Drums is what people dance to, the groove.\' And guys, listen. He was right. You are the ones who play the groove that makes the people dance.\"
With all that being said the audience understood Gregg\'s message: your personality is of major importance but if you can\'t play what is needed, it just won\'t work: be all-round.
Can we summarize all of Gregg\'s words of the evening? Let\'s give it a try: you just have to study on all what he said. Perhaps it\'s best to check out his DVD to get it all detailed out.
With all his funny anecdotes and impressions of David Lee Roth, Simon Phillips and Axl Rose it is simply impossible to put over four hours of valuable DVD-lessons in two hours of clinic time. But hey, you won\'t get Gregg\'s anecdotes on a DVD!
You can find more info, pictures and streams on Gregg\'s Drummerszone artistpage.
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