Author: Gary Benson

I don’t know why we think that’s the approach. That made me think, I had this girl come in, years ago, back in Dallas, and I sat her down at a pad and I knew at the end of the lesson she was never going to come back. I wasn’t sure if she would even keep playing drums! I showed her some paradiddles and it defeated her. All she wanted to do, I think, was to play some kind of an AC/DC song or something.

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I’m here with Andy Graham, an amazing musician, inventor, and performer from Northern California. He is known for his World fusion solo performances where he plays drums while playing the aboriginal didgeridoo using a special rack system he invented himself. I first met Andy at a drumming class where the teacher asked him to come in as a guest artist and play his didgeridoo. I was stunned at his abilities. I’ve since become friends with Andy and have followed his music and inventions throughout several years. He holds several patents a new electric percussion instrument called the Slapstick (aka:Slaperoo). He has recently invented the Green Machine, a cocktail drum kit with a working hi-hat. I’m very excited to talk with Andy Graham, find out the latest and also hope to glean some insight from his inventive and musical mind.

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Nick Hayes is a professional touring drummer with the Eric Gales Band. Nick’s drumming career started at a young age when drumming gravitated to him as opposed to him gravitating to the drums. Nick has a keen ability to take life as it comes and keep an open heart to learning. He notices the subtle aspects of life, taking a perspective that comes from selfless observation as opposed to ego driven views.

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I would say I was 17. It was my first professional gig. I was like, this is different. I’ve played stuff with my high school and school band in Jr. High 7th grade. But then I started playing with musicians out in clubs. Clubs that I wasn’t old enough to be in but the way I carried myself, I didn’t say nothing nor did I care.

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My whole thing is that I practice all the time and I still do practice all the time. All day every day. And I just wanted to be so good that I could play anything. I think that’s really important. And it’s also really important to have your own style. If you just try to be someone else that may be cool but that’s not going to get you noticed or get people to want you to play drums for them.

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Yeah, gospel is more about “pocket”. When I was coming up gospel music was solid. That’s what it created in a lot of drummers like me and others that stay out in L. A. They learned how to be solid. In gospel there’s different genres. I grew up under the quartet gospel feel which is more old school.

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I really like to explore different sounds and see what kind of possibilities I can get out of the drum set. I’m more of a percussive player. I like to add textures and different sounds. I really love exploring that area of drumming as opposed to only a simple set up with a few options for sounds. For me it helps push it to a different level.

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