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.
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.
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.
I practice a lot of stick control on my practice pad. Using a metronome I start with 60 bpm and move up to 120 bpm and keep going back and forth from 60 to 120 with paradiddles, triplets, 16th notes, etc.
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.
Ronald Darden is what I’d consider a pocket drummer. He learned to play in the church and you can tell that by listening to his solid funky groove. He’s a drummer forging out a musical career by hard work and perseverance
“When I was having so much trouble breathing the doctors were telling us if we can’t get this under control it could go south really quickly and we are actually talking about my funeral..”
Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it’s fair to say that music moves people in special ways
Of course, this list is just a start. Wynton Marsalis, Tony Iommi, Dick Dale, Eric Gales, Albert King, Nick Bowcott — there are countless left-handed musicians out there. Who’s your favorite left-handed musician? Who would you add to this list?