Drummer's Weekly Groovecast



A podcast from two professional drummers talking drums, music, musicians, and the entertainment industry. We resource topics that are important to all musicians along with interviews from drummers and industry professionals. Each show includes special segments on gear, underrated drummers, and great drum tracks. We're here to inspire, illuminate, and motivate...plus we like to have a lot of fun too.


  • Episode 136 - Playing With Recordings Vs. Playing With People

    Episode 136 - Playing With Recordings Vs. Playing With People

    02/12/2019 Duración: 01h07min

    Phil and Jon are back in a newly revamped studio B with a topic suggested by a member of our listening audience. This week we discuss the pros and cons of playing with recordings versus playing with live musicians. The request was sent to us in regard to the tribute band show that we did several weeks ago. Our listener, Tony, recently became involved with a Steely Dan tribute act. He’s spent copious amounts of time working with the original recordings however he’s discovering that he has to make numerous adjustments when playing the exact same songs with live musicians. We discuss Tony’s situation and then debate some of the positives and negatives of playing with recordings. Some of the benefits we outline are: ear training, learning typical song forms, learning grooves, ‘playing’ with the professionals, de facto transcription, learning good time/feel, and the pleasure of playing with good music. We then discuss possible detriments such as: being led thus not stating assertive time, possibly learning bad

  • Episode 135 - Interview - Michael Udow

    Episode 135 - Interview - Michael Udow

    25/11/2019 Duración: 01h33min

    In the field of drumming we all have heroes. Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, John Bonham, Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd and the list goes on and on. However, we often overlook the unsung heroes of drumming, the teachers. In the past few years, I’ve realized just how important and influential great teachers can be. The ability to clearly and concisely articulate ideas, techniques, and concepts is not an easy task. When you factor in that this must be done in a classroom setting as well as in private lessons, where teaching styles must be customized from student to student, then you understand that great teachers should hold a high position on our hero list. This week we welcome one of the great teachers in our discipline’s history, Dr. Michael Udow. Mike was head of percussion at the University of Michigan for thirty years as well as a respected clinician and author of the new book, Percussion Pedagogy (Oxford University Press). He was gracious enough to join us from his home in Colorado for a candid

  • Episode 134 - Season Four DWG Advisory Board

    Episode 134 - Season Four DWG Advisory Board

    18/11/2019 Duración: 01h31min

    After a rather lengthy absence, we present to you the reemergence of the Drummer’s Weekly Groovecast Advisory Board. The board is back after skipping season three and we’re welcoming several new members to this season’s show. Our in-studio co-host is Justin Chesarek. Justin is an Atlanta based performer and educator who holds positions at three major metro Atlanta colleges: Emory University, Kennesaw State University, and Morehouse College. For the remote participants we welcome back long-time board members Joel Rosenblatt and Rod Morgenstein. New for season four we have added esteemed drummer/educators, Carter McLean, George Marsh, and Steve Smith. The question that we will address is: “What mistake (or questionable choice) do you most commonly see and hear your students or other drummers commit?” We listen and comment on the various answers given by our board members. When listening to the answers it’s worth noting that almost everything mentioned relates to basic techniques and thoughtful musicianship.

  • Episode 133 - Tribute Drumming Featuring Wayne Viar

    Episode 133 - Tribute Drumming Featuring Wayne Viar

    11/11/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    Tribute bands have been around for quite a long time. However, over the last several years they’ve become significantly more prevalent and a viable alternative to the original artist. In fact, some will even say that many tribute acts perform the music even better than the original artist. When you also consider that many classic bands are charging several hundred dollars per ticket while their corresponding tribute band may charge less than a typical parking fee, the choice becomes even clearer. This week welcome to the show Wayne Viar. Wayne has been a friend of the podcast since its inception and has known the hosts for 20 years. In recent years Wayne has become the tribute band drummer of choice for several high-profile acts. Wayne regularly performs with Abba Mania, A1A (Jimmy Buffet tribute), Almost Elton John, and Piano Men (Billy Joel tribute). In this show we discuss how he became involved with tribute acts and how that led him to work with others. Wayne tells us about preparing for the shows, the

  • Episode 132 - Season Four Listener Mail

    Episode 132 - Season Four Listener Mail

    04/11/2019 Duración: 01h01min

    Just like that, we are halfway through the fourth season of the Drummer’s Weekly Groovecast. The midway point means it is due time for another edition of listener mail. Phil and Jon begin the show discussing the audience response to the new episodes. We also get caught up on the news of the early fall season and discuss how the gigging and teaching jobs are going. This season’s mail bag was overflowing with a variety of questions, comments, and suggestions. We address a host of comments that relate all the way back to the Jim Gordon artist feature and as recent as the re-post from the Crash and Ride podcast featuring Phil. We then answer questions regarding snare drum repair, teaching, and Mel Lewis. We then discuss threads found on drumming forums that reference past shows and answer questions found there. We finish out this season’s mail with the feel-good email of the year! Join us each week for brand new shows. We can be found on iTunes, Google Play Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and anywhere you access

  • Episode 131 - Artist Feature - Josh Freese

    Episode 131 - Artist Feature - Josh Freese

    28/10/2019 Duración: 01h07min

    Since we started doing the artist feature segment approximately two years ago it has become one of the most popular formats for this podcast. Ultimately it has provided some of the best listener feedback. Last season we featured the great Sonny Payne and the response was tremendous. We discuss the reaction from the listeners and then talk about our Jim Gordon feature from two years ago. Back when we posted the show on YouTube the Gordon episode received a tremendous amount of attention (and continues to do so presently). Since then we’ve decided to pick players that are either under the radar or tracks that are not obvious representations of the featured player. For this season we decided to feature southern California studio and live ace, Josh Freese. Since his initial gig at Disneyland Josh has performed with acts as diverse as: Devo, A Perfect Circle, The Vandals, Kelly Clarkson, Weezer, Nine Inch Nails, Evanescence, the Offspring, Guns and Roses, the Replacements, and his current gig with, Sting. We di

  • Episode 130 - Musician Finances, Taxes, and Money

    Episode 130 - Musician Finances, Taxes, and Money

    21/10/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    We begin the show with a quick callback to our season four premiere and then talk about social media issues. Ultimately there has been a bit of confusion regarding listeners following the wrong account on Instagram. Phil and the podcast only have one Instagram account. You can follow the show by using the Instagram account name, Drummers Weekly Groovecast. Dealing with money responsibly is difficult for many people but it seems endemic for the creatives found in the music business. It’s a story that’s been told over and over again. It’s either the tale of the starving artist or the musician that’s done well only to lose it all through bad decisions. In this episode we talk about being smart with your money. We cover topics such as: student loans, filing income taxes, learning deductions, keeping records, investing, planning for retirement, frivolous spending, and substance abuse. We finish up the show with a segment on must-have gear. Jon starts by recommending the Tama version of lug locks called, Tama T

  • Episode 129 - Interview - Steve Smith

    Episode 129 - Interview - Steve Smith

    14/10/2019 Duración: 01h47min

    This week we welcome legendary drummer, Steve Smith, to the Groovecast for the first interview of the fourth season. Steve was gracious enough to speak with us just before a series of dates with Journey that culminates in a three-week residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve will also be showing his artwork (at Carnavale Gallery at Caesar’s Palace) during this residency. If you are in Las Vegas and would like to see Steve’s art work and meet him in person please RSVP using the form found on Steve’s web site (link below). During this show we discuss many things including: the differences between playing with Journey today vs. 40 years ago, the difference in touring with Journey vs. Vital Information, his legendary practice routine, his orthopedic hand issues leading to his development of matched grip and the creation of ‘Pathways of Motion’, his yoga practice and how it helps with touring and performing, his Berklee experience with Gary Chaffee and Alan Dawson, meeting Vinnie Colaiuta at Berk

  • Episode 128 - Season Four Premiere - Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

    Episode 128 - Season Four Premiere - Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

    07/10/2019 Duración: 01h04min

    The boys are back from the summer hiatus with a new season of shows. We start this premiere episode by discussing summer gigs, travel, teaching, and vacations. We then break open the mail bag and address our correspondence with new and longtime listeners. We also discuss two new companies started by drummers who listen to our show. Please check out Ryan’s new product for wrist support and compression, Wrist Grips: https://wristgrips.myshopify.com/ There is also a drum-less play-along app created by Damani (from the Drum Coaches) entitled, Drum Trax. This free app is available on Android and Apple platforms so visit the online store of your choice to download it. The main topic of discussion for this show is the growing amount of envy, anger, and depression we see emanating from direct comparison to others on social media. We talk about what happens when we see someone who posts about an abundance of gigs, gets a new piece of gear, or flaunts their new car or home. We then offer our own suggestions about ho

  • Episode 127 - Hiatus Breaker Featuring The Crash And Ride Podcast

    Episode 127 - Hiatus Breaker Featuring The Crash And Ride Podcast

    12/08/2019 Duración: 01h38min

    As we languish through the summer we temporarily break our hiatus by posting a pop show. Late last winter I appeared on a new podcast that deals with musicians who suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD and other psychological issues, the Crash and Ride Podcast. The host and Groovecast power listener, Patrick Ferguson, has done a tremendous job highlighting an incredibly underrepresented topic that affects quite a large number of musicians. In this episode he and I discuss the different aspects of chronic, long-term anxiety and how it touches every part of your life. As musicians we elaborate on how anxiety can sometimes drive us toward music as well as how the disorder affects the music perform. We each talk about our personal battles and give ideas for real, lasting solutions to help mitigate the suffering. Please visit Patrick and the Crash and Ride Podcast by visiting his site: http://crashandride.libsyn.com/ Patrick was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for his great work creating this show. Please supp

  • Episode 126 - Perfect Imperfection

    Episode 126 - Perfect Imperfection

    03/06/2019 Duración: 01h22min

    As we come to the end of the third season, we take some time to discuss the news of the day and the many events that have happened over the course of recent episodes. We discuss https://possiblechops.com/ref/8/ created by friends of the show, Dave Hooper, Gary Novak, and Dave Johnstone. We also humbly discuss the honor of being included by a popular online blogger in their list of top drumming podcasts. Also, the show will observe its three-year anniversary in July. Even though we’ll celebrate during our off-season please stay subscribed. From time to time we’ll give updates on the upcoming season as well as possibly publish a special ‘off-season’ episode. With that in mind, please stay in touch with the show. We appreciate the support and welcome all ideas for future episodes and interviews. As our long-time listeners will attest, we respond to all email and many times use your suggestions for future episodes. For this episode we take on the topic of being imperfect in a digitally perfect music scene. Rec

  • Episode 125 - Season Three Listener Mail, Concepts And Explanations

    Episode 125 - Season Three Listener Mail, Concepts And Explanations

    20/05/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    As we moved through the third season, the show saw unparalleled growth. With that growth we received more email and social media messages and comments. In this episode Phil goes through some of the most common questions and comments with answers, concepts, and explanations. We cover the questions and topics: 1) You’re only as good of a drum set player as you are a snare drummer 2) Speed is one of the easiest things to accomplish and seldom needs to be practiced 3) Because you can play your high school’s halftime show doesn’t mean you can play the instrument 4) Playing with a metronome doesn’t intrinsically help you keep better time or play with better feel 5) Music school is not for everyone. But, how do you know? 6) Many students lack curiosity and the spirit of investigation. Here is a list of the music included in this show. 1) Billy Cobham – Crosswinds Album 2) Ralph Towner – Waterwheel – from the album, Batik 3) Tony Williams Lifetime – Snake Oil – from the album, Believe It 4) The Griffith Park Coll

  • Episode 124 - Interview - Rob Knopper - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

    Episode 124 - Interview - Rob Knopper - Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

    13/05/2019 Duración: 01h40min

    Obsession is generally considered a personality flaw. However, there are times when it proves beneficial if focused on a career goal. As musicians it seems logical that having some type of obsessive personality trait would be beneficial when it comes to studying and practicing our craft. Enter this week’s guest, Rob Knopper of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a self-professed obsessive musician (and prog rock officianado). We were due to hear from the concert side of our discipline and Rob does not disappoint. Aside from having a gig in one of the world’s top orchestras Rob is known for his expertise on snare drum. We pick his brain about: technique, practice, methods, concert snare setup, tuning, and more. Rob is also one of the foremost experts on French percussion author, Jacques Delecluse. Aside from discussing Delecluse and his method we take a solo from Douze Etudes and discuss its general aspects as well as hit the hot spots breaking down rolls, stickings, and more. Rob is also known for expertise

  • Episode 123 - The Business Of Backline With Kenny Cresswell Of Avatar Events

    Episode 123 - The Business Of Backline With Kenny Cresswell Of Avatar Events

    06/05/2019 Duración: 54min

    These things take time. Sometimes they take six to eight months. However, if business is good who can complain? We originally reached out to Avatar Events owner, Kenny Cresswell, last fall to do a show about backline gear. However, Kenny was just a tad busy providing gear for some of music’s biggest acts. Jon and I realized that we had used the term ‘backline’ on numerous occasions throughout the history of the podcast. However, we never took enough time to fully explain what it was, why he and I needed it, and why we sometimes complained about it. Well luck would have it that not only does Atlanta have one of the premier backline rental companies in the US, but the owner is a mutual friend. During our visit to the Avatar Events warehouse we got the grand tour which comprised of 40 drum kits, 120 snare drums, 1000+ cymbals, a wall of hardware, timpani, vibes, marimbas, and more accessory percussion than any 10 retail stores combined. When we began the show, we asked Kenny everything you would want to know a

  • Episode 122 - Interview - George Marsh

    Episode 122 - Interview - George Marsh

    29/04/2019 Duración: 01h38min

    Whether right or wrong we like being different and truly enjoy bringing you guests that challenge, enlighten, and entertain our listeners. This week certainly checks all those boxes. Our guest, George Marsh, is probably best known to our listeners as either the drummer from the David Grisman Quintet or as the author of “Inner Drumming” (one of our genres greatest methods). During my first chat with George he was excited to talk music and was very eager to share some of his favorite recordings of which he was a part. Throughout this episode as George describes the various musicians he’s worked with I thought it would be a nice change to mix in some of those artists’ mp3s as the interview progresses. It’s the first time we done that on the show. We hope you enjoy it and that it adds some context to the conversation. We caught up with George at his home in Santa Rosa, California. The long-time bay area resident is originally from the US Midwest where he grew up just outside of Saint Louis. His interest in music

  • Episode 121 - The Business Of Home Recording With Sean ORourke

    Episode 121 - The Business Of Home Recording With Sean O'Rourke

    22/04/2019 Duración: 01h09min

    As we reach the midway point of season three, we dig into the mail bag for our topic this week. A while back we received listener email requesting a show that focused on the business of home recording. Immediately Jon and I knew this would be the perfect show to include a third mic guest. There’s no one better to fill that spot than our mutual friend, recording ace, and Nashville denizen, Sean O’Rourke. Sean has performed with some of the music industry’s biggest names. A partial list includes: Sugarland, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Mother’s Finest, Derek Trucks, Jerry Ragavoy, Oteil Burbridge, and Arrested Development. In this episode we call upon Sean’s 20+ years of traditional studio and in-home recording experience to answer some questions. We cover what gear it takes to make a basic home studio functional along with upgrades that may make a big difference. Sean talks about the importance of signal path, the different room treatments he’s experimented with and what works best for recording drums. We then di

  • Episode 120 - Interview - Carter McLean

    Episode 120 - Interview - Carter McLean

    15/04/2019 Duración: 02h10min

    I always enjoy the interviews we do at Drummer’s Weekly Groovecast. Part of the reason is that I only ask guests that I have a genuine interest in. It certainly doesn’t hurt if they have something to say. If they have a good time saying it, it’s just a bonus. This week I dumbed into a grand slam. I know, I know. You’re saying to yourself that you’ve heard this guy on other podcasts and social media. Not like this you haven’t. If you’re in the drumming business and unaware of Carter McLean, get out from under your rock and listen up. If you removed his current, long-term gigs (Broadway’s ‘The Lion King’ and Charlie Hunter) and his resume was reduced to his social media and educational posts, that’d be enough. If that doesn’t convince you, what if I told you that Vinnie Colaiuta was a fan? Well, he is. In this episode we cover some areas of Carter’s playing and teaching that have not been touched on. We discuss, in minutia, what it’s like getting into the Broadway orchestra pits. We talk about everything pe

  • Episode 119 - Artist Feature - Sonny Payne

    Episode 119 - Artist Feature - Sonny Payne

    08/04/2019 Duración: 01h18min

    We are back with season three’s artist feature. This time around we highlight Sonny Payne (Count Basie, Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Erskine Hawkins). Payne is simultaneously one of the most influential yet underrated big band drummers in jazz history. When asked to list the most influential big band drummers a typical response might be: Buddy Rich, Papa Jo Jones, Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson, Mel Lewis, Ed Shaughnessy, Chick Webb, etc. However, when many musicians, including some of the aforementioned drumming greats, are asked to name influential drummers Payne is at the top of the list. Combining innate musicality with bombastic setups and unparalleled showmanship Payne became the blueprint for which all future Basie drummers were compared. Harold Jones, who replaced Payne after his departure in 1965, unapologetically said that he took everything he could from Sonny during his time with the Basie band. Butch Miles, a fifteen-year Basie veteran, echoed that all drummers were told to emulate Payne’s playing

  • Episode 118 - Interview - Jimmy Haslip

    Episode 118 - Interview - Jimmy Haslip

    01/04/2019 Duración: 01h44min

    We spread our wings this episode and interview our first bassist, Jimmy Haslip. Now before you call me out regarding our bassists’s perspective show, with two of our favorite bass players, keep in mind that was a four mic show and not really an interview. Most of you will know Jimmy from his long-term relationship with the seminal fusion group the Yellowjackets. During his 32-year tenure with the band Jimmy and fellow band mates released some of the most influential music in that genre’s history. All the while Jimmy continued to work with other musicians on various live and studio projects which ultimately led him to develop an affinity and mastery for production. In 2012 Jimmy decided to take a break from touring to concentrate on producing music of his own and for other like-minded musicians. Little did he know that break would turn into a permanent full-time gig. In this episode we caught up with Jimmy during his recent stop in Atlanta with the Oz Noy trio. I met him in the lobby of his hotel where we

  • Episode 117 - Season Three Premiere - Positive Motivation

    Episode 117 - Season Three Premiere - Positive Motivation

    25/03/2019 Duración: 01h11min

    After a long winter’s nap Phil and Jon make their return to the Groovecast studios. In what is becoming a recurrent tradition they reveal the season three theme and discuss the clips therein. We then spend some time catching up from the past few months discussing new gigs and opportunities. We also pay our respects to the great Hal Blaine. We then talk about social media etiquette and how to contact us to be better connected. Our topic to start season three is positive forms of motivation and its long-lasting benefits. We each explain how this type of motivation is the polar opposite of ‘stage bullying’ and negative commentary. Sometimes you receive the motivation from a teacher. Sometimes it can be a fellow musician. It can also be discovered in forms of self-realization. Each host then describes how different real-world scenarios of positive motivation enhanced the situation they were in. They also recount how these styles of motivation stayed with them and how they are used currently. We finish out the

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