Gary Chester on Developing Good Time

SKF NOTEI found the full transcript from my 1983 interview with Gary Chester, published that year in the April Modern Drummer. The transcript is about twice as long as a typical MD feature interview at that time, suggesting Gary shared words of wisdom beyond those in his interview.

Nick Fatool

Nick Fatool

Scott K Fish: How did you develop good time?

Gary Chester: I studied time. Time is the whole essence of playing. Davey Tough, Nick Fatool, and another cat who just died in a fire, Morey Feld. These guys are not soloists or nothing, but their time is so gorgeous. I love time.

SKF: Did you used to talk to Davey Tough about time?

GC: We used to sit and play brushes all night. Him and I.

Dave Tough

Dave Tough

SKF: With a metronome?

GC: No. Just between ourselves on a cardboard box. What grooves we use to get! That’s the trouble with the younger generations. They don’t know time as well as they should.

SKF: Until you started session work you never messed with a metronome?


Morey Feld

GC: No. I never had to play with a metronome because God gave me something inside me. I have a born-in quarter note. So I don’t have to worry about that. But, when I went into records there was no click track playing. It was just the pulse of the room.

I don’t think you can show me a record that starts and ends in the same tempo, which is acceptable.


About Scott K Fish
This entry was posted in SKF Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Gary Chester on Developing Good Time

  1. Pingback: Nick Fatool on Film 1940: Gorgeous Time, Musical | Scott K Fish

Comments are closed.