Category Archives: SKF Blog

Roy Burns Drum Clinic – Circa 1974

SKF NOTE: In August 2014, a few months after starting my blog, I posted my recollection about a Roy Burns drum clinic I had attended around 1974. I was newly living in Davenport, Iowa — the Quad Cities area of … Continue reading

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Freddie Gruber – I Played Leedy & Ludwig Drums

SKF NOTE: Sorting through another box of my audio cassettes, I found the third and final part of my interview with Freddie Gruber circa 1982. We were seated at the kitchen table in Buddy Rich’s NYC apartment. Here’s my original … Continue reading

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Neil Peart: The Ludwig Drum Endorsement How and Why

SKF NOTE: This is part of a conversation with Neil Peart circa 1987, when he had recently endorsed Ludwig drums. We talk about why he switched, but more interesting, how he switched. Neil talks about having six identical drumsets from … Continue reading

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Appreciating Denzil Best

SKF NOTE: Denzil Best has always been somewhat of a mystery drummer to me. In all my studies of drummers, Denzil Best was always praised by drummers and other instrumentalists as a swinging, supportive drummer. Best was a trumpet player … Continue reading

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Billy Higgins Didn’t Play Loud, But Had Such an Even Groove, Beat

SKF NOTE: An instructive four minute interview segment with musician Jimmy Heath where he talks about the wonders of Billy Higgins, but also, some funny observations about Heath’s playing with Elvin Jones. “[Elvin] didn’t give you a one [beat] all … Continue reading

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Hearing Drum Beats as Melodies

SKF NOTE: Will learning to play a melodic instrument make you a better drummer? On balance, yes. The most common melodic instruments drummers play are piano (keyboards) and guitar. I also know drummers who played trumpet or trombone. Learning to … Continue reading

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Songs as Time Machines

SKF NOTE: Songs are time machines. In an instant (a heart beat?) a song can carry us back to faces and places, experiencing emotions, just as we did fifty years ago. I was reminded of music’s mysterious power this weekend … Continue reading

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